November 6, 2017

I am saddened on this Monday morning for the attack on the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, TX. I know most of you are joining me today in prayer for this congregation and this community. I cannot begin to imagine the heartache they must be experiencing but I know some of you certainly can identify with them. I’m sure it will bring up some painful memories from members of our own church. I also know as a nation we are seeking ways to deal with this kind of violence. I know there must be some measures we can take but ultimately the only way we can cure this cancer is through REVIVAL in our country. At the heart of this disease is a need for people to find the Savior. I do fear for our country but not primarily because of all the violence and insanity going on but because our country has drifted from the call of God upon our lives. May each of us do our part today by first praying, and then by going out and being salt and light where we live!

For those of you who have asked, Yes, my wife, Jennifer is safe and sound and serving the Lord in Greece for a month. She has been gone now about 4 days (OK, it has been 3 days, 14 hours and about 45 minutes since I last hugged her). I told her I would be fine and not to worry about me and I am. Contrary to popular belief I can take care of myself for a little while. But I do miss her. I’m not sure I realized how much I would miss her. We haven’t been separated for this long of a period (by the time she gets back) in our entire married life . . . and that’s a long time. But I was surprised how quickly it hit me and the depth of my feeling. Some of you are like well duh, you love her deeply so what did you expect? Do I need to remind you that I am a man and men don’t usually tap into their feelings quite so easily? We prefer to keep those covered up so no one sees when we hurt. But yes, it’s true, I do miss her. But not for the reasons you might imagine. I don’t miss her for all the things she does for me. I don’t miss the cook and cleaner and the reminder and the barber and the fixer of all things in my life. I just miss . . . her. Now, before we get too sappy here I’m going to stop and bring in the parallel of where I am headed with this.

I think for many of us we see God as the one who does stuff for us. We desire God for how he gives us peace and salvation and love. We have an affection for Him because of all the amazing and wonderful things He does, and has done for us. We even sometimes live our lives in such a way that it seems like we are afraid of making God mad at us. But the question still comes back to the root of our relationship with God. Do we love God just because of who He is? Do we miss Him when we don’t spend enough time with Him? Do we even have a relationship with God? You might say, well isn’t that kind of hard to have a relationship with a Spirit? I can’t hug Him or sit down and have a cup of coffee with Him or look into His eyes to see what He is thinking. But God wants a relationship with us. Is it different than a human relationship? Of course. But we can spend time with Him. We can talk to Him and if we listen we can hear Him speak to us through His word and in our heart and sometimes through that still small voice. Does your affection for God exceed all others? I love my wife and I miss her but I also realized this is a great time for me to be able to spend even more time with my one true love. And no, I don’t mean my TV or my computer. God is here with me every step of the way and so I am praying I will draw even closer to Him during these next days. But we shouldn’t need someone to leave or something to happen to suddenly realize we need more time with God. It needs to be an intentional commitment made each and every day of our lives. God is waiting. He wants you to love Him and spend time with Him. Not so He will give you good health or a new car, but so you might become the very best person He intended you to be. He loves you just because you are you. Do you love Him?

I hope you will join us this month as we celebrate Thankfulness! If you can’t join us you can usually catch the messages on Facebook Live. We had a great day of worship yesterday. If you join us this Sunday you will see and experience a couple of things you haven't seen before. Let me give you a hint on one of them by just saying . . . Snapchat.

I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?