Halfhearted Devotion

My Actions

While reading 2 Kings today I noticed that the story of all the kings included the statement, “And he did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, but”.  Notice the but?  The kings always seemed to have a halfhearted relationship with God.  Then along came Ahaz.  In 2 Kings 16:2-4 we see that Ahaz didn’t do anything pleasing in the sight of the Lord.

Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. He did not do what was pleasing in the sight of the lord his God, as his ancestor David had done. Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel, even sacrificing his own son in the fire. In this way, he followed the detestable practices of the pagan nations the lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the pagan shrines and on the hills and under every green tree.  2 Kings 16:2-4

Halfhearted relationships with God over the course of many generations can have an impact on later generations. Children can quickly see through the hypocrisy of halfhearted devotion and this may cause them to reject everything we stand for, especially the good things. The question is, when it comes to our relationship with God, what kind of example are we setting for our children?

What Rejection Can Teach You

The following post was written by Pastor and Author Kurt Bubna.  Kurt wrote the book “Epic Grace” which I have reread several times and I find his regular posts on kurtbubna.com a true joy to read.  I encourage you to check out his website and his book Epic Grace which you can get HERE.

What Rejection Can Teach You, by Kurt Bubna.

I’ll never forget the Sunday years ago when a little old lady cornered me in our tiny church lobby. She didn’t say “good morning” or introduce herself. In fact, she immediately made it clear from her body language and facial expression that she was not happy! I had said something in my talk that pushed her buttons, and she was going to give this young arrogant pastor a tongue-lashing. By the time she finished, I was emotionally bleeding, and I went home that day ready to quit (again).

In my world, rejection rates right up there with having a root canal—it’s costly and painful. No one likes to be rebuked, unwanted or treated like gum stuck to a shoe. Regardless of our apparent warts and wrinkles, we all long to be loved and accepted. It’s a fundamental human need.

As a teaching pastor, every Sunday my congregation evaluates me. New attendees compare me to their previous pastor. Regular attenders measure the value of the current talk or series to the last one. Unchurched folks appraise me based on their favorite speaker or TV host (yikes!).

As an author and blogger, other writers often scrutinize what I produce, and my copy editor sometimes rips me to shreds. Then, of course, the readers leave their mark by buying or not buying my books or by liking or ignoring my posts. (I, for one, am grateful there’s no such thing as a “dislike” button on Facebook!)

Simply put, I live with rejection on a regular basis, and surprisingly, I’m fine with that reality. Yes, it’s still painful, but more importantly, rejection has taught me much.

The top 10 things I’ve learned about rejection:  read the rest here;

Church IS Important!

2|42 Community Church

It’s crazy to think that at one time in my life, I hated the church and swore I would never go back. But now, I cannot stop talking about it!!! That’s why it bothers me when I hear someone say they don’t think church is really that important.

I believe with all my heart that the church IS important. The reason I believe it’s important is because the Bible says it’s important to God. And anything that is important to Him, should be important to us, too. So if you (or someone you know) is struggling with how you feel about the church, ask yourself these four questions:

1. Matthew 16:18 says Jesus built the church. Would the Son of God actually spend time building something that was worthless?

2. Acts 20:28 says Jesus shed His blood for the church. Would the Son of God have been willing to endure the suffering He went through for a meaningless organization?

3. Ephesians 1:22 and Colossians 1:18 say Jesus is the head of the church. Would Jesus really be the head of something insignificant and trivial?

4. If church isn’t necessary for a relationship with God, why does Ephesians 3:10 say that the wisdom of God should be made known through the church?

I know that every church is not perfect. It’s filled with sinners saved by grace, and that includes me and you. Jesus died for us (the church), and He loves us all (even us crazy imperfect people).

So if you are NOT currently a part of a local church, go check one out this weekend! And whenever you find the one for you (or if you’re a part of one already), get plugged in, serve and watch how the Lord will bless your life because you’re serving his bride, the church.

Your Hope In The Storm

 
Christ’s last words in the sermon on the mount talk about the storms of life. The final four verses (Matthew 7:24-27) teach that these storms will be powerful and that they cannot be avoided.

So, the question is not can I avoid the storm, but how can I remain secure when the storm strikes. This much is certain, the storms will come.

Jesus is talking about more than physical dwellings. He is talking about your life. The same things – the rains, the rising streams, the winds will attack each house. Don’t be fooled. The security of the house rests not upon the elaborateness and beauty of its construction, but upon the solidness of its foundation.

In the Proverbs the wise are those who fear God. The foolish are those who live as if there is no God. The wise builder’s house does not fall in the storm. The house of the foolish builder will fall with a great crash.

[Read the rest of the article at Shepherd Press.]