INTRO.- Preoccupation. What is it? Is it good or bad? To be preoccupied with something is to enthralled with or engrossed in or perhaps just plain crazy about something. Have you ever been crazy about anything?
And Americans are preoccupied. But with what? Do you think Americans are preoccupied with any of these things?
1- Making money (getting rich)
2- Saving money (depends on your age probably)
3- Spending money
4- Making a living
5- Becoming famous
6- Eating food
7- Maintaining health
8- Looking better physically
9- Living longer
10- Making love (depends on age, etc.)
11- Watching TV
12- Watching sports on TV (especially on Super Sunday)
13- Participating in sports
14- Going to church
15- Becoming a Christian
16- Becoming a better Christian
As most of know, today is called "Super Sunday" by football enthusiasts. More than 93 million people watched the "Super Bowl" on TV last year. Not sure about this year.
In 2007 it was the Indianapolis Colts - 29 and Chicago Bears - 17. Today, it’s the New England Patriots against the NY Giants.
Who’s going to win? I don’t know but I do know who is already a winner in this world. Do you? YOU ARE! And it’s not because of your looks, age, talent, money, etc. It’s because of who you know and whose you are.
IT’S BECAUSE OF CHRIST THAT YOU ARE ALREADY A WINNER. You’ve been promised assistance in this life and the promise of eternal life beyond the grave because of Jesus. You are linked to Him and that’s what makes you a winner. At least, in the eyes of God!
Today is Super Sunday for millions of Super Bowl fans but it should also be a Super Sunday for us who worship Christ!
Acts 20:7 "On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight."
The early Christians met on the first day of the week to remember and honor Christ in the breaking of the bread. And of course, in this case Paul preached. And today our breaking of the bread in the form of the Lord’s Day is accompanied with preaching. Fortunately, for you, however, it doesn’t last until midnight!
Every Sunday should be Super Sunday for the Christian. Our hope is not in this world, it is Christ. In fact, this world doesn’t have much to offer.
I John 2:15-17 "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."
Even though we have to making a living in this world we must realize that we must also make a life! We need to make a life that is pleasing to God! And a part of pleasing God is remembering and honoring Him every way we can and every day and particularly on the Lord’s Day.
PROP.- In the remainder of this message I want us to focus on why every Sunday should be Super Sunday to us. It’s because we have: 1- A Super God 2- A Super Savior 3- A Super church
I. A SUPER GOD
ILL.- Super judge. Did you hear about her? 1/16/08, LAS VEGAS — With hands cuffed at his waist and a defeated expression on his face, O.J. Simpson was denounced in court as "arrogant or ignorant or both" by a judge who doubled his bail to $250,000 for violating the terms of his bail in an alleged memorabilia heist.
"I don’t know Mr. Simpson what the heck you were thinking — or maybe that’s the problem — you weren’t," Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass lectured Simpson during a brief court appearance. The custody hearing was called because of a phone message Simpson left with his bail bondsman two months ago.
She called the situation "mind boggling," including the fact that she was not asked to revoke Simpson’s bond until after the district attorney already had sent the bondsman to Florida to take Simpson into custody.
But Simpson’s behavior was the focus of her tongue lashing. "I don’t know if it’s just arrogance. I don’t know if it’s ignorance," she said. "But you’ve been locked up at the Clark County Detention Center since Friday because of arrogance or ignorance — or both."
The judge concluded Simpson had violated the terms of his bail two months ago by leaving a sputtering, expletive-filled message for his bail bondsman and mentioning a co-defendant.
I LIKE THAT JUDGE, but I don’t want to appear before her, nor Judge Judy. They are a couple of tough, super judges.
Now a super judge is one thing, but a Super God is even bigger and better. And I am not suggesting that our God is like Judge Judy. He’s far better, bigger, holier, and exactly right on all issues. Judge Judy still makes mistakes. Our God does not.
What makes our God a Super God? Genesis 1:1. How does it read? "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
ILL.- Sometime ago I saw a video clip of ex-governor Mike Huckabee defending his faith in God and creation during a recent GOP Presidential debate. HE MADE A BELIEVER OUT OF ME IN REGARD TO HIS FAITH! You could tell that he believes what he says and why shouldn’t he?
He said, "’In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,’ etc. To me it’s pretty simple. "We either believe that God created the heavens and the earth or we believe it was an accident."
Then Wolf Blitzer came back and said, "You didn’t answer the question. Do you believe in a literal six days of creation that occurred 6000 years old?"
Huckabee said, "But I did answer the question. I don’t know. I wasn’t there at creation. No matter how He did it, He did it and that’s what is important....We all are a unique creation of God."
WE HAVE A SUPER GOD WHO CREATED PLANET EARTH AND EVERYTHING IN IT AND ON IT!
Have you looked up into the sky at night or early morning lately? Have you been out in the woods and watched all the wildlife? Have you seen a baby born? Can people not see how super our God is?
Rom. 1:18-20 "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."
God’s creation is just ONE thing that declares God is great or super. There are many other aspects of God’s greatness and/or superiority.
II. A SUPER SAVIOR
ILL.- Recently on the internet I saw an 8 minute interview of Tom Cruise. Care to guess on what subject? Scientology. And he did not come across very well at all. In fact, from my viewpoint, he acted quite dense or dumb. Here’s a part of what he said and I really wish we had that video clip to show you.
"If you’re on board, you’re on board, just like the rest of us," he tells those of wavering faith. "We are the authorities on getting people off drugs, we are the authorities on the mind, the authority on improving conditions. Criminom -- we can rehabilitate criminals, we are the way to happiness, we bring peace and unite cultures."
Brothers and sisters, I don’t believe it and I don’t buy it! Jesus is the only person who can truly rehabilitate criminals and bring peace into people’s lives!
WHAT AM I SAYING? I am saying that Tom Cruise’s god/savior, which is whatever you want it to be and mainly self, is nothing!
John 3:16-17 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
ILL.- D.M. Stearns was preaching in Philadelphia. At the close of the service a stranger came up to him and said, "I don’t like the way you spoke about the cross. I think that instead of emphasizing the death of Christ, it would be far better to preach Jesus, the teacher and example."
Stearns replied, "If I presented Christ in that way, would you be willing to follow Him?" "I certainly would," said the stranger without hesitation.
"All right then," said the preacher, "let’s take the first step. He did no sin. Can you claim that for yourself?" The man looked confused and somewhat surprised. "Why, no," he said. "I acknowledge that I do sin." Stearns replied, "Then your greatest need is to have a Savior, not an example!"
Brothers and sisters, what separates Jesus from so-called saviors in this world is the fact that Jesus is a true savior. He did what no other person has done for us. He gave His own life as a sacrifice for our sins.
Some people may say that’s crazy. Or they may say that’s going too far or they don’t understand how this could be, but it’s the truth of all truths and the only way to heaven!
"The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezek. 18:4) And without the shedding of blood there is no remission or forgiveness of sins. (Heb. 9:22) Are you willing to give your life’s blood for your own sins? Or anybody else’s sins? And do you know of anyone else who has become that sacrifice except Jesus?
Whether we completely understand God’s reasoning for a blood sacrifice is not as important as understanding the fact that He allowed Jesus to be that sacrifice.
Heb. 9:13-14 "The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!"
I Pet. 2:24 "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed."
II Cor. 5:21 "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
If you knew me like God knows me, there is no way on God’s green earth that you would die for me nor would you want anyone to die for me. BUT GOD DID! The same thing applies to you and this is what makes Jesus a Super Savior!
III. A SUPER CHURCH
ILL.- The new and improved lite church. Does it seem to you that churches these days just expect too much from their people? Has the heaviness of your old fashioned church got you weighted down? Try us! We are the New and Improved Lite Church of the Valley. Studies have shown we have 24% fewer commitments than other churches. We guarantee to trim off guilt, because we are Low-Cal. Low Calvin, that is. We are the home of the 7.5% tithe. We promise 40-minute worship services, with 10-minute sermons. Next Sunday’s exciting text is the story of the Feeding of the 3,000. We have only 8 Commandments -- You choose which ones apply each week. We use just 3 gospels in our contemporary New Testament “Good Sound Bites for Modern Human Beings”.
We take the offering every other week, all major credit cards accepted of course or use our easy payment plan. We are closed the first week of hunting season. Yes, the New and Improved Lite Church of the Valley could be just what you are looking for. We are everything you want in a church and less!
I certainly wouldn’t call that church "new and improved!" I would call it very liberal and very uncommitted.
This church sounds very much like another church I read about. Over the massive front doors of a church, these words were inscribed: "The Gate of Heaven". Below that was a small cardboard sign which read: "Please use other entrance."
In spite of what some churches are today I still believe in the Lord’s church! I believe in the church that Jesus built when He said, "I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." When did Jesus institute His church? The day of Pentecost, Acts chapter two, when the three thousand repented and were baptized.
Acts 2:40-43 "With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day." They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles." V. 47 "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."
The Lord’s church is still going today and going strong world-wide. She’s growing faster, however, in many foreign countries than in America. Why is this? BECAUSE AMERICANS ARE GETTING TO THE POINT WHERE THEY THINK THEY DON’T NEED GOD! They have everything else, comfortable living, etc. so why do they need God and the church?
But regardless of what other Americans may think or do, I believe in the church!
ILL.- I like what Robert Louis Stevenson wrote one time about the church: "Went to church today and was not greatly depressed." Amen!
The worship of the church can provide some relief from the depression of this life!
ILL.- E. Stanley Jones (1884 - 1973) was a Christian missionary to India. Some people even called him "the Billy Graham of India." Jones said one time, "I am quite sure that I would not have survived as a young Christian had I not had the church to hold me up. When I rejoiced, they rejoiced with me. When I was weak, they strengthened me. And once when I fell (a bad spiritual fall), they gathered around me with prayer and love, without blame, and lovingly lifted me up."
That is why we believe in the Lord’s church! The church is in the business of lifting people up! The church is all about seeking and saving the lost and then building them up!
ILL.- Many years ago I heard a great description of the church. She was compared to Noah’s ark. With all those animals within there had to be a terrible stink at times. But what make the stink bearable was the hellish storm on the outside. And even though we may not like something about the church, please remember that the church is far better than the hellish world in which we live! And God saved those who were inside the ark! And likewise, He saves those become a part of His church! I am FOR the church!
ILL.- At a Sunday School picnic, the minister was walking across a small bridge when suddenly he started sneezing. He sneezed so hard that his false teeth flew from his mouth and landed in the clear water below. He was extremely embarrassed over the ordeal so he quickly removed his shoes and socks, rolled up his pant legs and started to wade in the water after his teeth.
About that time, a little gray-haired lady in the church showed up, carrying a picnic basket full of food. When she realized what had happened to the minister she quickly reached into her basket and pulled out a crispy fried chicken leg. She tied a piece of string to the chicken leg and tossed it into the water near the teeth. IMMEDIATELY, THE TEETH CLAMPED ONTO THE CHICKEN LEG AND WERE HAULED TO SAFETY.
One of things that most people like is when we a have fried chicken dinner or any kind of dinner at church. It’s great, wonderful. But in reality, every Sunday is or should be a feast to us. We come to church and everyone is laughing, shaking hands, hugging, sharing stories, etc. We also sing praise to our super God and our super Savior. We commune with the Lord. We study His Word. It’s called Super Sunday and we need to get addicted to it!