Comparing yesterday to today
By Gary Andrews
Not too long ago my wife and I had the opportunity of taking our first trip with a cruise line. It was an enlightening experience and one that neither of us will ever forget. It is also something that we want to do again.
For many years I would put off going on a cruise because I thought I would get seasick. Many years ago I would go deep sea fishing with my father-in-law and on every occasion he, and his brother, would have to bring me back to shore. The 21-foot boat and the large ocean waves were more than I could bear.
I am not a big fan of fishing and the added experience of being in the ocean, not being able to see land, was more than I could handle. The perception of traveling on a cruise liner was built on my experience of this 21-foot boat which was totally different.
Isn’t it amazing how we look and visualize things we want to do but would never try because of similar situations that we have gone through before? Many of us have had bad or remember unpleasant experiences in something we have attempted or forced to do.
I find that many people quit going to church or Bible study because of something that was said, because we didn’t like the teacher, or our toes were stepped on by examples given. Most of the time when our toes are stepped on we realized that we aren’t in the will of God but don’t want to give up the ways of the world. The world is full of promises and gives up a glimpse of what is or what can be in a short time. Worldly attractions appeal to us because of the quickness they appear, however we need to stop and think at the quickness they disappear also.
Staying in fellowship with Christians and studying our Bible gives us a peek into what is everlasting. The joy and peace that only Jesus can give should be enough for us to want to go to church, go to Bible study, and pay attention when our toes are stepped on. Maybe we are being called out for a reason and most of the time that this happens is between you and the Lord and no one else in the study knows about it.
The fellowship of believers was taught by Jesus. It is all through the New Testament. Jesus conferred on the apostles the authority and the unique teaching of fellowship and the breaking of bread. We read this in Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
Taking a cruise was something I was apprehensive about because of unique experiences I had previously. There was no comparison between the two however I made it a problem until I experienced a cruise ship and the bigness of it. There was no comparison and my long time beliefs kept me from having enjoyable voyages years ago. The same is true with church attendance and Bible study. Even though we had varying opinions of what went on, it will not be the same day after day or in other locations.
I have heard from people not attending church say they are looking for the perfect church to join. When I hear this I tell that if they find that perfect church do not join it because they will ruin it. We are not living in a perfect world but we need to try and make it as good as we can.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for giving me the opportunity to fellowship with believers. Thank you for your Word and what it says to me. I pray that that I will hear and adhere to your message. Amen.
(Suggested daily Bible readings: Sunday – Philippians 2:1-4; Monday – Leviticus 26:1-13; Tuesday – Psalm 55:12-23; Wednesday – Romans 14:1-8; Thursday – 3 John 13-14; Friday – 1 Samuel 20:42; Saturday – 1 Corinthians 1:10-17.)
Gary Andrews is the author of Encouraging Words: 30-days in God’s Word. To obtain a copy go to his website www.gadevotionals.com.