things we take for granted, part two

sermons, studies, books, ect: have you ever sat in on a sermon, or bookbible study, or in your private studyworship, and no matter how hard you think you’ve tried, You just can’t get anything out of it? ‘I can’t get a thing out of this’ you say. ‘There has got to be something wrong.’ well, something is wrong. It’s you. ‘But even when I try to get back on focus,’ you protest. ‘I just cant seem to keep my thoughts from wandering.’ the problem is still you. There are one of two reasons why this is so: either you weren’t adequately prepared in the first place, or you are trying to focus on what you are hearing, instead of on Christ. I know about these things. I’ve been there.

I also know this: if you can’t become focused, you say, ‘might as well just make note of it. I will do better next week. Besides, there are lots of sermons to hear. If I get the CD, and study all afternoon, and do better next week, this one doesn’t matter, does it?’ Yes, it does. One sermon once lost is lost forever. You may have just missed the last good sermon you could ever hear, though it is highly improbable. You may think, ‘well, in the long term view of things, one time doesn’t matter, does it?’ Yes, it does. There may be something glorious that the spirit will teach us if we just listen, while the lesson we will learn if we don’t listen is likely to be much harder. In the long term view of things, we have got to remember that every sermon, every chapter read, every book study, is a gift from God. We can’t take them for granted, and pass them by, just because we think we have a good excuse.

talking back to God: this list could go on for pages and pages [posts and posts], but I think I will leave off here, and add a thought about the way we feel about things that God may take away.

Oftentimes, when God removes a blessing, or even if it is something that is our fault, such as missing a sermon, we often like to try to blame God, or to badger him into giving us what we want. We forget that we really didn’t deserve it in the first place. We feel that God isn’t letting us have the right thing at the right time. We should remember that if God isn’t giving what we need, well, we don’t really need it after all. We just think we do.

When we lose our focus a sermon, we like to say ‘O, God! Send your spirit down, quicken me, that I may hear your words.’ Here we like to add that sometimes abused sentence ‘for your names sake,’ that is so convenient for such times. “Hold it, Jacob!” you say. “your taking this to far. You are saying that we shouldn’t look to God when we do wrong?”

No, I am saying that we like to use what seem like nice prayers to say, ‘Now, God, I want you to help me not to feel guilty. I am distracted, and that makes me uncomfortable. So, if you don’t do anything about it, it is now officially your fault.’

I think the more fitting prayer for such occasions is really something more like, ‘Now God, I know that I have not done as I should. My heart has not been focused on you, and I have missed a would be blessing. I am a weak human, and sometimes it is easy to lose focus. But you are faithful even when I am not. If you are punishing me, I pray you give me the strength to bear it with patience. I pray that you do not deal with me according to my shortcomings, but according to your mercy. In Christ name. amen.’ we need to learn to be humble, and to make the best of every sermon, every time in God’s presence, every book study, every blog post that we write, every moment with ourselves, with non-believers, with believers, and every chapter in every good book that we read. We only have one chance to go through life. We have to stop taking things for granted.

reviving the blog: I plan to go in a new direction with my blog. Thus far, I have been thinking more about myself than my readers. I plan do better, including more news about what’s happening around here, more photos, more talk about what I have been reading and watching, and well, whatever you want to see, if you will just let me know what that is. We’ve just got a new Lego magazine, so you will be hearing about that soonJ . for now I had better stop and read it. Later…

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  1. #1 by Katie on March 4, 2008 - 9:01 pm

    Jacob, I really like your blog. I have been encouraged and, yes, convicted by some of the posts, and I do thank you for taking the time to do it. I CANNOT wait to hear about the lego magizine…. legos are my favorite things!! ( just kidding) I haven’t been around John David long enough for him to interest me in legos, even though he has tried pretty hard. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I enjoy your blog.

    ~Katie

  2. #2 by flinding on March 4, 2008 - 9:22 pm

    Don’t like legos. Unenlightened one.
    Just kidding. I am glad legos are a mostly-boy thing. Thanks for commenting.
    Jake.

  3. #3 by Ron Brandon on March 5, 2008 - 6:30 pm

    Now THIS post was long … but very good.
    Thanks for blogging things that are truly worth reading and full of substance. I appreciate your challenging insight and glad to have you as a friend and brother.

    And boy do I HATE legos.

    Mr. Ron

  1. things we take for granted… « Flinding’s Weblog

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