May the blessings of Almighty God be fresh in your day everyday.

Pastor Denton Lester I was on my way to the dentist this morning knowing that a load of Novocain was waiting for me on arrival as I had a cavity that needed attention. As I was driving, I was listening to Billy Graham on the radio, and he was talking about what it means to be a Christian. His question posed in his message was what is a Christian? He then went on to say that being a Christian is not just belonging to a church or particular religion. It is not someone who simply attends church or reads the bible. It is not the person who does simply enough to see themselves in that category. Being a Christian is not a work that we do. It is a relationship that we have. Being a Christian is greater than being a friend, greater than being a relative or a spouse. Being a Christian is having a relationship with Jesus Christ that is the focus of your life. This relationship is the most personal of all our relationships.

Of course, as I listened, I considered that to have a relationship like that requires a commitment like no other, a commitment above all else. And then I considered that there are not many who have that kind of commitment. We are people of commitment but our commitments are to other things and other people above our commitment level we give to the Savior of our souls. He said in Matthew chapter 10, “Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.”

Now you may not agree with my definition of confessing, but I see it as putting other things ahead of our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ when we know that we shouldn’t be putting those things ahead of our relationship with Christ. There is a point in our lives where we need to go into the closet as He said and seek our heavenly Father in secret. This is a matter of our own conscience in regard to the level of our commitment to Christ and our level of commitment to someone or something else.

“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”
Matthew 6:33

In the sixth chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus presents Himself to the crowds as the true bread that has come down from heaven. In other words, He wants them and us to know that there is no life apart from our great need that only He can fill. He said, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me he also shall live because of Me.” There truly is no life apart from a genuine, growing, personal relationship with the bread of life, Jesus. We must see and understand that in Him is our spiritual, eternal nourishment and our life. We need Him to nourish our soul.

We are certainly constantly busy . We have places to go, events to attend, ball games and tournaments to fill our time. Our relationships with everyone fill our days and take most of our time. So often at the end of the day, we come home exhausted and spend no time or little time in the Bible. We most often turn on the television instead and sit down and fall asleep in front of it. Even Sundays are suddenly filled with so many things that we take a Sunday off here and there, and then before we realize it, we have missed quite a few.

Back to Matthew chapter 10 again, “He who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. And he who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it.” And chapter 7, “The gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.

I don’t want to seem harsh. I just know that our commitment is down, and our focus is blurred by all that we are all doing. When we consider what it means to be a Christian, it means that Christ is first always. It means my commitment and your commitment is to Him first. None of us can serve two masters.

In the meantime we need to be watching and waiting…

My prayer is that I may see you in church.

Pastor Denton
            Pastor Denton

July 2019