Gridlock in the physical realm, such as we see within politics today, more often than not is deadlock. Nothing will change until a compromise is struck. And compromise, by its nature, inevitably leads to the further denigration of standards that, at one time, might have been called godly. Chaos, stress and disorder are the result. It is an understatement to say that we are living in such a physical culture today.
Gridlock in the spiritual realm – meaning within God’s Church – can occur as well and with very similar results. The solution, however, does not lie in compromise. It lies in the acceptance of truth, of which God is the sole author. That acceptance is possible only in a mind that God is actively working with. Lydia is a good example of this. “Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul” (Acts 16:14). God called Lydia – opened her mind – and with that mind open to God’s input, she responded to the truth spoken by the Apostle Paul.
The Bereans were very much the same. “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). They were eager to receive the truth according to God and then to prove it as well. Of course, once we prove something, it will convict us and become a part of who we are – our character. Gridlock wouldn’t have been a problem within God’s people in Berea (for very long) because their minds were open to God’s truth. Their attitude and their humility would strengthen them to accept the truth continually. Life for them in God’s Church would have been predictably steady, orderly and far less stressful as a result.
These two examples illustrate for us what it is that we can and should do both individually and collectively. No one could be open-minded to God’s truth in Lydia’s stead. It was something that she had to choose to do for herself, regardless of what anyone else around her did. She had to own the truth and let it guide her actions. Then, when many in a group develop that very same open-minded attitude toward the truth, as we saw with the Bereans, the entire group is set on a course of unity among themselves and usefulness to God, wherever His truth takes them.
The decision is ours to make and it is not necessarily easy, given the prevailing attitudes of our time. The Church in Laodicea lived in a time very similar to ours today. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). Christ, in effect, is standing at the door and knocking today. Whether we hear His voice and respond to the truth is totally up to us, first individually and ultimately, collectively.
All these thoughts will impact our lives, the unity within this fold of God’s flock and the value of the ministerial conference which is taking place this weekend.
Feast of Tabernacles
A second site for the Feast of Tabernacles 2018 has been secured. Granbury, Texas will once again be one of our destinations. It’s small town setting, just south of Fort Worth, will provide us with a great family atmosphere and give lots of opportunity for fellowship. We’ll soon have an announcement regarding room prices and when to begin making reservations at both Oxnard and Granbury hotels.
We are planning a Regional Pentecost Weekend in Dallas again this year. It will be at the DoubleTree, DFW Airport North. Room rates will be an excellent $85 with a $25 food service which includes snacks on the Sabbath and lunch on the Holy Day. Tax and service charge are included. Further details available soon.