Visiting Day

This devotional first appeared in the LaPlata Home Press, August 7, 2002

He was looking forward to this moment all day long, after six days of labor, it finally arrived-Visiting Day!! The man with the keys arrived to swing open the large, heavy doors. The cold, grey hall springs to life in the warm glow of light. He could hardly control his emotions.

The families began to arrive. He peers from the corner of the room longing for the first glimpse of his loved ones. He lives for the weekends. He lives for the visits.

As the cars arrive, he watches intently. Then finally she arrives, his bride, for whogs used to be. At one point, they break into singing, with interruptions of laughter and applause.

But all too soon it is over. A tear comes to his eye as his bride departs. Then the man with the keys closes the doors. He hears the key turn in the lock marking the end of a special day. There he stands, alone again. He knows that most of his visitors will not contact him again til next week. As the last car pulls away from the parking lot, Jesus retreats into loneliness as He waits until next Sunday-Visiting Day. [Borrowed from the Knob Noster Christian Church Newsletter, The Door Knob, David Jordan, Minister].

I share this story with you to ask you these questions. How much time do you spend with Jesus? Has Sunday just become visiting day for you? Is it the only day that you spend with Jesus? And is it only for an hour or two? Does visiting day come around less frequently than it used (maybe once a month or even less)? Or do you spend time daily with God as you should?

My wish is that you take of Jesus’ promise that He is always with us (Matthew 28:20). The truth is that our lives have become so compartmentalized that we have our life at work, our life at home, our life at school, our life at church, etc…and we conform to the image of the situation rather than conforming to the image of God’s Son (Romans 8:29). The result, the weakening of faith and convictions. The power of the Holy Spirit is in the life of the Christian and yet not utilized and Satan wins another battle in our lives.

My challenge to you is to let the presence of Christ permeate every aspect of your life. Let Christ dwell in your hearts and fill you with his power so that daily you are becoming more and more like Christ. Let’s live every day for him. Let’s strive to be like him. Don’t miss the opportunity to be near him all the time, to hear his voice, to love his people, to remember our first love (Revelation 24-5).

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At What Level?

I am convinced that the measure of a person’s faith and the effectiveness of a church does not amount to how big things are. How big an impact is made. How big a program or an event is. How powerful something is that makes you feel spiritual, blessed, or simply just makes you feel good.

We live in the Mega-age. Everything is huge. Mega-stores, mega-malls, mega-events, mega-churches and on it goes, mega-trends. Something is troubling about the mega-trends to me, especially in Christianity.

I wish to address this in generalities for the moment. The Bible, our only rule and final guide of faith, in the New Testament overall, presents faith and Christianity as small group interaction and evangelism after the day of Pentecost, mostly as one-on-one, individual. Think coffee-house sized groups and sharing your faith with someone in their living-room.

A friend of mine is a campus minister, once for over 20 years at a small university of about 6000 and now at a major university in the Midwest of about 40,000. The way he leads these campus ministries is mostly through small groups and one-on-one encounters. There are small groups of all sort, men’s, women’s, fraternity, and various Bible study groups and his evangelism and mentoring is even smaller, individually. In terms of methods, it is most effective.

Yet in this culture of mega-everything, the count is about the largest number of people, and/or programs, and/or small type of big thing. Yet, Philip preached to an Ethiopian official (Acts 8), Jesus mentored a small group of 12 (read the Gospels). Paul spoke to large groups of people but mentored people and evangelized individuals in small groups and individually.

Grab a cup of coffee, sit down with me as we consider what level spirituality and faith grows in.

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What I’m Thinking

I’ve been thinking quite a bit but haven’t been able to articulate what is running around in my head. I have been concerned with celebrity worship, especially in our churches. I am concerned with everything Christian having to be so big and everyone participate in nationwide programs. I am concerned with Christianity that is placid and inactive.

Coming soon!

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