Morrisons Cove Herald - Putting cows on the front page since 1885.

By Pastor Earl Herr

Thought for the Week

The Journey Continues III


October 17, 2019

Illustration by John McConahy

Scriptures to Read

Acts 20:26-31

Acts 20:13-25

Acts 20:25-27

Acts 20:29-38

St. Matthew 7:15-20

St. Matthew 7:21-23

II Peter 2:1-5

As I said in my last week's "Thought," "It is not realistic to love people and fail to give warnings about dangers they face. Paul warns of danger coming from three directions. First there is danger around you. It does not take great insight to see there are those around the Church that are filled with hatred, jealousy, bitterness and countless other emotions that would like nothing better than to see the Church destroyed. We may cling to Jesus' Promise: "I will build my Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it," but that promise does not contain any promise that the Church will not suffer damage from outside itself.

Those who do not know the truth, do not feel obligated to always tell the truth and the Church will suffer because of falsehoods leveled against it. There is also danger that comes from among. We know the Church is comprised of people. Even people who love the Lord sometimes do not behave toward one another as Christ would want them to.

Differences of opinion are not always confined to personal preferences. Sometimes these differences take on a theological preference. God has revealed a tremendous amount of information about Himself and His universe in Scripture. For instance, some folks believe in a literal six 24-hour-day-creation. Others believe in a six day, with a day being a longer period of time. This is most certainly not the only controversy invading the Church.

Depending on how strongly a person holds on to their beliefs, there is room for conflict. I wish this was not so, but it is. Often we want to convince people we are right, automatically making someone else wrong, and the greater the effort to convince, the greater the room for conflict. The third is the danger within me. We know Jesus wrestled in prayer on the night He was betrayed. Ultimately, He won a victory over Himself. He was able to say and mean, "Not my will but Thine be done." Sometimes we do not win our own wrestling matches. When that happens, we are in danger. For every Christian, every Church, must come to a place of acknowledging God as God. He is Lord over all or He is not Lord at all. Paul well knew that.

In the passage before us today, verses 22ff tells us Paul is yielded to God, does not know what ultimately will happen to him, but is primarily concerned that he completes the task god has given him. The wrestling match within us continues flesh against spirit: The old man against the new man: Earthly things against heavenly things. The array of conflicts is wide. Most of us get caught up in it. If a person loses this conflict the Church is in danger. Paul knows this and warns his fellow believers. He has been warning them for three years, and since we have this passage of Scripture,

Paul's warnings continue to echo through the Church today. We are indebted to him for issuing these warnings. We are privileged to receive the support and encouragement that belongs to us.


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