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Back To Our Roots
Weekly devotional by Barbara Sanders

cross John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Programs, programs, and more programs; is that what church is about today?

I remember, when I was a youngster and into my teens, going to church and loving it! I didn't have to be coerced into going to win a prize, or some to join some program. First of all, my Mother made it plain that church was where I would be, when the doors were open; otherwise, I didn't do anything else. And, it never harmed me, and I enjoyed it! And, things haven't changed; people have. They think it takes more than 'the WORD' to get a child in church and keep him there. Well, the only other thing it takes besides the Word, is a parent who lets a child know who is the parent and who is the child. In other words, take your child to church; don't expect him or her to want to go, if you don't. When you participate and enjoy it, they see this and want to follow after you.

The following question came out in Grant's Heavenly Top Ten today. "Are the changes being made to please man, or encounter God?" This was from questions to consider before changing your church's worship style, but can be applied to anything we do within the church. Do we do these things to please man or to please and honor God? I think, most times, it's for self satisfaction. Oh, it's 'in the name of honoring God', but when did GOD need programs to make him happy? Does he not only ask for obedience to His Word? He doesn't run programs to 'pull people in'. He has disciples (us) who are supposed to do that, and I don't think it means we have to have dozens of programs within the church structure. I think Church can be appealing without having to be 'playful'. It always was with me. We had Sunday School, Worship service, Sunday night, Wednesday night prayer meeting. And, then there was a special night, Friday, set aside especially for the youth. The adults were always there, but the youth took center stage. They sang, learned the Bible, read the scriptures, did little skits, all by themselves, lead by an adult. It was always the greatest night at church for me and others. The house was always full. Children loved to participate, and enjoyed showing the adults what they had learned. Seems now, the only time a child is 'in church', is during the song service.

I think we need to get back to having the children sit in Sunday morning service, listening to the pastor, rather than going to Children's Church. They need to sit in on Sunday night and also on Wednesday night prayer meeting, where most churches teach the Bible that night. Nothing wrong with 'keeping the family together'. I think there is strength in family. When a family participates together, there is no question to what each member of a family believe. Children may be taught one thing by a parent, and another thing by a teacher. During the 'family nights', these things can always be brought out, and there's no guessing whether your child is being taught correctly. You know; he or she is with you, hearing the same thing that you hear. Don't you think we need to get 'back to our roots?'

Jeremiah 24:7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

Roots give the support system to a plant, provides the food for nourishment, and sometimes stores food. Jesus is our 'root system'. Through him, we become firmly established and settled. Without Him, we would be lost and dying.

I believe God wants us, not our programs. He wants our full attention, our full obedience, and our true worship. He doesn't need all the costly array, the million dollar churches, the Saturday night festivities; He needs us to follow after Him, to worship and praise him in truth and in spirit. We need to teach our children that it's a blessing to honor God, to follow after him, to want to please him. We need to teach them that God is the only way. It's not in the programs at church, or the places they go, but in their every day life, where they meet the Lord Jesus Christ. They don't have to fear man, or worry about what he thinks of them. But they should fear God, the one that gives them eternal life. The programs will come and go, the people will change, but God is a never-changing God and he wants a people that will serve him completely, those that will return to 'their roots'.

Heavenly Father, help us get back to our roots, the place we came to know you. Some seem to have 'outgrown' the need for roots, but without roots, we will perish. Help me cling to the Vine. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

Written ©September 9, 2000 by Barbara Sanders.
All Scriptures are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

©Copyright 2000-01 by Barbara Sanders. All rights reserved.
Not to be copied without permission.



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