I distinctly remember when I was a kid my mom constantly telling me to be careful who I hang out with. I even remember a few times when she was very specific saying you are not to hang around that person. I find myself on many occasions telling my kids that they must be careful who their friends are. One dad said if he could go back and make one decision for his children when they were younger it would be their friends. He would choose good friends for his children. Wouldn’t every parent do that? None of these scenarios are about being controlling or mean but about experience understanding the problem with bad company.
The Bible is very clear when it comes to the problem with bad company. “Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.”(I Cor.15:33) The person of good character and high morals who hangs around with those who are low in character and morals is in jeopardy of being corrupted. The one with no morals “ruins” the good morals of the person of character. Plain and simply put, we become like those we’re around. I tell my kids and the kids I teach at school that if you hang out with those who do drugs, drink alcohol or are promiscuous, you will eventually do those same things. Even we adults need to be cautious and aware of the problem with bad company. Don’t allow your good morals to be ruined by bad company.
I had preached the early service, taught my Bible class and visited with many wonderful brothers and sisters whom I dearly love. I then settled into a chair on the front right row as I prepared to preach at our second service. Then it happened. I was totally caught off guard and challenged. Yes, I was definitely challenged. I’m sure you all have heard me speak on the importance of being challenged. In fact, I try hard to challenge each of you every Sunday.
As communion was being passed around this young boy, Carter Lercher, makes his way to me with the bread. I always partake of communion at first service, just a habit I developed seven years ago when we moved to Cabot, so I politely explained that I had already partaken and the young servant moved on to the next row. I think it’s fantastic that each time Greg serves communion his son Carter serves too. That’s a great example and Carter is good at it, you’ll see as I continue my story. Pretty soon communion was over and the collection plates were being passed around. That’s when I was challenged.
Being the faithful servant, Carter brought the collection plate to me. I explained to young Carter that I had given my check at early service, but Carter didn’t flinch. He wasn’t going anywhere. As his eyes stared deep into my eyes I got the point that I’d better dig deeper into my wallet because Carter wasn’t walking away with an empty collection plate. I seldom carry cash but fortunately for me I found $1 in my wallet that I quickly placed in the collection plate. With that dollar bill in the plate Carter moved on to his next victim…..sorry, I mean the next row. I couldn’t help but laugh, but I also couldn’t help but think that Carter is good at taking up the collection and that probably needs to be his job every Sunday.
Carter challenged me and I’m glad he did. It’s amazing to me what we can learn from children. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”(Mt.18:3-4)
This time each year the resurrection of Jesus draws a lot of attention. Even those who seldom think of the resurrection give thought to it each Spring. We find religious themed movies on television and even documentaries about the resurrection. Books about the resurrection are pushed to the front of the stores and bookshelves so shoppers can easily spot them. Of course, there are those skeptics who also become a little more outspoken this time of year about their doubts that Jesus was resurrected from death. Whatever the reason or avenue, I for one am happy that the resurrection gets so much attention, if it is only for a few weeks each Spring.
I certainly think about the resurrection every single Sunday as I partake of the Lord’s Supper and consider the cross. Honestly, there are very few days of the week that pass without me giving some thought or a prayer of thanksgiving for the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus Christ affects every aspect of our lives every single day. To give attention to it only once a year or even once a week doesn’t do it justice. The resurrection of Jesus gives the hopeless hope. It’s only because of an empty tomb and a resurrected Lord that any of us have the hope of victory over sin. The resurrection shows that Jesus overcame sin and death and offers us the opportunity to be raised to victory through Him. (Rom.6:1-5)
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”(I Cor.15:55-57)