Words from the Pastor
As the dust settles from the last of the family leaving for home after the memorial service and getting done with VBS, and life gets back to “normal” (Normal is just a setting on the dryer my cousin once said!), my mind wanders back to the past few days and recounts all of the events of the week gone by. I then have to ask myself, “Did everything I did in the past days please the Lord? Do I need to repent because I sinned with my mouth and said something that I shouldn’t have said? Did my actions bring people closer to God or push them away from Him? Will there be a reward in Heaven for my actions or not?” I suppose that this really should be one of my main concerns every day, but for sure I am concerned right now because of all of the interaction with so much of the family and people in the community. Naomi’s father and mother have 153 descendants so you know that there was interaction and some of those people are hard to get along with! They’re in-laws for crying out loud so of course there will be some that will rub you the wrong way! And Paul does tell us in Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” I am glad that Paul says “If it is possible…” because you and I both know that sometimes it just is not possible! Some people just don’t WANT to live in peace! But he also writes, “as far as it depends on you…” I believe what Paul is saying here is that we need to make sure that we do everything in our power to keep the peace.
David tells us in Psalms 39:23-24 this, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” I believe that David was asking God to look inside him and reveal to him anything that would keep him from living at peace with everyone. I want to ask God the same thing, to look inside me and reveal anything that would hinder my walk with God and my fellow man. I learned a long, long time ago that I cannot change anyone else. I cannot make anyone else do what I want them to do or act the way that I want them to act. The only one that I can make change is me. I am responsible for my own actions and no one else’s. No matter what people say or do, how I react is up to me and no one else. So, Paul says, “as far as depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
What we need to do is allow God to look inside of us and show us where it is we need to change. Ask Him, as David did, to search us and to know our hearts. It is true that we may not always like what He reveals to us. We may not like it at the moment He reveals an offensive way in us, but we will like it as He leads us in the way everlasting, and Heaven is everlasting. All we need to do is get out of the way and allow Him to show us where to change.
Please let me know if you need anything. You pray for me and I’ll pray for you. Naomi and I love you all. -Pastor Steve