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Summary: A reminder that we need to spend more time with God.

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There are many people in the world who claim the name of Christians.There are thousands maybe even millions of people who give their money, time, and their talents to help the church continue it’s ministry of spreading God’s Word to a secular world.

Some folks devote hour’s everyday to make sure that the programs, and committees of the church perform as efficiently as possible.

We have people right here in this congregation, who take very seriously their role as leaders in our church.

They go above and beyond in their effort to make sure that Trinity UMC continues to function as a place of spiritual nourishment in this community.

I thank my God for them!I thank God for their administrative skills and their willingness to give of their time and talent in such an unselfish manner.I thank God for their DEVOTION and their DEDICATION to the tasks to which they have applied themselves.

This type of loyalty and devotion deserves to be recognized and commended because it is important and necessary if we are to continue providing spiritual nourishment to each other and to those who come to worship with us.

But along with this recognition and commendation I also want to issue a warning!

The warning is:PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW WHAT WE DO FOR CHRIST BECOME MORE IMPORTANT THAN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST.

For those of you who were not listening, I’ll say it again.

Please do not allow what we do for Christ to become more important than our relationship with Christ.

You have heard me say on more than one occasion. It is very easy to get so caught up in serving Christ,

in doing all the things we think he wants us to be doing - doing all the things we think are necessary,

until we forget that we are working for Christ.

Pretty soon, as we become more focused on our tasks and all the things we have to do, we begin spending less time in PRAYER, MEDITATION, AND THE STUDY OF SCRIPTURE.

We begin spending less time in the things that we need to keep our personal relationship with Jesus Christ first and foremost.

When this happens,

When our service to God becomes more important than spending time with God – we lose the power of the Holy Spirit, which gives us our spiritual direction and is our spiritual guide.

Without the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us we only think we are pleasing God because we are acting within the boundaries of our own limited knowledge, power and strength. We start to replace his divine plan for our lives with our human plan.We start to do all the things we think he wants us to be doing.We start to do all the things we think are important and necessary but what happens is that we end up working to satisfy ourselves instead of God.

I remember at my last appointment I was working 7 days and long hours.There was so much to do and so many souls who needed to hear about Jesus. I got so busy until I began neglecting my devotion time.

It wasn’t long after that until my focus switched from saving souls to –how to get money to spruce up the building so it would attract more people.

I became more interested in getting our 19th Century organ restored than I was in meeting the needs of the many lost and disconnected souls who were occupying our building already.

When our time along with Christ is neglected our whole out look on life changes and as a result the Holy Spirit, which gives us our Spiritual direction and purpose for living, loses its power and we fall into a form of SPIRITUAL RELAPSE.

The things that are important to God don’t seem to be as important to us anymore.

The things that God cares about take a backseat to the things that the world tells us are important.

Our service to God must never be allowed to become more important than our relationship with God.

Without the quiet time spent in communion with God-

Without the prayer and meditation time with God-

Without the Love Exchange between us and God-

Our relationship suffers like any other relationship that is not nurtured and cared for.

(Illustration from my past)

Several years ago I had a friend who met a young woman and fell in love with her.After about a year of dating they decided to get married. When he met this young woman, he knew from seeing her around that she normally dated men who were in the money, men who were able to buy her the kind of expensive gifts that her taste called for.So from the very beginning of their relationship, he began buying her very nice and expensive gifts. He thought he had to do it to keep her.

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