The other day I received an email from an online office supply store we have made several purchases from in the past. It caught my attention because the subject line read “Decision Required!”
As it turns out, they had a sale on copy paper and the required decision was the number of reams we needed. They had a special “one-day-only” price as well.
As it turns out, we did not need any copy paper at that time...so I decided to delete the email.
At first glance, though, the email seemed to be more than just an advertisement. At first glace it seemed to be important enough to warrant my immediate attention.
A couple of days later, I received another email from the same place with the subject of “Action Requested!”
This time, they were letting us know that several items we had purchased in the past might be running low and they were wondering if we needed to restock any of these items.
Companies use phrases like “Decision Required!” and “Action Requested!” to make it seem like you need to purchase whatever it is they are offering. But, truth be told, I decided not to decide (how much more copy paper we needed) and decided not to take action to restock the items.
And everything is still running smoothly at the church office. It didn’t really matter if we didn’t even think about how much paper we needed (I did check to see how much we had...it was a really good price). Deciding against stocking up on supplies we still had plenty of was an acceptable decision with few, if any, consequences.
But there is one decision required that has everlasting effects. That decision is the decision to make Jesus Lord of your life.
And, once you have made that required decision, further action is requested. You must faithfully serve Him for the rest of your life.
“Decision Required!” Have you made Jesus your Lord? Have you obeyed the gospel? Have you put Jesus on in baptism? To decide not to decide today is the same as saying no...how can you say no to the one who died for you?
“Action Requested!” If you haven’t been actively serving Him, maybe you need to restock your spiritual supplies. The best way to do this is through spending time studying His Word each day and praying everyday.
Most of the time when it comes to TV shows and movies, I enjoy ones that you really don’t have to think too much about to enjoy. If I’m going to watch something that is not real, I don’t want to have to use too much brain power to follow the story line.
There is one exception: I am a fan of the TV show “Elementary.” I missed the first couple of seasons, but have tried to faithfully watch for the last few seasons.
For those that are not familiar with the show, it is the most recent incarnation of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. I’ve enjoyed looking for clues and trying to figure out “who done it?” before the episode concluded and they tell viewers who did it.
I even started recording it, so that I could go back and watch it again to see what I missed (back when we had cable TV).
Some of the stories the show has told have not exactly been the most uplifting and some of the actions of the characters have not been the most moral, but, on the whole, it was a pretty good show, in my opinion.
But, alas, as they say, “All good things must come to an end.” Tomorrow’s episode is the final episode in the 7th and final season of this show.
As I reflect back, the show, although “fake,” actually parallels real life. We all have our ups and downs. We all have our good points and our bad points. Some people really like us, some really don’t like us. We all have our highs and our lows.
And then it ends.
Our life is “cancelled by the network” and then what? Praise God that we have more to look forward to than just reruns in syndication! Praise God that the end of this life is the beginning of an eternal life in the presence of God!
It pains me that tomorrow’s episode is the series finale. (But, should you be looking for ideas for a birthday gift for me - #50 is just over a week away - season DVD sets would be nice...just kidding.)
For some strange reason, I was looking at the history of a neighboring town: Watts, Oklahoma. I believe the school in Watts recently hired a wonderful, beautiful, exceptionally talented new kindergarten teacher...maybe that has something to do with my research?
Apparently Watts, OK used to be a happening place. The Kansas City Southern railroad needed a midway point to stop on its line from Pittsburg, KS to Heavener, OK. Thus the town of Watts, OK came into being.
Well, as time and technology would have it, diesel trains came along that did not need to be serviced in Watts, OK. When that happened, the town began to decline.
In 2000, the census showed Watts to have a population of 316. In the 2010 census, the population was 324...an increase of 2.5%!
Why am I telling you this? Fair question. The town of Watts, OK was tied directly to one thing...the railroad. So long as the train was stopping, the town was thriving. But when the railroad stopped stopping in Watts, the town began to decline.
Our faith is tied to exactly one thing as well: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:14 that “...if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.”
Paul continues in verse 17 to say, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”
Then in verse 19, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
So I didn’t come up with the idea of our faith being tied to the resurrection of Jesus: Paul did! If Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead preaching is vain; faith is vain and futile; and we are to be pitied more than anybody else.
But then we read 1 Corinthians 15:20, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead…” Our faith is tied to the resurrection of Jesus and that is something that will never ever no longer be needed.
Something better will never come along. Nothing or nobody will ever replace Him. Jesus’ resurrection is and will always be the cornerstone of our faith.
Now is our time to THRIVE!