is a Community in Christ:
Baseball’s World Series is being played as I write this article. Both teams have committed errors, which are rare this time of the year. I enjoy watching baseballs games, even though the game has been described as periodic flurries of activity and excitement with long episodes of nothing in between those flurries. But I remember one summer, in fact, it was 1994 that baseball players went on strike. In fact, various professional sports have gone on strike over the years.
It is always interesting to me how many people gather for baseball games and many other sports events. But the summer of 1994 found that spectators were not able to gather and it affected the public’s enthusiasm for the game of baseball.
It is also interesting to me how some players can have very good regular seasons, then start committing error al-lowing players to get on base, score runs or experience hitting slumps during the most important time of the year; thus, not able to get men into scoring position. Now it is vitally important and we need to be careful that we do not get caught in spiritual errors and go through spiritual slumps in our walk with the Lord.
You may be asking, what are you talking about? Periodically, for a variety of reasons, we struggle with spiritual down times in our walk with the Lord. About this time of year, I, as an individual, struggle with spiritual down times, because I am affected and allow the declining sun light to affect me adversely. At times like these I need to discipline myself to stay in the Word of Lord through Bible study and focused times of prayer. It is also helpful to be devoted to group Bible studies for learning of God’s grace and the light of Jesus Christ. The gathering of believers from week to week is very important as well.
The fall season is a beautiful and colorful time of the year. But it is also a season of year, where I need to keep my life focused on the light of Christ and to enjoy the beauty and blessings of nature by giving thanks to Almighty God, the Creator and Master Designer. It is very important for us to gather with other believers in Christ to encourage and support one another in worship. It can be so easy to let other things, activities and emotions take the place of spending time with God's people here or wherever you may be.
We read in Hebrews 10:24-25, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Now my purpose in discussing and sharing these concerns is not to deliberately hurt or cause pain. But as a person struggling with this challenge and as a pastor, with the God—given responsibility for the spiritual welfare of the flock that the Lord has entrusted into my care; I am very deeply concerned about what happens to people and their faith relationship with Jesus Christ. A person's faith is so easily weakened by the failure to habitually and faithfully gather with others for worship, prayer and the study of God's Word. What a splendid opportunity, it can be to gather with other Christians from other churches in a variety of settings even in our travels to worship God together in the name of Jesus Christ.
Let us be careful about the spiritual slump in our walk with the Lord, because we have not been faithfully meeting with believers to worship the Lord together. Let us be glad that God does not go on strike. The following poem is very insightful.
WHAT IF GOD SHOULD GO ON STRIKE????
It's just a good thing God above—
Has never gone on strike,
Because He wasn't treated fair—or things
He didn't like.
If He had ever once sat down & said, “
That's it, I'm through!
I've had enough of those on earth,
So this is what I'll do:
I'll give my orders to the sun—‘
Cut off your heat supply’ ”;
And to the moon, ‘ Give no more light.’
And run those oceans dry.
Then, just to make it tough
And put the pressure on,
Turn off the air and oxygen
Till every breath is gone.
Do you know,
He'd be justified
If fairness were the game?
For no one has been more abused—
Or treated with disdain
Than God—and yet
He carries on...Supplying you and me;
With all the favors of His grace
And everything for free!
Men say they want a better deal
And so on strike they go;
But what a deal we've given God
To whom everything we owe.
We don't care who we hurt or harm
To gain the things we like,
But what a mess we'd all be in
If God should go on strike.
~Amos T. Andersen
May we all soar in the strength, power and love of the Lord, supporting and encouraging each other on toward love and good deeds.
Striving to Serve in Honesty & Humbleness!
-Pastor Perry DeGroot