Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hooray for Jesus

We seem to be living in more and more in a narcissistic society.  A good example of the "it's all about me'
generation we are experiencing is the applause people are now giving to themselves.  You see it with guests on TV shows, athletes, celebrities and politicians all clapping for themselves when introduced or saying or doing something significant.  Now everyone enjoys being praised but in past times the recipient would acknowledge the applause graciously or with a "who me?" attitude.  There are examples in the Bible where someone was regarded as a god and often paid the price for such folly and pride.  The good examples are of those like the angel who told John in Revelation not to bow down to him for he said that he was a creature just like John.

Those of us who pour the praise on others without pointing out God's role in it all are  helping the push for a 'ME" society.  It seems to be all about human accomplishment with little or no glory going to our Creator.  A better attitude is found in a very flawed man named David.  He looked up into the vast sea of stares in the mighty universe and said, "what is man that Thou takest thought of Him?" Why should God even care about us--especially since we seem to not care about Him.  David was a flawed man but he had a heart for God.  And when the Messiah came he would be called, "the Son of David"  which was quite an honor.  This Son of David was the Son of God--He was Jesus and yet, even he said, 'I can do nothing on my own but only what I see the Father doing.

It turns out that God is a self-giving person.  And since we are made in his image we are called to be selfless.

And by the way, have you noticed that Cheerleaders don't lead cheers anymore(in High School anyway).  They call attention to themselves and they cheer.  Rarely do they actually lead a cheer!  I turns out that the real cheer leaders are the one who we are supposed to be cheering for.  You can see them on the field or court waving their arms imploring the fans to cheer them.

All I can say is, "Hooray for Jesus!"

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Where Is God?

A few days ago I attended a funeral of a man who had been a great asset to our local community.  He truly had been a fine man with a servant's heart.  The funeral service lasted over an hour and a half.  Eight different speakers extolled the wonderful qualities of the deceased and praised his selfless service to others. 

Everything the speakers said was true but I had a terrible feeling that something was wrong.  We were, after all, in a church.  We had listened to and sung some moving hymns.  Yet, on and on, the eulogies went; praising human accomplishment(though well deserved) without any mention of God.  Something was terribly wrong with this picture.  Finally, the pastor began to speak.  At first I thought it was going to be the same litany we had been hearing.  Then he said that this man who had meant so much to his family, friends, and community, had expressed his faith in God.  There it was!  He had faith in God. 

The Lord Jesus Christ is the one who deserves the praise.  All that my friend accomplished pales in comparison to his faith in Christ.  As a matter of fact, it was his faith in God that caused him to be the man that he was.  Why did it take so long for the mention of God to show up in the eulogies?  I don't know the answer to that question but I can say that this funeral service stands for me as a parable of many Christian lives(I'm sorry to say that it has been my life all to often).  We tend to compartmentalize our lives.  God has His place but it is not first place.  We have a relationship with Him and not a moment by moment one. 

I really believe that this man had a good relationship with God and is now in heaven.  I just wish that fact had been mentioned more often in his funeral.  Maybe we all need to have a little more God talk in our words.  And I can surely say that I need to keep up my daily commitment to Christ, making sure that I am focusing on Him and serving Him.  My friend's life of service is one that I want to emulate.  But most of all, I want that service to issue out of a sincere personal relationship with the living God.