Good morning Brethren! Recently we were discussing, doing all things decently and in order. While this subject is worthy of a sermon, I was surprised to go on-line and see so little written on this in recent years.
Then one of “those” off brand sites popped up in my search, containing a “painful” reminder that some who may have understood the truth, find it their new job now to openly criticize ministers and members, past or present, for preaching on this subject. Brethren, law is good; and consistent reliability on law, is, a measure of reassurance. That’s right; we all count on laws remaining in force.
Many sit consumed with political correctness, afraid we might somehow “offend” someone or some group; when hypocrisy is rampant in society in every aspect of life. This “painful” site is but one reflection of that, for the very thing he relies on every day, is what he lashes out at. How sad!
For example, no one in this audience would like a phone that does not work, or a CD that skips and does not play well or not at all; or a car that breaks down or tires that are of poor quality that blow out on the freeway (ouch!); or a TV that malfunctions. We all want quality merchandise and the best music recordings of whoever we can afford, and so forth.
No one would go to a professional sports game or a concert or a function and purposely get a seat with impaired views or order bad food and purposely pay top price for it. This has all happened to some of us and we did not like it; because who wants a restaurant with lousy table service or a missed car part when having our cars repaired? Come on now; let’s order that cheeseburger with no cheese! You really would go back and expect what you paid for.
No one wants water service only part of the day; or electric coming on or off throughout the day. We want dependability and consistency. In fact we count on God to be consistently patient or loving or kind or sincere to us but how are we to Him? Moreover, we count on His laws every day, with the sun to shine and gravity to work; or we would all not exist in short order.
No one wants a computer that does not function; or lawn mower that has mechanical problems. We all want things to be done decently and in order, for if this “point of order” is accomplished then we can be reasonably assured we will receive the quality service, products or food we need and expect.
About 6000 years ago God gave man a choice. Choose order and the right way or a mixture producing confusion and death (Gen. 3); but as we know our “original” parents decided to do the latter; and here we are today. We probably don’t say enough on this chapter but it is where this last 6000 years of misery has come from. Before that, in a similar scenario Satan the devil swayed one third of the angelic realm to go along with him, in another stupid attempt to take on God, as we read in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28.
In the beginning (Genesis 1:1) all was created perfect and because of confusion, mistrust, hurts, angers, frustrations, depressions, greed, vanity, killings, murders and a host of other bad stuff done by man, man has done everything the opposite of decent and order. The scripture I am quoting unlike the “painfully “ obvious web site that laughs at this verse and those who have tried to speak on it, fails to grasp that if God were to withdraw His “support” of this world, this detractor, and all, on this planet, would vanish in an instant.
“Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him…” (Zechariah 12:1 NKJ) Yes, you read correctly. God even forms the very conscious thought or spirit of man with each individual or we would be no different than an animal, assuming God created us at all!
So it is time to understand: “Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1Co 14:40 NKJ) God is not the author of confusion, Satan is.
Several lexicons state of “decent” — the doing of that which is beneficial, good or of service, the content of beneficial service, good deeds, benefit, and a kindness; and of “order” — something that is appropriate and accomplished correctly – of everything that is done in the right way and in order, of an orderly fashion. There you have it.
That’s what we all expect of others, of our government, of our leaders, laws, procedures, on our jobs, in the stores, up in the air on flights and even in driving. We have laws against erratic drivers who drive unsafe or at untenable speeds. We would never board a flight that was going to be used to crash into anything. Who would do that consciously unless they were the suicidal ones who were off course in their own lives?
For the same reason we have order in our Church and in Church Services. We follow predetermined procedures and yes, we have government or an administration, where someone makes decisions. That way we are all on the same page of music. This is true in music as a choral director I know, we have to be together or the selection will not be performed well.
Communication then couples with this process. Communication allows us to have feedback on why we do something a certain way; but somewhere along that way, someone has had to make a decision or we no longer have order. That is the only way things can be done decently. God will have no “little satans” in tomorrow’s world running around, promoting their own ideas. It just would not work or it would be the world today, not the world tomorrow.
It really is that simple. God is that way: decent and in order. The other evening we watched a movie on God’s creation and even in the hardest environments, there is order. That is why we have certain requirements of those who speak that they do it in accordance with a prescribed process because each member has the expectation that our teachers, deacons and ministry will do as they are instructed; so the ultimate result is all things done decently and in order.
Sometimes we have variations on a theme but usually all goes the same way. That way people have a comfort in that order of things. We even have been instructed from Headquarters with regard to personal considerations on what to wear when we come before God. Do we strive to please God in our dress in both modesty and character?
It is also interesting that one of the first things God did in the Garden after sin. He instructed Adam and Eve on clothing. True, they had sinned; but now we are living with those 6000 years of off-track choices. Should we in God’s Church not then reflect the best character we can?
I have continuously been impressed with the Jamaican Brethren who honored God so beautifully in these ways. In some cases they had very little but always put God first. They rarely missed Church Services, were always willing to serve and even at Services, without air conditioning, all was on-time and exactly as it should be. Happy people and all dressed beautifully. When I corrected something that needed to be put back on track, they embraced it with open arms and did so immediately. They are committed to “decent and in order.” The standards were high, even their homes clean and neat; and they always spend their energy and money on those things that represented them as a person, a Christian first, especially when they came before their God.
Today, anything seems to qualify for style in clothing. I guess “less is more” as people consider skimpy or virtually no clothing, style. Perhaps they ought to read what Mark Twain said about clothing and those that wear very little. Once again at our picnic, even in the heat of summer, I was struck by the sheer contrast of how well God’s people were dressed in a casual hot environment vs. the world. It was noticeable that God’s people are different; and God saw it and it was surely good!
Brethren, as society takes a nose dive in it morals, let us continue to reflect the highest standards in every area of our lives, certainly what is decent and in good order. Let’s not excuse sloppiness or haphazard behavior to one of style or what “everyone is doing” but let’s excel at what is right and appropriate. I have seen a lot of good actions throughout our area here in the southwest and this letter is only one to encourage you to continue to set the bar high — not only at Church Services or our picnics; but among ourselves, all at all times.
Let’s look around us and ask: can we do more to reflect the perfect example of Jesus Christ? Yes, indeed there is always more we can do, as we grow into his very likeness in so many ways. Growth is hard at times; but afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
This Sabbath Church services will be in all six churches in the usual locations: Las Cruces-El Paso TX at 9:00 AM (at the Golden Mesa Residence), Tucson and Prescott at 10:30 AM; Santa Fe at 11:30 AM; Albuquerque and Phoenix at 3:00 PM. God willing it will all be done decently and in order. Have a peaceful Sabbath evening!