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Pastor's corner: Misplaced sense of urgency

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POSTED: September 25, 2007 5:04 a.m.
Urgency — requiring immediate attention — I recently shared with our family at Bethesda Church that I believe there is a real need for a renewed sense of urgency in the body of Christ. During this past month, I have traveled nearly 5,000 miles. I have had numerous opportunities to observe, communicate with and worship with other Christians. I have talked with pastors and other Christian leaders about where the body of Christ at large is during this span of time.
All of them are saying virtually the same thing. The church in America has largely been focused “inward.” That is to say, many Christians are placing a great deal of importance on how they are ministered to, rather than what ministry is coming forth from them.
We are living in the busiest time the world has ever seen. I recently shared that television media has programmed the American TV watcher to a roughly six-second attention span by routinely changing the background picture, camera angles etc, in very short intervals. Children have become focused on high-speed technology. Bells and whistles are no longer enough. Today’s entertainment must be computerized, connected to a 60” monitor screen, have laser beams and superpowers, or at the very least, be able to inflict pain, or blow somebody up.
I know that my ranting may seem a bit redundant after my previous article; however, I am reiterating this to make a point. We live in a society that is high impact, and fast-paced. Today’s people require instant results. Anything less is not valuable in the eyes of most people.
What people do not realize is that society, through marketing, has produced a response to today’s consumer. You can get high-energy entertainment for minimal cost. Who cares about the plot as long as the graphics are cool?  In short, we have learned to often sacrifice quality for convenience. We forsake long-term results for short-term satisfaction. In the marketplace, companies are getting very wealthy at the expense of people who are consumed with a focus on their personal desires and wants. You’ll notice, I did not say “needs.” This word has become dangerous in today’s society. Many have come to believe that they “need” many things to succeed. We have come to believe that we “need” that diet cola or that bar of chocolate, that bigger, better television, car or house. Much of the “need” in our world is really and truly only “want.”
As this is true in carnal terms, it has also become the case in spiritual terms. Today, people “need” ministry. Their wish list for finding a fellowship to worship with has less to do with the kind of relationship with Christ that is being developed in their family and more to do with what sort of programs and events will keep me and my family entertained and interested in God?
I guess you could say there is a sense of urgency on some of today’s Christians. But, for many, the need for immediate attention is attention to their own desires, rather than God’s desires.
If you are to truly succeed and even find contentment in life, if you are to truly experience the Amazing Life, you will have to develop a sense of urgency about the things that God desires. You will have to come to the place where you put great importance on the building and development of His kingdom. Life will be less and less about you and more and more about Him and His people.
You MUST develop a sense of urgency about that purpose God has placed upon your life. You must recognize that our relationship with Him and our kingdom walk requires immediate attention. People are hurting, dying and headed for an eternity of darkness. This requires immediate attention. You must stir and renew our passion for your relationship with God not based on how entertaining He is but based on how much He loves you and how that love should be portrayed through you.
You must develop a sense of urgency about your walk with Him.

Byler is senior pastor of Bethesda Church.
 

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