SPIRITUAL BURNOUT

Paul in his epistle to the churches of Galatia wrote: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9) There are two things to note from the passage:

First, there is the recognition of the possibility of experiencing what we might call spiritual burnout. This is not the same as becoming physically tired, but rather being tired on the inside. After years of visiting the sick, helping the needy, teaching Bible classes, evangelistic efforts, etc, we might just be ready to stop. But the passage urges us to “not be weary in well doing.”

Second, the passage gives this powerful motivation for continuing to work in the kingdom: “For in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” In another place Paul writes: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

There will always be the sick and shut-ins to visit. There will always be the poor and downtrodden in need of our help. Jesus said, “Ye have the poor always with you.” (Matthew 26:11) And there will always be lost souls in need of salvation. Let’s never lose our zeal for the Lord’s work.

Claude

Making A Statement

Several years ago when I was preaching in Pennsylvania, a man visited our services. Later as I visited with him, he told me that one reason he came to our services was because every Sunday when he drove by our building the parking lot was full. Every car in that parking lot helped make a statement to that stranger. Later I baptized him for the remission of sins.

I once saw this story in Pulpit Helps: A little old man was seen every Sunday morning walking to church. He was deaf – he could not hear a word of the sermon or the hymns sung by the congregation. When a scoffer asked, “Why do you spend your Sundays in that church when you can’t hear a word?” He replied, “I want my neighbors to know which side I’m on!”

We do make a statement by our attendance to worship. If your friends and neighbors see you going to worship God every Sunday, they will know where you stand. Furthermore, if they see you going on Sunday and Wednesday evenings, they will know that you take your religion seriously.

Claude

The Limitations of Science

The word science means knowledge and can be used to refer to any and all kinds of knowledge. However, when we speak of science we usually are talking about the natural sciences – biology, chemistry, etc. This is how I use the word “science” in this article.

We all have or at least should have a great appreciation for science. It certainly has improved human life. When we take a nostalgic look back and speak of the good old days, we are not thinking about living without all the wonderful advancements of modern science. Science has made life easier, safer, and longer.

Science does, however, have its limitations. Science deals only with the natural world. In the very nature of the case it cannot deal with the supernatural. It’s absurd to think otherwise. Science deals with the natural – not the supernatural. The supernatural is another whole realm of realty. Is there a God? Science cannot answer – angels, devils, miracles? Science has no answer.

Science is only one limited field of knowledge. God has blessed man with a great intellectual capacity. An intellectual capacity that not only is capable of the scientific advancements we have witnessed in the modern world but is not limited to that field of knowledge. There are other whole realms of truth that man is able to understand and know.

It is when science steps outside its field of expertise that it gets into trouble – for example creation. Webster defines creation: “The act of creating; esp: the act of bringing the world into being from nothing.” Natural Science cannot speak to the problem of something from nothing – it is totally outside the natural realm. Furthermore, there is no need to ask a scientist about such things as: God or angels or devils or miracles or heaven or hell – these are all outside his field of expertise.

Claude

Man & Beast

On the sixth day of creation and after making cattle, creeping things and beasts of the field, God said, “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26) Thus man stands apart from the animal creation in that he is made in the image of God. There are a number of unique characteristics of mankind which lifts him high above the beast of the field.

First, man has a moral sense or as it is sometimes expressed, he has a sense of ought. We understand that certain things are right and other things are wrong. People may have some differences as to what is right or wrong but all men have built within them a moral sense. Furthermore, if we violate that moral sense, our conscience hurts. Not so the animal creation. Animals do not cry over their sins.

Second, man has the ability to know things he has not actually seen or experienced. He can know things based on the testimony of others. Furthermore, he has the ability to evaluate evidence and determine what to believe and what not to believe. For example, our knowledge of history, our courts of law, etc. is based on this ability. The animal world does not know in this way. The Bible word for this kind of knowing is faith.

Third, mankind has the ability to pass on knowledge from one generation to another thereby making human progress possible. Much of what we now have and enjoy in the modern world is ours because it has been passed down to us. Every generation does not have to reinvent the wheel. The animal creation does not progress in this way.

God made man high above the animal creation.

Claude