Tag Archives: Sunday School

Leave Your Burdens at the Gate

burdensFor greater than twenty years I haven’t wondered where I’m supposed to be on Sunday morning. I haven’t gotten up on any given Sunday and said, “what a great day to go to the mall! That actually wouldn’t happen on a Thursday! With words unspoken you may have perhaps read that as if it were spoken in a self-righteous church lady voice. Please don’t. There’s no holier than thou or preachy connotation. It’s written in humble gratitude that God gave me a place to call home in the house of the Lord at Victory Baptist Church in Grantsville, West Virginia. It’s church day! And I’m excited about what the Lord will do there.

I’m still in Jeremiah, although I only made it but through one chapter this morning before getting waylaid on this thought.

Jeremiah 17:24-25

And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein; Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever.

It’s exciting to know that God cares about my church attendance! I was in a meeting one day when someone said, “I can be just as good of a Christian outside of the church as in”. I’d argue, no you can’t. I actually didn’t argue, it was an adult at a youth camp, but I did get my point across. And although this may be an Old Testament scripture, in a land of kings and princes, it’s as relative today as it was when it was written between 630 and 580 B.C.

We need church and not going has consequences.

The above scripture tells of the blessings that God says will come when we attend church, there was also scripture that told of the cursing of turning your back on God. (vs. 27) The blessing of honoring God by putting Him first on the Sabbath is a country going in the right direction. But let’s put it on a personal level, how about a life going in the right direction? For the record, those who argued with me that they could be out of church and still be a good Christian are now out of church. And though I believe they are saved, they’re lives are a mess. It’s not to say that problems won’t come when you’re in church, but what you are is equipped to handle them.

Sunday School isn’t just for children. It’s a place to delve deeper into the word of God. It’s like having a free conference every Sunday! And those who take advantage of it are fewer and fewer. Sunday School is usually followed by the worship hour. It’s a time of preaching and singing and there are those who attend it and miss the whole point by “enduring” it rather than embracing it!

Jeremiah’s words struck me when he said to “bring no burdens through the gate… but hallow the Sabbath.” That’s how to enjoy church. There’s a reason it’s called a sanctuary. It’s a place to escape the world. I hope this morning finds you in the house of God with your burdens on the outside. Just be open to listening to the Word of God this morning and let God deal with the burdens. It’s not easy, even for those of us at it for a long time… but it’s needful for a great life and for a great country – that America gets itself back to church.

That Good thing that’s a God thing

good thing

I’m so happy I have the Holy Spirit within me, else, there is no doubt that the flesh would rise up in me and I’d say and do things that would not glorify Christ and could possibly get me arrested. If you’re a servant of God, you either fully understand, or you’re way better at dealing with the things of life than I, and it’s really not the craziness in the world that can drive me to the point of frustration. I expect them to be crazy. It’s the craziness in the church that can push me over the edge.

So I’ve had this illustration in my mind for a few days, I drew it yesterday, and had intended to blog about it. But alas, the Holy Spirit said “Chill, Shari. You’re going to hurt someone.” And so I put it atop my art box and waited for the Holy Spirit to tell me what to write. And this morning as I prepare for church, the words flow freely and the Spirit has said to me, “Encourage them.” I wanted to hurt them three days ago. Who are them? They who sit in church pews. That’s all they do. They just sit in church pews. At least from my perspective as someone in charge of the Sunday School and Youth program. Because when a teacher is needed, it’s like pulling hens teeth to get people to move. And our church is one that is relatively good at stepping up. When I go into other churches and see the frustration in the leader’s eyes as they beg and plead for help my heart breaks for Jesus. He didn’t die for us to sit in the pew.

He died for us to serve. And so this word this morning is for those serving, not sitting. Please, keep serving!

Apostle Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:13-14

Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

Hold Fast

That good thing is a God thing. Those sound words that Paul spoke was the inspired Word of God and he encourages Timothy and us to hold on to them. Keep holding on to the Word of God and using it to inspire others through your service. You are rare. I can’t get Matthew 9:37 out of my head that says the “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.”  We are a rarity, those who desire to teach and train disciples. We are few, but the field is full of people who need us. And while I get frustrated at those who sit, I’m learning that it will do no good to speak to the masses, I need to encourage the few. Because those are the days that we’re in. So if you’re serving God in any way… “hold on friend.”

Hold Firm

That good thing is a God thing that He’s given to you for safe keeping. Hold firm! Don’t let anyone or anything, including the frustrations of feeling unappreciated, un-noticed, unworthy, or any other “un” words that Satan throws at you to get you distracted from what you’ve been called to do. That little girl in my sketch… she’s no one in particular… she’s one in thousands that I’ve seen in the field and she need Jesus. She or he as the case may be needs you. If we don’t keep on teaching the word of God and telling others about that “good thing” that God has entrusted us with, then who will. There’s nobody beating down the door to get our job. Our job is secure. So please, if you’re in service to the King of kings, keep serving and living as an example to those around you. Tell everyone how awesome it is and encourage others walking in the field beside you. There’s not that many… it won’t take you long. I love you, and so does Jesus… and our reward is on it’s way!