Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | November 10, 2014

November 10, 2004 “A Poor Religion”

“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know… This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.”                     (1st Timothy 2: 1,3)

Good Morning My Friends!

“You’ve got to be kidding!” Those were the first memorable words that came out of my bride’s mouth a few years ago when I told her of a church in Las Vegas, Nevada (a.k.a “Sin City”) that was interested in me becoming their Interim Pastor. Few in this country are unfamiliar with the reputation of Vegas…a city that is definitive of worldliness in every sense of the word. But, indeed, it was to Las Vegas that I was called and to a wonderful congregation of believers called to share the Good News of the Gospel in that citadel of debauchery and excess. Now, when people ask me about the churches I have served, I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed a particular ministry more than the time I spent with the folks in Las Vegas. Rather than withdrawing from the challenges of sharing the Gospel in a city where “church” was defined by ubiquitous wedding chapels, and otherwise devoutly ignored, they embraced the opportunities afforded them to witness with unmatched enthusiasm.

While it is true that as Christians, our ultimate citizenship is in the Holy Nation of the redeemed, nonetheless, we live in this world, and while we dwell here, we are called to be totally engaged in reaching those not yet informed regarding the joys of knowing Christ as Lord, God, Savior, and King. I know of some believers who are of a mind that they should have nothing whatsoever to do with this world and its allures, avoiding temptation at every turn and more or less cloistering themselves from all but like-minded individuals. But John 3:16 poignantly reminds us that “God so loved the world”. John Newton, writer of the great Christian hymn “Amazing Grace”, once said,

“I endeavored to renounce society, that I might avoid temptation. But it was a poor religion; so far as it prevailed, only tended to make me gloomy, stupid, unsociable, and useless.”

Cloistering one’s self from society is a “poor religion” , rendering its adherents “gloomy, stupid, unsociable, and useless” instead of bearing the spiritual fruit of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;”. We need not be fearful of the world. We’re here for a reason. We’re here to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to a world seeking for meaning, purpose, and value in life. Let your light shine brightly and enthusiastically. Let’s pray!

King of Kings and Lord of Lords; prepare me to be a faithful ambassador of Your glorious Kingdom, ready to share my own salvation testimony with everyone. As I do, may I do so joyfully, enthusiastically, and expectantly, in Jesus’ Great Name. Amen!



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