Debugged!

March 12, 2014

Pastor's Study

Today I devoted an inordinate amount of time to cleaning out my coffee cup.  Imagine the Gulf coast after the BP Oil Spill of 2010!!  Get the idea?

It isn’t that I’m a slob (don’t tell that to my wife).  I simply forgot to empty the last swallow before leaving the church over the weekend and the coffee evaporated, leaving a resinous goop about half-an-inch thick on the bottom of the cup.  Some hapless insect with a caffeine addiction had fluttered down and gotten mired in the muck.

The frightening thing to me is that I almost drank from that cup.  You see, I discovered the residue while in the act of pouring in a fresh cupful.  How could I miss such a mess?  Simple – the outside was clean.  Had I not glanced within before drinking, I could have seriously fouled my personal plumbing!

I have always suspected that drinking coffee must be a spiritual thing, if for no other reason than the sheer number of Baptist who do it.  Now I have proof.  Jesus, in Matthew 23:25-26, spoke about surface religionists who keep a clean cup on the outside, while allowing scum and tar and dead bugs to lie a foot thick on the interior.  Christianity in our day abounds with cup-scouring scribes who use the Bible as their personal Brillo pad.  Envy, anger, and deception may adhere to their hearts, but, armed with a clean surface and a few chosen scriptures, they set up as dispensers of the pure water of life.

While scrubbing my scruffy mug, I pondered another passage, Mark 7:14-23, where Jesus says that what defiles us is not what goes into our mouths, but what comes out.  In other words, drinking coffee from that dirty cup would have done a lot less harm than dispensing the gospel from a dirty heart.

This coming Lord’s Day, we will look at the Radical (yes! Radical) life of a Real Christian.  My prayer for our church family is that we are clean on the inside as well as the outside…that we serve God with a clear conscience.  As I cleaned that coffee cup, I asked God to clean me – insects and all – from the inside out!

 Debugged,

Pastor Scott

About Pastor

My Family: My wife and I have been married for 30 years (wow! that's hard to believe.) We have four wonderful children and EIGHT perfect grandchildren!! Education: I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Pastoral Theology from Tennessee Temple University. After serving Bethel Baptist Church in Ontario, Canada as Youth Pastor and South Buncombe Baptist in Asheville, NC as Associate Pastor, we moved to Wake Forest, NC where I attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1995, I received my Master of Divinity degree (with languages.) From 1999-2001, I attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary pursuing my Doctor of Ministry degree in Expository Preaching. Ministry: I have had the privilege of pastoring three wonderful congregations (Montwood Baptist 1993-1997; Union Baptist 1997-2002; and, South Fork Baptist 2010-present.) In 2010, God brought a very special group of people into my life. South Fork has become much more than a ministry to my family - it has become our home. If you are looking for a Church to call home, you will not find a better group of people than the family that makes up South Fork.

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