Editor’s Choice: Daily Devotion from Pastor Greg Laurie Pastor Chuck Smith once told a story about a Papua New Guinea tribe that had a widespread birth defect. Everyone had one leg shorter than the other. Interestingly, the idol they worshipped also had one leg shorter than the other. They had created a god in their own image. I believe this is the same direction America is going. When people say, "I am spiritual, I am just not religious," it is code for "I'm making it up as I go." People effectively make a god in their own image when they say things like, "My god would never judge a person" and "My god would never condemn two people of the same sex living together in a committed relationship." But they just made up their own god. And their god, essentially, is them. What is the first of the Ten Commandments? "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:3). What is the second commandment? It is related to the first: "You shall not make for yourself a carved image" (verse 4). Idol worship is putting anyone or anything in the place of God. I read an article in USA Today about the fastest growing spiritual group in America, which claims no affiliation with any faith. The article states, "This group, called 'Nones,' is now the nation's second-largest category only to Catholics, and outnumbers the top Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptists. The shift is a significant cultural, religious and even political change." It has been said, "When a man stops believing in God he doesn't then believe in nothing, he believes in anything." We can't edit the Bible. We can't say, "I like this part of the Bible and not that part." If we do, then we will end up with a god that is not the God of the Bible.
FROM YOUR PASTOR On Sunday, May 19 we will observe Pentecost. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to the disciples who were gathered in Jerusalem after Jesus had ascended into heaven. All the people were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, yet they could all understand one another. Then, Peter, being filled with the Holy Spirit preached to those present and told them to repent and be baptized. Some 3,000 souls were added to the kingdom of God that miraculous day. The descending of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost marked the beginning of the Christian church and the Church has been proclaiming the word of Jesus Christ ever since. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God continues to work through the Church and add souls to the kingdom every day. Before Jesus ascended into heaven He promised the disciples He would send the Holy Spirit. He said, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” Indeed the Spirit came and has been with us ever since the day of Pentecost. Through the Holy Spirit, God is everywhere at the same time and with us at all times. The presence of God is always around us. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live Christian lives and to witness to those who do not know Christ. The Holy Spirit converts people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit comforts us and strengthens us during difficult times. The Holy Spirit is God’s presence that we sometimes feel in a special way. Even though the Holy Spirit is with us, sometimes we resist Him. We are afraid of renewal, because it brings change and once we truly let the Spirit guide every aspect of our lives, we are no longer in control; God is. When we resist the Holy Spirit we miss out on a deeper and fuller relationship with God. We don’t experience all that God has to offer. We get stale and do not grow as Christians. We as individuals and the Church become stagnant. As we celebrate Pentecost, let us truly open our hearts to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and power. May we allow the Spirit to lead our lives and motivate all that we do. With the Holy spirit in charge, we can accomplish great things in our lives, the lives of others, in this church, and in our world. Come, Holy Spirit, come! I’ll see you in church!
Oak Grove Moravian Church May Calendar 2013