Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 128:1 – Blessings on all who reverence and trust the Lord — on all who obey him! (TLB)
When some of us get together and discuss the future of our churches at various functions or meetings, or with pastors on a personal basis, the conversation always seems to come around to the perception that attendance in a number of Christian denominations in Canada is declining, and that as a consequence, churches are struggling financially and church leaders are, at times, discouraged.
The fact of the matter is that many older folk find it difficult to attend church on a regular basis; others have moved into long term care facilities; many have passed away; and there are few young people taking their place. On the part of a large percentage of the population, there is a definite lack of interest in weekly attendance or involvement of any kind. I was discussing this with a minister of the gospel one day, and she said that she is shocked by the number of people who don't know about God or Jesus. Sometimes, we feel like we are living in a spiritual desert.
In 1965 and 1966, I lived in a camp in the desert in the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman. I went for a long walk every afternoon after work, and the desert was indeed empty. To draw you a verbal picture, there were sand, rocks, and boulders as far as the eye could see. There were a few shrubs growing here and there, but there was virtually no new growth anywhere. And then one night in March of 1966, we had a sudden tropical downpour. Water came from the heavens in unimaginable amounts. Low lying areas, dry for months, became raging torrents, and some roads were washed out. As quickly as the rains had come, the water disappeared. The next day was hot and sunny, just like always, and the day after that, there were little flowers everywhere. Billions of seeds, dormant for months, suddenly sprouted and bloomed, practically overnight. The desert was in full bloom.
And that is what I think will happen to the Christian church. Many of us have been involved in sowing the seeds of faith in various ways, and God in His plan will bring about a change. Just like the rainstorm in the desert, when we least expect it, the rains of faith will come.
The Bible says that there will come a time when people will return to the fold. There will be a time when life without faith will lose its appeal. People will hear a voice in their hearts, urging them to come to Christ.
Lamentations 3:40 – Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord. (NKJV)
Isaiah 35:1 – The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. (NKJV)
May we, all of us, develop the ability to bring people back to faith in Jesus as Saviour and Lord, each one of us in our own way.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we pray that a change will come about soon, that people will find the need to believe in Christ and to attend church. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.