Conspiracies seem to be something Gospel Light attendees are good at. Bonnie the Ring Leader spread the word throughout the congregation…and after the hymns, when Pastor Vince Giardino asked us to be seated, in near perfect harmony the congregation shouted “Say what?” Price of morning Tim Horton coffee on the way to service $2.19; price of gas to get to church: $3.49; Pastor’s face after “Say What?”: PRICELESS. (Those who attended our morning service understand what this was about.)
Grayson, with banjo in hand led his merry band of bluegrass crooners, Josh C. and Joe C., up front for our Evening Service (01-30-11) music special. Their rendition of “Over in the Glory Land” was inspiring and delightful to hear. Your blogger is a big fan of bluegrass, so I may be a bit biased in my opinion; but that’s what blogs are for – opinions.
This being his 8th and final installment on the topic of double mindedness, Pastor Giardino once again used the book of James as his foundation. Pastor read: “A CHRISTIAN IS:”
- A Mind through which Christ thinks.
- A Heart through which Christ loves.
- A Voice through which Christ speaks.
- A Hand through which Christ helps.
We are the “receiver” and Christ is the “transmitter”, Pastor explained, “God wants to work through us.”
Our text verse to this sermon titled “A Lot of Choices” was James 4:7-8, a verse which again brings up the topic of double mindedness. Proceeding then to James 3:14-18, Pastor spoke of two kinds of wisdom:
- Earthly Wisdom – characterized by “bitter envying and strife” and is earthly, sensual, devilish” (James 3:14-15). It can happen to pastors, to churches, and can even kill ministries.
- Heavenly Wisdom – this wisdom is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17); a wisdom that is from above.
What kind of wisdom is going through your spiritual veins?”, our pastor asked his congregation. The double minded have both. We were advised to stand up for what we believe, not be “an under cover Christian”, and not to shy away from testifying and spiritual conversation. God wants to give us wisdom so we don’t have a problem with double mindedness. Read James 1:5!
To illustrate the contrast between these two types of wisdom, Pastor Giardino used Abraham, a spiritual man seeking God, and Lot, the epitome of a double minded man in the bible. Pastor used the story in Genesis 13 of the strife between Abraham’s and Lot’s herdsmen. Abraham was the peacemaker, giving Lot a choice in settling the matter. Lot though chose to turn toward Sodom and Gomorrah, going west to east (the cursed direction in the bible). Pastor contrasted the two men’s households, with Abraham’s keeping the way of the Lord and Lot being drunk, broke, incestuous, and unequally yoked with his wife. Pastor continued with the sad story of Lot in Genesis 18 and 19, with Abraham praying to God to spare Sodom and the two angels sent to save a reluctant Lot from the coming destruction.
Our pastor used Lot’s drunkenness (Lot’s son-in-laws mocked him for it) to warn Christian’s against social drinking. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” Prov 20:1. He said, in this Laodicean age, many pastors look the other way regarding alcohol. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” “Now is not a good time to be timid as a Christian.”, Pastor concluded.