"Features a 21.28 acre island in the Caney Fork River. Easy access to the river."
Really? Is there an island that doesn't have access to the river? Does the ad-writer get the concept of what an island is?
I laughed for a while with my staff at the funny appearance that the sentence gave. It set my mind to pondering a question...do we really get it? There are a lot of things in life that God tries to talk with us about. He uses His Word, of course. But he also uses friends, devotionals or the messages we hear from our pastors. So it's always funny when someone comes to me and says, "That was a great message. It is absolutely true what you said." The whole time I'm thinking, so do you get it? Do you understand that this word or principle from the Bible applies to you too.
You see, it's real easy to sit around and look at others lives and see how they need adjusting. How about when it comes to you and I though?
I had a conversation with a guy this week who has talked to me before about how much he loves his church...a church he is getting ready to walk away from. His reasoning, by his own admission, was that he was looking for more "bells and whistles" for his kids. I said to him, "You know, you and I have talked about this before. We've talked about how consumerism is killing the American church. I can load you in a car right now and take you to a church just up the road that's got all kinds of bells and whistles for your kids. I can take you into Nashville to a church that does it a little bit better. We can fly to Chicago to one of the largest churches in America where they are creating new bells and whistles all the time. Or, better yet, I can fly your family all down to Disney World where they are the kings of bells and whistles. But your kids aren't going to find Jesus there."
He got my point. Here it is in plain English for you. Guys, Jesus plainly said in Scripture that the ones who followed Him would have to take up their cross, not their comforter. When you and I fall into the trap of believing that faith and following God is easy, we don't have to look any further than the cross to know that's not the case. Somehow, we hear that and we even talk about it, but do we really get it? Do we understand that the working out of our faith is just that--it's work? Jesus even went so far as to say that this "following" thing would get harder and harder, that the persecution would get greater and greater, as the world turned further and further from God. Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to say that neat programs can't translate into good teaching for our families. It just can't be what our focus is. "Neat" doesn't equal "meat."
I kind of felt like the writer in the ad was forgetting what the definition of an island was. Maybe it's time we stopped to check our definition of what it means to surrender, to follow, to submit and obey. Once we rediscover these, we will learn what it means to walk away from "easy believism" and embrace the true meaning of being a bond servant for Christ.