What do Indian food and Syrian refugees have in common? I'll tell you.
I (mostly) love Indian food. There's this buffet in Canton that I go to once in a while, and it's the perfect way to eat Indian food. I can take as much chicken curry as I want, and walk right by the weird vegan......thing......they have at the far end of the line. I can get extra naan bread and just a little bit a few other things I like to eat with it, but only a bite or two before I've had enough. I can take what I want and leave what I don't.
Buffets are great (* - Golden Corral is the exception to this rule) for eating. But conceptually, it doesn't work in other areas of life. You can't do that whole buffet thing at work, only doing what you like and not doing what you don't. You'd get fired in no time.
You can't do that in your family. Lots of people try, and it always ends in broken homes.
And you can't treat following Jesus like a buffet.
Last Sunday at First Christian Church, I spoke about temptation and how Satan works to bring destruction in our lives. The message was based on Matthew 3:16-4:11. Here's the video, as well as a few highlights and key thoughts from the message:
I'll bet that if you and I were to sit down over coffee and I asked you if anything is worrying you or stressing you out, you'd be able to rattle off a handful of things without even thinking about it. I could too. There are a few things I've lost more than a little sleep over.
Maybe you can relate to this: sometimes there are extended periods of life where it feels like that's my reality. It's more than just a season or a phase...stress just becomes part of the routine. You've most likely experienced the same feeling.
We explain it away, try to ignore it or brush it under the rug, or do what we can to endure it. But worry is toxic. It's a slow-moving poison that is deadly. And because it tends to creep in a little at a time, we usually don't do anything about it until it's too late.
The past few days have made me sad. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, comment threads on news articles, conversations outside Starbucks...everywhere I look, everywhere I am, I hear anger. Hatred. Even rage.
At the same time, I hear hurt. Pain. Sadness.
In the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision regarding homosexual marriage, it's all over the place. I know you've seen it too.
I'm not assigning a certain behavior, action, attitude or feeling to one "side" or another. I see it all on both "sides" of the issue.
This past week, I've heard one phrase more than almost any other. I've seen Christians, even well-intentioned, compassionate, grace-giving Christ-followers, use this phrase: