At the most recent ¡§Family Matters¡¨ sharing session of the church, we conducted a survey of our ¡§Spirituality Profile¡¨. The report has been completed and was presented to the Elders and Deacons Council last Sunday for discussion. The writer will now briefly outline the results of this audit of the church¡¦s spirituality and share with you a few points.
We received back 123 questionnaires for this survey. Discarding those that had incomplete responses, we analyzed 113 questionnaires. The results indicate that, of 14 ¡§unacceptable habits¡¨ of a Christian life, the highest mark achieved under the self-scoring system (done all this week) was for ¡§I have gotten rid of the unacceptable habit of following the clothing style of today¡¦s culture¡¨, at 83%. Next in line was ¡§I have gotten rid of the unacceptable habit of not maintaining peace among the brothers and sisters¡¨ at 59%. As for ¡§I have gotten rid of the unacceptable habit of poor daily devotion¡¨, those who were able to do so all week were only at 15% of the total. 22% forgot to do it 1 or 2 times a week, 26% did so about half the time each week, and those who occasionally did so when they thought about it to those who completely overlooked it came to 38%. Also, as to ¡§I have gotten rid of the unacceptable habit of not sharing the Gospel¡¨, those who were able to do so all week only came to 23%. Those who did it occasionally when the thought arose to those who completely overlooked it totaled 51%.
These results reveal that everyone is full of confidence when it comes to distinguishing clothes that follow today¡¦s culture or establishing peaceful relations, and considers himself capable. Yet, in daily devotional life (including bible-reading and prayer), we are quite lacking. Those members able to consistently get close to God and enjoy fellowship with Him every day are few. The questionnaire did not investigate the amount of time we spend on devotion or our factor of satisfaction. A deeper probe might have exposed a worse situation. As well, most members do not consider spreading the Gospel and testifying for the Lord important. It is a sad joke that there is no Gospel at the Peace Evangelical Church! For some members, there may not be opportunity every week to share the Gospel with someone. Yet we must not neglect testifying for the Lord, for that is His command.
The writer believes that everyone is aware of the importance of personal fellowship with God every day, and knows the horror of countless lost souls striding towards destruction. Yet we still neglect this training and testimony that is a part of spiritual life. Dear brothers and sisters! We must really ponder and confess our sins before God!
In the past, the Israelites got up early each morning to gather manna, the food from Heaven for a period of 40 years. In Deuteronomy, Moses spoke of manna in this way, ¡§Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.¡¨ (Deuteronomy 8:2-3) We see then that the gathering of manna each morning was not just a question of satisfying the hunger of the flesh, but was a test by God to determine if man would submit to His word, just as God instructed Adam and Eve on what to eat. Dear brothers and sisters! It appears that we have failed God¡¦s test! The faithful pursuit of our daily devotion so as to be close to God is the instance that our spiritual lives gain nourishment and receive blessings. It is also sweet enjoyment just like a rendezvous with a lover. If we overlook our devotional life, does that mean that we have lost our love for the Lord? As well, our neglect to share the Gospel shows that we do not put enough emphasis on the needs of others¡¦ souls. We really should repent to God and ask for His mercy, and rise up again to set new goals for ourselves each week in testimony for the Lord. Do not continue to abide by these ¡§unacceptable spiritual hang-ups¡¨, otherwise there will come a day when God sees us as an ¡§unacceptable church¡¨.
May God help us through the Holy Spirit, and use the phrase ¡§Yearn for the Holy One and Taste Heavenly Blessings within the Tent; Testify for the Truth and Manifest the Lord¡¦s Light outside of the Camp¡¨ to remind us to seek advancement every day and grow in spiritual life.
By: Daniel To