Thinking back on today’s message…

what do you believe strong enough to stand up boldly and proclaim it?

what are you convicted deeply enough about to risk being judged or ridiculed for stating it publicly?

what are you so convinced of that you are unwilling to remain silent?

  • the evils of child abuse?
  • the need for education?
  • the role of politics in society?
  • the love you have for your spouse?
  • the greatness of your children?
  • your love of community service?
  • the sanctity of life?
  • freedom of speech?
  • the need for strong national defense?
  • clean water for everyone?
  • the superiority of apple?
  • cardiovascular fitness?
  • the supremacy of smoked brisket?
  • equal rights for women?
  • the rescue of neglected animals?
  • the wrongness of human trafficking?
  • the right to bear arms?
  • the need for the proliferation of free market enterprise?
  • religious tolerance?
  • chevy is better than ford?
  • your love of the rangers,  the mavs,  the cowboys,  or whoever?
  • fill in the blank_______________.

i know people who have deep convictions about every one of the things i’ve mentioned.   and those convictions are held sacred.   the right to have those convictions is affirmed and protected.   people who have those convictions may take a little ribbing…or even some joking…but,  by and large,  those convictions are respected…no matter that differences of opinion exist.

jesus made a promise hundreds of years ago that anyone who dared to follow him and live up to his example and teachings,  would not be given that same respect.   his followers would be insulted and shamed and abused and mocked.   they would be subjected to harassment and mistreatment and even bodily harm from people who disagreed.

they would also be lied about.   and misrepresented.   and made mockery of.   they would be miscast and people would paint pictures of them that were completely untrue.   false,  slanderous,  painful,  and agonizingly cruel accusations would be hurled against those whose lives have been simply touched by the mercy and grace of god.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.   Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.   Matthew 5:11-12

If the world hates you,  keep in mind that it hated me first.   If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.   As it is, you do not belong to the world,  but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.   Remember the words I spoke to you: `No servant is greater than his master.’   If they persecuted me,  they will persecute you also.    John 15:18-20

are you as convicted about the things of god, as you are about animal rights?

are you as convinced of the power of god to change hearts,  as you are about the sacredness of our constitutional freedoms?

are you as willing to stand up for the truth of the words of jesus,  as you are for the ideology of your political party?

are you as willing to accept the fallout for being a receiver of grace,  as you are for being fan of your favorite sports team?

i hope so.

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6 thoughts on “Thinking back on today’s message…

  1. I was back in church one nite and had a “Damascus Road” moment…
    (I’m going to write a song about that…), I realized how different I was singing the hymns or what have you; then, when I was say… at a massive concert with the likes of the greatest Jersey shore band ever to hit “E” Street…numerous concerts and singing every line and every concert goer’s known backup parts “hidin’ on the Backstreets, hidin’ on the Backstreets…” at the top of my lungs- songs filled with empty defeat and I’m so overwhelmed with the knowledge of defeat…so I empathize and made those anthems mine too.

    and then it hit me…why?

    Why are we so quick to chant the anthems of this world (even though so true)…and halfheartedly mumble thru another version of “Amazing Grace” ?? or the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” ??

    Why am I not singing that song about “grace” like my life depended on it? or why didnt I keep my eyes upon the glory of the Lord? When I know these songs that encompass a life worth living…and I started to change the way I heard and sung the songs in church… I mean, the old hymns I sometimes mumble thru because they choke me up with sentiment…but, I wanted to sing out words that embrace who I am … not who I was, or words of this world the embrace everything we are to leave behind.

    j.

  2. My thoughts on signing and being ridiculed.

    I am sure there is some artsy-fartsy, sophisticated reasoning as to why we don’t fall to our knees in worship at church. Oh no, we will throw out our arms doing a fist pump at the high school ballgame. We will lose our voice yelling at the opposing team “You suck”. How dare us show any emotion towards our Lord in song. What happens if someone see us? Wimp.

    My guess is many who attend Sunday services are too cool for church to sing from the mountain tops. We just like to nod our heads when the pastor speaks of humility. No need of action from us.

    Also, we know if we go to the right service during the week we don’t have to sing as much because it is considered the “bible study” service.

    Nothing makes me, well sad, when I have to look at the sea of Zombies in the congregation and from my view(I play bass) give them an excuse for not wanting to sing together from the mountain tops:

    Its a holiday weekend, NBA finals, etc….pick your poison.

    We are a bunch of wimps when it comes to singing together. I believe we want to leave God and his songs at church on Sunday. So we don’t practice singing to our lord, M thru S. And I’m not buying you are tone def….wimp. Join the club.

  3. Lol … then I will confess to wondering for weeks what a Church “bada” was … and thought the @@ were eyes… “thinking how cute” …

    @@
    <
    O

    (I was in a confessing one to another sort of mood).

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