A Call to Return

Today’s text: 1Kings 16-18 Acts 13:1-25

As is often the case, poor leadership begets poor leadership. King after king had sat on the throne of Israel and the nation continued to drift farther and farther from God. The nation had become so corrupt that events that should have proved to be shocking to those who were familiar with God’s word are reported here with little ado. Even though they were complacent and accustomed to sin God still called Israel “His people”. When we reach the reign of Ahab we find that God has prepared one to show them how far they had drifted and to remind them there is still a God in Israel. It was a time when idolaters lived in the palace and prophets of the living God hid in caves or concealed themselves along brooks. It was a time when the people of Israel were no longer shocked by the actions of their king and didn’t seem to notice the absence of the prophets of God. All of Israel was suffering under the severe drought brought upon the nation because of their pursuit of foreign gods. The ‘falling away’ of a nation did not occur overnight. As each successive king compromised on the leadership of his predecessor and each successive generation become less familiar with what God had done for Israel, the compromise didn’t seem like much more than just ‘finding the middle ground.’ In time, the nation that God had lead out of bondage, the nation that had eat manna, seen the cloud and the pillar of fire was now building temples and sacrificing to foreign gods. It is easy to look at this very concise sketch of history and think it could never happen here. Yet our present generation has fewer professing themselves as Christian than that of our parent’s. Biblical knowledge continues to decline among those who profess Christ regardless of the advances in technology and easy access to the Bible. Today’s Christians are among the least likely to voluntarily share their faith. When asked why, they overwhelmingly respond (1) that they don’t think they can adequately explain the plan of salvation and (2) they don’t want to seem pushy. Elijah found that his obedience to God placed him in direct confrontation with the leadership of Israel. God was not finished with Israel and he is not finished with us either. In generations past God has moved upon the hearts of men and women to give up their comfort and security and take up their cross and follow him. Some were led to commence the work of building hospitals and orphanages to care for the weak. Others were called to leave family and home to proclaim the gospel to the lost. Many were true to their calling despite extreme difficulties and repeated failures. Theirs was a call to significance. Somewhere today among the timid and the uncommitted remain those that God is preparing to bring forth His clarion call asking “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God then follow him …” Rest assured -God has a plan and He has a people.

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About Richard McGill

Hi, my name is Richard McGill and my family and I started attending CCC shortly after moving to the area eighteen years ago. Although eighteen years may sound like a long time it has past by so quickly. My wife, Sharon, and I have seen our four children grow and have twice experienced that bitter sweet day when we have loosened our grasp so that our children, could begin families of their own. Sharon and I have been more than rewarded for our sacrifices in that we again, on occasion, have in our home the squeals of laughter that only comes from innocence and youth. We revel in the titles that have been bestowed by sweet little voices and thrill to hear them say Papa and Memaw. In addition to our two married children we have two that are preparing for their future through education. Jenny is finishing her sophomore year at SIU and Alex will graduate from high school this spring. Throughout the past eighteen years I have been privileged to serve in several capacities at CCC. I have been a small group leader, greeter, usher, in the Easter production, on the worship team and have taught Sunday School. While I am honored to be asked to contribute to this most recent effort, I can’t help but wonder if they’re not still trying to find something that I am good at. View all posts by Richard McGill

2 responses to “A Call to Return

  • Phyllis

    A great analogy. Let’s wake up!

  • mikj45

    So good Richard, I was thinking along the same lines as I read todays scriptures. Our nation is falling away from God more and more each day and our leaders claiming christianity are leading people down a road that is anything but Godly. I know the ends times are on us as I read the daily paper and watch the news. it’s like watching the fullfillment of the Bible right before our eyes.

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