Good morning to all. Please be reminded that our 15 minute devotional is at 9:00 a.m. this morning. Dial 1-605-562-8401. Your access code is 670-7270.
Secondly, Bible Study at 7:00 p.m. tonight. Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/ 82142036760?pwd= OFREanY4anU3K0R6dTVYMzhtNVZjdz 09
Though God calls His people to a lifetime commitment to Him, sin so easily distracts us from our goal. But even as we are pulled away from Him by the lures of Satan, God calls us to return to Him and love Him with an undivided heart.” Pamela McQuade
I can assure you that the pandemic has done grave spiritual harm and damage to a many Christians over the course of the last twenty-one months. The coronavirus has provided time and opportunities for Christians to backslide or go back. Backsliding is a word Christianity uses to describe an individual who has become a Christian, but reverts back to some of his/her old ways or habits. This regression may cause him/her to fall back into sin. Simply stated, backslide means moving away from Christ rather than getting closer to Him. If you are finding yourself spiritually regressing rather than progressing, then you are probably moving towards backsliding. If you still did not get the true meaning of backsliding, think about a person who has been truly committed to Christ, on fire for the Lord, conducted himself/herself in a moral and ethical manner, but reverts back to some of his/her old sinful ways. Ask yourself this morning these questions: (1) Am I as interested today in worship or the Word of God as I was before the pandemic? (2) Have I lost fervor for the Lord? (3) Am I committed and engaged in the ministries of the church? (4) Have I fallen back into old habits and sinful ways? (5) Do I attend Bible Study, Prayer Service, Thursday Devotionals, Sunday Worship and Sunday School? (6) Do I read the When I Woke Up This Morning messages? (7) Do I spend time daily with God?. The answers to these questions may not mean that you have slipped into being a backslider, but it could mean that there is a manifestation taking place that could cause us to fall away from God. Be careful, we may be slipping into a state of backsliding.
One of the goals of Genesis Covenant Church during the pandemic has been to establish or create ministries and missions that would keep persons focused, committed and in love with God. One of the statements I heard mostly during the beginning of the pandemic was, “I feel lost because I am not in church.” May I remind everyone that we are the church, and the building is just a place for us to gather and fellowship with each other. Even in a time such as this, God has provided ways for us to still be in worship and relationship with Him.
This is not the time for us to fall away from God, rather fall closer to Him. The one thing the Christian cannot do in a time such as this is to become worldly and insincere. These are some strange times in which we witness strange behaviors, but now, I say again, is not the time for Christians to fall prey to Satan’s tactics.
In the book of Jeremiah 3:20-22, we find these words: “Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord. A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have corrupted their way, and they have forgotten the Lord their God. Return ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the Lord our God.”
Please know that this message is not to condemn and declare judgement on one who backslides. Too often the Church is ready to excommunicate or separate themselves from a backslider, rather than providing a space and time for restoration. I like the apostle Paul feel that we should deal with a backslider in this manner: “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). James 5:19 concurs with Paul: “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth…someone should bring that person back.” I believe it is the church’s responsibility to assist the backslider in getting back on the straight and narrow.
There are three things we can do to provide strength and encouragement during this very trying time: (1) Spend more time in the Word of God, (2) Pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and (3) continue to surround ourselves with people of strong faith.
“For everyone who definitely turns his back on Christ, there are hundreds who drift from Him. Life’s oceans are full of currents, any one of which will sweep us past the harbor-mouth even when we seem nearest to it, and carry us far out to sea.” F.B. Meyer
My brothers and sisters, may we stay anchored in our faith and rebuke Satan’s attempts to take us backwards.
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor