A Pastor’s Perspective 04-26-2022

Someone in your family probably has a tattoo.  Maybe you.  When I see someone with a “tat”, I usually ask, “What’s the story behind your tattoo?”    Saturday, I had a person out to the house to do some work whose right forearm tattoo read, “In god I trust.”   “It doesn’t mean what you think”, he said.   He stretched out his left forearm which read, “I am god.”    Of course, that moved us into a very interesting conversation.   His words: “I was a married youth minister.  We were in church five days a week. Married.  Divorced.  Questioned everything I learned.  Now, I trust in myself and take responsibility for my own life.”     He questioned the canonization of the Bible, the truth of the Bible, the truth of Christ and who exactly “God” was, if He even existed.   We had a friendly dialog with me ending with an open-eyed prayer that he’d keep an open mind and that God would reveal the truth to him.

Hearing Andy’s message about being a disciple reminded me of something my guest said.  Members of his church had often used God as an excuse for things they did.  They didn’t take responsibility for their decisions / actions (especially poor ones).  Their prayers were for God to remove all their problems and burdens……not for His presence and strength to get through the storm.  Their God was their ticket to better things and better life with little struggle.  For them, God controlled everything, so what is…is and what was…was.  I’m not sure all that transpired with my guest’s divorce or in leaving the church, but it was clear other Christians let him down by the way they “disciplized” (using Andy’s word).  Part of his exit from Christianity he blamed on Christians close to him. Excuse, maybe.  Possible, very possible.   These were the “disciples” in his life.

Andy asked us to ask ourselves Sunday, “What kind of disciple am I?”   We are a witness in how we live our lives and honor God…be that in a good way or bad way.  I pray that we are the kind of disciple that admits our faults, our insecurities, our doubts, our need for a Savior and one that takes responsibilities for our decisions.  I pray we embrace God’s power through the storm, rather than always “claim” His power and expect Him to remove it.   Yes, He can remove it, but more often doesn’t, to allow us to reveal an even greater power He provides.

May we be a disciple who is real, honest, humble, responsible, faithful and slow to judgement.  Let’s live our lives in a way that draws others to Christ.  Do they see God in us and through our actions prompting the thought, “I need Christ in my life.”? As Andy said Sunday in not so many words, you and I will be a disciple / a witness one way or the other.   Let Christ’s light shine through each of us!

“Disciplizing” (Andy’s Greek) Together,