The Plight of Pew WarmersWritten by Joyce C. Lock
Have you ever been frustrated over people who come to church just to warm pews? It's so easy to point, "Sinner!" - turn your nose up, look other way, and exclude them in fellowship. It takes love of Christ to look inside and see their need.
They didn't give up on God. Otherwise, they wouldn't even be in church. What they may have given up on is either themselves or other Christians.
Maybe they fell. Maybe they were nearly stoned to death by brethren. Perhaps their anger got best of them. It could be that they were falsely accused. They may have misunderstood God's leading, thereby being tricked by Satan.
But, whatever is was, something very painful happened. Satan convinced them God wouldn't receive them, it could happen again, or they don't have strength to begin anew.
Perhaps we could love them best by telling them they ‘can’, that God made a very special provision to help His children with such a need … that when we follow God every step of way, we can't fall (II Ch. 15:2b), that we "can" place of confidence in Him.
A second group of pew warmers, phlegmatic in personality, often have gift of helps. Once they scurried all over God's house, doing countless unnoticed deeds ... until they joined a legalistic church.
If they have to measure up to serve their God, they'll sit there ‘til cows come home. They don't care if you call them dirty names, like ‘Back Slider’. They know who they are, a lot healthier than some of us.
We're not going to see them move, unless it's out door, until our hearts are ready to receive them as already valuable members.
One of Satan's TricksWritten by Joyce C. Lock
When I think about original St. Nicholas and what kind of man he might have been, I think he was a Christian who loved God, and thus grew a heart of compassion for people.
He was humble and sincere in his service, as he chose to obey God's Word in keeping his alms a secret ... desiring glory to belong to God (anyone, who's ever loved God more than himself, wouldn't have it any other way) - and he didn't require a special holiday to consider another's need.
St. Nicholas may not have been jolly on every occasion, as he lived in real world - just like rest of us. However, I believe he did have true joy in his heart because he was in tune with his Maker.
St. Nicholas was a common man with an uncommon heart, who allowed himself to be used by God in both his church and community. He would have thought his gesture of good will to be small potatoes in comparison to gift of Jesus.
If he had known perversion in commercialism and greed that would ensue, I think it would have made St. Nicholas feel absolutely sick. And, if St. Nicholas would have known He'd take precedence over Jesus, I believe he would have cursed day his secret gift was discovered.
I also think St. Nicholas would have wanted us to know what Webster's New World Dictionary has to say, "Nick (nik), n. Devil: usually Old Nick," as well as others referring to goblin and demon. It seems to me Old St. Nick was just another one of Satan's tricks ... and it worked.
The above is only article I've ever written wherein I shared my opinion, not just what God had revealed to me. It was written in conclusion to a historical account of original St. Nicholas that was taught in my local church. And, it wasn't too hard to receive, considering I want to believe that, underneath, people are basically good.