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Summary: Churches need to stop trying to be "trendy" and get back to the Main Thing God put the church here to do.

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BACK TO THE BASICS

by Todd W. White, Pastor of South Heights Baptist Church, Sapulpa, Oklahoma.

"Back to the Basics!" is the cry so often heard in the world today. Whether it be in reference to school curricula, family values, or business practices, there is definitely a move in some circles away from the liberal, nauseating practices of recent history back to a more civilized BASIC way of doing things.

In the church, it is no different. We need to get "Back to the Basics" in so many areas. Far too long Christians have been satisfied with the simplicity and stagnation that arises out of a complacent following of programs that died long ago (but no one has the intestinal fortitude to bury).

There is more to being a church than having people attend church services. There is more to being a church than blindly following a program because "that’s the way we’ve always done it." There is more to being a church than giving money. There is more to being a church than placing a sign out on the street and saying, "Ya’ll come!"

Sadly, most churches and church members plod along week after week, year after year, stuck in the deepest of ruts, all the time wondering, "Why don’t people want what we have?" and "Why doesn’t God send us new members?"

The answer is simple: WE are the reason why the people around us don’t want what we have! Christ and the church have made such little difference in our lives that those around us don’t SEE any point in trying it out!

If we, by our DAILY LIVES, would allow the light of Christ to shine to others (Matt. 5:16), people would beat the doors of the church down trying to get what we have!

"Well, how do we DO we let our light shine?"

So glad you asked.

HOW TO LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE TO THOSE AROUND YOU

1. MAKE CERTAIN YOU ARE REALLY SAVED. There are countless millions on the church rolls in this country who are PROFESSING but not POSSESSING CHRISTIANS. They have walked an aisle, prayed a prayer, gotten wet, and "presto-chango," they were

proclaimed, "A Christian."

Many of these folks try the Christian "bit" for a while, but soon drop out because it is "too narrow" or "too hard" or "cramps" their lifestyle. However, if you ask them if they are going to go to Heaven when they die, they will answer emphatically, "YES!"

Not so. James, the brother of our Lord, said that though we are not saved by faith PLUS works, we ARE saved by a faith THAT WORKS (James 2:14-26). Friend, if you have a faith that does not cause you to work for Jesus Christ, you have a dead faith, and a dead faith can’t save anybody - YOU’RE LOST!

2. HAVE A SCHEDULED TIME EVERY DAY WHEN YOU READ YOUR BIBLE AND PRAY. There are so few today who have the inner strength to discipline themselves to read the Word of God and pray on a consistent, DAILY basis. This lack of intake of the Scriptures and prayer life is the basis for the personal failure of most believers to live a victorious Christian life, as well as for their familiy’s and church’s failure to be what they

ought to be. Somebody said -


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