Today, I have a treat for you. I am sharing a heart searching illustration from Pastor Dave.
For those who are reading this blog, let’s just say, there are many miracles connected to the fact that today, as a family, we are where we are.
Only God could have brought us together in one place to worship. All of my children and their children attend Harvest Spring Lake. We are so blessed to be in a Church where we are consistently pointed vertically.
The fact that we all hear the same inspired messages gives way to some great conversations. God’s grace has worked in our lives and He has blessed us above and beyond what I could ever hope.
Without further ado, here is a message from our beloved Pastor, David Wisen:
My Second ‘Once-in-a-lifetime Hunt”
I spent Monday – Wednesday this week experiencing my second “once-in-a lifetime” “hunt”. Hunt is also in parentheses – this is not real hunting. This is a controlled hunt with a guide who puts you on massive deer that have been fed and allowed to live to old ages without being threatened by real hunters. I understand I am not a real hunter. I am a pastor, and as I sit in my stand waiting for my guide to spot deer I cannot see, my mind wanders back to the church and my concern for people who get confused and maybe misled into thinking they are real Christians when they are not.
Here are three things that every fake hunter and every real Christian knows to be true:
1. Fake hunters worry about how they are perceived – real Christians understand grace.
As I packed for the “hunt”, I wanted to make sure I had the right gear and looked the part. The problem is, even looking the part, can I talk like a real hunter without looking stupid? Fake Christians have the same fear. Real Christians understand they will never measure up to any competency test – they know they continually fall short. However, they rejoice that although they are not “righteous” on their own, they can rely on the credentials of their Guide and his righteousness to accomplish the task.
“…he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:5-7
2. Fake hunters wonder if their gun is loaded – Real Christians have the proper ammo.
I can never remember if I put a bullet in the chamber – I am constantly double-checking. My fear is when the test comes, I will not be ready. Real Christians know that when the tests of life come, they have a God who never changes, who loves them unconditionally, who will never leave or forsake us, and who is sufficient in every circumstance.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness….” 2 Corinthians 12:9
3. Fake hunters brag about their accomplishments – Real Christians brag about the Guide.
The deer always grows as the story is retold. The difficulty of the shot increases over time. Real Christians are quick to defect all the praise to the Guide. My guide understood the movements and tendencies of deer beyond what I thought was possible. He knew to stalk a deer from an up-wind position (“Is it windy”?). Real Christians look back over their lives and see that the Guide put them in the position to have success.
“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Some things to think about next time you are stuck in a stand.