Summary: Do you have members in your congregation who seem to be less than commited to serving Jesus and the church? Preach this sermon.
Don't Be A Mug Wump Christian
11 "For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off.
12It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?'
13Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?'
14But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
15"See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,
16in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.
17But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them,
18I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
20that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."
The title of today's sermon is "Don't Be A Mug Wump Christian".
You may not know what a Mug Wump is.
The term originated in the 1884 Presidential Election.
The Mugwumps were Republicans...
who supported Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland.
The term came to mean a politician...
who could not make up his mind on some important issue,
or who refused to take a stand when he was expected to do so.
They were "fence setters" with their mugs on one side...
and their "wumps" on the other.
Unfortunately, there are many "Mug Wumps"...
in the churches these days.
They sit with their "wumps" in a church pew...
and their "mugs" are in the world.
Jesus says that won't do!
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon
He says in Matthew 12:30
He who is not with Me is against Me...
In our Bible text for today...
we see again that God gives us a choice.
Verse 15"See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,
Christians must make a choice!
Today's story is about Martha Watson,
a young schoolteacher in Georgia.
Martha also had a choice to make.
One day she met a young businessman named Andrew Hill. Andrew was from Maine.
Now this meeting between these two young people...
happened 5 years after the end of the Civil War.
Andrew had fought for the North.
Two of Martha's brothers had been killed in the Civil War.
The plantation where she lived had been devastated...
by the invading Union army during Sherman's March to the Sea.
It had taken a lot of hard work to restore the plantation.
Martha and Andrew's acquaintance grew into friendship.
Their friendship grew into love.
And finally, they wanted to get married.
Martha was 25 years old.
She was old enough to make her own choices,
but she wanted her father's approval of the marriage.
However, her father was against the marriage.
He thought she ought to remain single...
and he had no desire to have a Yankee for a son-in-law.
Martha had an idea.
She made arrangements with her fiancé to visit the plantation.
She hoped her father would change his mind...
after meeting her fiance.
But the father said,
"I will not allow that Yankee to enter my house!"
Martha was confronted with a choice.
Would she give up her marriage to please her father...
or would she marry the man that she loved?
In our Bible text today, God sets forth a choice for us.
"life or death,....blessing or curse."
Now...God has given us the freedom to choose.
Nevertheless, God wants us to choose life.
He even tells us exactly how to choose life.
Point #1 WE CHOOSE LIFE BY LOVING GOD:
20 that you may love the LORD your God