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Tag Archive | "South Ensley United Methodist"

Why we should lie every day


Pastor Darryl Miller

Sand Lake/South Ensley United Methodist churches 

616-636-5659

This may seem like a strange thing for a preacher to encourage you to do. But I think that it is important to the Christian life. Paul gives the Phillipians some great advice: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

One of the benefits of following this advice is that we can focus all of our thoughts away from the trials and tribulations of the world, and the turmoil that may be going on in our lives. When we focus on God and the things that He is a part of, we don’t have time to focus on those tempting things that we know that we shouldn’t. We can check on a neighbor and a person or two who may need some help. We can call someone who may just want to talk to someone. And we can turn our thoughts away from the television and the worries that invade our minds and concentrate on having a conversation with God. We can hear the birds singing and see the trees and flowers around us.

And when the day is done, we can lie. 

We can lie without guilt because we didn’t do the things that would push us away from God. We can lie with peace because we spent the day serving God’s people and staying in constant communication with God. We can lie in prayer because the weight of the world and all of its pressures have been lifted from our shoulders and we have been set free from them, clearing our minds so that a pure conversation with our Lord is possible. And we can lie in rest because we have done a good job in God’s eyes and He will provide the rest that we need. 

It is a wonderful thing to be able to lie at the end of the day and to feel that sense of God’s warmth. Not because we have earned it but because God desires to give it to us. How we live our days reflects our gratitude for God’s wonderful grace and love. And when we are immersed in His grace and love we can lie down each night in peace. 

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The one important truth


Pastor Darryl Miller

Sand Lake/South Ensley United Methodist churches 

616-636-5659

 

Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction (NIV).

April 29 was a “fifth Sunday.” Four times a year we have five Sundays in a month. Several years ago, a woman came to me after services and asked if I would answer some questions for her. I said that I would be glad to and she proceeded to ask about the symbols around the church, the reason for the colors of the cloths and many more questions. It was at this time I realized that I had been neglecting one of my responsibilities as a pastor. I had not been explaining the symbols and the meaning of the various articles and traditions around the church. From that began “Question Sunday.” When there is a fifth Sunday, the people that I serve submit any questions that they have and I do my best to answer them. The questions have ranged from simple curiosity to scriptural thoughts. I have been told by many of the congregations that they really look forward to these days and that they get a lot from them. The truth is that I enjoy them as well. I love to learn and the bible challenges us to study the word, not just to read it. And often I am asked a question that opens up a new line of thought for me.

But as much fun as these days are I always end the day with a reminder. The one truth that we all need to understand is that, as stated in John 3:16, “God loves us so much that He sent His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not die but have eternal life” (paraphrased).

Understanding the sacrifice of Jesus for us, and understanding that it was an act of unconditional love, is the most important knowledge that we can have. And the best thing to do with knowledge is to share it. God loves you. Jesus loves you. This is the truth. Share it with the world!

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Tools of the trade


Pastor Darryl Miller

Sand Lake/South Ensley United Methodist churches 

616-636-5659

 

“Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you are to be” (2 Thessalonians 1:2, The Message).

“He did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. Won’t he also freely give us all things with him?” (Romans 8:32, Common English Bible)

Although I am (all too quickly) approaching the age of 60, I am, for the first time, reading the book: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Like many, I have seen the movie countless times but the book is immensely different from the movie. What stands out to me almost immediately is the obvious fact that the thing that each character wants, they already have—brains, a heart, and courage. Each demonstrates these attributes repeatedly on their journey. There is a good lesson in this for all of us. 

Sometimes God calls us to a place or a work that we are—to be blunt—afraid of. We doubt if we have the skills needed for the job or if we will be able to make a difference in a place that we are not familiar with. Sometimes, when we turn away from the task without trying, we miss the tremendous blessing that we would receive in return for following God’s direction.

Do not let this happen! God does not ask of us things that we are not able to do. In addition, we will be able to do these things because God is with us. He knows what we need and He provides us with all of this and more. 

Sure, it can be scary going into an unfamiliar place or starting a ministry with unfamiliar people. However, if this is what God has called you to do then the first step is to completely trust in Him. It is not always easy because our emotions, fear and doubt are very powerful. Remember that God is infinitely more powerful than our fears. Most importantly, He will not ask us to do something or go somewhere without honoring His promise to be with us. 

Trust in God no matter where He puts us and the blessing to your life will be far greater than we could have imagined.

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