Daily Reflections (8-12-13)

–  I took some time this morning, as I was working on sermon prep for John 8:12-59, to look and see if Spurgeon had preached from this passage. He did preach a sermon on John 8:36 entitled “The Great Liberator.” His words on being enslaved by sin and the freedom experienced through Christ are amazing:

Our carnal desires and inclinations are domineering lords enough, as those know who follow out their commands. A man may say, “I feel not supernatural terrors; I know no superstitious horrors;” and then, folding his arms, he may boast that he is free; but he may all the while be a slave to his own evil heart. He may be grinding at the mill of avarice, rotting in the reeking dungeon of sensuality, dragged along by the chains of maddened anger, or borne down by the yoke of fashionable custom. He is the free man who is master of himself through the grace of God. He who serves his own passions is the slave of the worst of despots. Talk to me not of dark dungeons beneath the sea level; speak not to me of pits in which men have been immured and forgotten; tell me not of heavy chains, nor even of racks and the consuming fire: the slave of sin and Satan, sooner or later, knows greater horrors than these – his doom more terrible because eternal, and his slavery more hopeless because it is one into which he willingly commits himself.

It is no wonder people flocked to hear Spurgeon preach!

– Our church adopted a school (the closest one to us in terms of proximity) and tomorrow we will deliver school supplies that we have taken in over the past couple of weeks and provide breakfast for the teachers and staff. We are excited about this opportunity to serve our community and build bridges. This is what we have been called to and we want to heed that calling. Too often we focus on ourselves when we need to be focused on serving and loving others. I’m proud of our church for taking this step!

– Thom Ranier asked How Many Hours Must a Pastor Work to Satisfy the Congregation? The article and comments were insightful.  How many do you think? My favorite response: “People’s expectations are worth consideration, but at the end of the day it is more important that my time has been spent in submission to God than meeting the demands they have placed upon me.” I heartily agree. Ultimately, I serve an audience of one!

– Brian Croft has written a helpful post on conducting a funeral for someone you did not know. I have not yet had to do this but am sure I will at some point in the future. Sound advice!