Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Springfield Today August 21, 2018

August 21, 2018 by  
Filed under Blog

Good Moanin’ Springfieldians,                                                                                                                   August 21, 2018

I’m 62 years old and when my parents accepted the Lord I was probably about six or seven years old.  So for 55 years I’ve been attending church.  But what is so significant to me is what I remember about that little church I attended, well, really, what I remember about the people.

You see, the church we attended, before the new building was built, was just a little farmhouse that had been converted into a church building.  It didn’t have pews, but instead a local theater that was remodeling donated their old theater seats to our church.  I loved those old velvet seats that folded up when you stood.  Not only because they felt good to sit in, but almost every week one of the too large ladies got pinched by those old chairs, would squeak out in pain; and to an eight year old boy there was nothing funnier.  I loved going to church just to see who would get pinched each week.

But that which had the greatest impact on my spiritual life was not sermons. (We preacher don’t like to hear that.)

It was not the music. (Worship leaders don’t like to hear that.)

It was not Sunday School lessons that were taught. (Teachers don’t like to hear that.)

It was not missionaries that came and told of their adventures in far off lands. (Mission presidents don’t like to hear that.)

It was not evangelists’ fiery sermons they delivered. (Evangelists don’t like to hear that.)

Now all of those things had a significant part in my spiritual formation.  And I would not be the follower of Jesus Christ that I am today if I had not benefited from all of those things, but what had the greatest impact in my life was the preacher who loved me even though I fell asleep during his sermons; the Sunday School teacher who loved me even though I was a challenge to the most patient and saintly Sunday School teacher who ever stepped into a classroom; and all other the people who made up that part of the Body of Christ.

From Mrs. Davis who when called on to pray would always end by praying the Lord’s Prayer; to Mr. Sexton who strummed his guitar as he led us in singing Victory in Jesus; to the candy man who always gave us kids a piece of candy every Sunday; and on and on it goes of individuals who loved little Freddy Prince.

It was the life they lived, and the way they loved a little rascally boy named Freddy, and the testimonies I heard them give of God’s great grace and love, and the prayers I heard them pray, that had the greatest impact on my spiritual formation.

Now, if I had the opportunity to talk to any of those people (which I will one day in heaven), I don’t think any of them probably realized the impact they were having on a small child who went to the church they went to, or sat in the Sunday school class they taught.  They were friends with my parents, they probably didn’t think much about me – except I was Bob and Carol’s boy.

So, the love they showed me wasn’t fake, it wasn’t put on to impress anyone – that’s just who they were.  And even as a young boy I knew I wanted to be like them. I wanted to treat others the way they treated others and me.

Jesus’ words are etched deeply in my heart – not only because He said them, but because I saw His followers living it out every day.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men (and little 8 year old boys) will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)

            Have you ever thought about how your life, your responses to being treated unfairly, your compassion for the hurting, your love of a child really is impacting others (not just kids – but everyone you come in contact with) to Christ.

We have a tremendous responsibility to be a displaying the Lord’s splendor, love, and compassion. Let’s represent Him well today, tomorrow, and even in our rotten, no good days. It might make all the difference in the life of the person who is watching us.

 

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