Monday, July 6, 2015
Download MP3 (right click to save)
We had three kids. They were all in the junior high band at different times over a seven year period of time. So I got to go to seven straight years of junior high band concerts. I enjoyed watching our kids develop musically, but I cannot say it was a memorable music experience. Fortunately, they stuck to pieces that were at their level. But what if they had attempted, say Beethoven, the musical genius.
Just imagine you didn't know much about Beethoven and I invited you to come to one of these band concerts with me? "Hey, they're performing a Beethoven symphony. I know you're going to be impressed with Beethoven's ability!" Now, it's after the concert and I say, "Well, what did you think of Beethoven?" Your response? "Uh, not impressed." "Well, I know there were a lot of squeaks and squawks and instruments missing. But please, please don't judge Beethoven based on the way they played his music. He's a genius. They just don't play his music real well."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Band and the Master."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Mark 1:16-17; two words here that instantly eliminate a lot of confusion and most of the reasons for not giving yourself to Jesus Christ. Here's what it says, "Jesus walked along the Sea of Galilee, and He saw Simon and his brother, Andrew, casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 'Come, follow Me' Jesus said. At once they left their nets and followed Him."
Not long after that it records in Mark 2:14, that He came up to Levi, who was a tax collector, and He came to his tax collector's booth and said, "Follow Me." He just kept saying that to people, "Follow Me." In other words Jesus is saying, "I am the issue." That's why one of Christianity's most brilliant minds, the Apostle Paul, said in 1 Corinthians 2:2, "I was determined when I was among you to know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." He's saying, "This is all about Jesus and Him dying on the cross for you."
See, so many people's objections to Jesus are because, well, honestly Christians you might say don't play His music very well. "People are hypocrites! I've seen those Christians." Really? Was Jesus a hypocrite? "Well, the church is only after money!" Was Jesus only after money? See, the only reason for not being a follower of Jesus is because of a problem you have with Jesus. It's never been about Christianity. It's never been about Christians. It's all about Jesus. If you don't like the inconsistencies in Christianity, neither do I. Neither does Jesus. But that's no reason to put off the Son of God.
Maybe you've been burned by Christianity or Christians somewhere along the way. But it wasn't Jesus who did that. As a bumper sticker says, "Christians aren't perfect, but they're forgiven." Like the junior high band playing the music of Beethoven. We don't always play His music very well, but we're practicing and trying to sound more like Him. But don't reject the Savior who died in your place for your sin because of something that His imperfect followers have done.
When you take your last breath and your heart beats for the last time, it's going to be Jesus you're face to face with. And all that's going to matter is how you responded to His life-changing, life-giving invitation, "Follow Me."
Don't you want to be sure you belong to Him? No one else can get you to heaven, because no one else paid for the sin that will keep you out of heaven. No one else has the power to give you eternal life, because no one else walked out of His grave under His own power except the Savior, Jesus. He's ready to walk into your life.
If you want that to happen for you today and experience this Jesus for yourself, why don't you go to our website ANewStory.com. Or if you want to talk with someone about what it means to follow Christ, text us at 442-244-WORD.
He created you. He opened the way to God by loving you enough to die in your place for your sins. He loves you very, very much. He's been waiting a long time for you. How many more times are there going to be? I don't know. The only guarantee you've got is today.
I know the band isn't perfect, but the Master, Jesus? You can totally trust Him. Haven't you been in the darkness long enough?