While the Pastor’s Away (Part 1)

This week I am in Minneapolis for the Desiring God Pastor’s Conference.  I have limited internet access and limited time to write, so I’ve scheduled the next three days posts in advance. I thought in my absence you might benefit from a couple of devotions from Charles Spurgeon.

The Door

“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9 KJV)

Jesus, the great I AM, is the entrance into the true church and the way access to God Himself.  He gives to the man who comes to God by Him four choice privileges.

  1. He shall be saved.  Entrance through Jesus into peace is the guarantee of entrance by the same door into heaven.  Jesus is the only door, an open door, a wide door, a safe door; and blessed is he who rests all his hope of admission to glory upon the crucified Redeemer.
  2. He shall go in.  He shall go in among the divine family, participating in all their honors and enjoyments.  He shall go in to the chambers of communion, to the banquets of love, to the treasures of the covenant, to the storehouses of the promises. He shall go in unto the King of kings in the power of the Holy Spirit.
  3. He shall go out.  We go out into the world to labor and suffer, but what a mercy to go in the name and power fo Jesus!  We are called to bear witness to the truth, to cheer the disconsolate, to warn the careless, to win souls, and to glorify God.
  4. He shall find pasture.  He who knows Jesus shall never want.  Having made Jesus his all, he shall find all in Jesus.  His soul shall be as a watered garden and as a well of water whose waters fail not.
About Spurgeon: Charles Spurgeon (June 19, 1834 – January 31, 1892), is considered the most widely read preacher in history, excluding those of the Bible.  He preached his first sermon at the age of sixteen, and by age twenty had delivered over six hundred sermons.  Throughout his lifetime, he preached to over ten million people.
This godly pastor was well acquainted with hardship.  He endured personal and family illness, as well as the enormous task of leading a church whose congregation also faced numerous difficulties.  Spurgeon did not merely instruct his listeners to ask God for the power to withstand adversity, however; he was a living testimony of one who relied on God to be his strength.  Missionary David Livingstone once inquired, “How do you manage to do two men’s work in a single day?”  Spurgeon answered, “You have forgotten that there are two of us.” (Strength for Today, Barbour Publishing Co)

The Church and the Light Bulb

There are endless versions of these, but I thought I’d memorialize the jokes here on my blog.  Enjoy!

How many Pentecostals does it take to change a light bulb?
Ten. One to change the bulb and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

How many TV evangelists does it take to change a light bulb?
One. But for the message of light to continue, send in your donation today. 

How many fundamentalists or independent Baptists does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one because any more would be compromise and ecumenical standards of light would slip. 

How many liberals does it take to change a light bulb?
At least ten, as they need to hold a debate on whether or not the light bulb exists. Even if they can agree upon the existence of the light bulb, they still may not change it to keep from alienating those who might use other forms of light.

How many Anglicans or Catholics does it take to change a light bulb?
None. They always use candles. 

How many Episcopalians does it take to change a light bulb?
Four. One to change the bulb. One to bless the elements. One to pour the sherry. And one to offer a toast to the old light bulb. 

How many Baptists does it take to change a light bulb?
At least 15. One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad. 

How many Nazarenes does it take to change a light bulb?
Six. One woman to replace the bulb while five men review church lighting policy. 

How many United Church of Christ members does it take to change a light bulb?
Eleven. One to change the light bulb. And ten more to organize a covered dish supper that will follow the changing of the bulb service. 

How many Lutherans does it take to change a light bulb?
There is some question here. But we have it on good authority that they have appointed a committee to study the issue and report back at their next meeting.

How many Amish does it take to change a light bulb?
What’s a light bulb?

How many Presbyterians does it take to change a light bulb?
None. Lights will go on and off at predestined times.

How many United Methodists does it take to change a light bulb?
We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey, you have found that a light bulb works for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship to your light bulb and present it next month at our annual light bulb Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-lived, and tinted; all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence through Jesus Christ.

 If you know of more – please reply