Last Friday my wife and I were sitting in the LAX airport waiting to get on a flight back from our California vacation. We had purchased standby tickets for the flight, which saved us a good amount of money. The only issue with standby tickets is that you always run the risk of not getting on a flight depending on how full that particular flight is. Our flight was a red-eye flight and so we had bought the tickets weeks prior thinking that there should be plenty of seats available because no one really likes flying through the night. However, we underestimated the amount of people who were on spring beak and were taking this flight.
As we sat waiting to be called up to get our tickets, I felt anxiety that we may not get on the flight. This would have lead to a long night of getting back through the craziness of LAX, trying to find a hotel room at midnight, and getting on a flight hopefully the next day. In other words, this option wouldn’t be ideal. We were praying that the Lord would help us to get on the flight. Finally, the ticketing agent called Mindee up and we got our tickets confirming that we would be on the plane headed home. This was a moment of rejoicing! After a long day of not knowing, we were excited to be able to head home. I thanked God for His provision and we boarded the plane.
Once we got on the plane I noticed that the luggage space above my seat was full and I would have to move back a couple rows to find space for my carry on. Dissatisfied, I found an open space a few rows back and put my luggage there. I then found my seat, which at first I thought was great and then minutes later I began to feel a little claustrophobic and uncomfortable. It also didn’t help that the person behind me kept pushing on my seat. I started to grumble to myself about it. After we took off, I started to get really thirsty. Frustrated, I thought to myself, “Where is the beverage cart?” It was at this moment that I realized how discontent I was being. I had gone from not knowing if I would be on the flight to all this feeling of entitlement in just an hour. I was just saved from not having to go through everything I would have had to go through had we not been allowed on the flight to grumbling and wondering about when I would get my ginger-ale. I felt the Spirit convict me and I repented immediately. I had so quickly forgotten how joyful I felt just to be on the flight.
I think this relates to many of us as Christians. Maybe you have been a Christian for many years or maybe you are newer to the faith. Either way, we need to guard ourselves against feelings of entitlement and boredom. After walking with Jesus for awhile, I have seen some Christians start to feel entitled as if God should be doing more for them. They look for other avenues of how God can serve them and bless them. When their prayers are not answered the way they want, they grumble. Maybe this is you right now.
I have also witnessed Christians become bored with Jesus as if he is just another thing in their busy lives. The gospel becomes less and less glorious to them as time goes on. Some of you may be feeling that way right now. It’s in these times that we need to remind ourselves, or have others help to remind us, of the beauty that is the good news of Jesus. We need to be reminded of back when we first believed in this glorious truth and held it so dear and precious to ourselves. We need to be reminded of how thankful we were just to hear this good news. Think back to when that was for you? I’m sure you were rejoicing, because when the Holy Spirit illuminates the glory of the death and resurrection of Jesus for you, there is no other response.
I pray that we would not feel entitled as if God owes us something more. Family, we already obtain infinitely more than we ever deserved from God. I pray that we would not get bored with the gospel. Would we not sigh and say “I know this already” when we hear it preached or taught. Rather, I pray we would revel in the fact that God chose us to be His children and that we are saved from our sin.
Brothers and sisters, entitlement and boredom can be a deadly foe to our spiritual growth. Would we not fall into these. Rather by God’s help, would we be like a guy who rejoices in the simple fact that he doesn’t have to be left where he is, but gets to be included on the flight that’s headed home.
Just a brief reminder that a great way to prepare for the service this coming Sunday is to read the text we will be studying together.
One of the dangers of reading the stories of those followers of Jesus that we find in the Bible is we can treat them as if they are almost super-human.
Preparing For Sunday May 12, 1 & 2 Thessalonians
This last Sunday, I preached the first of two sermons on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians. Here was the sentence I began unpacking, which is my summary of both letters:
Martin Luther warned that the people of the church are always in danger of their hearts straying from the truth of the good news of the kingdom of God found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
First, it is Palm Sunday. Which means it is the beginning of a week of remembering the most important events in the history of the world: the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, his last meal with his disciples, his death at the hands of sinful men as the result of a sham sentence in a kangaroo court, his burial by those who loved him, and his resurrection from the dead just three days later. All of it for the salvation and rescue of the world.
The Whole Story: Ephesians-Week Two
I attempted to show in the sermon this past Sunday that Paul offers us two anchor points for our lives, and upon which our lives depend.
Preparing For Sunday 19 May 2019
What do you think of when you see these two words together?...