The folks at Bethany Baptist Church enjoyed plenty of good food and a time to visit at the Fifth Sunday Fellowship Dinner at 5 PM and a special service of singing and testimonies following at 6 PM. There were special songs sung by the Jubilee Singers, the Stillings Family Trio, the Youth Choir, and the “Whosoever Wills.” Darlene Sorensen and Norma Stillings sang a couple of duets and accompanied themselves with Mandolin and Autoharp. Darlene sang a solo for the closing song. There were several good testimonies in between the songs.
Pastor Bob Sorensen read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 before bringing a message, Sunday morning that he called, “If I had my life to live over.” There seems to be a time for every purpose under the sun, but sometimes we get to a time when we have regrets for things done and undone. Who has never said, “I wish that I had done things differently.”
Pastor Sorensen said, “If I had my life to live over, I would chose for my personal friends men that were God fearing, who would love God with heart, soul and mind and would build up and not tear down spiritual strongholds.” Friendships with people who are disorderly and not God fearing can pull you down with them.
“I would focus less on the material things and more on laying up spiritual treasures in heaven.” This means avoiding the craving for “more things, more money” If holding on to our earthly possessions stand in the way of serving God then they have become our idols. The rich young man thought that he was serving God pretty well by keeping certain commandments, until Jesus told him to sell what he had and give it to the poor.
“If I had my life to live over, I would spend more time alone with God in prayer and Bible reading.” Too often we get “too busy” with all sorts of things in our lives that keep us from sincerely “asking, seeking, and knocking” to obtain the knowledge and wisdom that God promises to those who seek it. God our Creator is the source of all wisdom and the Bible is the final authority in all matters.
“If I had my life to live over, I would dedicate all of it to God’s service.” The great men of God were not just “part time,” “Sunday morning,” “when it was convenient” servants. This does not mean that you have to be on the pay-roll of a church. What ever your vocation, whether it is carpenter, accountant, technician, business man, or any other occupation you can dedicate you life to God.
Serving God all the time would mean paying more attention to love, forgiveness, kindness, thoughtfulness, and understanding of the people who are closest to you. You would have a higher personal standard of honesty, decency, truthfulness for yourself to follow. You would remove “self” from being the center focus of your life and devote time and resources to others. Jesus always concerned himself with people. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, made the deaf to hear, and provided salvation for a lost and dying world.
If you have regrets and you have said, “If I had life to live over I would do thus and so,” remember today is the first day of the rest of your life. You can not change what happened or did not happen yesterday, but with the grace of God you can start over today.