YOUR PROSPERITY AND THE NEW YEAR

Blog: Max Dawson
January 5, 2017
By now, you may have heard it dozens of times. Friends, family and our brethren in Christ have wished us “Happy New Year.” Some have been more elaborate in their expression of that wish with “Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.”
As Americans–and as Christians–we have had lots of years like that, haven’t we? We are a prosperous people. And while we generally have the same health issues as the rest of our culture, we are a moderately happy people. (Yes, I know there are some soreheads among us, but overall, we have much to be happy about.) We are certainly a blessed people when it comes to our prosperity.
I am writing today about our prosperity as it relates to our commitment to God. Are you aware that church attendance is falling? That is true in all kinds of churches, even among ourselves. There are, of course, some exceptions. And, while church attendance isn’t the goal of the gospel itself, falling attendance is an indicator of some serious things that are happening in the lives of Christians.
It is my assessment that one of the factors contributing to declining attendance is our prosperity. Having lots of money gives people options. Lots of options. While it seems to be a habit of human nature to want to talk poor, we typically have more affluence than we care to admit. We are generally quite prosperous.
There are simply more people today with more money than there were 20 years ago. That explains why so many ordinary folks have designer kitchens and baths, drive luxury cares, and take several vacations a year–though these folks do not count themselves among the wealthy.
People with lots of money have lots of options. Technology options. Travel options. Options for their kids. And, it may be that their money is one of the things moving them away from a commitment to the local church. While it is certainly not wrong to have money and enjoy what it brings, it can lead to a decreased spirituality.
Jesus warned about that in the parable of the sower in .
“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.”
This person may not fall away, but his riches cause him to be unfruitful. He may be so consumed by his prosperity that worship takes a secondary place in his life.

THE FINAL WORD

So, what is the answer to the lack of spirituality and the failure to be devoted to worship? There may be a number of answers, but at the heart of it must be . Men must seek first (prioritize) the kingdom of God. I am convinced that we need to do more teaching that emphasizes this principle.
I am not convinced that we should just give in to cultural trends. We must fight back with the power of the gospel.
Now a question for you? If your preacher (and elders) fight back with the power of the gospel, on which side of that battle will you be in 2017?
Blessings to you, my faithful fighters,
Max

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