TOPIC: August 2016 CSBA Newsletter

August 2016 CSBA Newsletter 3 years 10 months ago #553

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In case you missed it on our website news feed, below you will find the August 2016 newsletter written by Mark Hamm. Thank you.

August 2016 CSBA Newsletter : Erosion

Erosion, it happens. When we hear of erosion, we often think of streams that in the course of time take soil away from a stream bank. This erosion widens the riverbed but also carries silt downstream where it can clog the stream or create “sand bar” islands in stream that divert the flow of the stream. Although it is a natural part of an ecosystem, erosion is seldom thought to be a positive thing. Recently in Pennsylvania, the Susquehanna River Watershed has asked land owners and farmers not to plant crops or utilize the land right next to streams. Instead they have asked for the farmers and land owners to plant trees in this space to create/reinforce a riparian buffer. They hope to minimize erosion and have the trees absorb excess water and fertilizers used in agriculture and landscaping. The excess fertilizers getting into streams have added to algae and plant growth in streams, thus diminishing water quality in the Watershed. Now, I am not a hydrologist or a biologist, but all of this got me thinking about our spiritual life with God.

Is our “walk with God” or our spiritual life one that is firm and grounded in Christ? Are we following God in a steadfast manner? Do we regularly read the Word, or share our faith, or attend a gathering of believers? Or has the ways of the world, the forces of evil, and our own selfish nature eroded our life? Like the natural erosion, it starts out in small ways. We don’t talk about God at work because we fear losing our reputation. We stop going to church or Bible studies because our businesses/ work are busy. We stop reading the Bible because we are tired. We stop communicating with God, because things are good, we can handle this God, thanks. And when testing comes into our life, we fall away or hit a time of hardship and struggle. Why? It may have been erosion. We don’t have that communication with God anymore that relationship has grown cold and distant. Our language has become profane, our desires are carnal, and our efforts are self-seeking. What sin we once let slip has now become a habit. Our habit has become our lifestyle and we look, speak, and act just like a non-believer. What was once a strong house built on the rock has crumbled, why? Erosion, it happens.

So, now what do I do to get back to God? Repent of sin in your life, confront it and don’t justify it. Deny your selfish nature, pick up the Cross of Christ, and follow Him. Luke 9:23-25 gives us the words of Jesus to live by: 23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Prayer, reading the Bible, attending church, sharing your faith with others is not to be a dry spiritual exercise, but instead an outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit into your life. Seek the Lord, strive to have communion and communication with Him, and listen for His direction and will, then do it. Here is a passage I read this morning out of Romans 13 that inspired me: 11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. What a wonderful word picture, “clothe yourselves with Christ”. Think about who He is, how He lived, and the way He loved others; put that on you each day. Strive to emulate Him and serve Him and so bring glory to His name. He is there for us and desires to help us. Here is one last passage of Scripture: Psalm 23:3 He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Strengthen your faith, read the Bible, attend a gathering of believers, share the goodness of God with others, and be on guard against evil. Why? Erosion, it happens.
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August 2016 CSBA Newsletter 3 years 10 months ago #554

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