Summary: When called to go, Abraham obeyed and went. As God calls us into his glorious kingdom, he invites us to a life full of challenge, surprise and adventure!
I have to be honest with you… when I was a kid I had a really wrong-headed idea of what the Christian faith was all about. I thought that being a Christian meant giving up a life of fun & excitement in order to come, sit on a pew and be a good boy.
• I’m not sure where that notion came from… maybe it was my Mother telling me to “sit still on the pew and be a good boy?”
• I know many of the men I saw in the church growing up (guys who should have been role models and mentors) didn’t look much like they enjoyed being there either. Even when we would sing upbeat songs of rejoicing… it was always with the sourest of looks! “Rejoice, Rejoice O Pilgrim… “ It just didn’t look like they were having much fun.
• Confession time: Sunday mornings to me meant getting up early (on a non-school day), squeezing into an uncomfortable coat & tie (which might as well have been a noose and straightjacket for the way it felt on me), and heading to church where the task became EITHER (1) trying to sit still on those hard wooden pews that put my backside to sleep … OR (2) persevering through a long-winded sermon that was way over my head without falling asleep myself! My Bible
• And I wondered… where’s the FUN in all of this?
• Its not that I didn’t love God… its just that, I had rather been outside… riding my bike with my friends around the neighborhood, or chasing each other through the woods with plastic pistols, or playing baseball in the empty lot next to our house… like all boys, I longed for fun, excitement, challenge and adventure!
• And so… church, which seemed to lack all of those things (or so I thought) was just uninteresting to me.
• There… I’ve come clean! Fortunately, I grew up and learned a few things about God that changed my mind…
I’m afraid I am not alone… there is a disturbing trend that many church observers are noticing and beginning to talk about. Men, in particular, are disappearing from our churches in greater numbers…
• Stats: from Murrow Why Men Hate Going to Church
o Women comprise more than 60% of adults in church on any given Sunday. (Murrow, 5)
o At least 20%of married women regularly worship without their husbands. Their husbands are at home, or on the golf course or mowing the yard…(Murrow, 5)
o Of the men who DO attend church, many do nothing more. One fellow said, “I go mainly for my kids and my wife. Church is okay, but it really doesn’t enthrall me like it does her.”
• His thesis is… its not that men don’t love God, its that they are bored by church. I’m not sure what I think, but its certainly worth talking about and exploring a little bit.
This morning for us… I want us to see that if church is boring… it isn’t God’s fault! It isn’t Jesus’ fault!
• We’ve spent the last 7 months looking at the life of Jesus and know that his life was anything but dull. Being a disciple may have been a lot of things… but it was certainly never boring!
• Just think… about all of the places you would have gone if you had been one of those 1st disciples.
o Jesus got himself kicked out of his hometown… almost killed!
o He tore up the Temple with all of the moneychangers..
o In the middle of a raging storm out on the Sea of Galilee in a little fishing boat… he fell asleep while everybody else was scared out of their minds!
o He went to the lepers (even touched them), the outcasts, talked to prostitutes, ate with tax collectors… spent time with the poor… what part of town would you have ended up in most days with Jesus?
NO! The call to follow Christ, the call of faith was a call to a life of adventure!
• I don’t think that we typically think of our faith in those terms… at least not often enough.
• But the Bible certainly does! Shame on us if we miss it!
• Way before Captain Jack Sparrow… way before Indiana Jones… way before Roy Rogers & John Wayne… way before Errol Flynn… (how far back do I need to go?) before Robin Hood… King Arthur… Ulysses? Way before the great adventurers that little boys dream of…the accounts of real life adventurers are found in the pages of this book!
Throughout the month, I want us to take a look at some of these real life adventurers (Abraham, Noah, Moses, Joshua, David)
• But not as some larger-than-life, extraordinary “super-heroes”… NO, rather as the Bible presents them… as ordinary, real people whom God called to a great adventure.