Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Altar and the Door

I can be happy when things are going well.

I can love others when they show love to me.

I can be nice to those who show me kindness.

I can forgive those that forgive me.

I can be fully devoted to the work of Christ…on Sunday mornings.


Can I be happy in times of trouble?

Can I love those that are hateful toward me?

Can I be kind to those that spit in my face?

Can I forgive those that may never forgive me?

Can I be a Christian on fire for God on a Thursday morning?

It’s Sunday, but Monday’s coming
It is easy to serve God with utmost sincerity and devotion on Sunday mornings. I can feel something ignite inside of me when I hear a stirring sermon. I feel moved to be more committed to reaching out to those that need Christ. I feel like a Holy Saint of God on Sunday morning, but then…

Monday morning comes. I’m still a Christian, but the fire is gone. It is out. No flames. No heat. No passion to do the work of Christ. Why is there such a disconnect from one day to the next?

Jesus moves into the neighborhood
On Sundays we’re around “church people”. Everyone is there for worship, to sing the songs and listen to the pastor. Plus, God seems closer in church than anywhere else we could go during the week. We associate the church with the place where God hangs out. When we walk through those church doors we can leave Jesus behind. Apparently He is just too big to fit through that small of an opening.

The truth is Christ should be with us wherever we go. John 1:14 is an important verse for this very subject. The KJV says “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us”. The New Century Version says, “The Word became a human and lived among us”. While the “Message” interprets it as, “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood”.

Mastering the Sunday/Monday transition
It doesn’t have to be this difficult. Christ has promised he’ll always be with us. We just tend to forget it. We need to:

- Stay in “constant” prayer. Don’t walk around with your eyes closed or you’ll run into something, but be in a constant mindset of prayer. Be aware of each situation and be prepared to seek God’s counsel.

- Read God’s word like you eat meals. I heard this from a wise (albeit pushy) man at Praise’s one day. For every meal you eat read at least one chapter of scripture. Remember that “ does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD”. Deuteronomy 8:3

- Be in fellowship with other believers. Whether it is friends from church, your spouse, or even a family member you need to have that connection. Hold each other accountable. Stoke each others spiritual fire so you don’t go from being Fired-up Frank on Sundays to Lukewarm Larry on Mondays.

The following lyrics sum it all up perfectly. Casting Crowns’ The Altar and the Door:

The Altar and the Door

Careless, I am reckless
I’m a wrong-way-travelin’-slowly-unraveling shell of a man
Burnt out, I’m so numb now
That the fire’s just an ember way down in the corner of my cold, cold heartLord, this time I’ll make it right, here at the altar I lay my life
Your kingdom come but my will was done, my heart is broken as I…Cry, like so many times before
But my eyes are dry before I leave the floor, oh Lord
I try but this time, Jesus, how can I be sure I will not lose my follow through
Between the altar and the door

Here at the altar, oh my world so black and white
How could I ever falter
What You’ve shown me to be right

I’m trying so hard to stop trying so hard
Just let You be who You are
Lord, who You are in me
Jesus, I’m trying so hard to stop trying so hard
Just let You be who You are
Lord, who You are in me

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