Let’s set the stage . . .You – average Joe(sorry Joe), are sitting in “Your” chair - the one you have finally got shaped to your lumps! ;-) Now, let’s see where is the remote- ughh! You get up and get it and finally get settled and turn on the power and start surfing the Tube. Now, what’s on? Let’s seeeeeee…….? Shopping? NO! Reruns? Nahhh! What are you doing!?! You are doing what 90% of Americans do. Looking for something that entertains you, that you like, or at least can stomach until your favorite program comes on. Whatever comes on, that you don’t agree with or don’t like, gets the instant next channel button. Changing to the Expected!
You my friend are Not looking for something that changes your life. You are not looking for something that you have to think too hard. There is always the “Price is Right”, if you want to think. No, you are trying to find something entertaining to take your mind off of the day, Your problems or issues or bills or whatever it is that TV takes you away from. The next step from that is to try to find a person that entertains you. Or to find someone that inspires you to believe without any real effort on your part. Negative? NO. Sarcastic ? NO! Realistic ? YES!
Now take this to the next level . . .you, find a need for spirituality in your life. So, first you start seeking TV Preachers. But while it satisfies the need For religious entertainment, you find yourself needing a bit more. Perhaps the ‘Real Life’ people support and connection. You find the need to Go from spectator to participator. Wow! Where do you start??
A. near where you live.
B. something you feel safe with or have some idea of what They are like.
But then you have to find a place like your chair and channel – That fits you. *remember this*. And people you feel comfortable with - Like you?? What has happened is that we have become a nation of seekers of what pleases us and what we agree with instead of a people seeking truth. Even churches have become seeker sensitive, to the point that they try to present what pleases people instead of what changes people. If the Church Fits the seeker – they can never grow! If you remain comfortable in your beliefs and thoughts, as you are. You can never change. Your thoughts will never be challenged to change or develop. Your understanding can never change. You and I must not change things so they are as expected. I should never look for a church where the people are all just like me. Where I agree with everything. I need to be presented with deeper Truth. Not a changing Gospel, but the Gospel that changes me. This thought was born from my own thoughts about how to make the Church, “User Friendly”, and about what they see, or get when they arrive.
I realized that, while I want everyone to be welcomed and feel wanted, and while I desire that they feel as comfortable as possible. I am not interested In leading them down the same path they are on. I am interested in helping them connect to God based on His plan for them, Not my own plan. That means that they must hear truth not inspiration for a feel good only moment. I will be the first to tell you that there is Joy, and peace, in the presence of the Spirit of God. You will feel better in the presence of the Lord. However, if that is all that happens, you will also find a resurfacing of those old pains and feelings that are negative. God wants to help you rip off the band aid on hurt feelings, and address the real cause of pain.You cannot get anything new if you do the same Old Things. You might turn off the TV or music with an attitude change, but the same old stuff will be there In the morning! Don’t keep changing to receive the Expected.
Are You hungry for something that will change how you live? then come to The Pentecostals of Hayward. Come ready to hear the Word of the Lord. Not just the stuff you like, but all of it. Come to be a part of a time of worship, that you do on purpose, not based on how you feel at the moment. You cannot feel different until you change what you do and think. We don’t want to inspire you for a day and then find you broken again – we want to help you find Jesus and walk with Him and let Him develop you. Worship service is the time to give not Just receive. A church body is a place to make a difference not Just watch someone else make a difference. Giving is something that brings blessing, not just receiving blessings. "Faith without works is dead, being alone" James wrote. I don’t want to speak so that you just feel good. I want to share the word of Truth with you, so that you start thinking differently and start doing things differently because when you think and do something good, then and only then, will you start feeling different. The word should inspire you, absolutely! But it should inspire you to change. It should correct you. It should challenge you. It should bring you to repentance as well as Faith, Hope, and Love. It should cause you to want to reach for those things that God has for you, Not argue against what God has for you, that you deem unnecessary. I Hear so many people say that Gods promises for them are unnecessary. How Sad! My prayer is for you to come to know your God, the way He has decided is best for His people. If you did not mind expecting God to change you by His Word and Spirit . . .What could you become for Christ in this world!?!
Come Expecting Change. You need a church to encourage you. A church to be the Body of Christ with, a Church to encourage someone else in, a Church to bring people to. A church to grow in. A church to become a co-laborer with Christ. A Church to hear the unaltered word of God in. A church to be preached and stirred In. A church to grow your children in. You just a need an Honest to Goodness Apostolic Church to live for God and become what God is calling you to be. Come expecting change!
Just a thought!
Out of My Mind
Rev. R.J. Hall