Midweek Message 01/12/2022



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #91. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this message from me to you.

Like many of you, I also want to be aware of the battle between good and evil in my life. That sounds so generic, like a line out of a Marvel movie. So I’ll be a bit more specific: I, too, fight the battle that wages in me between the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life and the forces of Satan (my enemy), sometimes on a daily basis. Each morning I get up and after trying to make myself look presentable, I head to my kitchen table where I have my Encounter Time. So far so good. That is pretty much a given. But then the battle really starts. Fatigue. Distractions. Hurriedness. The clock. Not to mention there are definitely times I am not “feeling” it.

The struggle with sin has been since the Garden when our parents (Adam and Eve) decided to take matters into their own hands and do what they wanted to. Recently I read an article by J.D.Greear, the pastor of Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC.  It really spoke to me about the reality of sin and its consequences. I’m going to capsulize it for you. As usual, the main thoughts are his; the commentary is mine.

J.D.’s example is Lot, the nephew to Abraham. Lot chose the “greener pastures” and left Abraham with what became known as the Promised Land. There was an even greater tragedy which developed though. Lot’s choice brought him close to Sodom. He not only lived near Sodom; he eventually became a leader in Sodom. Yeah, you read that right: IN Sodom.  Perhaps even more tragic is that as things changed around him, Lot adapted and adopted instead of speaking up.  (Sort of like we who see changes happening but instead of speaking up we keep our mouths shut so we don’t upset the apple cart).  I suspect you know the rest of the story: the bartering of Abraham with God to spare Sodom; the visit of the angels to Lot’s house: the men of the community almost breaking down Lot’s door so they could “have” those visitors; Lot’s offer of his daughters instead: the fire and brimstone that rains down on the two cities (Sodom and Gomorrah); and as Lot runs away with his family, his wife turns around to look at what was and becomes a pillar of salt.

Lot lost everything, including his wife.

How can we avoid that same type of downfall (not necessarily with fire and brimstone  J )? Well, here are four life-saving lessons J.D. gave.

  1. Beware of the progression of sin in your life. Ask anyone who has fallen (big or small) and I guarantee you they did not start out to fall. Nobody becomes an addict because they planned to become one.  It starts a little at a time. I have a toilet I need to fix. It starts out just a drip or two. But now as it fills it sort of sprays everywhere, with some of it making its way down the side of the tank. A small thing becomes a big thing.
  2. The coming judgment is real. I’m guessing Lot didn’t know what was coming. I know for sure the citizens of those two cities didn’t! They had been warned for years but those warnings fell on deaf ears. God doesn’t delight in this type, or any type of judgment. He is not some mean “Judge in the Sky” who whoops it up when someone is punished.  But there comes a time when His patience is done when it comes to blatant sin.
  3. You cannot drift into godliness. I don’t know about you but my experience is that to become a godly person I have to pursue that. I’m not talking about “working my way” to godliness, but to pursue God. Oh…here you go! LOVE GOD DEEPER…WORSHIP HIM MORE. J  We can drift into sin by sheer negligence, but we can’t drift back into godliness by sheer laziness. Seek God and His Word. I used to say I would spend as much time in the Word as I spent reading the paper or watching TV. Of course, that was before Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram, etc.  The struggle is harder (even though I am not on any social media).
  4. Become an Abraham to the Lots in your life. Read the account of Lot leaving Sodom. He didn’t want to. The angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and got them out of Dodge. (Gen. 19:16) You know why they did that? Because God listened to Abraham’s intercession for his nephew. If you know someone heading down the wrong path, pray for them and ask for an opportunity to interject yourself into their life.

I hope this helps you in 2022.

It has been a rough two to three weeks for folks in Owen County and people we love. As the staff sat down to pray Monday morning we all became extremely aware of our long prayer list and the lives of so many impacted with so much going on. Of course there are the good things like healing and healthy pregnancies but there seemed to be an overwhelming number of heart-numbing situations. As this gets to you today, I will be involved in the funeral for Kirby Stogsdill this afternoon. Friends of folks who attend OVCF have also had the pain of loss. A mother losing her son one year to the day her daughter passed away from cancer. A cousin. A brother. Some battling COVID and others just battling health issues. I have two blogging friends dealing with pneumonia. Teachers dealing with new students (one who can’t speak any English) and all the protocols = STRESS!  May I ask you to stop right now and pray for them? Each week we include names in our bulletin to be a reminder to you to pray for others.  So please take some time over the next day or two to pray for someone else.

I’m excited about a new opportunity Hope East will be introducing us to this coming Sunday. Let’s just say it’s a good thing for all ages. I’ll let Hope tell you more this coming Sunday.  J




Pastor Bill

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