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May 21st, 2018

It’s a beautiful Monday in May but summer is fast approaching. This morning I made the mistake of looking at the weather forecast for the next two weeks. And there it was. Less than two weeks away was the first projected day over 100 degrees. In the first few days of June it’s supposed to be 101 degrees. I was in Cleveland, Ohio just a few weeks ago and they said they had snow there the week before. Oh how quickly things change. Enjoy “Spring” today because as we know in Texas it doesn’t last long.It’s a beautiful Monday in May but summer is fast approaching. This morning I made the mistake of looking at the weather forecast for the next two weeks. And there it was. Less than two weeks away was the first projected day over 100 degrees. In the first few days of June it’s supposed to be 101 degrees. I was in Cleveland, Ohio just a few weeks ago and they said they had snow there the week before. Oh how quickly things change. Enjoy “Spring” today because as we know in Texas it doesn’t last long.

Just two days ago many of you woke up in the middle of the night and watched the Royal Wedding. Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle. Some of you decided sleep was more important and so you recorded it to watch later. Some, like me, chose not to watch at all. But I did catch myself watching the 20/20 episode that night with all the highlights. It was kind of like watching SportsCenter instead of watching the Rockets get blown out. I’m always fascinated about why we are fascinated with the Royals. No, not the Kansas City Royals, but primarily the British Royals. I mean I understood the frenzy with Princess Diana. Most of the rest of the obsession I don’t completely understand. Some say it is because of the whole idea of a “fairy-tale” and how especially young girls are brought up wanting this dream of finding their own Prince Charming. Usually they find a frog and try to change him into a Prince but let’s not get off topic here. I have heard it said that for many it is a way to step away from their own life which seems dull and dreary by comparison (and whose life wouldn’t?). I don’t want to sound too cynical. I am happy for this young couple (not quite that young but when you’re old . . .). They seem to be “in love.” But I’m also sure that it will be a marriage with many challenges as two very different people from very different backgrounds try to come together and create a life together all while doing it in front of an adoring public who want to know their every move and thought.

        But there are many reasons people care or don’t care about the royal family. I think for some people the whole idea of royalty leads to a sense of jealousy. For others it highlights the inequalities in the world. Many called this a huge step forward in that a bi-racial woman from America could marry into the royal family. But as you watch the excess and the materialism and the lavish life that is to be theirs you realize life is very unfair and unequal. I’m sorry for bringing things down but when I watch royalty it feels like I am watching selfishness on steroids. Oh I know the couple have committed their future lives together to mostly noble causes but it doesn’t change the fact that the system is one where all the world revolves around them. As I am reminded of how selfishness pervades all of life I want to quote from Max Lucado. Here’s what he had to say today:

The self-centered see everything through self. Their motto?  “It’s all about me!” To the self-centered– the flight schedule, the traffic, the worship styles—everything is filtered through the mini-me in the eye.

Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.”  Looking after your personal interests is proper life management. Doing so to the exclusion of the rest of the world is selfishness. Desire success? Fine. Just don’t hurt others in achieving it. Love isn’t selfish! Love builds up relationships but selfishness corrodes relationships.

What’s the cure for selfishness? A smaller “I” and a greater Christ! Don’t focus on yourself; focus on all that you have in Christ—the encouragement in Christ, the fellowship of the Spirit, the affection and compassion of heaven!

I realized this morning that my sermon on finding Joy in Contentment may have miscommunicated to some. It is difficult in one sermon to cover any one topic fully. I hope those who heard the message understood that when I was talking about “being content” I was doing so with the inherent understanding that Paul was referring to his physical situation. Paul did say, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am (Philippians 4:11b).” But we also understand that Paul was never content or satisfied when it came to sharing the gospel or to deepening his faith or to advancing the Kingdom of God. Paul also said just one chapter earlier in Philippians 3:12-14:

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
We are to find joy in contentment but we must never be satisfied with where we are in our walk with Him. We must never become complacent in reaching the lost. We must never step back from obedience to Him. We must continue to pray more and to study more and to speak more. I find great joy in being content that God will always be with me no matter the circumstances. But I also am never content with sin in my life or doing less than my best for Him or for not leading our church to be much more than it is today. God needs us to be content where we are but never satisfied with what He has called us to do!

Last Word: HARVEST AMERICA!! Did you realize that it is now less than 3 weeks away? I hope you are already PRAYING. I have the daily prayers for Harvest on my calendar to remind me to pray. I hope you do as well. We also need for you to GIVE. As Garry reminded us yesterday it is not cheap to host an event like this and to advertise properly. We need for you to help us as God leads. We are asking you to give “over and above your weekly tithe” to support this outreach effort within our community. This is money that will be spent 100% to reach the lost!  

I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?

Blessings
 
David
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