June 6th, 2018
I think I enjoy rain on Mondays more than any other day. I’m not sure why that is but I thank God today for the rain. It will be back to sunny and hot soon enough. I pray your Monday is amazing and wonderful and filled with God’s presence.
I was reading this morning from our corporate Bible chapter, Joshua 7. We are continuing our daily Bible reading challenge. If you don’t have a copy of the chapters for June and July just contact the church office. As some of you may remember Joshua 7 is the story of the sin of Achan. The story is a great illustration for us about just how seriously God feels about our sin. There are so many lessons in this story that we don’t have time to cover them all but let me mention a couple of them today.
One big lesson we learn through this is that sin always leads to failure and defeat when fighting against the enemies of this world. Enemy after enemy confronts us, enemies such as broken relationships, financial difficulty, the loss of a job, misunderstandings, discouragement, depression, family problems, tension and stress, the loss of loved ones and many more. These enemies will defeat us if there is sin in our lives. God is holy; His presence and guidance are not available where there is sin. We stand alone to struggle against such enemies if there is sin in our lives, and the only help available to us is what help man can give us. Supernatural help—God's presence and power—is available only as we live holy and righteous lives before God. Sin separates, cuts us off from God and His help. Sin causes failure and defeat.
One other lesson we learn is that the sin of one person can affect the entire group. That may be a family or a church or in this case the nation of Israel. One person sinned and the entire group was held accountable and suffered because of that one person. There is a corporate, community responsibility for one another. This corporate responsibility is true among all of society, but it is especially true among God's people. The first and greatest commandment is for people to love God with all of their hearts, minds, bodies, and souls. The second commandment is that we love one another. Every human being is to love his or her neighbor. God expects us to love and care for one another, looking after and taking care of our neighbors. When one of us rejoices, we are all to rejoice together. When one of us hurts, we are all to hurt together. When one of us needs help, we are to help that one. When one of us sins, it affects the whole community. The point is this: there is corporate responsibility and corporate accountability within our communities, and especially within the church. Achen and his family paid the price but their sin had already cost the lives of 36 others within their community. We are all responsible. Which brings me to my last point.
It is Harvest America Week! This Sunday, June 10th Greg Laurie and Harvest America will be at AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas. We at FBCWS will be hosting a local simulcast for those who would rather not fight the huge crowd that will be there live. We have been hosting Harvest America from the very first year that it went nationwide. We are the only church in our association of over 400 who have been here from the beginning. It is a BIG deal to us as a church body. If you drive by the church you will see the big balloon announcing the event. On Sunday we will have a bounce house and face painting for the kids. We will have food . . . not just hot dogs this year but also burgers and chicken (aka real food) so come have some dinner and join us for a night of worship and celebration. It all kicks off at 4:30 PM with food and fun. At 5:30 PM we will start our local pre-event concert featuring Andy and Theresa Hutchison! At 6:00 PM the worship will continue with Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Switchfoot and more, followed by Greg Laurie bringing a gospel message.
We are part of a community. We are responsible. That means we need to be praying for people to come. We also need to be inviting people to come. We also may even need to volunteer to bring someone with us.
Some of you at FBCWS may remember our service of corporate repentance just a few short weeks ago. We confessed that we have not evangelized and reached out to our community like we should. We confessed that we have tried to shift the responsibility onto anyone but me. We confessed that we have cowered in fear, afraid of what people will think of us. It is time to do more than confess that sin. It is time to step out and begin to be responsible for our community. It is time to invite our friends and neighbors and acquaintances to church to hear the gospel proclaimed!!
If you are as old as me you probably remember the words to a Simon and Garfunkel song called “I am a Rock.” Some of the lyrics go like this:
I've built walls
A fortress deep and mighty
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship, friendship causes pain
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain
I am a rock
I am an island
If I never loved I never would have cried
I am a rock
I am an island
I touch no one and no one touches me
I am a rock
I am an island
And a rock feels no pain
And an island never cries
I will admit there are times in my life when I would rather be an island. But the gospel does not give us that luxury. We must not withdraw into our safe and quiet little cocoon where “I touch no one and no one touches me”. We are not an island. We are called to love our neighbor!
I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?