The world around us has changed. In many ways it appears to be a change for the better. We live in an unprecedented time of blessing in America. Food is abundant. We live in relative peace. Information about any subject is available on demand via the internet. Communication between people is instantaneous. Even communication between people on opposite sides of the planet! For example, I am planning on talking with a pastor in Philippines by Messenger today at noon. Even 10 years ago this would have been impossible! Because of the abundance of food, information and communication it seems that during this time in history people would find it easy to seek God and live in gratefulness to Him. We might expect that our churches would be overflowing with believers who are thankful and full of worship because of God’s abundant blessing. Unfortunately the opposite seems to be the true.
Our prayers for many years have been: “God bless America!” God truly has blessed America with abundance beyond measure. But the Bible contains warnings for people living in abundance: “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” (Deut. 8:10-14) We are living in a time where most Americans are unaware of the blessings of God that surround us. Most do not praise Him and are not careful about obedience to Him.
The church of Jesus Christ also struggles to maintain our worship and obedience to God in the midst of great blessing. We are all aware that God loves us but it’s easy to think that the material blessings that we enjoy are a sign that He is pleased with our lifestyle. In the scripture above (Deut. 8:10-14) God is encouraging His people to keep a watch on their worship and obedience to Him in times of abundance. The importance of worship and obedience in an age of abundance can not be underestimated.
Obedience to God is difficult in times of plenty. As believers in a time of abundance, we can often be distracted our material possessions, our digital communication and pursuit of leisure to the detriment of worship and obedience to God. We see that many established churches around us have given in to societal pressures to relaxed their doctrines on basic biblical standards of holiness. Many actually teach that God blesses sinful life choices. The pressure to agree with disobedience is all around us. In addition to that, fewer and fewer Christians are giving personal attention to God in order to walk in passionate obedience to His plans for their lives. Instead, many believers are walking in defeat, discouragement and ongoing struggle without the blessing of God as they continue to do what is right in their own eyes. They have lost touch with the fear of God and no longer view radical obedience to live in counsel with the Holy Spirit to live under His authority.
Obedience to God is paramount in the scriptures. But at this point in time it is very challenging for believers to maintain a passionate pursuit of God. Instead, they are following the expectations of society to work, eat and live as they see fit. They have adopted a a lifestyle of self-service. Self-service is why God flooded the world in Noah’s time. It was because “everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes.” This is a lifestyle that incurs judgment. Everyone sins but the problem comes in when sin is not recognized. That is why “seeking His face” is the key to blessing. We cannot walk in obedience if we are unaware of the call of God.
The blessings of God are upon those who “do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.” In Deuteronomy 13:17 & 18 we see that God protects and blesses those who walk in obedience to Him: “So none of the accursed things shall remain in your hand, that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of His anger and show you mercy, have compassion on you and multiply you, just as He swore to your fathers, because you have listened to the voice of the LORD your God, to keep all His commandments which I command you today, to do what is right in the eyes of the LORD your God.” Doing what is right in the eyes of God requires that each of us are aware of what is on His mind. This is the process of obedience and it is extremely important. More on Sunday!
On Sunday October 7th we will be having our a Missions /Faith Promise Sunday and fellowship meal. Please plan to bring a dish or two to share with others and plan to stay after the service for a time of friendship and fellowship! On that Sunday we will be collecting collecting our Faith Promise Cards. I will be passing out our faith promise cards this coming Sunday so that you can begin the process of discerning your Faith Promise for the coming year.Faith Promise Sunday is the means by which the local church reaches the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith Promise follows a scriptural plan of giving based on the apostolic method outlined in I Corinthians 16:1-2, II Corinthians 8:1-5; 8:10 and 9:7-10. It is an agreement that, as God provides, a believer will give a specific amount as a one time, monthly or each week to the missionary offering. Faith Promise allows for trust in the blessing and provision of God, and for the support of world mission.
The Charlottesville Pregnancy Center Banquet is coming in October (October 13 & 14.) We are looking for someone who would be willing to sponsor a table for our congregation. Please let me know if you would like to sponsor a table for RCC.See you Sunday!
Pastor Jon Quesenberry