Where 'Ya Been?
The story is told of a man named John who had once been faithful
to attend his church regularly, but had grown lackadaisical recently.
The Pastor knew that he hadn't seen the gentleman in a while, so
he went for a visit.
John greeted the Pastor and welcomed him in, directing him to the
chair beside the fireplace. He asked the Pastor what brought him to
visit, but the Pastor didn't say a word... .he simply grabbed the
fireplace tongs, picked up a hot coal from the fire, and set it away
from the fire, out on the hearth. Both men then watched the coal.
While the fire roared on, the coal which had been red hot began to
lose it's heat. It gradually lost it's red color, and then cooled off so
that it became cool to the touch. The Pastor picked up the coal,
and handed it to John for a moment... neither man said a word.
Then the Pastor reached out and took the coal back from John,
and returned it to the roaring fire... and in just a few short moments,
the coal once again glowed red hot, as the pile of flaming coals
caused it to heat up again.
The Pastor then got to his feet, put his hat on, and shook John's
hand. At that point, John looked at the Pastor with tears in his eyes,
and told him "Thank you for coming, Pastor, and I'll be back in
church this coming Sunday!"
Now some of you reading this aren't able to attend church services
on a regular basis due to poor health. But for those who CAN attend
services, but don't for one reason or another, consider this: Do you
need to re-examine your reasons for not going? If it's hypocrites, yes
the church is filled with them - do you also stay away from your workplace
because of hypocrites there? Do you tell yourself that you can worship
God just as well camping, or golfing, or on the lake, as you can in
church? If so, you aren't fooling anyone but yourself - and definitely
If you feel that God's Word isn't being preached in truth, then find a
church where it IS - church isn't a cure-all for all of our problems,
but it IS a place that you can be surrounded by those who will
listen, and those who will pray for you... and you will hear Bible teaching
there that you will not hear on the lake!
So again I ask you - what's your excuse? I pray that as you examine
this area of your life, that God would move in your heart and give you
an intense desire to return to the sanctuary of the church - and that
you can once again find the joy of worshipping God with other believers!
[ Author Unknown -- from Denial ]
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