Friday, August 26, 2011

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Ever heard this line? "No good deed goes unpunished." Ever felt this way? I have. Does that mean we stop doing the right thing? I hope not. Or else why would God gives us all these verses about suffering?
2Ti_3:12  ...all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

1Pe_2:20 what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But when you do good and suffer, and you endure, this is a gracious thing... 

1Pe_3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
1Pe_3:17 For it is better ... that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
1Pe_4:16 if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

Suffering is bad, I hate it. But I wish I didn't hate it so, I should learn to embrace it and identify with Christ even more. I don't mean I should go nail myself to a cross or crawl on my hands and knees to Nashville or anything like that. I just mean, in the course of doing the right thing and suffering for it, I ought to rejoice and  "glorify God on this behalf." 

I know and accept that not everybody likes me, or thinks I'm great, or funny, or even bright. That's OK. Disappointing but OK. I understand it. I'm an "Acquired taste." I'd like to say I'm an exquisite taste but "Acquired" is already stretching it.

But to be villified, wow! Who knew? What did I do to alienate and anger some people? I certainly didn't mean to, and it pains me to think I'm at fault here. But let's face it, if several people are mad at you whats the common denominator? You. Or in this case; me!

But until I know that I'm suffering for UN-righteousness, I'm going to force myself to rejoice and truly thank the Lord Jesus for suffering for me, and giving me even the smallest, tiniest, infinitesimal glimpse into suffering for righteousness sake.

Daniel did it, Mordecai did it, Paul and Silas did it and by the grace of God so can I.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Important Questions From Ministers and Churches

Thom Raller of Lifeway fame, has shared a few of his favorite Questions that he has received. I think they deserve a hearing... or viewing.

· Who is the worst pastor in the United States?

· Is it illegal to kill a bad deacon?

· Should I be concerned if most of the members are complaining about the length of my sermons?

· Should we report our church split as a new church start?

· Can you give me a list of all the churches in America that are either growing or not growing?

· Would you please recommend me to serve as pastor of one of the largest 100 churches that don’t currently have a pastor?

· Our church had 210 in average worship attendance a year ago. Today the attendance is 640. Is that good?

· Would you serve as a reference on my resume? I’m sorry about what I said about you on that blog.

· My wife does not like my sermons. Can you help me?

· Our church has run off seven pastors in the past eight years. Do you think we have a problem?

To that I would add some that have come my way:

  • What if my church doesn't notice when I say something heretical?
  • Our church had 110 a year ago, now its at 55, should I be concerned?
  • Is giving people a free breakfast on Sundays and a $5 gas card at the end of the service a good way to build the Kingdom?
  • What other kind of job can a pastor get if he gets fired?
  • Is it true some people pray for More funerals?

To this I would also add, love your church, love your pastor, talk to him not about him, and accept him as a frail creature of dust, desperately in need of God's wisdom.