Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Half-Hearted Christianity

"The Lord says:
'These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is made up only of rules taught by men'" (Isaiah 29:13, NIV).

Todd Box, one of our ministers in the Contact Church of Christ, has been preaching for us for the last couple of Sundays. This past Sunday, he emphasized the need for our hearts to be totally involved in our love for the Lord.

With a personal illustration, Todd demonstrated how easy it is to let our hearts wander away from Christ while we go through the motions of serving him and worshiping him. He reminded us that when he first came to the Contact Church a few years ago, he was living in the Salvation Army shelter. At that time, he was eager to help everyone at the shelter come to know God. He volunteered to drive the church van to pick up the other homeless men at the shelter. Now a few years later, he confessed, when someone called him for a ride, his first thoughts were not gratitude for the opportunity to help someone get to the church; instead, he thought, "Can't someone else do it?"

I completely understand. Sometimes my heart is not where it should be, either. I wish that were not true, but it is.

So how do I keep my heart right? I need to follow the advise of an old hymn called "When My Love to Christ Grows Weak." These are the lyrics:

"When my love to Christ grows weak,
When for deeper faith I seek,
Then in thought I go to Thee,
Garden of Gethsemane!

There I walk amid the shades,
While the ling'ring twilight fades,
See that suffering, friendless One,
Weeping, praying there alone.

When my love for man grows weak,
When for stronger faith I seek,
Hill of Calvary I go
To thy scenes of fear and woe.

There behold His agony,
Suffered on the bitter tree;
See His anguish, see His faith
Love triumphant still in death.

Then to life I turn again,
Learning all the worth of pain,
Learning all the might that lies
In a full self-sacrifice.

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