Sometimes, Christians Need to Be Quiet!

Sometimes, Christians Need to Be Quiet!
By: Rev. Joe Kramer

So it has been a long time since I wrote anything. Mainly because life has been very demanding over the past couple of months. My wife’s dad died, I got a new job (YEAH!), and I started volunteering to do some Sunday School Directing (God is really moving amongst our 35+ teachers!).

So here we are. I don’t have a lot to write today, just some thoughts about churches in general.

3 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both freshwater and saltwater flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

-James 3:1-12 (NIV)

 

Now this is specifically talking to people who teach/preach God’s word. However, we can all receive some direction here. As I think about everything that goes on in churches, I wonder how much time our leaders spend putting out fires? By fires I mean gossip and “wrong words.” These are the kind of words that should never, ever be spoken. However, our church leaders spend a ton of time, that should be doing God’s work, trying to make church members get along with one another, trying to “hold the boat together.”

In the first century this terminology about fire (verse 6) would have been widely known and understood. You see these people had braziers (fires) in their homes for cooking, warming, and light. Now if they were to open a window and a breeze came in, it could be a very bad thing indeed. The fire from a small spark could spread and burn the home, and everything in it, down. This could happen due to the fact that most things were made of flammable materials (i.e. Wood). The problem with a fire during this time is that it was almost impossible to stop in that day, and could easily spread and hurt people, as well as damage property.

James uses this understanding to communicate to us what the untamable tongue can do to a body of believers. How many times have we seen splits from churches over someone who can’t keep their mouth shut? This is an insult to God. We are to tame our tongues and make sure we are doing God’s work and not our own.

How about you today? Are you guilty of this? If so, then it is time to repent! Do you know someone guilty of this? Maybe they don’t even know they are doing it, let them know (in love!) so that they can be restored to a proper fellowship with God and their fellow believers. The choice is yours.

The Search for Significance

I was studying this today myself and came across this devotional. I thought it was good, and so I am sharing. – Rev. Joe Kramer

Original article: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/homeword-september-19-2012.html

The Search for Significance

This devotional was written by Doug Fields

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rules of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” — Matthew 20:20-28 

I once attended a high school basketball game where, during the pregame ceremony, the seniors on the team were introduced. The announcer highlighted some of the players’ accomplishments and read what each guy had written about his future goals. They all sounded similar:

• “Jason is going to college and hopes to be rich in the future.”

• “Chris will attend university in the fall and plans on being wealthy.”

• “Michael dreams of a future with lots of money and a Ferrari.”

• “Gabe will go to college and then get rich or die trying.”

To them, significance and success was synonymous with wealth. In reality, it’s not. Trust me, I looked it up in the dictionary.

Everyone chases after something. For these young men, wealth was the focus of their chase. Personally, chasing wealth is not my story, but I am chasing something, because I don’t want to waste my life. You are chasing something too. If you are like me, you don’t want to waste your life either. There’s a little voice in the back of your head saying, “There could be more!” And, you are right. There could be. According to the Bible, there IS more. It’s called significance.

The bottom line is that whatever we are chasing in life, we hope it will lead us to significance. We want our lives to matter. We want our lives to have meaning. But for many people, the chase leads down a dead end street.

Jesus did not teach that significance was tied to wealth. Rather, he said if we want significance we can achieve it, but it comes in a radical package, and with a price many are not willing to pay. He said that the route to significance is paved with service. He said that the one who is greatest is the one who serves.

When your life is over, do you want to know that you achieved significance? Do you want to know that your life mattered? Then, you must serve. Serving is the primary method God uses to form the character of Jesus in us. When you serve, you become more like Him. You are never more like Jesus than when you serve. As we read in today’s Scripture passage, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Today, chase significance by serving others. See a need and meet it. In doing so, you’ll become wealthy – likely not in the earthly sense – but you’ll be storing up treasures of significance that will last forever.

GOING DEEPER:

1. Reflect on your life. What does your life show that you are chasing after in order to find significance?

2. How does Jesus’ example inspire or challenge you to become more of a servant to others?

FURTHER READING:

John 13:3-17; Matthew 6:19-20; Luke 10:27-37

Living Right With God

Living Right With God

This is in mp3 format. Your computer should automatically start to stream it when clicked. I know google Chrome does and Internet Explorer should download and open in media player. Enjoy.

Leave Comments, Questions, or Concerns. I can be reached via e-mail as well…. revjkramer@gmail.com