BY DAN L.COX
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
One Christmas Eve the telephone rang in the office of the Pastor of the church in Washington, D.C. that President Franklin Roosevelt attended. “Tell me Reverend,” the voice inquired, “are you holding a Christmas Eve service tonight?” When advised that there would certainly be a service that evening, the caller asked, “And do you expect President Roosevelt to attend your church tonight?” “That,” explained the Pastor patiently, “I can’t promise. I’m not sure about the President’s plans for this evening. But, I can say that we fully expect God to be in our church tonight, and we feel secure in the knowledge that His attendance will attract a reasonably large congregation.”
DON’T BE DISTRACTED
A. We say we are only missing church
1. Had to leave church because of job.
2. Had to leave church because company was coming.
3. Had to leave church because we had an appointment.
B. We are Actually missing God’s Presence
1. Matthew 18:20 says that Jesus is there when 2 or 3 are gathered in His name.
2. You are leaving the presence of God to work at a job
3. You are leaving the presence of God to be with friends and
4. You are leaving the presence of God because you made an appointment with someone who is much less important than God.
C. Some are unaware of how important church is – unclear on the concept
A 747 was halfway across the Atlantic when the captain got on the loudspeaker: “Attention, passengers. We have lost one of our engines, but we can certainly reach London with the three we have left. Unfortunately, we will arrive an hour late as a result.” An hour later the captain made another announcement: “Sorry, but we lost another engine. Still, we can travel on two. I’m afraid we will now arrive two hours late.”
Shortly thereafter, the passengers heard the captain’s voice again: “Guess what, folks. We just lost our third engine, but please be assured we can fly with only one. We will now arrive in London three hours late.” At this point, one passenger became furious. He shouted. “If we lose another engine, we’ll be up here all night!”
There are many who don’t realize how much it hinders their spiritual progress when they are absent from church services. They keep giving up precious time in the church and in the altars with no thought of the possible consequences. They aren’t aware of how critical this may be to their spiritual life.
WHY ALLOW LESSER THINGS TO DISTRACT YOU?
1. Are you going to be distracted from what Jesus Christ had for you?
2. Where is your attention really at?
DON’T BE TOO BUSY
A. “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part,
which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).
B. Martha was too busy with preparations (v. 40)
1. Jesus said that Martha had many worries, but only one thing was important.
2. Mary had chosen the important thing (v.42).
3. The important thing was the presence of Jesus.
C. Are you too busy for Jesus?
1. Being with Jesus is more important than anything!
2. Have you
become too busy with other things?
3. Does he have your attention?
DON’T MAKE EXCUSES
I’ll follow Jesus, but…
Matthew 8:21-22: Cost of following – He said I’ll follow but let me do this first. I will BUT… He missed the opportunity because he didn’t have his attention on Jesus. Are you concerned with Jesus or the world? Where is your attention?
WEIGH THE ALTERNATIVES
“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
Rev. Dan L. Cox is the Pastor of the United Pentecostal Church in Warsaw, Indiana, Presbyter of Section One, and Editor of the Indiana Apostolic Trumpet.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE INDIANA APOSTOLIC TRUMPET, MARCH 2004. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY