Bad Things Part I

So many non-believers, and some believers even, ask the question – why do bad things happen to good people? You might have heard the answer, you might not have. I don’t know. But I will tell you why bad things happen to good people.

It starts in Genesis, chapter 3, verses 1-6, and continues in verses 16-19: “Now the serpent was craftier than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it…To the woman, He said, ‘I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you’. To Adam, he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, You must not eat from it, cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.’”

Here, if we examine this segment of Scripture, we will notice 3 key points in this passage: 1. He gives us free will, 2. He warns us, and 3. He corrects us. I have titled my three key points: The Free will, The Warning, and The Rebuking.

The Free Will
From the very beginning, God gave mankind a free will – that is, a free control over their entire lives. They can do whatever they want (with human restrictions, of course). But also, with that free will, came the ability to choose evil, and the ability to choose good. As it seems to be in this world, good makes no effort to look appealing, while sin appears to be glamorous and fun. It is a natural human reaction to want to go for the bigger, the better, the more fun (funner’s not a word), and the overall best-looking item you can receive. Why take the five-dollar gift when you could have the two-hundred-dollar one?
It is our natural human flesh to want to go the evil route. Is that any excuse? Not in the least. Here is a quote I found last week: “If God understands my humanity and sin nature better than I do, why does He still hold me accountable for what I cannot help doing?” (~Anonymous)
There is a big flaw in this statement above – you should see it. It is that wording on the end – what I cannot help doing.
Part of the thing that people like about the idea of free will the most is the ability to be free of control and authoritative powers. But part of free will is making choices. It’s not that we’re predestined to go the sinful route, as Anonymous is suggesting in the above quote. We made the choice for which God is holding us accountable. We could’ve chosen His route, but we didn’t. Why? Because the sin looked better!
Sin is like a curved road. You can’t see what lies around the corner, but the part you can see is all flowers and butterflies. It looks nice, relaxing, and maybe even fun to some people.
But around that corner is the future, in my analogy. Your ‘fun’ and ‘better’ stuff has long-lasting effects that may not set in until later! You may not realize that there are quicksand pits around the corner, but there are! No matter what kind of sin it is, if you choose the path of sin, there will be consequences sometime down the road – whether here on earth, or given to you by God Himself.
So does God just let us go down the road without knowing what’s around the corner? No. God gives us a fair warning before we go on any kind of trip, no matter how short.

The Warning
In verse 17 of chapter 2 in Genesis, God warns Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (discussed in verse 3 in the above passage) or else he will die. Fair warning, right? God does give us fair warnings! He warns us about upcoming events.
I read a biography of a Moldavian Christian martyr named Ivan (nicknamed ‘Vanya’) who was killed on July 16th, 1972 in the Red Army. Before his martyrdom, though, he had been the chauffeur for a young Red Army officer once. They were taking a load of bread to another army camp, and had securely double-latched it in the bed of their truck, along with a padlock. Along the way, Vanya heard God telling him to slow down. He was traveling at 37 mph and paid no attention to God’s warning. Again, God told him to slow down. Again, Vanya ignored him. Then, Vanya saw a piece of their bread sliding along the highway ahead of the truck. He stopped the truck and got out to see half of their bread load scattered back behind them on the highway. As they were picking it up, more vehicles passed them, including a black Ikarus bus. It took them about an hour to clean up all of their bread. When they got back on the road, they came to a large wreck, in which the black Ikarus bus had crashed into a construction crane, and there was a large pileup of cars with several casualties.

Luckily for us, sometimes when we ignore God’s warnings, He shows His mercy by forcing us to stop anyway. An example of this might be in Acts 16:7, in which it says: “When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.” Interesting wording, ‘not allow them to’.
Why does God warn us, if it is truly free will? One reason is to keep us safe, as in the example of Vanya and bread. He was forcing them to stop. But a lot of the time, and I will go so far as to say most of the time, God will just warn us once, and when we disobey, it’s our fault. Is this saying that He’s not a loving God? No, absolutely not. If He weren’t a loving God, then He wouldn’t warn us in the first place. But He does warn us about it. And we fail a lot of the time. It’s ok to fail, though. We are not failing life, or failing our purpose in life, we are just missing the goal of that one task. But that doesn’t mean that He just lets it slip by, either.

The Rebuking
Every time that we fail in something, we are entitled to a rebuke. Whether this rebuke comes from God, your boss, a parent, or someone else, is entirely dependant upon the situation. But no matter what, we will mess up, and we will be in need of being correction.
You can see that Adam and Eve were sternly rebuked in verses 16-19 [of chapter 3]. In fact, their rebuke was so severe that it would also influence the entire world ever after them. Women giving birth would be a painful process, working hard in the fields would be painful process, and the land would rise up against mankind pretty much. Now the only representatives of the human race have failed, and their one little failure to keep God’s one and only command ever issued them (up to that time) they missed by a long shot! How could they fall for a mere fruit?
Remember what the chapter said earlier, though. Verse 6: “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some an ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” The temptation presented by the serpent made her view the fruit with a new mindset, and that mindset was only: “Look at how good it looks! It would make me know everything!” She probably didn’t even know that bad things were possible. I mean, if you lived in a perfect garden and had no issues or troubles at all, wouldn’t you agree that it would be hard to imagine imperfect life with struggles and pain and hardships? According to God’s Words in verse 18, “it will produce thorns and thistles for you…”. There were no thorns, no thistles, etc. These painful nuisances came after The Fall, as God said. (Most likely there were already mosquitoes and ticks, but apparently they did something else besides their present-day purpose. I don’t know, I could be wrong.)
Punishment is sometimes severe. Adam and Eve probably thought that the curse bestowed upon mankind was only for them, until they saw their kids go through it, and their grandkids, and their great-grandkids, and their great-great-grandkids, and so on. How awful they must have felt, watching their daughter go into labor or watching their son out plowing the field, and knowing that it was because they ate the little fruit.
Adam and Eve were also outcasts. “So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.(Gen. 3:23)” Can you imagine being cast out of your home into a strange new wilderness that stretched as far as the eye could see – no matter how far you traveled? They weren’t in a nice walled garden anymore. They were in the wilderness – where vicious animals roamed, strange new insects were drawing their blood, and prickly plants were scratching their legs to ribbons. Can you imagine being sent out into a wilderness, all alone, your Creator upset with you, and not knowing where to go. Oh, and don’t forget the cherubim with the flaming sword that kicked them out of the garden – officially. How could they put up with such stress and heartache? After all, that was the first time for them to feel it!

So, to conclude, I want to answer my original question – why do bad things happen to good people? I explained the origin of bad things and sin. And Adam and Eve really were good people, even though people often look down at them. There’s a biblical example right there of bad things happening to good people. But remember – and this is the answer to the question – we have been given the choice by free will. The choice to take God’s path or our sin nature path. The path to life or the path to death. The path to good things, or the path to bad things.
There is a bit more to talk about, but for the sake of time, I will save that for part II.

The Man Behind the Door

All of us have had friends before. And with every one that has passed, there has been a little piece of hurt thrust into your life. As you get older these hurts increase. I moved to Houston when I was six or seven, but I didn’t feel much true hurt about leaving everybody I knew – I was young! I didn’t understand the meaning of true friendship. But then when my first ever best friend left our church and I never ever saw him again, that was probably my first friend-loss hurt that I’ve ever had. It happened again when we moved, except much more dramatic.
My point is that there is hurt in every one of us – hurt that is almost impossible to comfort by our own efforts. And who really wants to go around broadcasting that hurt to every person on the planet? No one wants all these sympathizers coming to them, and in reality, who would really care about a random person’s hurts?
We need to care. I am going to try to address the need to care, the desire to care, and the reason to care. These are crucial to being a good trustworthy friend.

          The Need to Care
A few months ago I learned that the person who I considered to be my best friend did not feel the same way about me. That discovery brought a whirlwind of hurt, pain, and dislike for that person into my life. The person that I called a best friend really was not my best friend. Or was it really that way?
If we are going to be good best friends, we need to understand this concept: Sometimes people are there for you, and sometimes you are there for them. You shouldn’t be able to look at your friendship as looking in a mirror. You shouldn’t be linked identical-to-identical; friendships don’t typically work that way. Most of the time, God brings people into your life to encourage you, heal you from previous wounds, mentor you, or just be a guide for you. But in order for this rule to be true, it has to go both ways. In mathematical terms, it has to be commutative. If this applies for all people, it applies to you and to your best friend. That means that if your best friend (in your eyes) does not consider you his/her best friend, maybe he is only there for you, and you are getting what you can from him. But what if there’s this guy (or girl in a girl’s case; let’s not make this awkward) that considers you his(/her) best friend, but you really don’t care for them? At all. Maybe you are there for them. But here’s something important about this rule that you have to understand: you have to care for that person! You have to desire to care. Here’s a quote I was shown today:
“I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most, to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return.”

       The Desire to Care
Why should we be given the desire to care? Well, love stems from care, and the two greatest commandments are all about loving God and man; that should be reason enough.
But in case it’s not, you should remember a time when your life was falling apart at the seams, where everything was crumbling around you, and where your life was pretty much chaos and confusion. And do you remember how good prayer from another person felt? It is so nice when you are in need and receive prayer.
I heard a story a month or so ago at a church, where this speaker was talking about an uncle of his, who refused to get saved until a few months before his death (he had cancer). The speaker proceeded to say that after he (his uncle) was saved, he witnessed to more people in his few remaining months than most Christians do in their entire lifetime.
This is the kind of care we should be having. Remembering how close we came to complete destruction should motivate us to help those who are on their way there.

The Reason to Care
The reason to care is a great one. What is it? God cared about us first, and we are to mirror the image of Christ in all that we do. Therefore we should be kind and considerate and caring to those around us who love us. Also, we often care out of love for that person. If you love someone, you will mind if they get injured or are going through a hard time. It’s just something that you should do. That is the reason to care – out of love.
In conclusion, I want to draw out my original point. All of us have friends or people we know. All people are hurting. That means your friend is hurting. That means his friend is hurting. That means you are hurting. You may not realize it, but there is hurt there. There is pain there. There is sorrow there. You may be ignoring it and thus unaware of its presence, but believe me the pain is still present. So, do you want to have a friendship on the surface, or do you want to know the man behind the door?

Speak Out!

A question many Christians ask is: “What am I supposed to do here?” This is a very valid question, worth considering. Your purpose has two main starting points, if that is possible: 1.) is The Fall (Genesis 3:1-20), and 2.) the Great Commission (Mark 16:15-16). These are the key points of our mission here one earth. After The Fall, we were exposed to two options – right and wrong. But because the wrong way typically seems like the right way, many people are now lost in the darkness.

See, God made the world perfect and then gave us free reign over the world. We went crazy with our power, destroying His beautiful creation and creating an imperfect world out of His perfect world. Now our task is to spread God’s word throughout the entire world, saving each person one by one.
A lot of people confuse this task; especially young people. This task isn’t just for adults. This is for everyone – young, old, new and mature believers! This is one of the reasons we’re here! It’s not like an earthly career, though. This is a 24/7 gig. You can’t just quit. There is no quitting. Our purpose right now is to be furthering the Kingdom of God.
I’ve been reading an in-depth book on the life of Elijah by Bill Crowder recently called Trusting God in Hard Times. One of the things that Bill Crowder brings out is that Elijah wasn’t known at the time of the drought (1 Ki. 17:1). He was a nobody. No one in Ahab’s kingdom knew who Elijah was. But then, this unknown, insignificant man pops into the king’s court, saying, “Hey! There isn’t going to be any rain or dew for the next few years until I say so, O.K.?” The king must have thought he was crazy. But do you realize the courage it took, even for a grown man, to stand up to the greatest power in Israel at the time and tell him that someone he doesn’t even believe in is going to cause a severe drought? At worst, he could probably be beheaded. At best, the king would believe him. But what were the chances of that?
Elijah demonstrated this kind of courage over and over. He told a widow to use the last of her supplies and to trust that this strange man’s (whom she’d never met before) God would provide more food. What were the odds of that?
His boldness to share his information was incomprehensible. He didn’t even question when God told him to go to the wilderness, go to the lowly widow, or tell the king about the drought. He just did it! What faith it took for him to do that!
I read in that book this quote: “He [God] totally disrupted the comfort zone Elijah had become used to. Why? To stretch him in new ways. When our comfort zone is shattered, it doesn’t mean that God has lost control. But it may mean that we’ve stopped hearing the voice of God because we’ve grown too comfortable.”
I used to lead small, unorganized witnessing group at our old church. There were typically anywhere from four to seven people there, but they were always young people (a.k.a. my friends). I wanted to prove that young people can make a difference in the world! Other people might not have gotten anything from it, I can’t be sure. But I do know that I learned from it.
It starts tonight. If you want to have a future of spreading God’s Word, it takes practice and training. God may have to take you out to the wilderness (figuratively speaking), but He will prepare you for His task. It will be hard, as Elijah saw, but in the end it will ‘produce a harvest of righteousness and peace’.
So, if you want to have an evangelistic future, don’t wait until you can go to Africa, or until your church youth group orchestrates an outreach trip to Chicago. The best start is small. A single tract given out to some random person can spark a big fire within you. I’ve experienced it. Its power is awesome.

Read the full account of Elijah in 1 Kings 17-2 Kings 2. Available here.

I Have the Right!

So many times when our possessions are mildly threatened by friends or members of the family, we can say: “I have the right!” When they question as to why you’re eating the last of the cereal, you can joyfully say, “I have the right!” When you take a break from schoolwork or some big task you can stretch and say, “I have the right!”

Let’s look at this from a different perspective. You walk in and see your sibling(s) eating the last of the cereal. You angrily demand to know why they are eating your cereal. They smile and say, “We have the right!”

Let’s be honest, people. No one has a right to anything. Everything we have was given to us by God! Your money, your possessions, the cereal, your time, everything you think you are entitled to, God owns.

We are blessed that God lends us those things in abundance. Have you ever wondered why God doles out his blessings upon us in the U.S., but poorer, more rural countries have less? Did God just run out of supplies?

No, it’s not that at all. Actually, while there is true poverty all over the world, there are many people who are living simply and with few possessions yet feel rich and blessed. Here in the U.S., though, we have bought into the lie that more possessions = happiness, and we are racking up so much debt pursuing these relics of luxury. As Christians, we should know that true happiness comes from humility and meekness.

Why do we choose to live so luxuriously with vehicles for every occasion and huge mansions as homes? We choose it because 1.) it makes us feel important, 2.) it makes us feel better than others, 3.) we are greedy, or 4.) all of the above. That’s why they had 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class on the Titanic in 1912; it was to honor the wealthier people. Did the wealthiest people deserve the better rooms? No. Did the poor people deserve the better rooms? No. Nobody deserves anything! That’s my point today!

The attitude of entitlement is also a great burden that was supposed to be cast aside, along with the other things that hinder and entangle (Heb. 12:1) so that we can run with perseverance the race that God has marked out for us. When we feel that we’re entitled to something, we are really demanding something other than what God has for us. Am I saying that God will not give us what we demand? No. People don’t deserve a new Cadillac every three months, but some people can afford that. Which brings me to my next topic.

Just because you can afford something doesn’t mean you deserve it! And just because you feel entitled to it, especially if you can’t pay for it, that doesn’t mean that you need it. That is one of our biggest problems. We have been repeatedly told that we deserve the best and that, as Americans, we should have the best. And how do we get it? By buying more things with money that we don’t have. Because our government sets the tone and models this behavior for us, we are trillions of dollars in debt. “So”, they say, “why don’t we just get the money we need to pay off our debt from the people? We’ll take from their retirement plans, but oh! That’s not enough! So now, we’ll create taxes, you know, ‘for their retirement plans’, and then take all that too.”

The U.S. Government receives $2.5 trillion every year from taxes, and what they do with it I don’t know. But I do know that the government is getting deeper and deeper into debt. America needs to learn contentment, pay off debt, and in the meantime, live according to Jesus’ teachings – meek and humble. In that way, hopefully we would become more like him – and more considerate to ‘the least of these’.

So, where do we find ‘the least of these’? It’s definitely easier in big cities. In Houston, for example, you can find them gathering under many overpasses or holding signs at major intersections. In the smaller cities, there may not be overpasses to huddle under, and the police are better able to enforce laws that prohibit the homeless/needy from panhandling or loitering. However, if we look hard enough, they can be found. Likewise, the ‘least of these’ is not limited to the homeless/needy, but they are a good, obvious place to start. As I’ve said in other posts, mission trips don’t have to be expensive in the least. Most people think of mission trips as a week in another country eating roasted insects and sleeping on mud mats, but truly a mission trip is anywhere you go for the purpose of ministering to others. Homeless shelters are always asking for food donations! We made 100 sack lunches once and dropped them off in downtown Houston, and the cost, for our family, was minimal. So why don’t we see more things like that going on around us? Has the U.S. stopped caring about ‘the least of these’?

I don’t think so. There are lots of people who donate and give of their time for a needy cause. There are people on the street corners who are fed by people who care. Yet, there are not enough.

A big reason behind it all is that we are so busy with things of no eternal importance. Busy indulging our own selfish desires. We are simply too self focused to make the time/effort. We just want to sit around and get what should be ours. What we deserve. What we are entitled to. But the fact is, we don’t deserve anything! We should all be working together to help ‘the least of these’, and by doing that, we will learn to be content in our circumstances, grateful for what we have, and find genuine happiness. Why?

“He must become greater, I must become less (Jn. 3:30)”
“If I give all I possess to the poor and give my body over to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing (1 Cor. 13:3)”
“The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Matt. 23:11-12)”
“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all (Mk. 10:43-44)”

Emotions

Ecc. 3:4: “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…”

The Bible has much to say about emotions. God made them, after all. Ecclesiastes says that sometimes we will be sad, happy, filled with grief, and filled with joy to the point of dancing. But the Bible also says that we are not to be ruled by our emotions. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that the heart is deceitful and wicked.

In other words, emotions can be deceiving. Not good. So many times you are tricked by your emotions. As I heard it stated, “Emotions come uninvited. A thought may pop into your head and you say, ‘I don’t even believe that!’ But it was triggered by an emotion that you felt, and so you thought it.” Emotions do control our thoughts. They also control our reactions sometimes. How many times have you lashed out at a sibling or parent because of an emotion?

Is there anything good to do with these emotions? Let’s see. God gave us these, so they serve some kind of purpose. Here’s another question that may help answer this one: Why are we here on earth? Some of you might say “to take care of the earth (plants, animals, etc.)”. I say, however, why is the earth here? Why did God even make these things in the first place? In short, we were made to praise God. The earth was made for a visual reminder of what He could do and that He was praise-worthy. So yes, there are good emotional feelings you can have.

So, again, why are emotions here? They are so that we can feel love towards Him, so that we can praise Him whole-heartedly.

But it seems like Satan takes everything that God makes and turns it against us. Emotions can be deadly. Emotions allow us to feel hurt, pain, struggle, heartache, hate. And all these can be caused by other people. We have to be so careful with our emotions. Not only can we offend others and hurt them unbelievably deeply, but we can also become obsessed with them.

If you allow yourself to be ruled by your emotions, you’re walking blindly beside a cliff. If your emotions not only direct your every thought and concern, but also govern your actions, what you say, and how and what you think, it’s an impossible route. You can never achieve anything when you’re ruled by your emotions. You will be ridiculed and mocked in your thoughts – because of your emotions.

Emotions can go way off topic, though. You may not even realize that it’s an emotional reaction until you break everything down. Sometimes, you may wonder why something happens. I don’t know. But typically, those kinds of questions have the roof of self-pity, or in other words, pride.

Emotions are what make you feel things. They’re what can hurt, what can heal, but without emotions, we would just be human robots, unable to feel anything.

Emotions can also be harmful to you. Feeling sad for yourself because of something that you don’t have or something that you can’t do or because someone hurt your feelings is pride. So are bad emotions sins? No, not in and of themselves. It is often our reactions and responses to these emotions that are sinful. How can these be sins? Look at it this way: I said that emotions can give you hate, right? Hate is the same as murder in God’s eyes! Feeling sad for yourself is a big emotion. What is it? Pride! These are all mentioned in Proverbs 6:16-19 (in the NIV they are under the title “haughty eyes” and “hands that shed innocent blood”). These are six of the things that God hates! Can we do something about those sins? Yes. Put others before yourself. Put their concerns ahead of yours. It’s really important.

When your emotions are in control and you are guided by them, you then will dwell upon them and as a result will become self focused. You really can’t be caring or loving to someone else if you are too busy focusing on yourself. So, then you have no room for other’s, meaning, you don’t have room for other people’s problems or predicaments. You can’t honestly help them, because you are obsessed with your own struggles. You can try! But you can’t really be a good help. So, in a nutshell, if you’re trying to be a good friend to someone else, work through your problems and emotions first. It’ll be easier that way.

A New Norm

Today is one of those days. The day where you need to post something but really don’t have anything to post. Well, God provides, sometimes at unexpected times. Like at 12:36 on Friday while I’m mowing the yard. Tragedy struck for a moment, however, when I forgot what my blog post idea was. It came back to me later, and I finally got the time to write it Friday night.

I was laying on my bed two weeks ago. Just, sitting there. It was cold in my room. I had the fan on medium. I didn’t want to get up to turn it off. The switch is on the other side of my room. But I did. I flipped it off and resumed my posture on my bed. I lazily watched the fan slowly start to “unwind”. I imagined myself as the ceiling fan. As soon as I’m born, I start dying. I slowly “unwind”, slower and slower, until finally, I come to a complete stop. I die.

This analogy was a strange one for me to be thinking of at 10:00. Normally I get more creative in the mornings around 7:30 and at about 11:00 at night. I was thinking that as the fan unwound itself, it had a certain time until it completely stopped. All it did was spin, as if it never knew it would die the next minute. But it did.

I was forced to wonder, “If we knew the time that we would die, and how long we had until that time, what would we do differently?” I thought about the short amount of time it took for my fan to go from being supported by electricity and living strongly, to dead-still. I thought about how that’s like our lifetime. I’ll say the average person lives to about eighty years old. If you compare that to the probable six-thousand year old universe, or even the more recent two-thousand years since Christ’s death, eighty years out of six-thousand years is not really noticeable in the least. Not to mention you’re sharing those eighty years with about three billion other people. It’s like a grain of sand on the beach. It’s indistinguishable. Nobody has any cause to notice it.
That said, in your short lifetime, what might you prioritize that you want done? Maybe you like to read books. Great. Nothing wrong with that. Maybe you like to hang out on the computer and chat with your friends. Also great. I’m not here to criticize your likes and interests. But if you found out today that you only had forty-seven days to live, would you read books as much? Would you chat with your friends on the internet? Would you do whatever it is you like to do? Or would you try to gain a closer relationship with loved ones, or go on a mission trip, or do something you don’t do everyday. Maybe we should make those everyday things a treat.
Maybe having internet should be a privilege. Maybe we shouldn’t take advantage of it and hang out on the web for hours. Maybe we should actually do something with that time we have. Maybe the things we don’t do as much now should become our everyday things tomorrow. What do you not do now? Evangelize? How many times do you tell somebody about Jesus? Do you even pray with God? I’m not here to tear you down today. I’m not here to ask you to turn your life around and make a better effort to follow Christ. I’m here just to ask you those questions.

Let’s say you die tomorrow. Let’s say after you die, God gives you another week here on earth. Would you just shrug it off and get back on the computer or into your book? Or would you actually be looking for things to do? Not all of it has to be strict Christian activities. You could go sightseeing to the Grand Canyon, or Niagara Falls, or go see the Eiffel Tower. What would you do? I think we should start doing those things today. Make the things that aren’t normal for your yesterday, the norm of your tomorrow. Spend some time with your family if you don’t. Just act like any day could be your last. Cause it will surprise you when your last day comes.

Let’s say you do decide to do some Christian activities. Good! What will you do? Mission trips aren’t expensive at all. It’s probably at least ten minutes to a park or jogging trail. There’s a good place to start. You don’t have to go overseas to reach people. There are lost people walking beside us daily. Maybe you know one. Have you made any effort to reach them?

My point today is not to make you feel bad if you don’t evangelize, or feel good if you do evangelize. My point today is to keep the norm of yesterday belonging to yesterday. Get a new norm. Today.