Tuesday, 10/12/21 – Pressing on… The Complaints Dept.

The Complaints Dept.

Big Box stores have a special department for them – the Complaints Department! What s horrible job that must be! Can you imagine waking up every morning to go off to work to listen to angry, dissatisfied, often unreasonable people hour after hour after hour… day after day after day! Well that pretty much describes the job experience of Moses! ”What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?” he complains to God, “…the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me” (Num. 11:11, 14-15). Wow!

Last Sunday our guest speaker James Harrison drew our attention to three ways a complaining spirit is destructive. 1. A complaining spirit denies God’s sovereignty. 2. A complaining spirit disrupts Christian unity. 3. A complaining spirit discredits Christian testimony.

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“The greatest need we have is not to do things, but to believe things,” wrote Oswald Chambers. And in relation to point #1 we must believe “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28). We must believe that God loves us and is working for our best interest. He can do this because He is sovereign, i.e. He possesses supreme and ultimate power. When we grumble and complain about what God has allowed into our lives we deny all of the above. Even God’s discipline is an indicator of His great Love (Heb. 12:5-11), and the natural consequences of our own willful disobedience for they teach us not to sin again.

Points #2 and #3 are a little more obvious. Within the church a complaining spirit disrupts brotherly and sisterly unity, and without, in our interactions with the unsaved, a complaining spirit discredits our testimony. Why should an unbeliever believe our testimony of transformation when our behaviour demonstrates otherwise?

These days are indeed the last days, and in these days Jesus warned us that “the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). Jesus also said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35).”Paul pled to the Romans: “as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Rom. 12:18). To the believers in Ephesus he wrote, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:3).

Yes sirree, – the Complaints Department: listening to angry, dissatisfied, often unreasonable people hour after hour after hour… day after day after day! Come to think of it, that also pretty much describes the experience of God!

Let’s not add to it. Let’s make every effort not to be among those in that line-up. Better yet, let’s start a new line-up, a “Compliments” line-up… a line-up of joy-filled, thankful recipients of the undeserved mercies and blessings of our Lord!

More tomorrow…

To hear this past Sunday’s message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

Monday, 10/11/21 – Pressing on… Good Medicine

Good Medicine

Today in Canada is “Thanksgiving Day!” Typically, it is a day for reflecting and feasting on the good things of the earth, of others, and of God. “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord” begins Psalm 92, and science has further demonstrated it.

Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. It helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships.

Psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough asked a group of study participants to write a few sentences each day about things for which they were grateful that day. They asked another group to record their daily irritations and negative experiences.  After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives, they had begin to exercise more and had fewer visits to a doctor than the group who tracked negative things.

Gratitude improves relationships with spouses, co-workers, shopkeepers, anyone with whom social interactions occur – including God!

A thankful heart “does good, like medicine,” wrote Solomon (Prov. 17:22); it is “good medicine,” “good for your health” as some translations put it. But a broken, saddened, thankless heart “dries the bones,” it “saps a person’s strength,” it will “leave you bone-tired.”

A thankful heart’s first “go to” response is gratitude. It’s default world view is that It is blessed! It is a contented heart, a happy heart. It teaches one to appreciate what one has instead of always reaching for the next new thing.

From a dank and dreary prison cell Paul writes the Philippians,

“…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:11b-13).

Paul says he had to “learn” contentment… thankfulness. He did! And so can you! Learning is worth the course. As Paul wrote to Timothy, “godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Tim. 6:6).

Thankfulness makes one rich! How? A thankful heart has learned that true wealth is not found in having many things, but in having few wants.

The Christian ought demonstrate thankfulness above all. A Christian has Christ and has found that Christ alone satisfies all wants. A Christian has found peace with God. He has surrendered self and is unafraid to die. A Christian knows he is eternal and that his eternity is very good indeed.

Today, be Thankful….”be content… because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” (Gen. 13:5).

More tomorrow…

To hear this past Sunday’s message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

THANKSGIVING BONUS: Click here to link to a special Thanksgiving Worship Special with Christian recording artist Becka deHaan!