A Weekly Meditation of Pastor Chang
<Another Reflection after Thanksgiving Day> (2)
Praise the Lord! We have celebrated another Thanksgiving Day again. I can tell that many of us have a lot of good things to celebrate and be thankful. I have one particular issue to be thankful – I got a serious cold. And my thankfulness is it happened right after last Sunday night, after I finished all the services and arrived at home; then, it happened, so that, I could spend two days on Monday and Tuesday to rest physically and to fight against the virus. Wednesday afternoon I felt much better and gained some strength to lead both Thanksgiving services on Wednesday and Thursday nights. I am grateful.
I would really like to be involved in all kinds of worship services at anytime and any place – I don’t mind either it is just my own personal worship or worship with a few brothers and sisters, or even join hundreds or thousands of saints in worship; they are all wonderful and beautiful. As we know that all of the earthly matters will be faded away when we enter into the heaven except only a few matters will remain, and one of them is to worship. The worship will not be faded, instead, it will become more glorious, splendorous and glamour. The reasons are: It is not only uncountable saints will be in worship; the angles will lead us in worship; more spectacularly is that we all can face to face to see and behold our loving Father God, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the dear Holy Spirit. Such a kind of direct contact and face to face worship are so wonderful and far beyond any imagination.
Therefore, on this earth, today, if any Christian is not interested in worship, I can tell, this person is sick in spirit. In another word, any Christian who is under a normal condition, no any oppression or persecution, but still feels no intention or motivation to worship, or to pray, one can see, this person’s spirituality is ill. If any Christian who never attends any forms of worshipping God more than three months, he is a spiritually dead Christian.
In one of his psalms, King David says very accurately:
“Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
For in death there is no remembrance of you;
In Sheol who will give you praise?” (Ps. 6: 4, 5)
Apparently, it seems a strong petition to God, David makes “an argument” with God, that no matter what, God needs to forgive and deliver him from the pit of death; it is all because of God’s faithfulness and steadfast love. However, if we read carefully, it is more than just stating a fact that we need God’s grace. It describes well two other major facts: the dead will never remember God, and in Sheol – a terrible place that all dead spirits stay there; and there no one will give thanks and praise to God.
If these are true, one can image, anyone, includes both Christians and non-Christians, who loses interest in God, and never thinks of God, that person’s spirituality is dead already. And those who are in Sheol, the remains in their hearts are only complaints, bitterness, curses, hatred, and anger, of course, there is no thanksgiving or praise at all. If we do not worship, we will have broken relationship with God; if we never praise God or give thanks to God, we could live in a mansion but there already could be a hell inside. The beginning of the difference between the heaven and hell is: where do people remember, praise and worship God or not?
To have a broken relationship with God is terrible. King David knows that. Therefore, no matter what, after sinning against God, he just eagerly seeks for God’s mercy. Especially he just exhausts his strength and all kinds of words in order to please God. He recognizes his weakness and sin; he repents, and asks for deliverance and salvation. It is only the wise who will do so, because he knows God is merciful.
While we are still in the month of thanksgiving, let us encourage one another. Our church has prepared many opportunities for people to attend worships, prayer meetings, even the early morning prayers. The only purpose is to provide opportunities for us to be closer to our Lord everyday. When we have right and closed relationship with Christ, we will not only be blessed, we will gain strength to reach out to others in the community to serve as Christ does. Dear Brothers and sisters: Listen to me, allow me to urge you to worship our Lord Jesus Christ more and be thankful always!
*< “Witnesses of Life after Death” will be postponed to next Sunday again>*