Confession: I’ve grown up in church from the womb. My father was a pastor and BOTH of my grandfathers were pastors. I’ve heard of the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to church life. While there are blessed exceptions, I find that many “seasoned veterans” in church life (those who have been walking with Christ a long time) tend to be troublemakers, lacking passion, and those we have to work to pray some sort of commitment out of. One faithful “seasoned veteran” in my church sent me this sermon clip from none other than John MacArthur. You can listen to the sermon here, but here’s what he said…
“You say, “Well, I go to church. I do my part.” Well, remember 1 Samuel 15:22 where God said, “To obey is better than [What?] sacrifice.” Ritual will never replace obedience. And in 1 Peter, chapter 1, Peter writes that, “We are to gird up the loins of our mind.” In other words, get our act together. Pull yourself together. Get your priorities right as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. Don’t live like you used to live. You are to be obedient children. Luke 11:28: Jesus said, “Happy is the person who hears My Word and keeps it.” Who hears My Word and keeps it. Paul commends Christians in Romans 16:19, “For your obedience has come abroad unto all men, and I am glad.” That makes the heart of the pastor glad when the, the obedience of his people is made manifest.
Now, you know some things if you come here, because you’re being taught them; but if you don’t apply those things in an obedient way, you don’t mature. I turned on the radio this week, and I was driving someplace, and on came Howard Hendricks, and he said some things, I thought, that were very interesting. He said that Christians over 50 should be the most turned on, the most excited, the most committed, the purest, the most enthusiastic, and the most available for service. Why? Because they’ve been hearing the Word the longest. They’ve been applying it the longest. They’ve been maturing the longest, and they ought to be showing the fruit of that process, right? I mean the most turned on, enthusiastic, excited, available, dynamic, and powerful people in a church, the very energy of that church ought to be the people who are over 50, over 55, over 60. They ought to be the like, the joy, the thrill, the energy, the dynamic of that church. They ought to be the people out on the cutting edge in evangelism. They ought to be the people out on the cutting edge in prayer. Why? Because they’ve lived with God the longest. They’ve applied the Word, so their obedience pattern has gone on longer. Therefore, they’re mature more so than those with fewer years, because of constantly applied truth.
But how often have you heard this?”
This is the question. So, I hope we’ll all strive for faithfulness and passion. May God’s Word richly bear fruit in all of our lives so that He is glorified through us. I hope this encourages you and exhorts you to live today.