Articles for August 2016

Less is not more! Acts 2:42; Mt. 4:23; 2 Peter 1:5

Have you ever noticed how, more and more, people want more for less? They want something for nothing. That seems to be the primary target of investment; minimal outlay for maximum production! I guess we call that efficiency, and that’s a good thing. But somehow that seems to counteract the concept of “investment”. When someone goes to a gambling casino, the goal is to come out with more than you entered with, right? Put in a dollar, receive many dollars. If there were such a game where we could put in nothing, but simply be declared “winner” by virtue of showing up and thusly be handed over some large amount of money, I suppose the lineup to play would be endless! But would anyone actually call that “investment”?

People want something, financial, educational, material, without the sufficient effort to obtain it. It’s always a nice thing when prices go down or a good deal avails itself. The problem is when the commodity gets trimmed while the same price is required. The less is more philosophy works in both directions. At the restaurant, we’re told, ‘Look, our prices haven’t increased like our competitors!’. But, portions have decreased for the same price as before!

Genesis 3:19 tells man that he must work for his food. But should we expect more and more food for the same amount of work? Anything that’s desirable is worthy of investment. Today’s culture thinks nothing of a man and woman cohabitating without the commitment of marriage. They move in together, have children together, share finances… who needs to be married? Commitment goes both ways – it’s an investment of lives, a forsaking of any other relationship options. More is more.

Unfortunately, the less is more mentality seems to have found its way into the church as well. More and more Christians want the deep Spiritual relationship with Jesus, with a minimal investment. When I was growing up, “going to church” was far more than an hour of worship on Sunday morning. The Lord’s Day began with Sunday School at 9:00, followed by morning worship from 10:30 – 12:00. Sunday evening we had evening worship – i.e. sermon, hymns, invitation just like morning worship. Then, Wednesday evening was youth group and prayer meeting. For whatever reason, Sunday School has become optional to the point of being done away with altogether in many churches. It’s simply too much of an investment. We want the same relationship with Jesus, but less “church”, less study, less commitment.

Acts 2:42 says believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Why is it so difficult for people to be devoted to anything more than the least they can do? Seeking the kingdom of God, first, above all else, requires an investment of ourselves. Sunday School, for our children and for adults as well, is a tremendous opportunity for every believer to be taught, to be engrained in the truths of scripture. Preaching is equally important and essential to our spiritual growth. But “teaching” is another aspect.

Matthew 4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

Teaching and preaching are separate things, both important, both necessary. Our schedules are indeed hectic. We work long hours leaving us little time to spend with our families, and they are important. Mark 8:36 But what good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?  Or, the soul of his family? Sunday School is a tremendous opportunity to instill God’s teaching into the minds of our children, and as they witness Mom and Dad also going to Sunday School, there is great opportunity to lead by example, showing them that seeking the kingdom of God knows no age.

Sunday School is a great way to get involved in the life of the church.

Sunday School is a great way to influence the lives of people; young and old alike.

Sunday School is so important because of the text book we use.

Sunday School follows the example of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you aren’t presently in the practice of attending Sunday School, give it a try. Bring your children and come yourself at 9:45 on Sunday morning. 2 Peter 1:5 tells us to “make every effort to add to your faith goodness, and to goodness, knowledge…”  The goodness in our lives means nothing without the knowledge of God’s word. Let Jesus teach you how to live.

Less is not more!                                                                                             In Christ, Rick