Like a high-speed train without brakes barreling toward a trestle that is out, so we find
ourselves in an increasingly immoral world running into the consequences demanded by a moral universe. Denying the existence of morals does not make the morals disappear. It only determines how they will show themselves. By acknowledging them, we build a strong society. Run contrary to them and we will “reap what we sow”. Sow to the wind and reap the whirlwind.
G.K. Chesterton said, “The trouble with someone who does not believe in God is not that he will end up believing in nothing; it is that he will end up believing in anything.” Oftentimes, that which is most popular or trendy is that which guides our culture. Cultural expressions may change but Godly morals do not. If we capitulate to moralisms that say no one has a right to tell others what’s right or wrong for them, we embolden the immoral and make darker our world.
Let’s let our light shine in the darkness. The light of Christ overcomes the darkness. Let’s not hide it under a bushel. Let the truth of the Gospel be spread! Because the danger is not that the world will believe in nothing, but that it will believe in anything. What a shame, when what the world needs is the Gospel truth…and morally so.–Ben
From where does spiritual strength come? So often we feel we have no power or influence to change the world…to bring people to Christ. We feel if we try harder that somehow we will gain power to make disciples. This can become frustrating because it puts most all responsibility on us. When things don’t go as we like it, we blame ourselves for not being “what we should.” We need to remind ourselves that we are not strong because of all the things that stand on us…those things we carry, but upon Whom we stand and by Whom we are carried.
Bill Gaither wrote a song entitled “The Lighthouse” which reflects this point. What appears o be the lights of two ships approaching each other at night on a storm-tossed sea causes the captain of one to order the other to veer so many degrees to the right. The response came from the second ordering him to move so far to the left. A war of wills took place with the captain of the ship becoming more intense, while the voice of the other was calm. “I am the captain of the ship,” shouted one. “I’m a seaman second-class,” was the calm reply. This is a U.S. Navy destroyer.” screamed the captain. “I am the lighthouse,” said the seaman. “Change your course.”
Though the captain was never outranked, he was “out-flanked.” From the secure position of being on solid rock, the seaman second class could tell the captain in a ship what to do. Though we may be out-numbered, out-ranked and out-smarted in the world, we are not out-flanked. We are not overcome. We are on the solid rock! We do not carry the rock. We are on the rock. Location, location, location! It is from this position and this position only do we have spiritual strength. And it doesn’t take an act of Congress to get us there.–Ben
Pastor Ben Herlong
In the hot days of summer, we all are lured to the water. It has always been that way. A century ago Clarence decided to take his girlfriend on a picnic to the quite island in a lake at the edge of town. If they could leave by ten, rowing the boat would be finished well before the heat of the noon day sun. The day arrived and as he began rowing with his lady and a wonderful picnic lunch aboard, he was filled with excitement. The thirty minute row seemed only a moment.
On the island they sat on a blanket in the cool shade of an oak tree. After a while they decided to have lunch. By the time they finished, the shade was not as cool as it had been earlier. She said that it would be nice if he would get them some ice cream while she stayed in the shade. He went reluctantly and brought back the ice cream. Then she said some chocolate syrup would be good. With a little disdain he rowed again in the heat of the day and brought back the syrup. Upon one more request, Clarence took things in his own hands, packed the boat, took his girlfriend home, and by the end of the day Clarence Evinrude had invented the outboard motor!
We never know from where inspiration for great achievements may come. Sometimes it comes from unpleasant circumstances we face, detached observations of the world in which we live unhurried times of “tarrying prayer,” or reflecting on passages of Scripture.
As Jesus uses all means available to guide us, let us be aware of His leading in our lives. The unexpected opportunities He brings our way not only make life full and abundant for us, but also makes us effective in the Kingdom of God. So let us read His word, listen in prayer, and be watchful of how Jesus directs the circumstances of life. No telling how we will receive inspiration from God to do great things in the Kingdom.– Ben
Rev. Ben Herlong
It has been said that those born in 2000 do not live in the same world into which they were born. I believe that would be true for eight year olds as well! The world is moving so fast I wonder if there is a “point of no return,” a point when passed leads to destruction without any ability to correct the direction, would we pass it before we could even see it?
At Stone Mountain Georgia, a large round monolith, there is a retaining barrier which says, “Do not walk past this point.” When asked why the boundary, the park worker said that somewhere beyond that boundary is the “point of no return.” It is a point past which you can walk down, but from which you cannot walk back up. The world definitely does not stand still. It goes relentlessly forward, but in which direction, toward life or death? You will go to your death trying to walk up or down because you can’t stand in one place forever.
Thankfully, the grace of God gives an alternative to the fast-paced world heading somewhere without direction. This alternative is the Kingdom of God in which His people find direction and security amidst the hustle and bustle of the wayward world in constant change. It is a kingdom which is eternal, established by eternal decrees that keep us in the will and the way of God. Its head is “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Rev Ben Herlong
Listen to Al’s rendition of “God Bless America” sung during the offering.
This statement was seen on a church sign in Spartanburg, but since nothing is always original, you may have seen it elsewhere. Regardless, the statement speaks in today’s terms, the truth of God’s desire to be with us always. We remind ourselves that Jesus said that He would never leave us. Does the reality of this bring comfort or discomfort to our hearts?
To those living in the full faith of Christ, there is great joy in knowing Jesus is with them every step of each day’s path. For the less committed, the fact that Jesus is always around is somewhat disconcerting. It’s like, “give me my space, let me enjoy my privacy.” It’s like we could really hide anything from His view or knowledge of us, right? Acknowledging the foolishness of the latter, let us embrace the fullness of faith Jesus came to give.
Jesus said that He came to give abundant life. How does He do this? There is no way except by the power of His Spirit and the light of His Word. With the power and word of the Holy Spirit, God has full custody. With that we experience the truth reflected in, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Without it we experience the reality of, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”
In life there is always a choice before us. This could be called a “no-brainer.” But it’s not about our brain. It’s about our spirits. Do we really want all Jesus has for us? Do we want Him to lead and guide us in His ways moment by moment? When we do, God has full custody and we have life the world knows nothing of. — Ben
Save The Date, October 11th, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
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