Friday, August 1, 2014

AUGUST 1 "DON'T LAUGH AT ME!"

The story in our bible today is so old it's hard to even imagine, over 2,500 years ago, at least. There were no secular, arrogant Americans at the time, only Israelites and the pagan nationalities that surrounded them. It was a time with no T.V.'s, no Hollywood and of course everyone wanted to serve The Lord, or maybe not! We think that man has degraded, we talk about the secularization of America and the rest of the World; and there is truth to that, but we can push it to far and make it sound like there was a time when every human being just wanted to surrender their selfish, rebellious will to God.  Well, if that time didn't exist even 2,500 years ago, then when did it exist and why pretend like it ever did exist? In our text Hezekiah, a good King, is trying to stir religious revival. He sends out his runners, to declare "we are going to have a great celebration!". The people ask, "oh yeah, what kind of great celebration?"  The answer they get, "we are going to have a great celebration to The Lord".  We read, "but most of the people just laughed at the runners and made fun of them".  What!!!! No way!!!!  People had no other desire than to serve God back then, there were no people that would mock the things of God, there were no people that would think serving God was  the last thing the would want to do, not good God fearing Jews. After all, they didn't have MTV, they didn't have Cable, isn't that the problem? MTV, Hollywood and Cable?  Apparently not! So what was the problem? Human nature was the problem. Is MTV foul, is Hollywood vile, the answer most of the time would be "yes' but that's just a by-product of who we are, it's not what makes us what we are. In any group of people in any given time or generation, there will always be those that have no interest in serving God and will mock those that do. Our problem is we get upset, we don't like being mocked and so desperately want to prove to the world, "we're not stupid, we're not nerds, we're not losers" and so today we have Christians that are hip, we have Christians that are "cool", there is a Church, or at least used to be a Church, in Tucson, Az. that was called, "The Cool Church".  In our text there is simply a quick passing comment that there were those that laughed, but then the story goes on with those that had a heart for God and of their celebration. God does not get all upset about those that don't want to be on his team. God is not out there begging people to join his side.  God is not insecure, are you?  We need to stop trying to prove to those that don't want to serve God, "that we're really cool people" and that serving God is not for losers.  Why? What if God does call losers and the rift raft of society to serve him. "Jesus is a crutch and that's why you're a Christian!" Will you fight and argue that that is not true to your own defense, will you fight for your rights and demand that you not be laughed at? Or will you say, "you're right, Jesus is a crutch and I need him, that's right, that's me, non-hacker, loser. That's right I couldn't make it through life without this crutch called Jesus, go ahead, laugh at me".  Most won't do that, will be get Tat and pierce ourselves up, just like the world and say, "hey, we're just like you, c'mon  man, be my friend, don't laugh at me!".  Our text right after we read, "but many people laughed" goes on, moves on with the story, "at the same time , God's hand was on the people ....all one heart to obey God".  Don't excuse or try to justify that you "have a heart for God" and they don't. Count yourself privileged, that for some reason, beyond our finite understanding we have a heart to serve God and others have a heart to mock God.  The story doesn't given undue attention to those that want to laugh and neither should we. We give way to much attention to our mockers because it bugs us, it feeds off our insecurity as Christians. We, like Jesus when He walked the earth, have to be comfortable in our own skin, we have to be secure in who we are.  BORN AGAIN Christians, unashamedly unapologetic in our beliefs and immune to those that laugh and mock. The more their laughter irritates you, the more their laughter affects you, the more you are revealing, that you are not all that confident and secure in who you have become, and that should be a greater concern to you than those that laugh at you. Those that are bothered the most by those that laugh, are often those that eventually revert and turn from their Christianity, it is only a sign, that you are not all that secure and sure, of what you are involved in and what you have become.