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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Today at Church

David’s Miller’s sermon today was on the idol of money—which it turns out is a way station idol—the drives for transcendent success or significance are the idols which finally fuel a desire for wealth.  We saw an amusing video about a guy who claimed to be content, but always compared his relative sparse possessions with the luxurious lifestyle enjoyed by his neighbor. Whether it was the pool, the riding lawn mower, the vacations to Hawaii, or the Ferrari, he always seemed to come up lacking.  He had many advantages, but he focused on his lack of advantages compared to his wealthy neighbor.  The drives for success or significance can cause us to spend money on ourselves when we should be thinking of the less fortunate.

In Sunday school as usual we used lessons from the Upper Room.  The first lesson was about worry and was based on Matthew 6:34—“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  We focused on the human tendency to fixate on the future and to exert ourselves climbing the ladder, achieving ambitions, gaining possessions; and all the while discounting the value of a more humble focus on daily gifts and opportunities for service.  The second lesson was from 1 Timothy 4:14—“Do not neglect the gift that is in you.”  Here it was mentioned that each of us has talents and gifts unique to us.  God does not expect the same from all of us, but takes into account our unique abilities.  The third lesson began with Psalm 46:10—“Be still, and know that I am God.”  This lesson emphasized the need to have times of quiet and peace—not cluttered by distractions—where we can contemplate and derive divine inspiration.  The forth lesson was introduced by Ephesians 5:1-2—“Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.”  The lesson was written by Jeff Matthews who has been incarcerated since 1990.  Another inmate started to hassle him about his faith.  For months he was the subject of derogatory remarks about Christianity.  One day while under attack, he interrupted the speaker and said “My friend, nothing you ever say to me or do to me will stop me from loving you.”  The attacker stood speechless and Jeff walked away.  A few days later Jeff met him in the hallway.  He told Jeff “I haven’t slept since you told me you loved me the other day.  That’s exactly what Jesus would have told me.  You’re a real Christian.  Please forgive me for the way I’ve treated you.”  The lesson here was that we must always be ready and willing to invest our love even though we are uncertain as to the outcome.  All the facts of a situation may be unknown and unknowable, but even with incomplete knowledge and uncertain outcome; we know that love is the right investment to make.  We should give it our best, and trust God with the rest.

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