A Word from Mike…


It’s been a tough couple of months for the Christian faith, particularly for evangelicals. We’ve lost three key leaders; one in death, who was a great model of finishing well…the other two to moral failings. Billy Graham, the great evangelist for some 70 years, ended his course well at the age of 99 years, passing into heaven. He was not perfect, but finished with grace, faithfulness, and dignity; guarding his walk with Christ until the end. On March 27th, Frank Page, President and CEO of the Southern Baptist Executive Committee resigned because of a recent moral failure at the age of 65. On Tuesday, April 10, Bill Hybels, founding pastor of the great mega Willow Creek Community Church also resigned under accusations of inappropriate moral behavior, at the age of 66. My heart rejoices with Billy Graham, but anguishes over the other brothers (and, I believe they are brothers). Page admitted his sin; Hybels denies the accusations made against him, yet, according to Baptist Press, April 11, 2018, “He acknowledged that in some situations, ‘I communicated things that were perceived in ways that I did not intend. At times, it made people feel uncomfortable. I was blind to this dynamic for far too long.’” Some of us may wonder, how? Others of us may have to acknowledge, I might not be far behind! These men were so close to finishing well, but fell, or at least disqualified themselves. Think of the pain and the damage to their families, the lifetime of ministries to which they gave themselves with great passion and effectiveness. One of my great goals, at this point in life, is to finish well…without stumbling. Many good men have, indeed, finished faithfully, but some other good men have not. Which will we be? Paul gives a sobering admonition in 1 Cor. 10:12-13 remembering the example of Old Testament Israel in the wilderness as they practiced idolatry and immorality: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” We can all be tempted, but we do not have to fall, if we will maintain our focus on and surrender to the Lord.


Christian musician and minister Steve Green once recorded a song called Guard Your Heart. It says:


Oh, be careful little eyes what you see. Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.
For the Father up above is looking down in love. Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.

What appears to be harmless glance? Can turn to romance and homes are divided.
Feelings that should never have been awakened within, tearing the heart in two, listen, I beg of you,


Guard your heart, guard your heart. Don't trade it for treasure, don't give it away.
Guard your heart, guard your heart. As a payment for pleasure, it's a high price to pay.

For a soul that remains sincere with conscience clear, guard your heart.
The human heart is easily swayed, and often betrayed at the hand of emotion.
You dare not leave the outcome to chance; you must choose in advance, or live with the agony--
such needless tragedy.


For a soul that remains sincere with conscience clear; guard your heart.

(Words by Jon Mohr. Copyright 1989 Birdwing Music.) 




Let us encourage one another with these words.


Mike Manning



   March 2019   
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