Sunday September 29, 2013 “Woe to you when all speak well of you”

Jesus said, “Woe to the man of whom everyone speaks well of.”  While this is true there is also the danger of people speaking well of you when they stand on the other side of an issue in life. Such is the case of the Pope’s recent comments concerning “the intimate sharing” of personal faith. He spoke of an adjustment of attitude and that Pastors must warm the heart of the people.
   While there is some truth in all of that, when progressive and gay rights groups move quickly to praise what the Pope said, saying that he affirmed their emphasis on poverty and tending to the marginalized (which are good things) instead of focusing on “hot button” issues like gay marriage and contraception, it gives me a great concern about the future.  To add to my concerns, James Salt, director of Catholics United said “I’m giddy about what the Pope said.”  A statement was also made, “Pope to Right-Wingers:  I’m not one of you” .
   Whether the Pope was misunderstood or if the Catholic Church is moderating on what some call social issues but they are really Biblical- moral issues is yet to be seen, whatever the case may be, the Papal words that Pastors must warm the hearts of the people must be tempered with what my mother told me many times,” I’ll warm the seat of your pants if you do that again.”  We live in an age where there seems to be a lack of a moral conscience.  We need a little “seat warming” as a warning from God and instructions on what is right and what is wrong in our so-called “modern world.”
  In light of this, let us agree this evening at least 15 minutes from 6-9 pm wherever you might be in America. Prayers of agreement are powerful. Jesus said that the Father in heaven hears those prayers and it shall be done by the Father. So, here goes:
   Focus #1  Pray that Christian leaders like the Pope be in tune with the will of God for this generation and boldly proclaim truth concerning issues we face in our day.  There are multiplied millions who listen to tele-evangelists every day.  Pray that they choose to confront the issues of the day and not just say things that make everyone smile.  Remember, “Woe to you when every man speaks well of you.”
  Focus #2  Pray that there be an understanding in America of the words, “Faith without works is dead”, as James puts it.  Believers are to be the salt of the earth.  Salt delays corruption – our lifestyle and words must preserve what is left of Godly influence in America.  Pray that there be that connection between faith in Jesus Christ and our stand for what is right and good.
  Focus #3  Pray that the older generation speak into the lives of the younger generations the truth about living out your faith in a world that becomes more hostile toward God and His word every  day.  “The gates of Hell shall not prevail against the church.” This is only true when we who are the people will stand immovable and unshakeable in this ever changing world.

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