Daily Devotional – 7/11/18 “What has happened?”

I don’t know if you are familiar with the gospel singer, LeAndria Johnson and if you have heard her rants on last week (she has since issued an apology to those she offended) but in her videos, she angrily says, “F Christianity and F the church.” Some people fired back at her use of the F bomb and other curse words while others agreed and encouraged her. Here is my take on this … Her delivery was wrong but she had some valid points. See, her outcry wasn’t against God but against the politics of the church. While she spoke from a place of hurt and anger, she should have waited until she calmed down to get her point across, in a much better way. Yet, I am left to ask, “What has happened to the church?” By church, I mean people who claim to love and follow God. I’m looking and He is not pleased. Please understand, I am NOT perfect but I have some questions. Why has fame and fortune overshadowed going and making disciples? Why has being on the latest conference overshadowed saving souls and offering Christ? When did it become about custom suits and tailored made dresses? When did the amount of members become important and not deliverance? Why has rebellion become popular? And before you say it hasn’t, look around. You can have a pastor who is removed from his/her assignment of shepherd, due to his/her actions and instead of getting clean, they simply start another church. When I say getting clean, I am speaking of anything that keeps them outside of God’s will.

What has happened? You have people, still doing the work of the Lord, who He has snatched the anointing from and the only reason they are still being glorified is because of their name and you like their method of preaching. Yet, if you were to really listen to their messages, when you are not in flesh, you’d quickly hear there is no oil. This is why most of their messages is throwing shots at their ‘enemy.’ Get out of your flesh! Do you not see that a lot of our youth and young adults are missing from the church because they can’t get any nutrition from the teaching? Most of them are longing for God and all they get is a twenty-minute sermon of your whoop and taking Jesus to the cross. They are hungry for God yet leaving worship slayed and not delivered. What has happened? When will you stop preaching these feel good messages of promise (milk) and teach about the sacrifice, the suffering, the stretching, the strengthening and the salvation (meat)? Because these are all the things we have to go through to get the promise. This is why I don’t want to worship with perfect people. I want to worship with those who have some scars and some testimonies of how God delivered them from addictions. I want to fellowship with some folk who has a criminal history yet now declaring they’ve been changed and live it. I want to worship with some folk who don’t brag about what they have but boast about what God has done. I don’t want to rub elbows with the rich and famous but I will share the altar with the righteous and favored.

Daily Devotional – 7/9/18 “God’s Garage!”

A friend posed a question to Facebook yesterday asking, “Why are you really going to church?” I replied as honest as I knew how because I can remember, just a few years ago, when I was going to church but church wasn’t in me. I was going through the motions of looking religious because it was what I was used too but I was leaving worship with everything but religion. I would get up on Sunday and dress the part but I wasn’t living it. I’d sing in the choir and serve in positions but there was nothing genuine about my praise. Now though, my thoughts and actions have changed. It didn’t happen overnight and neither am I perfect but I had to change. Why? Because I wasn’t being true to me, let’s not even talk about what I was doing to God. But then one day, I woke up tired of suffering and playing. Now, today, when I go to church; I treat it as my routine checkup in God’s Garage. See, I have come to realize that going to worship is like going to a mechanic’s shop and unlike getting your oil changed every 3000 miles, it’s getting your oil renewed every 8640 minutes. Yea, going to worship is to make sure you have the right amount of ‘living water’ so you don’t overheat. Going to worship is checking to make sure all of your parts are working properly so you don’t give out, on your way. And going to worship, allows you to fellowship with others who may not be in pristine condition like you are. You know how you sit in the dealership’s waiting area? Worship is God’s Garage waiting area. While you’re there, you can chat with others who are there.

When you do, you may find somebody who is at their wit’s end and you can offer hope. You may connect with somebody who is fearful of the work that is needed to get them right but you can offer hope because you know the mechanic personally and you can testify of His work ethic. You may even talk to somebody who is thinking about changing their mechanic but you can offer hope because you’ve been where they are and walked in their shoes. You can offer hope because you’ve been utilizing this mechanic’s shop for a while and His work speaks for itself. Why do I go to church? To make sure my oil isn’t low and if it is, to get it topped off. Why do I go to church? To make sure everything is at the level it should be in order to work effectively. Why do I go to church? To give hope to somebody who may be struggling with paying what it cost to the mechanic. This is why God’s Garage poster of ‘Please Come Again’ says, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near (Hebrews 10:19-25).”