Product and Process

It is said that Thomas Edison made 1000 attempts at making an incandescent bulb before he finally succeeded. His persistence in making all of those attempts is mind-blowing, but something that every person can learn from. The old adage, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” could certainly be applied to Edison’s mentality. Edison had it inincandescent-lightbulb his mind to create an incandescent bulb fit for indoor usage. But making that bulb did not happen easily, nor did it happen quickly. It took time, effort, resources, and patience before the product was successful.

By and large, Christians today want the product of godly, holy Christianity without the process of achieving that. They want the product of maturity without going through the maturing process. They want the product of wisdom without going through the process of procuring it. They want the product of God’s blessings without the process of receiving them.

All Christians must understand that God expects us to put work into our Christianity. There is a process of sanctification that God desires to put all of us through. Yes, it is God who is at work in us to both desire His good pleasure, and do His good pleasure, but it is us who must actively do it. Every command God gives His people today through His Word targets our will. Whenever we are confronted with a command, we are confronted with a choice to obey or disobey. We can choose to disobey, but with that disobedience comes consequences. If we disobey and suffer the consequences, we gripe and complain to God. That is what the children of Israel did after they failed to go into the Promised Land at the wise counsel of Joshua and Caleb. Because of their choice to disobey God, they suffered the consequences of 40 years in the wilderness, and death for all but Joshua and Caleb. However, when we choose to obey, blessing always follows, in some way, shape, or form.

Every Christian ought to strive to be the best Christian he/she can possibly be, but this product requires a process. It does not come automatically, easily, or quickly. Because of this we get easily frustrated. Our frustration is due to the fact that we are terribly consumer-driven, sensual, and results oriented people. We want the product immediately, and if/when it does not happen immediately, we get frustrated, discouraged, and then give up. This is the reason why most of Christianity today has little influence on our culture, why we are spiritually anemic, why we are fruitless and ineffective for Christ, and why we are lethargic and apathetic in church ministry.

1 Timothy 4:12-16 indicates that the disciplines of Christianity are to consume the life of the believer. In pursuing them, we are pursuing Jesus Christ. That passage gives eight commands, not only for pastors, but also for every believer to be engaged in and consumed by. The problem is, we want the product that following those commands yields, but we do not want the process that it requires.

Every Christian is called upon to be morally holy as God is holy. Every believer is to be pure, and just, and loving, and kind, and…. These things require work, hard work, persistent work, Spirit-enabled work, humble work, and patient work.

This world does not need any more mediocre, excuse-giving, blame shifting Christians. This world needs to see Christians who are humbly striving to be like Christ, allowing the Scriptures to permeate every part of their being, and who will, through both life and lips, proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to this lost and dying world. May we all strive to be this kind of Christian for the glory of God.

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10 Things to Pray Regarding The Lord’s Day

I am only 42 years old, but I have realized the incredible significance and importance of The Lord’s Day in the life of the believer. If I ever were to get a doctorate degree, I would love to write my dissertation on the importanthelordsdayce of The Lord’s Day to Christianity and to Christians. But for now, I will content myself by giving some suggestions to all Christians on how to pray specifically for The Lord’s Day. These are in no particular order of importance or significance.

  1. Pray for your pastor to be well rested and fully prepared to proclaim God’s truth through the teaching and preaching ministry. Your pastor has given himself to this primary task of ministry, and he desperately needs your prayers. All the preparation during the week culminates in the few precious minutes of proclaiming Bible truth.
  2. Pray for God’s people to make The Lord’s Day a priority and to attend the services of the church. No believer should neglect to attend the assembly of the saints together on The Lord’s Day. Therefore pray for every member, if they are physically able, to be in attendance. The average church member has no idea how encouraging it is for the pastor to see his flock in attendance. When someone skips out for foolish reasons, it is incredibly discouraging for the pastor.
  3. Pray for a readiness in every person who attends to receive the Word of God, to hear it, and to act upon it. We must have hearts willing to receive, ears that are willing to hear, and lives that are wiling to do what God’s Word demands of us.
  4. Pray for the regeneration of the lost, and for the rejuvenation of the saved. While the corporate gathering of the saints on The Lord’s Day is for the primary purpose of worship, we recognize that there may very well be lost people in attendance. Pray for God to work in their hearts for salvation, and for God’s people to grow in their own sanctification for the glory of God.
  5. Pray for God the Holy Spirit to bring deep conviction upon hearts. This is part of His ministry, and we can pray for Him to have freedom in being able to convict both the saved and the lost.
  6. Pray for God’s power to be evident through the preaching of God’s Word. Human eloquence, a charismatic personality, or trendy techniques will not produce the power of God in preaching. Pray for God’s Spirit to infuse God’s Word with God’s power as it comes from God’s man to yield God’s results in the lives of God’s people.
  7. Pray that the Word of God would run freely in hearts and be glorified. It is the Word of God that people need, as it will point people to Jesus Christ and the glorious gospel.
  8. Pray for the pastor to preach behind the authority of God, and not be concerned about being a comedian, or a celebrity. Every preacher is merely a mouthpiece for deity. We are public ambassadors, representing Jesus Christ. Pray for your pastor to recognize his position before God and before men.
  9. Pray for the musicians to communicate God’s truth faithfully and heartily, and draw attention to God rather than to themselves. Every musician must strive to not be the center of attention in how they look or in how they sing. Pray for humility and a sincerity in seeking to draw people to think great things of our great God.
  10. Pray for the church of Jesus Christ to see souls saved, baptized, and added to the church. This is the great commission. We ought to continue to pray for God to do what He alone can do. We must be faithful in proclaiming God’s truth, but He will save people from their sins.

I encourage God’s people to take these and even pray a couple of them each week, to help focus on the significance and importance of The Lord’s Day.