First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Taking out the Trash

August 21, 2016

I am the person who received a gift certificate for a 30 minute massage and never used it. It isn't that I would not have received health benefits from the massage, I just never took the time to follow through. A legitimate offer passed. My bad. Well, there are always second chances and I was so stoked the other day when I went to empty my spam folder on the email server. I was being offered another massage (sic). NOTE: The red stripe across this email is important.

Granted, I have never met Sister Lilian Abba, but she surely knows me. Well, probably not.

The sincere nature of her email and the way in which she presented her generous offer does bring a smile to my face. Not a smile of 'warm fuzzy feelings' but a smile of 'you have got to be kidding me'.

When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

    Most times when you receive an email that is full of misspelled words or sentences that don't sound well constructed, you should be wary. Sister Lilian's "massage" was surely meant to read 'message' but oh well, you can't get everything correct in a scam. Sometimes the effort to look legit and sound sincere gets lost in the pursuit of something less than wholesome.

    I'm sure the secular world must feel the same way at times when they observe a professing Christian 

either say or do something that doesn't quite track with their devout faith. If we represent the Savior of humanity, then our lives need to emit the light and grace of God.  Bad things occur when the light inside of us isn't light but rather it is darkness. This is a mess that doesn't portray Christ and it confuses the world.

        "Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But

        when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not

        darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted,

        as when the light of a lamp shines on you.” (Luke 11:34-36, NIV)

The next time somebody offers you a 'massage', pause to consider the offer. Does it come from a trusted friend or somebody named Sister Lilian? Is the offer designed to glorify God or take advantage of another human? Be wise and be careful, but above all things, be the light of God based upon His word and His wisdom.  

        "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him,

        strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one  

        takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition

        and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity

        lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and

        authority." (Colossians 2:6-10, NIV)

Followers of Jesus will invest their time and energy into knowing Him and making him known to a broader audience. Followers of Jesus will trust in His work and will not be duped by the next amazing thing to come along. Stand firm in your faith or you'll fall for anything, even massages from strangers.

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