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

Looking for spiritual development in all the wrong places.

March 6, 2017

    The semi sad song "Lookin' for Love in All the Wrong Places" by Johnny Lee was popular in 1980. The premise of the song was that one could look in a million sordid places to find love and each empty space would leave the searcher feeling hollow and unfulfilled. The semi happy part of the song was that another person looking for lasting love crossed paths with the singer of the song. All lived happily ever after.

    Have you ever read the Bible from cover to cover? Have you ever invested in the spiritual discipline of studying the Bible in small group settings? Have you ever thought of how important it is to be a student of the Bible?  I met a man who once coined that phrase and shared it with me. His name was John and he had endured the death of not one but two wives. John was blind. John was also a lover of the Lord and a student of the Bible....even at the age of 98 years old!

    I never visited John that I didn't walk away marveling of his passion for Jesus Christ and his desire to tell others of his Savior. John would share scriptural hope with nurses, aids, and occasional doctors who would visit the nursing facility.  John's fervor was built upon a lifetime of reading, studying, and digging into the Holy Bible. This book is the 'one' place God has chosen to reveal all the nature of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we read, we study, and we hopefully dig into God's word in order to learn and understand the heart of our Creator. This is also a good reason to faithfully attend a Bible preaching and teaching church and to be involved in small group studies of this holy book.

In Ephesians, Paul commanded believers to put on the full armor of God which included "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Commonly called the Holy Bible). The early church was being inundated with heretical teaching and pagan practices were still being used. It is the best explanation why Paul wrote so many letters of admonishment to churches in Corinth, Rome, Galatia, Colossae, and others. He was reminding them to be attached to the original Gospel of Christ. He fought against false teachings and redirected the conversation back to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

    "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:13-17, NIV)

    Seeking spiritual and faith development in places like Hollywood and fictional material is probably going to leave us feeling a little empty and hollow.  Caution should be used when attaching deep theological emphasis on things like fictional books and movies based upon them. It would be no different than if I took my car to the dentist to have him/her do an overhaul. I would be disappointed and still need an overhaul.

    Attend a Bible preaching and teaching church. Invest in small group studies that allow questions to be posed and discovery to be realized. The Holy Spirit is given to us so that we might understand God's holy scriptures and find the One who loves us, created us, and redeemed us.

    "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12, NIV)

    We sometimes seek spiritual development in all the wrong places. God is seeking us too and when we cross paths with the Almighty it will most likely occur because of the Holy Spirit illuminating our soul with truth from the Bible.

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