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Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Challenge from 6,200 Feet

Colorado Springs may be 6,200 feet closer to Heaven than sea-level communities, but it isn’t Heaven. Sure, hundreds of Christian organizations are headquartered here and worshipers fill churches small and big every Sunday; but crime, family breakdown, and antichristian sentiment are also part of the city’s social fabric. Christians in Colorado Springs, as in communities across America, don’t have to look far for opportunities to spread salt and light.

The other day, an electrician installed some lighting in our basement. I learned he is a Christian. While having breakfast at a local restaurant recently, I overheard two brokers discuss their business. When their food arrived, they bowed their heads, and one of them audiblly gave thanks. Yesterday, I sent a box of books to a pastor in Atlanta. The manager of the UPS store had a devotional guide at the weigh scale. A Christian radio station was inviting listeners to attend an historic church where I have preached.

It seems wherever I go in Colorado Springs I meet Christians. They fill a variety of occupational roles, but each is responsible to represent Christ in the world of work. First Peter 1:1 uses the word “Dispersion” or “scattered” to identify a large number of first-century Christians. The word refers to the scattering of seed of biblical times. God has scattered His people strategically in your community and mine. We don’t all work for the same company or pursue the same occupation, but we share the same calling—to make Christ known. As our nation slips farther from biblical values and morals and sinks into spiritual ignorance, let’s bloom where God has planted us.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Heart Examination

Yesterday, a congregation voted to call an interim pastor. I was one of three candidates. Because I haven’t heard how the vote turned out, I assume I didn’t “win the election.” This is something I can leave in the Lord’s hands.

I have an appointment this morning with a cardiologist. He will examine my heart and give me good medical advice. An annual or semi-annual heart examination is probably advisable for everyone my age, but a daily heart examination by the Great Physician is crucial to good spiritual health. The psalmist prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23, 24).

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Precious Gift of Sight

Visually impaired people develop remarkable skills. I learned this fact from blind members of churches I served as pastor and from my experiences with a Christian fellowship for the blind. For example, Burt developed a remarkable memory. He knew the words to almost every song in our hymnal. He even knew their page numbers. And he sang in the choir. Every spring Burt was the first to remind us to move our clocks forward one hour, and every fall he was the first to remind us to move them back an hour.

Fanny Crosby (1820-1915), blind from birth, left us a rich legacy of gospel songs, including the all-time favorite, “Blessed Assurance.” Although she was blind, she brought light to the souls of many.

One day Jesus encountered a man who was blind from birth (John 9:1). His disciples ignorantly assumed the blindness was divine judgment (v. 2), but Jesus corrected this misconception and healed the blind man (v. 3-7).

Physical sight is indeed a precious gift, but spiritual sight is even more precious. Because Jesus cares, those who are spiritually blind—unable to perceive God’s truth and to walk in His ways—can receive spiritual sight and follow Jesus, the Light of the World. Jesus promised, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).