The service today began by noting the passing of Hannah Swenson, longtime member of this church who had a large impact on the church. We stood together for a moment of silence in memory of Hannah. The funeral will be at 11 A.M. Tuesday, visitation beforehand starting at 10 A.M.
The Pastor gave a children's message. He challenged the children to try to jump over a dollar bill, which he set on the floor, while holding onto their toes. If they could the dollar would be theirs. No one was able to do this until one who received help from the pastor jumped (or was lifted) over it. The point was that we don't have to do life alone. Some things can only be accomplished with help from others or from God.
Today's Message: Entropy
The glory of Easter tends to fade as real life comes crashing down on us. Our journey is a continual process.
Max Dupree, a writer on leadership was asked what the most difficult thing was for him personally that he had to work on, and his reply was "entropy."
Entropy has to do with the idea that the universe is winding down. The second law of thermodynamics relates to the fact that everything that is left to itself has a tendency to deteriorate.
This is true not only in science but in our human lives. When we become apathetic our dreams die, our hopes fade and we learn to live with mediocrity. Entropy is the great enemy of the human spirit.
Prov. 27:23 tells us to pay close attention to the condition of our flocks and herds. We need to be on the lookout for entropy every day. If we put any area of our life on autopilot we risk withering on the vine.
There are people around us who need Christ, and sometimes we who are in the church go from living as servants to living as consumers. We begin to argue about things that don't matter and lose focus of what is important.
Proverbs 24: 30-34 speaks about the condition of a vineyard belonging to a sluggard. It was in ruins, and covered with thorns and weeds. Vineyards do not happen by themselves. Someone is behind them. To be an owner of a vineyard is to have the opportunity of a lifetime. When you were born you were given a vineyard. You got a chance to do a good work, it's your only shot in this lifetime. God never forces anyone to take action and to care for their vineyard. The vineyard in the proverb fell drastically short of its potential due to sheer negligence on the part of the owner.
"Sluggo" is not content in his job but blames others. He has grandiose dreams but will never take a single step from where he is. This is your only life. Prov. 12:11 says that those who work their land will have abundant food but those who chase fantasies have no sense.
Pastor Brad spoke of many who have had fantasies of becoming a writer. They want to write a best selling book and become famous. When they are told that becoming a successful writer involves many rejection letters first before ever becoming published they prefer to live in their fantasy. We must start with reality. Work with YOUR life. Your vineyard is what you have and is all you have. Take the next step that God wants you to take.
"How long will you lie there, you sluggard?" We justify our inactivity... "just a little while, I'll take action soon."
A story has been told about a man who visits a house he lived in long ago and finds an old jacket of his in the attic. He puts it on and discovers an old claim ticket for some shoes he had brought to the repair shop 15 years previous and never remembered to claim. Just to see what would happen he then goes to the shoe shop and gives them the ticket, asking if his shoes are ready. The man studies the ticket, goes to the back, returns and says "they'll be ready a week from Thursday."
The danger is not that we say "never" but that we say "a week from Thursday" The mind of a sluggard has an excuse. As sluggards we don't see our own sluggardism. Prov. 26:16 says that sluggards are wiser in their own eyes than seven people who answer discreetly. Blindness comes with the condition of entropy.
Some of us suffer from selective entropy. We avoid the one vineyard that we don't want to look at, the one area in our lives that is a mess. We all have some vineyard that is full of weeds. Proverbs 6:6 tells us to learn from the ants. The ant doesn't wait for a commander to get things in order. Motivation has to come from within us. I am responsible for my own life.
Overcoming entropy on our own is too much, but is not too much for our risen Lord. Entropy does not have to have the last word in our lives.
The question for today is: Where is God wanting you to call on Him for help? Your work? Finances? Your physical health? We are to honor God with our bodies. Are you doing that?
How about your soul? What will it profit you if you gain the whole world but lose your soul?
God never follows the path of least resistance. Take a step toward God today. Do it now. This is your day. This is your vineyard. God will respond. This is the word of the Lord.