Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Slippery Slope of Apathy

 Malachi 1:6, 11 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name.  For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.

Last Sunday, Pastor Kyle gave a thought-provoking, yet challenging message from the Book of Malachi. He states that all around us today, we see a society in spiritual decline because we are just going through the motions and therefore, live in nice houses as the “house of the Lord” is in disrepair. We might believe that we are godly compared to others because we are not as bad as they are. We all need to ask ourselves: “Am I giving my best to God.” Some may believe that they are a Christian because they are born in America (a Christian nation), but if raised in a Bible-believing, church attending Christian home, every child still needs to make the parent’s or grandparent’s faith their own. It only takes one generation to jump from spiritual passion to spiritual apathy and extinction. Christianity spreads only by Christians spreading their faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Living the life and proclaiming Jesus because action is what moves faith and the heart forward. Faith without action is an oxymoron. Believing spiritual Followers of Jesus need to battle this gap by stoking the fires of obedience.

1 Samuel 15:22 But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.”

We love the Lord and know that every hour, every breath, we need God. We want to be connected to the body of Christ, so we prod ourselves away from apathy. The secular culture is not interested in the things of God or the church. But, God has always worked through His remnant, and His children get to be a part of rebuilding the Christian faith in their generation. Apathy is a lack of interest, which leads to disconnect, so guard your hearts and stand firm in the faith, knowing that God loves you. People tend to become disillusioned by their circumstances in life, and forget the “good” things in their life. Faith in God is a choice that everyone of us has to make on our own and trust Him, knowing that our Almighty Heavenly Father loves us where we are at, but loves us too much to leave us where we are at. Like any parent, God can love us and be greatly disappointed in our thoughts, words and/or actions, or lack thereof, both at the same time. His love of His children is not based on perfection, because this side of eternity, we are still in our fallen flesh. The Lord looks at the heart – 1 Samuel 16:7. Do we love God alone, accept the gift of God in Christ and obediently follow the Lord. Having two masters is really having none in the end.  

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Five things that demonstrate a lack of honor towards God are (1) treating God like a personal Genie to grant your hearts desires (so, who is Lord there?), (2) Treat God like a cosmic consultant, where you pick and choose what you will and will not do (so, who is on the throne?), (3) we give out of our left-overs and least important to us; not from our the best of our first fruits right off the top, but saving the best for ourselves (so, what are we seeking first – his kingdom or ours?), (4) thinking that the things of God are a “pain”, instead of a blessing. This lack of honor is linked to pride that creates a “bare-minimum mentality” that asks, with a crappy attitude: “What is the least that I can do to get by?”, and (5) View God as distant instead of being in the presence of our Omnipresent Lord. It dishonors God!, Then, we expect the favor of God, who we rob honor from? Really?!   

2 Samuel 24:24 “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

An offering cost us something. We should never have an “appeasement mentality” to pacifying God, that’s based in self-centeredness. Do we know exactly what needs to be said and done, but don’t say it. Why? What’s behind it all? Honor comes from the heart that loves and obeys the Lord. God calls us back to obedience. God and His house must be properly worshipped; not politically correct worshipped. God is not politically correct, because He is interested in the politics of Heaven. Do we struggle with the sin of “apathy”? Do we want off the slippery slope of apathy that edges the precipice? Prepare your heart and hold onto the promises that God makes for us. In Him, we find the true power to “live the life” with Jesus as Lord. Honor God. Amen.
In Christ, Brian

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