Independence Baptist Church
P. O. Box 70 124 South Main Foristell, Missouri 63348 636-673-2180 June 2000
By Wayne Reynolds, Pastor
A 12-year-old boy refuses to clean his room, or do his homework. His grades have plummeted, but he doesn't seem to care. His mother is increasingly suspicious of his friends because his attitude has changed. She thinks he has been smoking, but sometimes the smoke has a strange sweet smell. There are also the smut magazines she found under his mattress last month. She has tried to talk to him about all this, but he just stomps out of the room, angrily accusing her of trying to run his life. Finally, in desperation, she angrily bellows at her rebellious son, "Iím tired of you not respecting me and your father! Iím tired of you expecting us to give you everything you ask for! Iím tired of you not minding us, and Iím tired of you acting like your father and I are dumber than rocks, giving us your stupid looks of pity! If you don't straighten up, I'm going to send you to Sunday school and church, so you can learn some Christian values."
The time is 1:17 AM, very early on a Sunday morning. A 14-year-old girl has just come home from attending a rock concert. Her purple, green, and white hair sticks straight out from her head, her smeared make up has been applied with a "4 inch brush," and her outer clothes look suspiciously like underwear. As she opens the front door of her home, a car burns rubber as it speeds away, the radio blaring the latest hard rock song. She discovers her dad, in disheveled pajamas and housecoat, eyes red from lack of sleep, waiting up for her. He angrily screams, "What am I going to do with you? You have disobeyed and disappointed your mother and me, and you don't even care! Just look at yourself! What are you thinking anyway? You just wait, young lady. Today, you are going to church, and that is that! I don't care what you think about it, you're going! You've got to learn some Christian values!"
There is a young couple who was raised in church, but lately havenít been attending. They know they ought to be reading their Bible and teaching their young pre-school and school age children to love God. They agree that their lives are not what they ought to be, and fully intend to "get right with God" one of these days. They want their children to grow into fine Christian adults they can be proud of. Parents donít want their children to "sow their wild oats," because they know there is a better way. But these young parents aren't living the life they know they ought to be living. Days turn into weeks, and weeks into months, months turn into years and years into a lifetime. They keep putting off obeying the commands they know God has given them. These busy parents think they don't have time. Can you hear them say, "It takes so much money just to pay the bills that come with unrelenting frequency"? Time passes and those precious little children grow up, never understanding the values their parents want them to understand. Those priceless little children grow up, but God is not in their home, their hearts, or their lives. As those sweet, innocent children grow up, they leave their innocence behind. They "sow their wild oats," not because they come from a bad family, or because they are extra bad kids. They are not taught there is a better way. It is not that their parents don't love them. It is not that their parents didn't intend to teach them about God and His great love for sinners. These parents fully intended to tell their children how God saves sinners, and how serving Him is "the good life." They simply put off serving God until tomorrow. And tomorrow never arrived. They didnít intend to not serve God, but they continually put that part of their lives on the "back burner," until their children are grown, or their lives are almost over.
These three stories are sad, but very true to life stories. I sincerely believe people want to live "the good life," a life of peace, joy and happiness. How "the good life" is achieved is where the problem is.
I believe married people really want to remain married. Isnít there something grand about couples that have been married 50 years and still love each other? I think most people want to lead good lives; lives filled with good times, good relationships, and good feelings towards others.
But look around; perhaps even at your own life, and the life of the members of your own family. Is your life turning out the way you wanted, or is your life in disarray? Are you floundering around, looking for the "good life" and unable to discover exactly what the "good life" is? What happened to all the good intentions to live a life completely filled and running over with Christian values?
A good life, filled with Christian values begins with salvation. After salvation, "the good life" continues in a life of service to God. You will never find the good life while searching for it. You will only find the good life when you quit searching for it, and begin serving God. Youíve probably heard the story about the person who was trying to catch the butterfly called happiness. He chased it all over the open field, and could never catch it. He finally quit chasing the butterfly, sat down and was still. The butterfly called happiness came and landed on his finger.
If you really want to live the good life, there is a way. And the way is not on the gambling boats. The way is not at bars, or dance halls. You must spend some time with Christ. Psalms 46:10 states, "Be still, and know that I am GodÖ" Being still involves stopping so much worldly activity, turning off the radio, the T. V., putting aside secular reading material, and begin reading the Bible, Godís precious Word. Being still involves time set aside every day for prayer and Bible study. One of the best books on Christian values is the book of Proverbs. Spend some time meditating on the values taught in this book, and you will be surprised at how much it will help you in your day to day living.
When you take time to be still before an Almighty and all-powerful God, you will find the peace and happiness you are looking for. And you will have the truth to teach your children. When you understand Christian values, you will be able to teach your children what real Christian values are. You will have the joy of seeing them saved, then applying Christian principles to their lives, and becoming content with the things of God.
Christian values can be taught in Sunday School and in one of the Lord's local churches, but that doesn't mean they are learned. Christian people can live a Christian life, and be a true example to others, but they can't give those Christian values to another. Christian values can only be received from Christ. Every individual must personally receive these values through Jesus Christ as their own personal Saviour. Then a diligent study of the Word of God will reveal the day-to-day things that are needed to be a real Christian.
When should we begin cultivating Christian values? Today. Remember, days turn into weeks, weeks into months, months into years and years into a lifetime. And then it's too late. Don't let this happen to you.
Independence Baptist Church is a special church. If you would like to visit a church where the members are dedicated to serving and loving God, obeying His commandments, and serving Him, you are invited to Independence Baptist church. Many members of Independence Baptist Church have had traumatic events in their lives, but by the grace of God, they overcame those traumatic events, even using the events as springboards for gaining faith, hope and love. We are not a perfect people, but we are a people dedicated to Godís service.