Friday, October 28, 2005

Putting Brother Wesley's Preaching Into Practice

Our Thursday morning group began reading "Sermon #28: Upon Our Lord's Sermon on the Mount Discourse 8" by John Wesley yesterday morning. We were very put off by some of the language in this particular sermon.

For example:

"If a man pursues his business that he may raise himself to a state of honour and riches in the world, he is no longer serving God in his employment, and has no more title to a reward from God than he who gives alms that he may be seen, or prays that he may be heard of men."


"Consequently, whoever owes no debts, has food and clothing for himself and his household, and possesses enough money to carry on his earthly business, but still seeks an even greater amount of wealth, is one who habitually lives in the open denial of the Lord that brought him. In effect, that one "has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever."

Wesley is preaching from Matthew 6:19-23:

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!"

Well let me tell what happened this morning.

I am an electrical contractor. This morning I was buying some materials for a job that we are going to start Monday morning. After determining that the best price for the stuff I needed was at Lowes, I went to make the purchase. When I got back to my shop and reviewed the reciept, I realized that the cashier had made a mistake and undercharged me. I had purchased 24 recessed light housings @ $6.97 each. She had only entered a quantitiy of 4.

As I see it, I had two choices:

1. Celebrate the extra $140 profit that I will now make off of this job by taking the family out for a meal and a movie.


2. Go back to the store and pay for the other 20 fixtures.

Oh, one more thing to consider: This store is 35 miles one-way from my shop.

What would you do?

I thought it was bad when Brother Wesley kept pointing his finger at me as we read that sermon yesterday. Now he's following me around and shouting at me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

What's So Amazing - Week 11 - Part Two

The questions:

Why does the Church fail at extending grace toward those most in need of it?

Jesus gave us the perfect example, why can't we follow His lead?

"I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
(Joh 17:20-23 ESV)

Jesus calls for us to witness His mercy and grace. How is the Church doing at that?

What’s So Amazing About Grace - Week 11 - “We’re all bastards but God loves us anyway!”

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it-- the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
(Rom 3:21-24 ESV)

Yes we are and yes He does!

The problem is that we (when I say we, I am speaking of the Church) think that the only bastards are those whom we view as immoral or whose beliefs that we find repulsive.

Well, guess what, those folks think we are bastards, too.

So does God, but He loves us anyway.

There is no distinction. A sin is a sin. Whether it is the current hot-button sin-of-the-week that all the preachers are dooming to hell or the sin that is in us so-called righteous folks.


that’s amazing

Monday, October 24, 2005

Barnabas Church

At Charge Conference yesterday, our District Superintendent urged our church to become a "Barnabas" Church.

A Barnabas Church is a church that, after paying 100% of it's apportionments , offers to pay part or all of the apportionments for another church in the district which may be having difficulty paying their own. Our district is in a poor, rural area. There are many small-membership churches that probably cannot spare any funds for connectional ministries.

Our church began a couple of years ago paying our apportionments in ten equal 10% payments, so we are paid 100% by October. If we could make one more payment in November, that extra 10% would more than likely be enough to completely pay the apportionments for one of the smaller churches in our district. With our support they may be encouraged to increase their giving in future years. They may even eventually become a "Barnabas" themselves.

Remember, if not for the support and encouragement of Barnabas, Paul may have remained a content layman like many of us.