Title: The Punk In Me
Text: Matthew 1.18-21, John 1.9-14, Colossians 1.19,27
CT: Only Jesus can deal with the punk in me.
FAS: I had the privilege to sit and listen to Max Lucado back in October down in Pigeon Forge. He opened with a story that many of us can probably relate to. It was the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and the streets around the shopping malls had turned into controlled chaos.
A young driver made an illegal U-turn (illegal) right in front of Max and he had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the young man. Max blew his horn. Not a friendly and polite toot but it was a blaring held out blast that screamed, “Do you know what you almost did?”
The car was an old low riding, wide wheeled, two toned, exhaust puffing junker that dated in the eighties. It also needed a much more mature driver. The car accelerated and a long arm came out of the passenger window and gave Max a backhanded, one fingered wave.
Max sped up.
Thanks to a stoplight the young man with his buddy beside him had to stop beside Max at the next light.
Max rolled down his window and said, ”You need to watch that wave, son.”
This young man with a sideways cap on said, “Make me.”
I did say this was Max Lucado. A sixty year old revered Christian author and renowned preacher. Max found himself stunned at what he had started here.
The boy repeated, “Make me.”
Common sense was urging Max to drive away.
But something took hold of Max and out of his mouth came, “Okay, where do you want to go?”
The boy’s eyes got as big as pancakes. He couldn’t believe what Max had just said.
But he said, “Let’s meet in the shopping mall parking lot.”
The light changed to green and Max pulled out. Max started to imagine what must be going on in the minds of these two young “punks”.
“Who was this crazy guy? Was he packing? Reckon he is with the mafia?”
The testosterone filled young boys decided to make a quick left and disappeared from sight.
Max started to breathe again. Max’s inner punk had almost got the best of him.
Luckily I had listened to this and one week later I made a trip to Lexington to get some paint in my Big Tan Van. Beautiful vehicle. (Sarcasm here) Kathy was with me and we were going around New Circle and had to stop at a light. I had my window down because the air wasn’t working in my beautiful van and it was hot. A car load of college age guys pull up beside my wonderful machine and yelled at me and blew their horn. Took me a second to realize they were talking to me. I am getting old.
Then one young college student yelled, “Hey buddy, my friend here wants your number.” They all started to laugh their eyes out.
Max’s story came to my mind. I said to myself, “Don’t let your “punk” out.
So, as I gave a huge smile I said, “My number 1 is God and I would love to tell you about Him. And by the way I thank you for this great illustration you just gave me for a sermon I’m working on called, “The Punk In Me.”
They looked at me like I was crazy or maybe weird.
I then asked them (Should have just kept quiet), “You all like my Big Tan Van. It is my pride and joy. You have a great day.”
They seemed to have lost their urge to communicate with me. But the passenger did finally say, “Well, God bless America then.”
Don’t really think it was sincere. He was I believe making fun of my faded flag bumper sticker magnet that had been on my Big Tan Van for 18 years. Really proud of that sticker. My brother gave it to me. I digress. The nice polite college gentlemen sped off never to be seen again.
My beautiful wife looked over at me and said, “Those boys didn’t realize you just called them punks, did they?
I said, “No and I guess I was a bit of a “punk” at them.”
Glad I had heard Max Lucado the week before or it might have been ugly and my “punk in me” might have revealed itself as these boys tried to “punk me”
LS: We all have a little “punk” in us. We all do. We all are born with a sinful nature that we by ourselves cannot overcome. You buy that. [Screen 3]
King David believed it. Psalm 51.5, Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
We inherited a sinful nature. It started with Adam in the Garden of Eden and we as mankind have not been able to overcome the problem of sin. We posses in our heart a sinful nature. We are born to naturally believe it is all about us.
When faced with the right circumstances we become someone we may not even know exists in us. We see someone who is disrespectful as not someone’s child. Not a creation of God. Fearful and wonderfully made. We see them as punks. And if we are not careful they will bring out this “punk” in us. This sinful nature we naturally fall back on.
We don’t learn this sinful nature. Our parents didn’t have to teach us to throw temper tantrums. We were born with that skill.
No one showed us how to steal a cookie from our sister when we were kids. We knew we wanted it no matter what.
We didn’t have to take lessons on pouting or passing the blame, but we had it down pat before we were even potty trained. Some of us are still pretty good at it.
The heart of the human problem is the human heart. We are born with a selfish heart that believes it is all about us
We look at the dreadful things other people do and excuse ourselves.
Human beings are not unlike volcanoes. Inside a volcano, the pressure builds until the top blows with a dramatic eruption of lava. At other times, cracks slowly appear on the side of the volcano, and the lava flows out in a different manner.
So it is with human beings. We can never say that the circumstances in which a young person's character was formed did not have some impact on the way that he behaves. But inside each of us, there's a thing called sin. No matter what way our volcano was formed, whether we blow the top or leak streams of lava, it's the lava inside that's the problem. The ultimate disease is the problem, and there's nothing human beings can do about it. 1
1 Stuart Briscoe, "The Love That Compels," Preaching Today, Tape No. 126.
We like to think with doing our best to live right we can overcome this “punk” issue on our own. The problem is we may even know what the right thing to do is but not be able to do it. We know God’s ideal for us is the best way. We want to believe we will always say yes to God and follow Jesus. We say no to our self when we want to do what we want when we want with who we want but sometimes it is tough. [Screen 4] But under the right circumstances even the best of us, even Max Lucado, will say no to God and let our “punk within us” take over.
So what is God to do? He is faced with a problem. He looked upon a world full of people that had hearts full of sin. A world full of people filled with “punks in me”.
Yet He and His kingdom are holy.
How could God let a bunch of sin ridden, punk filled people into His presence?
He didn’t have to. He could have just done away with us. We are His creation you know.
Or as I have said before he could have left us to our own devices and we would destroy our selves.
But no. For some reason God loves us as His children. The whole mission of the Bible is of our Father God trying in every way to bring His children back to Him.
The sad thing is we didn’t head toward Him. Our hearts were too full of “punk” to see what we really needed.
So God had to make a way for us to get to Him in spite of our sinful heart.
Only God could make a way. Only God could build the bridge of reconciliation from “punks” like me to a holy God like Him.
It all started with a visit from an angel to a young single man who was about to marry a young virgin girl named Mary. We read of this encounter in Matthew 1.18-21: [Screen 5] 18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. [Screen 6] 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. [Screen 7]
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. [Screen 8] 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
They will name him Jesus. That means Yahweh saves in Hebrew. God saves.
You see God Himself was fixing to come into a world filled with “punk hearted” people to eradicate the punk in their hearts with His Light.
God came through Jesus who had Gods fullness dwelling in Him. [Screen 10]
Colossians 1.19, For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.
God has it all under control. No wonder Jesus could do all the things He did while on earth. He was and is God.
Through Jesus God would bring His Eden back.
John 1.9-14, [screen 11] 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. [Screen 12] 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. [Screen 13] 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. [screen 14] 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— [screen 15] 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. [screen 16]
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, [Screen 17] the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus came to save us, not just from oppressive leaders, enemies, struggles or trials. He came to save us from the sins we alone could never overcome.
Jesus was and is perfect. He is God.
That one word describes Jesus: Perfect
One word describes us: Imperfect
Jesus has all the love of God in Him. All the power and compassion of God is in the body of an earthly carpenter while he was here.
No wonder the winds and rains obeyed when Jesus spoke. He was God speaking.
No wonder the water held Jesus up as He walked. It was God walking.
No wonder people stood in awe as Jesus taught them. It was God speaking.
And no wonder ten thousand angels held their ground in rapt attention as Jesus was nailed to a cross. It was God commanding His own death.
God let people crucify Him for our sake. [Screen 18]
2 Corinthians 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.
But that is not all. The biggest thing God did was place Christ in us to push out the sin that had taken residence there. Christ removes the “punk” within us.
[Screen 19] Colossians 1.27 Message, The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, therefore you can look forward to sharing in God's glory. It's that simple.
We would like to think that we can control the punk within us ourselves.
The only way we can overcome this sin within us is by the blood of Jesus. No other way.
Only by the blood that washes out our punk stained heart can we stand before a Holy God.
The cross is the only thing that conquers our punk.
With Christ in us we will never “punk” our brothers and sisters. We will love one another.
With Christ in us we overcome the anger of our “punk”.
With Christ in us we win the victory and can walk with confidence into the presence of a Holy and compassionate loving Father God.
CT: Only Jesus can deal with the “punk in me.”
Won’t you come today? Surrender your heart to the One who can bring you a new life of:
Peace with God,
Peace with others,
And yes, Peace with the “Punk in me”.
I Give You My Heart
Bibliography: Lucado, Max. Because of Bethlehem: Love Is Born, Hope Is Here. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2016. Print. Chapter 3 saved from ourselves
Also attended conference where Max Lucado told the first story of this sermon.