Summary: This message was penned and preached to remind us that being in everyone else's business and judging them is not as Christian as we think. There are texts that address this but this message is for those holier than thou people in churches everywhere.
And You Call Yourself A Christian, Really?
Pastor A. J. Watkins D.Min.
King James Version Utilized
Ryrie, Henry, and Clarke Study Aides
Simonton Genesis Ministries © June 2009
Today’s society is in a major turmoil. We have people still hating people so much that they are running into a historical museum and shooting people because of their ethnicity. We have an economy that has been abused and now it is returning the favor. We have lost our jobs, possessions, and relationships due to this bad economy. Gas is going up because of the summer vacationers that are arriving in the various cities of this state. Parents are losing their children to the streets because they cannot afford to be home with them due to the fact of having to work two jobs. The wealthy are not assisting anyone with their wealth. People are getting all that they can. They then can what they get. Lastly, they turn around and sit on the can. Many of you have seen and felt the pinch of our country’s sad economic state.
Relationships, both personal and professional are on the verge of breaking apart. Marriages are on the rocks. Men and women are fighting each other over money in the house. Even the drug dealers, pimps, hustlers, and prostitutes are lowering their prices in an attempt to remain in business for their families. Gangs have settled down a little bit because the price of gas to “who ride” is placing a strain on their wallets. In the entire country both saved and unsaved are feeling the sting of the reckless spending of our leaders of the very recent past.
However, in our text we find two men that know about struggle. We find two men that know about having it all and then losing it all. We find two men that have been through mess, stress, and foolishness. We find two men that have lost possessions and gained them back. We find a King and an Apostle instructing us to “Praise the Lord” and “Rejoice in the Lord.”
All our joy must terminate in God; and our thoughts of God must be delightful thoughts. Thoughts that we know that God is in control so I am going to rejoice anyhow. “Delight thyself in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Ps 37:4). In the multitude of my thoughts within me (grievous and afflicting thoughts) thy comforts delight my soul” (Ps 94:19). “My meditation of him shall be sweet, I will be glad in the Lord” (Ps 104:34). Observe, it is our duty and privilege to rejoice in God, and to rejoice in him always; at all times, in all conditions; even when we suffer for him, or are afflicted by him. We must not think the worse of him or of his ways for the hardships we meet with in his service. There is enough in God to furnish us with overwhelming joy in the worst circumstances on earth.
Christ in the soul and life of believers brings joy on the inside, and that inward joy brings rejoicing on the inside and outside. In fact, the rejoicing on the outside springs from inexpressible joy on the inside.
Christianity was designed by the blood of Jesus Christ in heaven and decreed that it would give joy to all believers regardless of the circumstances that they would face in life. Jesus designed Christianity (which means Christ-like), to bring about a calmness of spirit in the midst of life’s stormy gales, frustrations, perplexing problems, and crucial hours of need. Christianity was not designed for fretting and complaining about life.
It was not designed for fussing and feuding amongst the church members. It was not designed to weigh us down with burdens. It was not designed to shackle us with misery, pain, and suffering. It was not designed to saddle us with knotty, unsolvable, situations and circumstances. It was not designed to give us nightmares of despair. It was not designed to shower us with bitter grief. It was not designed to keep us in tears of sorrow. It was not designed to terrify us with bad dreams. It was not designed to give us bitter pills to chew and swallow. It was not designed to make us dwell on the island of isolation. It was not designed for carrying our fragile feelings in our hands from door to door. It was not designed to gain sympathy for our tears. It was not designed to make us cowards in the face of stiff opposition.
I fear that too many of us go through life fretting and complaining, cussing and fussing, whining and crying about life when we should be rejoicing. There ought to be something in your Christian life experience to rejoice about. There should be something that has transpired down through your personal Christian History for you to shout about. Christ has given his very life and has too many blessings to give to us for us to go to pieces when trials and tests come our way. I will venture to say that too many of us “so-called” Christians go to pieces over a few hurts, a few reverses, a few dreary days, a few dark nights, a few enemies, and a few false friends. In fact, along with our salvation, these are the things that we should rejoice over. There is too much living for Christ to cringe in a corner when trouble arises. Yet you call yourself a Christian. There is too much joy to experience just by being in Christ to complain about your enemies. There is too much rejoicing in Christ to do for anyone to remain on the island of isolation. Yet you call yourself a Christian. There is too much good to be done to dwell on telling your hurts from door to door seeking a pity party. There are too many smiles you can give as you travel through life to worry about the frowns you will receive. There are too many kind handshakes and hugs you can give out to worry about a cold shoulder.