Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Sunday, February 16, 2014

You Cannot Straddle The Fence.

Today I preached about choices in a round about way.  My sermon was called: YOU CAN GET WITH THIS OR YOU CAN GET WITH THAT (THE CHOICE IS YOURS)-DEUTERONOMY 30:15-20 AND MATTHEW 5:27-31 was where I got my inspiration.

What a world in which we live. It seems as if the world moves at an ironic or opposite path. It seems as if today’s society marches to the beat of a different drum than the past generations’ societies. It seems as if what was BAD has become GOOD. It also seems as if what was GOOD has become BAD. The anti-hero now stands as the “hero” in the public eye and the hero now stands as the “anti-hero” in the public eye. Nobody wants to fight the good fight but it seems that everybody wants to fight the bad fight. The media shows us predominantly “BAD” news and just a small amount of “good” news. Sex, violence, drugs, dysfunction, and disharmony rule society.  You know it is sad when the number one movie in the country  was, Hannibal (which portrayed a psychotic, human-eating, conniving former doctor as the hero).  It made $58 million dollars in ticket sales in one week alone. I was not one of the many who saw the movie. I don’t like those kinds of movies. The bottom line of the matter is that whether good or bad stands—in the words of the rap group Black Sheep—YOU CAN GET WITH THIS OR YOU CAN GET WITH THAT. YOU CAN GET WITH THIS OR YOU CAN GET WITH THAT.  You can get with this or you can get that is what Moses was virtually saying to the Israelites. Listen to Moses speak throughout Deuteronomy 30:  15-20. 
God has brought us from making bricks without straw and being tortured by Pharaoh and the soldiers of Egypt. God has brought us from running through the desert to crossing the Red Sea on dry land. God has fed us manna in the wilderness of Sin. God has fed us water from a rock in the middle of nowhere. God gave me, Moses, the teachings and rules for you to follow throughout your lives. We have wandered in the wilderness some thirty-odd years but we will soon get over to the Promised Land. I will not get there with you but you will get there. YOU CAN GET WITH THIS—This is all of the commandments, decrees, and ordinances with God has given me and you can become successful and have a good life…or  YOU CAN GET WITH THAT—you know…all of things that make you forget God’s goodness and benefits and bring trouble to you and find sure failure and destruction. YOU CAN GET WITH THIS—this being ….loving the Lord, walking in the right ways, obeying God’s teachings, and holding fast to God and find long life and prosperous things. YOU CAN GET WITH THAT—you can be turning your heart away from God, not listening to sound instruction, serving other Gods, serving people, serving places, and serving the wrong things and discover the way to destruction and death before you get to the Promised Land. YOU CAN GET WITH THIS—know that God has taken us from the slavery of oppressors and being nobodies in Egypt to get toward the promised land of hope, salvation, and a land flowing with milk and honey (prosperity). YOU CAN GET WITH THAT—turning away from the direction of the promised land and going back to slavery, going back to poverty, and going back to your so-called comfort zone. YOU CAN GET WITH THIS OR YOU CAN GET WITH THAT.  But let me tell you… cannot get with both!  You have to make a choice….and that choice will have consequences.

 The relationship between God and the Hebrew nation begins as a very personal one that becomes less personal as time goes on. The biblical history of Israel shows us a playful nation that likes to challenge its relationship with God by playing games with God. The game is a very stupid one which the nation plays because it constantly goes through the up-and-down cycle of highs (blessings) and lows (curses). The game becomes more and more destructive as the nation’s leaders play around with the rules of the teachings by performing tasks for an outside show rather than performing tasks to obtain health living and positive connection with God. The remembering of the teachings became more important than following the teachings. Tragedy is what we should see happening in our minds.
My brothers and sisters, here it is….2014…..and we are still very much like the Hebrew nation of that day. God has taken America from the one of the countries of the New World to the greatest economic, financial, and military power in the world. God has taken the slaves in America from their slavery and plantation driving of the North and the South to owning property and running businesses. God has taken the uneducated in America from being PhD’s.  He has taken people to the Eastside of Manhattan, New York  and put them in penthouses far beyond the Underground Railroad.
We called on God when we were down and forgotten. We knew the Lord when we were in trouble and needed some help. Oh, when we got somewhere and knew somebody we were quick to forget about calling God’s name and truly recognizing the blessing of God for what they are. Oh, my brothers and sisters when we got a few extra dollars in our pocket (whether legal or illegal), when we got a few houses in our ownership, when we got a little education under our belts, or when we got earned a few degrees behind our names we forgot all about from where God brought us. Our money has IN GOD WE TRUST but the last thing the government would love for us to have on our minds is God. Let an unexpected death, let an innocent child be abused or killed, let a bigwig be stricken with illness and it seems the media and government quickly tries to call on God’s assistance. We played the game and tried to forget God and tried to turn the presence of God off and on like a faucet. God is not a faucet to turn on and off….oh no!  GOD IS I AM THAT I AM.
The bottom line remains that YOU CAN GET WITH THIS—loving yourself, loving your neighbors, loving God…. and moving in positive directions which will benefit you or YOU CAN GET WITH THAT—despising yourself and all those around you….and bringing more heartache, failure, and disappointments in your life. You can do what is best for you. You can do what is not best for you. You can build up yourself and the community. You can tear down yourself and the community. YOU CAN GET WITH THIS OR YOU CAN GET WITH THAT BUT THE CHOICE IS YOURS….and there are consequences.  Which choice will you make?

1 comment:

Queenie Jeannie said...

AMEN!!! Such true words, my friend! So many times I'm grateful that we don't have all the TV channels and American influences over here. It's that much less to have to weed out of your life. Jesus is coming....SOON!!!!