Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, author, and former newspaper columnist. She has degrees in Psychology and Biblical studies
Jesus did not mince words
From childhood, I heard about C and E Christians, those who only came to church on Christmas and Easter. In later years Mothers Day was added to the list. This is because churches would be running over with people on these holidays. There would be people in the sanctuary that you would not see again until another special occasion such as a church anniversary or homecoming. This was during the time when a person's relationship with Christ was based on how often they went to church and how many ministries or organizations they were a part of. I know now that it is more important to have your name written in the Lamb's book of life than on a church role and that church attendance is not mandatory to serve the Lord. Even so, those who do only show up for certain events should desire to do better because Jesus has something to say to you.
Revelation 3:16 NIV. So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.
Those are harsh words but they were spoken by Christ and lukewarm believers should take heed. Rather than judging those who are passionate about the Lord you should determine to join their ranks. If you are not communicating with Him in some way each and every day of the week you might want to recheck your relationship. What wife would enjoy her husband only speaking to her and or buying a gift on her birthday and their wedding anniversary? Most people would agree this is not a good example of a relationship. Whether you attend church or not, you should be sure you have a proper relationship with the Savior. I don't believe there is anyone who wants Christ to say "Depart from me," This is why He should be celebrated every day and not just on special occasions.
Crisis, calamity, trauma, and drama
Are you one who runs to the church after a disaster has struck? Many did after 911 and then things went back to normal. Are you thinking of going to church after the pandemic is over and if so what is your purpose? Have you ever increased attendance after someone close to you died, or you went through a separation or divorce? Church attendance should not be a bandaid you apply when you get a booboo in life. It should be an extension of how you are serving Him every day of the week. No believer should be a crisis Christian because that is not a good witness. Don't allow trials, trauma, tribulation, and drama to motivate you to think about Him.
We should celebrate Christ every day and not just on man-made holidays. I have noticed on social media for the past decade that Christmas and Easter bring people out of the woodwork. Folks who don't mention Him all year long will post "He is risen" and "Happy birthday Jesus." This is not to deter anyone from doing that but what about the 363 days. I recently had an upswing in my hubs during what is considered as Holy Week, and they dropped significantly the day after Easter Monday.
He is risen every day
Jonathan Petersen, content manager for Bible Gateway said the site saw a nearly 60% increase in "unique visitors" on April 12 which was Easter Sunday. This was based on a comparison to Easter Sunday 2019. Petersen said the increase is attributed to people taking part in online church and being sheltered in place at home because of the coronavirus. The verse that was searched for the most was Matthew 28:6 He is not here. For He has risen just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. This is a good thing but if someone does not think about Him until Christmas or next Easter then what is the point? Searching scripture online and or reading the Bible should be a lifestyle. If not every day then at least most days of the week. Prayer, praise and worship and even communion can all be done at home. I believe one of the problems is that believers have been taught church attendance and taking part in ministry inside the building. Not enough time, however, is spent in addressing how to live out life as a Christian the other six days of the week.
I think of actors or singers who come to life when the camera is on them, but shy away from interviews and can hardly look you in the eye, one on one. They have honed their craft but are unskilled when out of the spotlight. Christians know how to attend Sunday school, the morning worship and take part in activities such as ushering or greeting people at the door. it's second nature to put on that choir robe and sing, but: There is no instruction manual for what to do once the church doors have closed. Some believers wear cross jewelry, Tee shirts with scripture and keep Bibles in the back window of their vehicle or have slogans on bumper stickers. I've been there and done it all. Many believers greet each other with "Praise the Lord saints" and other phrases because they have heard other believers say these things. The saints need to know that HE IS RISEN INDEED every day and we can share this good news every day as well.
Today you can begin your own personal walk with Him which is unique for you and does not have to simulate anyone else. I know a woman who said she ran to her vehicle every day at lunchtime to talk to the Lord. There was a preacher on TBN decades ago who said he put a blanket over his head on an airplane and had church. I take advantage of my face mask and can talk to Him any time without people even noticing. Some people get up extra early in the morning to spend time with the Lord, others set aside time before they go to bed. There are those who enjoy listening to worship music for hours at a time in their homes. Take one small step and see where He leads you. Fill yourself with His spirit so that you radiate His glory, wherever you are.
He is not a spare tire that you pull out in a crisis. He deserves our adoration on a daily basis. We owe Him our very lives. Acts17:27God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. 28‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.’ 29Therefore, being offspring of God, we should not think that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by man’s skill and imagination.…
© 2020 Cheryl E Preston
OLUSEGUN from NIGERIA on May 07, 2020:
It is good we celebrate him everyday.
Margaret Minnicks from Richmond, VA on April 21, 2020:
Cheryl, I like reading your articles because like Jesus, you "do not mince words." You are bold enough to say what a lot of people think but are reluctant to say. Keep speaking out about things that need to be said. Hopefully, people will listen and act accordingly. Thank you!