Monday, November 10, 2008

Standing With Jesus Post Election Day

Standing with Jesus After the Election

Joh 2:13 And the passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And he found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:15 and he made a scourge of cords, and cast all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers' money, and overthrew their tables; 16 and to them that sold the doves he said, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house a house of merchandise. 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, Zeal for thy house shall eat me up.

A man is driving thru the Texas Hill Country and he comes on a young cowboy watching his herd and pulls over to the side of the road. He's driving a black Lexus, wearing an Armani suit, $500 sunglasses, Yves St. Laurent silk tie, and Gucci shoes. He says to the boy if I can tell you how many cows you got there, can I have a calf? The boy thinks a second, looks out over the valley in front of him and says, "Sure Mr."
So he pulls out his i-phone, gets his GPS coordinates for his exact location. Gets on the internet, goes to a Nasa website where he gets a real-time picture of his location from a satellite. Then he sends that picture to a photo processing lab in Boston that enhances its definition. Then he sends it to another lab that has item recognition and has it analyzed. Then he opens his email and there is an email to him with a description of the area within a half mile radius. It tell his there are so many trees and what their types are. It tells him there’s a stream and a dry creek bed. It tells him there’s a black Lexus, Himself, a teenaged boy name Bobby, and 732 other unidentified animals. So he says to the boy, You have 732 cows here. The boy says WOW, That’s amazing! So do i get my calf? Yes mister, its only fair. So he spreads the barbed wire for the man who comes thru the fence in his Armani suit, picks up the smallest calf he sees, carries him to the car, pops his trunk puts it in there and starts to get in his car.
The boy says hold on. Aren't you gonna give me a chance to win him back? The man says Ok that’s fair, how. Well if I can tell you what line of work you're in I get him back. The man, "Sure, OK." The boy says, you work for some politician up in Washington D.C. The man says, WOW, you're right, how'd you guess that? The boy says, it wasn't a guess. You come here uninvited. You wanted to get paid for information I already had and didn't need. Did a lot of useless work to answer a question nobody ever asked. Tried to show me how much smarter you are than me and yet you don't know anything about Cattle! The man: Why do you say that? Cause these here are sheep!
Now give me back my Collie!

All you have to do is look at the poll numbers of our president and congress to know that by and large the public doesn't have much respect for them-As A Group. Individually most of them have folks that like them enough to vote for them, but politicians in general have a very bad reputation.
But I want to give you some straight talk. I want to give you some hope! Some change we can believe in! The voting is all past for a while, but that doesn't mean we stop being involved.
Throughout the Bible God's prophets spoke truth to power. They told Kings and Princes what they needed to hear not what they wanted to hear. John the Baptist spoke truth to Herod and ended up having his head surgically removed. Jesus drove the money changers from the temple. And you can be sure those people were there at the permission of the High Priest, and probably paid the high priest a commission to be there. He spoke about paying our taxes to Caesar. He spoke about abysmal the leadership of Israel behaved calling the Pharisees "whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones."
Even though the voting is over, Jesus is still the King of Kings, He is Lord of Lords, He is our master and we, brothers and sisters are his agents of Hope and change and straight talk to the world.
1. Many preachers talk about what we as believers should stand for, but there are things we should Stand against!
Jesus did! Right here in the temple courts he stood against these money changers. Were they providing a service? Yes. Did people come from far away with the wrong currency, or not having the animals needed for sacrifice? Yes. They provided a much needed service. But listen, Jesus won't tolerate us giving a loaf of bread or a cup of water to someone if there is the poison of sin in it. Whether it’s in business or in charity, you can't give out good meat with the hook of evil inside it.
Now listen, the Bible never condemns someone making a profit. Profit is good. Profit is right. But it does condemn using a false scale, and cheating people, or taking advantage of them when they are at a disadvantage.
Years ago I knew a popular radio DJ in Houston who became a Christian. This is back in the 70's. Rusty was excited to be saved. He was a changed man. Other folks at work started to notice this. Pretty soon he was witnessing to them. Then came Bible studies and prayer meetings. people were getting saved. Then one day the boss called him into his office and says, Rusty, I understand you've been stealing from me. I'm gonna have to let you go. Rusty was shocked. he denied it and said he would never cheat or steal from him. The manager said, after you get off the air i see you reading your bible instead of preparing for tomorrow's show. I know about those half hour meetings in your office with other employees, keeping them from doing their jobs. You are stealing the time that I pay these people for. Rusty hung his head. It was true. He apologized, admitted his guilt, and asked the manager for another chance and told him it would never happen again. He got that chance and told all the employees what he was guilty of and said from now on the bible studies and prayer meetings are for after work.
Think about this. Is it a sin when the government starts a lottery that they know will take more money from the poorest of the poor than anyone else, playing on their false hopes? Is it a sin when the government decides to tax one segment of society far heavier than another segment? Is it a sin when government promises much to the poor that they cannot possible deliver without confiscatory taxes? My answer to all these is yes. Remember, Jesus won't tolerate a free gift that’s poisoned by sin.
Recently a woman got a phone call at home that was a political poll. It claimed to be unbiased and asked her some general political and demographic questions. Then they asked this question. Do you believe in a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices or do you believe in government intervention in a woman's health? In other words: abortion.
Listen no matter how you voted; Christians need to stand for the life of the unborn. The world calls it choice, God calls it murder.
What if a politician said I believe in a person's right to own another person? The world used to call that "choice" but God calls it taking advantage of the underprivileged and a horrible, horrible treatment of our fellow man!

2. Secondly we have to Stand FOR the things Jesus stands for.
Jesus always stood for the things of God. Luke 2:49, Jn 4:34, 9:4.
In this passage in John 2 Jesus was passionate about the things of God. He was passionate about the Temple. He was passionate about God's plan for meeting with mankind.
We know the things we should stand for. We should stand for what’s right;for the gospel.; for freedom and life. There ARE things worth dying for!
Remember the name Nathan Hale? He not only stood for what was right, he had the thing that we so often lack. Pure, Raw, unadulterated courage! He was a young man when he distinguished himself as a soldier. At 21 he was given a special assignment to go behind enemy lines. When he was captured and threatened with death did he surrender, Did he give up? Did he give out secret information? No. He made the now famous statement. I regret that I have but one life to give for my country! Now that is love of country!
I sometimes wonder if I have that kind of courage. I seriously doubt it. But let me ask you, Is Jesus worth dying for? Are you ready to pay the full price of discipleship?
Are the Values of Jesus worth dying for? Are the people that Jesus died for worth dying for? Do you have the raw courage to stand like Jesus stood? Are you willing to stand for the sanctity of marriage? Are you willing to stand for the sanctity of abstinence outside of marriage? Are you willing to stand for the lives of the unborn? Are you willing to stand for the freedom of voluntary prayer in schools and Workplaces? Are you willing to stand for the freedom to proclaim the gospel where ever you go and on TV and radio? You never know when the enemy might attack that!

3. Start with letting the world know that you stand with Jesus! And don't be afraid to admit it, or tell folks about Him!
When I was in school, I thought Kirk Douglas was the coolest guy alive. Kirk was a famous actor back in those days, he had sort of rugged good looks. He was a swashbuckler and a rogue. And I wanted to be like him. So I would sit in class holding my chin like this so I could have the same dimple in my chin that Kirk Douglas had. Then girls would flock to me and say Oh Clark, you're so cool!
Didn't work! That was pretty dumb. But today, I really want to be like Jesus. I really do. I don't always want it bad enough, but I do want it. Do you? Somewhere down deep inside, do you wish you were more like Jesus? Many of you are more like Jesus than I am I'll tell you that!
But Jesus took up his cross for us. Will we deny ourselves and take up our cross for Him? Jesus had the very mind of God, will we let his mind be is us as it says in Phil 2? In the greatest invitation in scripture Jesus invites us to come and take on His yoke! Do you know what that means?
First, a student of someone else took on their master's yoke. So, it means being a student of Jesus! Second, it referred to this contraption that you put two oxen in. One ox was always stronger and more experienced than the other, but the younger ox would learn to pull his share of the load. Jesus said His yoke would be easy and His burden would be light. Why, cause He is doing all the hard work!
But there's one more thing about the yoke i want you to think about.
You can only wear one yoke at a time! You can’t wear the yoke of Jesus and the yoke of the world. You can’t wear the yoke of Jesus and the yoke of sin. Jesus won't accept your good effort if it’s poisoned with sin. You gotta get rid of it.
Go back to John 2. Look at verse 24-25.
Joh 2:24 But Jesus did not trust himself unto them, for that he knew all men,25 and because he needed not that any one should bear witness concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.
Are you wearing the yoke of Christ? You can fool me but you can't fool Jesus. Do you trust in Jesus as your only Lord and savior? You can fool me but you can't fool Jesus. Are you standing with Jesus and are you letting the world know who you represent? You can fool me pretty easily, but you can't fool Jesus.
Put on the yoke of Jesus! Stand against sin, stand for what is right, and let people know who your Lord is.

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