Monday, June 30, 2014

Is our sin finding us out? with Jeff Walling

On Sunday evening Ashley, Micah, and I attended the Lipscomb Summer Celebration
Lectureships "Insights from Joshua" Keynote #2. Jeff Walling, minister at Providence Road church of Christ in Charlotte, NC has been laboring in speech to be God's vessel of inspiration for young and old alike.  Here are a few notes from his message tonight giving an overview of Joshua and a push to me about "Our sin finding us out."

  • "Be sure that your sin will find you out." (Num 32:23) may have less to do with your grandma's rebuke of you leaving a trail of hastily dropped cookie crumbs and more to do with reaping what we have sown generations down the road.
  • Believers in Christ have been shifting from having masses in America and the western world to experiencing booms in Africa, South America, and China.  Could it be that the former generations of the western world are finding that the moral decline of the church is due to their "sin finding them out?"  
  • No matter the religious group in America, the gray haired are looking around in their churches and wondering "Where did all the young'ens go?"  Colleges of ministry are asking, "Why don't we have many ministry students?"  Churches are asking, "Where are the motivated young deacons, the elder prospectives, the young preachers and song leaders?"
  • Numbers 32 is about the Reubenites and Gadites (also in Joshua 1) who didn't want to go in and fight for their promised land because they had great wealth and possessions and didn't want to lose it. 
  • Moses responds with "Shall your brothers go to war while you sit here?"  They weren't supposed to sit on their possessions while others went to war.  If they sat on their possessions, their sin would find them out. 
  • Walling suggests that our older generations may be sitting on our possessions of lofty church buildings, retirement rest, and nonbiblical traditions.  We looked around the lectureship and sure enough, the masses had gray hair and the Wiles family felt like the youngest around.  So Walling said, "I'm speaking to all of you sitting here with gray hair or no hair!"  We've been the ones for too long to sit back on our wealth and possessions like the Reubenites and Gadites.  If you want this promised land for the youthful generations to come after you, you've got to go out and fight for it!
  • In the end, the men left behind their lofty possessions and fulfilled their promise to the Lord to fight. If we are going to have a "promised land" of faithful inheritance, we're going to need to keep fighting, not against our young ones, but for them. 
  • Because we haven't fought in the past, the lack of youth in faith today is due to our sin finding us out. 
See what you think.  Go read Joshua 1 and Numbers 32 to see if Walling's message of "our sin is finding us out" is applicable today.

Ashley and I have a full day planned of classes and meetings.  We'll send more posts out tonight with what was shared.  Keep checking back here on www.topherwiles.com for more info.  

P.S. All the live acapella singing shared late into the night and waking us this morning in the middle of campus has definitely been a boon to our spirits!




Ashley and I are taking notes and sharing them here for the primary purpose of benefiting our church family at Washington Church of Christ, yet we won't limit God to just using these insights there.  May they be a blessing to all who read them.  Feel free to ask us questions about anything in our Lipscomb Summer Celebration notes.