Thu, Oct 18, 1:15 PM
Dear Central Members and Friends,
Sears is making headlines. The mail order catalog company that grew to become a thriving retail giant has now declared bankruptcy. The store that was once a strong, progressive American icon somehow lost its way and became irrelevant. As I read the attached Wall Street Journal article about the decline of the Sears Corporation, I recognized that similar circumstances can occur in our lives as believers when we lose our way. Sears became financially bankrupt, and we can become spiritually bankrupt if we lose our focus and buy into the death sentence of believing that we are doing enough, that we are alright as we are, and that others need to grow and develop instead of us. There is no place for complacency in the life of a Christian. We are either moving forward or backwards; therefore, we must be intentional about our spiritual growth.
In Science class we learned that living organisms are either thriving or dying; the same line of reasoning applies to us as Christians. We are either thriving or dying spiritually. Many things can help us identify where we stand, our behaviors, motives, successes and even our failures. Ultimately, our decisions and our attitude toward God reveal whether we are thriving or dying spiritually.
At one point in my life, I was dying spiritually. I didn’t recognize it because I was busy chasing everything that I thought would make me successful, but I am so grateful that God used people to minister to me and help me to realize that the abundant life I desired, the life God desired for me, could only be found in Jesus (John 10:10). Attending church and giving offerings was not enough. In order for me to experience my new life in Christ I had to make the conscious decision to make Christ the Lord of my life, deny my selfish desires and embrace a new way of living. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). I have since learned that when we are faithful and completely dedicated to God, success is inevitable (Joshua 1:8).
We want to experience all of God’s promises, but it is difficult for us to position ourselves to receive them because our natural inclination is to be the master of our own lives. That’s why we have to surrender our lives to the Lord and obey Him daily. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). As we follow Christ and make it our business to be about our Father’s business, we will thrive in every area of our lives.
Grace and Shalom!
Pastor Perry Stuckey
I thought you would be interested in the following story from The Wall Street Journal.
Sears, Once Retail Colossus, Enters Painful New Era
Download the Wall Street Journal app here: WSJ.