Binge Watching

Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

About 2 years ago, we decided to get rid of cable and satellite.  We signed up for Netflix and bought a flat antenna for local channels.  At first, I hated it.  Series on Netflix were a year behind, from the 1980’s or not interesting.  Then I heard about Hulu.  Hulu was great because I could watch current tv series one day after there original showing.

Netflix>Hulu

Then I discovered that both Hulu and Netflix posted new shows with series spanning up to 9 seasons, some of those had up to 12 episodes. When I found a new series, I watched it every day.  I watched one episode after another.  Each time I turned on the tv I could not wait to find the series and watch the next episode.  I had suddenly become a Hulu/Netflix BINGER!

The definition of binge from Merriam-Webster is: an unrestrained and often excessive indulgence and an act of excessive or compulsive consumption (as of food).  Yes, I was definitely a binger.  I was hooked.

Maybe some of you reading this can relate, while others are saying “Bless Her Heart”, the ole southern kind way of saying, “she ain’t right”.  But as I speak the truth about my own life, I want to ask you to think about your relationship with God and His word. What if we binged read the bible?  What if we binged going to church?  What if we binged prayed, binged evangelized, binged judged ourselves,? You see where I am going?

I think many of us fill our time with something.  Work, drugs, alcohol, affairs, sleeping, eating, pornography and the list goes on.  But these things are just fillers.  They are not satisfying.  With all the binge watching on Hulu and Netflix, I found after awhile I had watched everything worth watching.  I craved a new series, day after day, but they were not there.  Each day I would go back to the two apps hoping something new would be out, feeling let down when there wasn’t.

I have been a Christian and in church for the majority of my life.  I read the bible every day and love to delve into the word of God, to read and study it.  But if I am honest I do not BINGE read it.  What if I did though?  Would I be different?  Would I be more able to defend my faith?  Would I love The Lord more?  Could I begin to have the mind of Christ?  Might I live a better life, have more faith, wait more patiently?  As you can see, I have not reached perfection in my own Christian life, so please do not think I am calling you out.

I know that I love God.  I often say I love Him with all my heart, all so soul and all my mind.  After digging down deep and thinking about it a little bit more, I now feel guilty saying that. I want to fill my time with the things of God. That doesn’t mean that I will not binge on a new series every now and then.  What it means is that I will add more God into my downtime schedule.

I want to leave you with this.  At the end of each series, I felt let down, almost hopeless.  What would I do now?  When I spend time with God and my time ends, I have the exact opposite feelings.  I don’t know what you BINGE but I am sure you have those some feelings I had at the end of my BINGE. Try God.  Just give him a try.  Sometimes when I started a new series, the first 1-3 episodes were not that great.  Once I pushed through, the show became better and before you know it I was hooked.  I didn’t try episode one and quit.  Try God.  Don’t try just once.  I promise, if you give Him a chance, you will not be left wanting. God NEVER breaks a promise.

Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

A Love Grown Cold

Cold Love

John 21:15-17 (ESV)

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

Ask yourself these questions?

  1. Do you say you love Jesus but people don’t see it?
  2. Are you excited about the mere mention of Christ name?
  3. Are you asking Jesus to make you more like him?
  4. Is He the priority in your life?
  5. Are serving Him at work, at your church, in your community?

Go back to the day you were saved.  Do you remember how you felt?  Most of us could hardly wait to get back to church the next week.  We read His word, talk about Him to everyone would listen and we wanted to know every thing we could about Heaven and Jesus.  So what happened?

  1. Romans 3:23 (ESV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    We forget we are sinners in need of Christ forgiveness.  Either we are living in sin or we begin to judge others sins not our own, thinking that WE are ok.  We no longer pray for God to remove the sins in our life.

  2. We have become one or more of these things:  2 Timothy 3:1–4 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
  3. We have lost faith because we have stopped asking God for impossible things.Matthew 17:20 ESV He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
  4. We forgot how much He loves us.  Romans 5:8 (ESV) but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 If your heart has grown cold for Jesus it is time to TURN THE HEAT UP!  It is time for your SOUL TO BE ON FIRE AGAIN!!

Ephesians 3:17b-19, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (NIV)

The Old Oak Tree

Today’s Truth: Revelation 2:4-5, “4 However, I have this against you: The love you had at first is gone. 5 Remember how far you have fallen. Return to me and change the way you think and act, and do what you did at first…..” (GW)

From My Heart To Yours:

If you were born after in the 90’s you will probably laugh as you watch the following video.  Now try to listen to the words of the song and not focus on the large mustache.  If you were born before or right after 1973, go ahead and sing along, you know you want to.  By the way, I immediately wanted to search for, watch and sing Knock Three Times, didn’t you?!?!  Oh no, I couldn’t help myself…found it, watched and sang it too.

This popular song, Tie A Yellow Ribbon by Tony Orlando and Dawn, was based on the true story of a convict returning from jail who requested a sign from his wife to indicate that she would welcome him home. First he writes her a letter and puts it in the mail, text messaging, emails or cell phones didn’t exist back then.  Ok so go ahead and laugh again those of you who laughed earlier.  He doesn’t wait for her to rejection him, instead he jumps on a bus to go to her. In his letter he ask her give him a visual sign that she will take him back, a yellow ribbon around a tree he remembers in the front yard of her home.

As the song goes on you can hear the anticipation, urgency and yes even fear in the lyrics as he gets closer to her house.  Rejection will be hard but easier to handle if he doesn’t have to see her face to face and hear the word NO.  That’s why he has ask for visual sign.

Almost there, tension building, all the feelings of rejection and discouragement overwhelm him to the point that he can’t even look, can’t look for the sign he asked for a simple yellow ribbon around big old oak tree that he remembers standing in the front yard.  He has pulled the other passengers on the bus into his story by telling them about his love and how he hopes she will take him back, about the simple sign of acceptance he hopes to see and his fear of not seeing it.

The passengers tell him he doesn’t even have to look, they will be his eyes.  They too are now hoping and looking for HIS yellow ribbon on the tree.  As they near the house I can see EVERYONE but the man standing on the same side of the bus stretching to see over the others to see if the simple yellow ribbon requested is on the tree.  I can imagine as the man hears the shouts and cheers is he excited and stands to see what they see. It turned out that he was very welcomed home: there were a hundred yellow ribbons on that old oak tree.  Whew, I almost want to cry and shout with joy myself as I am typing the description of this song.

This song really hits home with me not because I have lost an old love who was in prison or been separated from husband before, but because I know so many who have lost their love for Jesus.  Todays scripture talks about returning to your first love, God.  So many have strayed far away from God, almost forgotten that they were saved.  Fear somehow replaced the faith they once had, causing them to run away from God and go back into the sinful world of the flesh to satisfy their doubt and unbelief.  Have you or someone you know left God, been a prison of sin, and want to return but you have the same fears and anxiety about rejection as the man had in this song?

If you want to return to God you can do it.  First you have to decide that you are tired of doing it your own way and remember that doing things God way is more satisfying.  Proverbs 14:14 says: A heart that turns from God becomes bored with its own ways, but a good person is satisfied with God’s ways.(GW)  YOU and only you can decide that you are tired of living the way you are.

God wants you to come back home to him.  He knew that some of us would wonder so he has made a way for us to return home.  You are not the first nor only one to stray away from God.  He tells us in Jeremiah 6:22 “Come back, you rebellious people, and I will forgive you for being unfaithful….” (GW)

So how do you return to God? So change the way you think and act, and turn to God to have your sins removed Acts 3:19  (GW)   Ask God to forgive you, get back into the word, and let God blot out your sins. It’s that simple. Just pray and ask God to forgive you and clean you up and HE DOES.  How wonderful and amazing is that?  No rejection letter, no door slammed in your face, just yellow ribbons all over the oak tree for you.  Just like in the song not only will God say yes but He will say emphatically yes.

Now that you have been given the forgiveness to come home you should be careful so you do not stray away again. Jesus said, “Stay awake, and pray that you won’t be tempted. You want to do what’s right, but you’re weak.”, Matthew 26:41(GW).  Tell other Christians about your return home to let them rejoice with you, like the passengers on the bus rejoiced with the man in the song.  Ask them to pray for you and with you.  Welcome home my friend.

Let’s Pray: 

Dear Lord, I am sorry for leaving You, my first love.   Sometimes the pull from the world is so strong that I can lose my way.  Help me to stay strong through the reading of your word, prayer and meeting together with other Christian brothers and sisters. Thank you for forgiving me, for loving me and for allowing me to come home.  Let my light burn brightly once more for you.  Hear my heart, Lord, and ignite my passion for you in a, fresh and dynamic way.  In Jesus Name. AMEN.