Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Give Of Your Best To The Master"1 (Lyrics)
The church these days faces a changing world. We are trying to reach out to neighbours who have a "me-centered approach". How does the gospel meet them? Are we welcomed now when we knock on the door of a stranger's house? There may be danger ahead; we are not welcomed. Everyone is too busy looking after themselves, and we leave disappointed.
What is the "me-centered approach"? It's when we put ourselves first, which seems to be the cultural thing to do these days, as we don't really care about others — that is, we don't care personally for them. Sure, we text them or make a call on our iPhone, but is that personal? Who really gets personally involved? How do we share the love of Christ today?
When Paul was in Athens, he was confronted with a culture different than the Jewish culture that he was used to. "While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols." (Acts 17:16 NIV)
What are the idols in our culture? Here are some of today's idols that make it hard for the Christian church to reach out: materialism, individualism, secularism, consumerism, money. What other idols can you add?
As part of Paul's sermon explaining the true nature of their "Unknown God", he states, "For [God] has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed." (Acts 17:31a NIV)
Yes, we believe that Jesus will return and judge the world. We do not know the date, but God may give us time, years even, to continue His work on earth through belief in Jesus. We need to stay close to the Lord in prayer and commitment, and He will direct our ways so that we can reach out in this changing world. With the Holy Spirit in us, we can spread the love of a God Who cares so much that His Spirit is still nearby.
In Acts 17:24-25a, we read, "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples (church buildings?) built by hands. And He is not served by human hands." (NIV)
We can keep trying to build up His church, but it is the Holy Spirit Who guides the Church through every cultural hindrance.
Prayer: Dear Lord, the future is in Your hands. We hate to see Your church struggling, but we trust You through all that happens. The changing culture is difficult, but the risen Lord Jesus can guide us through as we reach out to our neighbours in His love. Fill Your church, dear Lord, with Your Holy Spirit, that we may all be guided down the road to resurrection and new life. Help us to live faithfully, so that we can share Your love with others who need You daily because they are lost in today's selfish cultural demands. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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Thank you for your time.
Well said Iris. God bless.
Well done, good and faithful servant.
Thanks, Iris, for this thought provoking message.
Thanks, Iris, for meditation on a topic we need to see with clear eyes, through the lens of the word.
As usual, the devotional you wrote is just what I need for the day. I pray that you are able to continue writing for the Daily.
Insightful devotional, Iris. I fear our response to our me-centred society is to become a me-centred church. That has to change to a Christ-centred church, or we’re doomed.
Funny how God emphasizes the message He wants us to hear. My morning reading was the passage where Jesus informs the disciples about the signs of the end of the age and states people will be lovers of self. Then your devotional added a resounding “Amen”. Thanks for sharing this with us. Blessings.
I appreciate your observations and wisdom. The Church will outlast this trend as Christ’s faithful love and sacrifice is lived out through His family. However, it puzzles me to find that in spite of my prayers and trust, none of my extended family has any interest in His “Good News”. “On my knees”
Hello Iris on a warm Thursday afternoon.
Thank you for your devotional today, and once again, you and I are the same wave length. I always share with a man in our church, and he enjoys them so much. So thank you for continuing share your writings and blessing us.
I have used this subject several times and I like to add idolatry. We get so perturbed by the way movie people and sports people are adored and idolized.
The church is indeed struggling, But Jesus will guide us. As a matter of fact I have chosen the hymn, “Guide me Oh Thou Great Jehovah” for the opening hymn on Sunday. We need God’s guidance in all our efforts.
Very interesting and very topical. I happened one day this week on some talk show about a young woman visiting her mother which has been living there a long time but now has become a rather unsavoury neighbourhood:
Somebody knocks on the door and the daughter goes to answer it but Mother says no, I do not know anybody is coming. Then the phone rings – it is Dad calling from work. Please open the door. You asked me to get a serviceman but had forgotten to tell her. The daughter said I went and answered the door and said sorry but she said this is what it has come to today — people are afraid to open the door. Maybe it is a neighbour, or family member or somebody dangerous.
Hello Iris, A very interesting topic you have chosen for today’s devotions. Yes the World of Mankind has been so wrapped up in MYSELF THINGS, we do lose the True Meaning of Life that was given to us by God. As you said, “Idolism’s” has taken control and I think we all have gotten off track somewhere in our life’s and have gotten caught up in it. What a world if it was to be all about ME ONLY, we’d all would be walking around as Zombies and no inter action among ourselves. Everyone for themselves, what a scary thought. We all need Love and Respect and Guidance and we get our Help from the Lord and that is where we should be communicating with daily.
I like your thought for the day.
Thank you for your devotion. There are indeed many changes in our churches these days, and yesterday (Sunday) one of the hymns we sang was; “Guide me O Thou Greta Jehovah.” You are right, we need God’s guidance in everything we do.