Stromsburg, Polk, Benedict United Methodist Churches
405 E. 5th Street, P.O. Box 427, Stromsburg, NE 68666-0427    |    402.764.4491
Stromsburg, Polk, Benedict United Methodist Churches
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Pastor's Message

Rev. Daniel E. Spearow
"Thoughts of a Prairie Preacher"
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Today, he's a respected Christian professional in the community. However, legend has it that he had a strong streak of mischief in him when he was a boy, and maybe even now. One day when he was four, the pastor came up to him at a football game and sat down next to him. The pastor said, "Well, Mark, what have you been doing with yourself lately?" To which Mark replied with a smile, "Would you believe praying?" To which his pastor replied, "No Mark, I wouldn't believe it." Smart pastor.

It doesn't take long to learn the right church answers, does it? We know what to say. A four-year-old boy can do it! Many of us have been around a lot longer than that and we know the words to say. The danger is you can really fool yourself spiritually. Just because you know all the right words, you go to all the right meetings, and you do all the right things, you may just be fooling yourself. Tragically, a full Christian vocabulary can mask a dangerously empty heart.

Jesus actually talks about that in Mark 7:6. He said of some deeply religious people, "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." You can be sure that getting your eternal reward in heaven will be based on what is in your heart, not on your lips. Remember, "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at," the Bible says. "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7)

God has been judging our hearts from the Garden of Eden to today. He will be judging our hearts until Jesus comes again. We can have all the right words at the right times, but it means nothing if our words don't match our hearts. That was the problem with the priests, the Pharisees, and the other religious leaders in Jesus' day. They set their hearts on earthly things, even when their words spoke of heavenly things.

The same is taking place today. We focus on what we want at all costs. Is it what God wants? We speak as if we are knowledgeable of spiritual matters. Are we, really? Guard what is in your hearts and on your lips, so that you do not do as the hypocrites do. Let God be the judge. Do as Jesus would do.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Dan
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