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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Message from an Aspirin Bottle

One of my doctors (Yes, I have gotten to the age when I have a different doctor for every part of my body.) recommends that I take a low dose aspirin each day for my heart. I am reluctant to do so even though I understand the reasoning. A small amount of aspirin would thin my blood which may prevent a heart attack or even a stroke some day. Personally, I think there is an amount of risk that is assumed when the aspirin is taken.

However, I do take aspirin when I have aches, pains or even headaches. One or two aspirin makes most of these discomforts disappear in a reasonable amount of time. I do not exceed the recommended dose unless directed to by a physician. I put this limit on myself because crazy logic says: "If two aspirin are good; four aspirin must be better. In fact, the whole bottle will be best." Of course, I know better.

Too many aspirin will become toxic to my body. They will kill me unless they are expelled from my body. They go from being good to being very bad.

That brings me to the thought that some people have about worship. (Yeah, even I am wondering how I got here.) They reason that a four hour worship service must be four times better than a one hour worship service. They haven't taken into account the aspirin bottle.

Now, can anyone say that simply making a sermon longer makes it better. I heard a speaker speak for five minutes and quit one time. It was one of the most powerful messages I have ever heard.

Let's look at the ridiculous side of the reverse as well. Will taking only 1/4 of an aspirin be better for you if the whole bottle is toxic? No. Taking such a small amount will have no affect. The proper dosage is required. Cutting every sermon to five minutes would have the same effect if the message cannot be completed in five minutes.

I was asked during an interview how long I preached. I answered as honestly as I could, "Until I am finished." Preaching until finished is the recommended dosage. It should be speaking what the Holy Spirit is whispering into the heart of the preacher. The preacher needs to quit when the Spirit says the message is over. Continuing will cause toxicity among the hearers.

Many people use the philosophy of more is more spiritual. This isn't of Christ. It is merely religion made by men.

 Colossians 2:8 (NIV) 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
Colossians 2:16-17 (NIV) 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

1 comment:

Anthony Chia, high.expressions said...

Minimally, always try to leave room for God; NOT to be dogmatic all the time; watch ourselves that we are NOT being legalistic. Failure to observe these, may lessen OUR efficacy as vessel of God.

Of course, we are also NOT to allow people to do what they want, "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." (1 Cor 14:33)

May we all be sensitive to be led by the Spirit.

Anthony Chia

PS: Generally, we should NOT stop people from coming for multiple services in a weekend.