Summary: 1- A - all have sinned 2- B - Behold the Lamb of God 3- C - Come unto me
INTRO.- We live in a stressful or stress-filled society.
ILL.- A Tahoma, Washington newspaper carried the story of Tattoo the basset hound some time ago. Tattoo didn’t intend to go for an evening run, but when his owner shut the dog’s leash in the car door and took off for a drive – with Tattoo still outside the vehicle, he had no choice. Motorcycle officer Terry Filbert noticed a passing vehicle with something dragging behind it. He commented that the poor basset hound was, “picking them up and putting them down as fast as he could.” He chased the car to a stop, and Tattoo was rescued. But not before the dog had reached a top speed of 25 miles per hour, falling down and rolling over several times.
Many of us are living our lives like Tattoo, picking them up and putting them down as fast as we can – rolling around and feeling dragged through life. Life is tough.
What causes our stress and despair?
ILL.- Someone said to me recently, “I don’t watch the TV news. It’s so depressing.” That’s one of the things that causes so much despair. Most of the TV news is either bad or sad. You don’t hear much good stuff that lifts you up.
For example, every time you turn around you hear about the war in Iraq and it’s not even supposed to be a war. Not now, but it is. Every time you hear of more boys getting killed it does something to you. It pulls at your heartstrings. Or it’s the news about the economy.
ILL.- I just read that the cost of living adjustment intended to help more than 47 million Social Security recipients keep up with inflation is expected to be a tad larger in 2005 than it was this year, BUT THE BAD NEWS is that much of the increase will be eaten up by higher Medicare premiums. Oh joy!
ILL.- And every time we go to the gas pump, the prices are higher. I’m not sure what the average price is in Arkansas, but you certainly don’t want to move to California! I have read that unleaded regular costs around $2.40 a gallon and is as high as $2.73 in San Francisco. Of course, we all believe we haven’t seen the end of this thing yet.
Then there is the lack of morality and spirituality in our country that leads to even more despair. It’s so bad that many people are pushing to legalize same sex marriages and they also want to kick the Ten Commandments out of the courthouse!
ILL.- One preacher wrote, “There was a time when we basically considered ourselves a ‘Christian’ nation in that we generally identified with the Christian faith. There was a feeling that the principles on which our country was founded (freedom, democracy, law and morality) were principles that came from the Scriptures. We did not see a problem with the fact that the laws of the land came from the laws of the Bible. The Ten Commandments were seen as a good thing. Prayer, even at public events, was welcomed and deemed important. The Bible was seen as ‘the good Book’ rather than a dangerous document.
“Things have radically changed. It should be clear that our culture has rejected Christianity as a part of what defines us as a nation. We no longer welcome it as the primary religious influence on the nation. And in its place has come a confusing array of belief systems and religions from other parts of the world. Eastern mysticism, Islam, the Kabbala, and Satan worship are all seen as equal to, and as relevant as Christianity.”