Wake The Churches

We’re Bad!

Snapshot_20150428_31Oh yes, we are Bad…

There’s a slang term that’s been around for a few years now, though it’s probably going out of style, “You’re bad,” or “That’s bad.” Meaning something or someone is good.

It’s an odd fact that, that term is really true. We are Bad. But what I mean by that is, we are wicked and sinful. If you don’t think you are, read on…

When a child dies or is murdered, we often say something like, they were innocent. But are they really? Oh sure, they are innocent of a crime in most cases. But is a child really sinless?

We look at a new born lying in a cradle or being held in their parent’s arms as being innocent, pure and untouched by the sin of this world. But are they really?

When a child comes into this world, who teaches that child to be selfish and demanding? Let’s face it, as far as a baby is concerned, the whole world revolves around him or her. They want what they want when the want it, no if ands or buts.

“Change me!” “Feed me!” “Hold me!” They cry.

And as they get older, is there someone, some sinful person that sneaks into their room and teaches them to lie? To be even more selfish then they were?

What parent sits down with their kid and says, “Okay honey, let Daddy teach you how to get your way, and tomorrow we’ll talk about lying.”

From the day we are born, we are demanding, selfish and self-centered. And if we aren’t taught right from wrong, we continue in this sinful mind set.

We have to be taught to give, to care for others, to be selfless. It’s not something we are born with.

The person, who has never been taught that stealing is wrong, has no problem shoplifting and worse as they get older.

But in most homes and in most countries there are rules, laws that are taught and understood. We are taught that it is wrong to steal and kill. Most of us have parents that teach us how to get along with other people. That we can’t have our way all the time. That sometimes we have to give into someone else’s needs.

But even those who are taught right from wrong still fall.

  • We fudge on our taxes, “Everyone does it.”
  • We mislead others we are trying to sell something to. “This was the best car I’ve ever had, never had a problem with it.”
  • We lie in business all the time. “I’m really sick; I don’t think I can come in today.”
  • “I’ll make sure to get that done on time and under budget.”
  • “Of course it was my idea, Bill would never have thought of something like that.”
  • Not to mention the lies we tell at home, “I’ll be home right after work, Honest.”
  • “I only had one drink, Honey.”
  • “Of course I had to work late, do you think I’d stay at work if I didn’t have too?”

We all mess up, all the time.

Who of us hasn’t stolen some office supplies from work, pocketed some pencils or pens, or taken some clips or notebooks for our own personal use? Who of us hasn’t taken some towels from a hotel?

And we don’t always steal things, we steal time too. We steal time from our family. We work our tails off, to make money at the expense of time with our family. We justify it by saying, “I’m working hard to be able to pay for all the stuff we need.” But what we are really doing is stealing time from those we love. Have you ever heard of someone on their death bed wishing they’d spent more time at work?

When you choose to work, rather then spend time with your family, you’re stealing from them. Stealing time that can never be recovered.

Let’s just get this out right now, We are Sinful. We Sin. We sin all the time. We Are Bad.

We lie, we cheat, and we steal. Some of us even kill. Oh, we may not kill someone for real. But we kill relationships, we kill friendships. We kill Love. We spend so much time doing our own thing, feeding our own desires, we kill those relationships, friendships and love others have had toward us and with us.

The Bible says, you knew I’d be getting to the Bible sooner or later didn’t you? Paul says in Romans 3:23,

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

And in Romans 3:10,

As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;

And it’s true, we have all sinned, we have all messed up. And we keep doing it.

Who of you hasn’t lusted after someone? Hasn’t seen some actor or actress, model or cute guy or gal and wondered, “What would it be like to…?”

Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:27-28,

27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

And if you think you’ve never killed someone, read Matthew 5:21-22,

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…

How many of us have been angry with someone?

Are you beginning to get the idea?

We are Bad, we sin, we mess up.

And if we weren’t taught right from wrong, we’d be even worse off then we are now.

At this point, I could launch into a lesson on the Saving Grace of Christ, of how we needed Him to do what He did for us on the Cross so we can be forgiven. For it is only through our excepting Jesus and what He did for us, that we can be saved at all. But I want to talk about something else, being better then we are.

Let’s face it, we all sin, we all mess up, we’re bad. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be better then we are.

Children today are taught in school that we are all descended from animals, with no thought of God or a Creator. If we think we’re nothing but some kind of impossible accident, with a large brain, is it any wonder why some kids behave the way they do? After all, if we’re some kind of cosmic accident, if all this happened by chance, what does life matter, what does doing right or not doing wrong matter? We’re just some highly developed animal. There’s nothing more special about us, then some bug on a windshield, or a snake in the grass.

In an existence like that the only thing that matters is “Us.” Whatever makes us happy is all that matters. Doing good is only relevant when it helps us. So the belief that we are just animals, no better or no worse then the rabbit that is left smashed on the road, allows us to do whatever feels good to us. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, if it feels good to us, we do it.

If there is no God, no Creator, then we are responsible to no one but ourselves.

I know I’m taking this to an extreme, but I want you to think. Our schools may teach our kids they descended from monkeys, that we are nothing more then thinking animals, but if we just leave it at that, and never teach them about God, and right and wrong, we are going to get more and more killings, crime and broken lives.

I won’t go into Creation verses Evolution here, but if you believe this is all some accident, then you have more faith then I have.

But let’s get back to right and wrong.

Sorry to tell you, but there is such a thing as Right, and Wrong. Something’s are Right, and some are Wrong. It’s wrong to kill, to steal, it’s Wrong to cheat on your spouse. And in spite of what a movie of a few years ago said, Greed is NOT Good.

And speaking of movies, the class room isn’t the only place that gives us wrong or wrong headed information. The movies and television are full of, how shall I say it, Crap.

According to most movies and TV shows, it’s okay to cheat on your spouse, having sex outside of marriage is fun and hurts no one, while sex in marriage is boring and a burden, a duty to be performed. And even if the murderer or the thief is caught, we are still subjected to death and theft as a somewhat normal part of life.

You know it’s getting bad when some so called “Star” is caught cheating on his wife or girl friend, and the talking heads on TV say, “What did she expect, he’s so and so…”

We have gotten to the point that we EXPECT celebrities to commit adultery. I hope we never come to the point where some action movie star kills someone, and we say, “Well, what do you expect, he’s Joe Action.” It almost came to that, a few years ago when a former sports figure turned actor was put on trial for killing his wife and another man. And it says something about us, that even though the evidence pointed clearly at this person, he got off.

What I am saying is, that from the time we are born, we wanted what we want, when we want it, if we don’t learn right from wrong and keep trying to do better, we are headed for the pit, either eternally or the pit of existence here on earth.

Living for yourself, is the pits.

When you live for yourself, you don’t care what anyone else thinks, you do what you think is best for yourself. You lie, cheat, steal and kill, if only figuratively, to satisfy your needs and desires.

If you cheat on your spouse, you will lose what you have. And for what? A thrill, a short term high, some momentary excitement? In the end, you will suffer, your spouse will suffer, and your kids will suffer.

If you have sex before marriage, and I did, you will look back with regret and I do. You will think back to the lives you used and threw away. Those were real thinking caring people, not some piece of meat for you to use and forget. And for some of them, I was the piece of meat that was used and thrown away. And those are not pretty memories.

If you cheat on the little things of life, like work and your taxes, it’s not that big a jump to cheat on the bigger things. The more you cheat, the easier it gets. Over time, it becomes normal.

It’s the same with lying. The more you lie, the harder it is to stop lying. And it gets hard after awhile, because you’ve got so much to remember. What did I tell him or her, and how can I cover up what really happened. Just ask a former President or two about that.

Since the day we are born, we are wired if you will, to be self-centered cheats and liars. We are wired to live for ourselves, and not care about anything or anyone else. Fortunately, most of us learn to love and care for our mothers and fathers at least. But even that starts out because we want something from them and get good things from them. But over time, the love and caring grows. But sometimes, that kind of love can take a lifetime to learn.

The funny thing is, we do all the selfish things we do in order to be happy or to try to be happy. We want to please ourselves so life will be good. But what happens when we only think of ourselves? What happens when we live for ourselves and forget about others? We end up, sooner or later, miserable. Nothing satisfies us, we can’t make enough money, because we always want more. We can’t have enough sex because it doesn’t last, it doesn’t satisfy. The more we get of anything, the more we want. And when we get the next thing, we aren’t satisfied, we want still more. Like the baby who cries and cries, he doesn’t know what he wants; he just knows he’s not happy.

Jesus said it best in Matthew, Mark and Luke. In Luke 17:33 he says,

Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.

If you live for yourself, seeking only to please yourself, you will never be happy. But if you live thinking of others, an amazing thing happens, you just might find happiness.

I don’t care what “They” say; the one with the most toys doesn’t win. More often than not, they lose.

The point of this rather long piece is to say, we need to Try and Be Better then the way we were born. We have to work at not always thinking of ourselves and instead, think about others.

They asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was and He answered in Matthew, Mark and again in Luke. This time I’ll quote from Matthew 22:37-40

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

It’s the good old “Golden Rule.”

Many of us say we live by the Golden Rule, but do we really? We say it with our mouths, but with our hearts, we still, too often, think of ourselves first.

It’s to the degree that we really live by that Golden Rule that will determine how happy and fulfilled we will be.

Kids, I’m going to be very blunt right now…

  • When you die, and you will, it’s won’t matter how much money you made. The kids will just waist it anyway.
  • It won’t matter how big a house you had, it’ll just get sold, or fall apart.
  • It won’t matter how many toys you collected or what your hobbies were.
  • It won’t matter how much you spent on lavish vacations.
  • It won’t matter how big a business you built.
  • It won’t matter how successful you think you were.
  • It won’t matter how many times you went to the ball game dressed in some crazy sports team’s colors, or how silly you acted when you got there.

None of the things we think we need or work for in this life will matter at all. You can’t take it with you.

Do you know what will matter?

How much good you did with what you were given.

Each one of us is given gifts and talents by God, at birth. We didn’t ask for them or earn them. They were just a gift.

We say a good actor has talent. And if you really look at that actor and ask them how they got so good, once you get past any amount of training or schooling they received, it almost always comes down to a gift they were just given when they were born.

Some people have a gift for making money. Everything they do seems to be successful. If you ask them, they might tell you they went to school and studied real hard, or they learned all they learned from so and so.

If you take two different people and give them both the same training and experience with the same mentors, one can go on to be successful and one can fail. Whether it’s the gift of making money or acting. If God didn’t bless you with that gift, no amount of training or mentoring is going to help.

We look at some people and say, “They were born to do that.” Born to be a Doctor or whatever… And it’s true, some people are just born to do what they do, and do it well. It’s a gift, a blessing from God.

And what do most of us do with those gifts and blessings God has given us? We forget about the giver and, true to our sinful selves, glorify the receiver, ourselves. We did it, we achieved it.

I’m sorry kids; you didn’t do a thing that God hadn’t given you the talent or gift of being able to do.

So, give credit where credit is due.

Give Thanks to GOD.

If we acknowledge that God is the giver of all good things, as the Bible says in the book of James 1:17,

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

Then we must give God the credit. Give Him Thanks. Acknowledge that if it weren’t for Him, for His Grace, we couldn’t do anything or have anything.

If we think we did it all on our own, without God’s help, then we are fooling ourselves. Just think back in your life, how many times has something happened for the good, that seemed by accident? That went against the odds that just couldn’t or wouldn’t happen normally?

How many times in your life have things just fallen into place, and the result was something wonderful?

At the time that I wrote this, I was 54 and a widowed father of one great boy, Matthew. But back when I was married, I use to think, it wouldn’t be that hard to find someone new, if I had to. Because it was so easy to find and woo my late wife. But when I was in that situation again, I realized how much of a blessing, a gift meeting her was to my life. How God brought us two different people together. And I see that, even though it seemed easy at the time, I now see how hard it really is to find that special someone.

I now see how good God was to me to bring her into my life. How perfect she was for me at the time. I could have gone on a hundred dates and never found her. But God brought her to me and placed her beside me. I didn’t do a thing. And for that, I Thank Him.

Then she died and I was that single guy again looking for the right gal.

A few years after she passed, God brought just the right lady into my life again. Again, I was blessed by God. And I did nothing but be open to His leading.

God has blessed each and every one of us, many times over our lifetimes, and in many different ways. All you have to do is think back and see how improbable it was that things would work out that well for us.

So if we acknowledge that God has been working in our lives, all through our lives, we Must Give Him the credit. Give Him Thanks.

And one of the best ways to Give Him thanks is to Learn of Him, to follow His teachings. To Love God with all of our mind and heart, and to Love others in the same way.

If we truly Love God and others, we won’t steal, we won’t cheat, we won’t kill or hate. And we won’t be as bad as we could have been.

You can set up rules and regulations to try and force yourself to be good. But if you acknowledge God in your life, live with Him inside you, you won’t need those rules and regulations to keep yourself from doing wrong and you’ll find it easy to do right.

If you live with God on your mind and in your heart, life becomes so much more. If you put others needs ahead of your own, you just might find that your needs are being met in a way they never had before.

We are by nature, sinful creatures. But if we invite God into our lives, we can over come that sinful nature and truly live.

But if we try and do it on our own, we will fail and with that failure, will come guilt. And with that guilt will come disgust, with ourselves and with each other. And we will find ourselves digging an ever deepening hole that we will find harder and harder to climb out of.

We all dig those holes for ourselves, but if we just look up, we will find God there reaching down to lift us up and out of those holes.

You can try and do it on your own, with your rules and laws. But when you fail, and you will, if you don’t look up to God, life gets darker and deeper, and I feel sorry for you.

We are Bad, we all mess up. We can’t help ourselves. But with GOD and through the work of His Son Jesus, we can be forgiven and helped. With God’s Holy Spirit living inside us, we can be better they we are.

In this life, to over come the bad, we need all the help we can get. So take the hand that is offered and as you do, notice the nail holes in it, as HE pulls you up to walk with HIM.

We need HIM; I need HIM, You Need HIM.

You can be better then you are, with God’s help.

Walking with Him is a lot easier then walking without Him.

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