Sometimes when I try to make a point I walk away feeling like I was about as clear as mud.
This can happen when there’s poor prep or not enough study has gone into the message. But there’s another way that it can happen as well. Sometimes this happens when the message preached runs smack dab into a million and one filters and some in the audience miss it altogether.
Jesus dealt with this during His earthly ministry quite a bit. But it never stopped Him from saying what He had to say—what He came to say.
Whenever I preach I actually do my very best to keep in mind the filters I will be up against but some weeks it’s a greater challenge than others.
Last week was such a time.
The message was called, “Super Sincere” and it was about the real and down to earth faith of Paul’s young apprentice, Timothy. In order to understand what made his faith so sincere we all had to lay aside a lot of our own filters and come at this thing called faith more raw than ever. I think many were blessed as they did just that. Others actually sent e-mails and so forth from hours after the service they attended to days later. Some out there may still be processing. People were seeking clarification.
If that’s you, I encourage you to go to the website, www.southbrookchurch.com and get the podcast. Or, you can click here for it. Give it a second listen, only this time lay aside your political affiliations and denominational baggage. For this message more than most, they will only serve as blockers to the meat of the message.
And if you are Republican, don’t assume that you have the automatic moral high-ground.
If you are a Democrat don’t assume you care more about the little guy while those across the isle do not.
These positions are not only false, they are ludicrous. No one can be boiled down to just a political affiliation. God made us more complex than that! Last weekend I think a few folks never made it past the political turn. That’s a shame because the wonderful truth that God loves you and there is a vehicle that can change the face of planet earth would have been completely missed.
So, one more time let me boil it down.
4 One day Jesus told a story in the form of a parable to a large crowd that had gathered from many towns to hear him: 5
“A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it.6 Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture.7 Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants.8 Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!”When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He replied,
“You are permitted to understand the secrets[a] of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables to teach the others so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled:
‘When they look, they won’t really see.
When they hear, they won’t understand.Luke 8:4–10
What was the problem? Pretty straight-forward story, right? And there were many others like it—stories so simple a child readily understands, yet some of the most educated could not.
Jesus said that whoever wants to enter the kingdom of God must approach it like a child. And what does a little boy or girl not have that most adults do?
We pick them up all along this journey called life. Some are good. Some are not.
Jesus wasn’t political. And he wasn’t into religion. Jesus did not come for those things. He came to offer you Himself.
A good deal if we don’t filter it out!