Three To Thrive
Posted by Michael La Framboise on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Under: Meditations
“It takes three to thrive: Sunday Morning, Sunday Night, and Wednesday night!” Such was the exhortation of Jerry Osborne to the people of God regarding their own attendance in the House of the Lord, and he practiced what he preached! When He was saved, Jerry Osborne was born again! He was begotten again by the Spirit of God unto new and abundant and eternal life! He was redeemed and proclaimed the praises of Him Who had called him out of darkness into His marvelous light! As a teenage convert he immediately sought out a church family and was ever faithful not only to attend, but also to serve. He was a young man about His Heavenly Father’s business, and he made seeking first the Kingdom of God the singular ambition of his life. On Sunday morning, he was in church; on Sunday night, he was in church; on Wednesday night he was in church. Not at church, he was in church! He was among God’s people, singing with fellow believers, studying the Word of God under the man of God.
Jerry Osborne’s testimony for the Lord was so powerful, it was used by the Spirit to break the heart of Wanda Lue, a Christian girl who would testify later, “Oh, how his life convicted me!” Indeed, she would eventually become his wife and my dear grandmother; and all who ever knew her would recognize the incredulity of such a statement. Wanda was the greatest Christian most people ever met! And yet she points to Jerry’s life as the one which convicted her own, and caused her to follow the Lord in the way that others later witnessed. Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night!
Jerry was faithful to his Lord, faithful to his pastor, and faithful to his church. In college, though extremely busy, he was never too busy to be in church. As a pastor himself from 1952 to 1997 he endured and was faithful to his call and to his people. Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night he served and he counselled, and he preached. With rare exception he was at his pulpit when the church doors were open. If he was out-of-town on vacation, he was not out of church. He would find a local church to attend that he might honor the Lord and even encourage other pastors in their ministry. Grandpa never ever took a day off from being a Christian! He thrived as a Christian like a tree planted by the rivers of water, because his delight was in the law of the Lord! Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night!
What is our Christian experience? Are we excited about the Lord? Are we passionate about His Word? Are we thriving in our Christian walk? Mark it down, Jerry Osborne and Wanda Lue did not live and thrive in the Lord the way they did by any exercise of moral fortitude or by any accident of gratuitous circumstances! They thrived in the Spirit because they were filled with the Spirit! They thrived in service because they surrendered to serve the Master! They thrived in church because they were part of the Family of God! They were true Christians, not some worldy mutation! They believed in the Gospel and they were governed by the Gospel. Their life was not always easy; in fact it was filled with hardship. Hardship in ministry, hardship in family, hardship in paying bills and raising kids, hardship as is common to man. But none of these things moved them an inch! Nothing could move them from their love for Jesus, let alone from their service unto Him. They found the presentation of their lives to God as living sacrifices to be more than a reasonable service rendered unto Him. In Him was life, and in Him they lived and moved and had their being! Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night!
For those of us who have believed in the Name above all names of the King above all kings, it is needful that we consider our lives before the Lord. Have we been conformed to the ways of the world? Jerry and Wanda would point us to Calvary! Have we professed a transformation that has never taken place? Jerry and Wanda would bring us to Jesus! Is our thinking backslidden in its priorities and standards? Pastor Osborne would beckon us to bow at the altar and pray for the renewing of our minds by the Spirit of Christ, that His mind might truly be in us, that His word would richly dwell in us! Would you prove the good and acceptable and perfect will of God like my Grandma and Grandpa did? I can hear it now, I can see him now, calling the congregation, calling us to confess it with him: It takes three to thrive: Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night!
Where are the critics and the judges, the detractors and the hypocrites, and those who scoff at the notion that faithful church attendance is very important at all? Indeed, the worldy mind, unrenewed by the Spirit of God hears nothing more than the call to attend some religious social function. You don’t get it. The carnal Christian hears only some legalistic guilt trip about old fashioned puritanical life styles. You are wrong about it. The unregenerate church member cannot hear the truth, lest they should turn with their heart and be healed of their sin. You do not understand what the Pastor preached! Three to thrive: Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night!
It was never about church attendance, it was about growing in grace! But you cannot see it because you are not born again, and unless you are born again you cannot see the Kingdom of God! When the Holy Spirit begets a child of God that person is drawn to the things of God, and especially do they desire the sincere milk of the Word of God. Born of the Spirit, they crave spiritual things. Born into the family of God, they also seek to be with their brothers and sisters in Christ. Jerry knew from experience how vital is the church to a growing Christian if they are to be a thriving Christian. It wasn’t about a perfect record of outward showmanship, it was a means to the end of glorifying God by a life that was made useful to the Master for every good work. It was about honoring Christ in everything, and gathering with His people for worship and praise and preaching, and setting aside time to rest with family in the name of the Lord. It was about growing in strength and maturity as a believer in Jesus Christ that you might impart some spiritual gift to those among whom you ministered. It was about being different, because you were a Christian. If you still can’t see it, it’s because you must be born again to see the Kingdom! Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night!
I’m afraid today too many professing Christians cannot even fathom attending a second or third church service in a month, let alone three times in one week. I understand some churches don’t even gather on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights any longer. Where are the Christians who follow Christ? Where are the churches that preach Christ? I believe we have entered the age of Laodicean Christendom, and I believe that the carnal stench of the American church induces our Lord to vomit. Yet the Spirit moves where He wills. You may not see it, but His effect is clear. It is at work in the life of people who might remind you of Pastor Jerry and Wanda Lue in that they just can’t get enough of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord always has as His remnant those who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Simple people. Faithful people. Thriving people. Sunday Morning! Sunday Night! Wednesday Night! And every other day of their lives seeking first the Kingdom to which they belong!
In : Meditations
Tags: jerry osborne wanda lue three to thrive church born again grace growing calvary
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