Monday, August 31, 2015
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I always think I look healthier with a suntan, which means I don't look very healthy most of the time. And most of the time my suntan turns out to be a sunburn anyway. Now, the doctors are telling us that all that exposure to the sun probably makes us less healthy, even if we look healthier, because it's increasing the risks of skin cancer. But even without those warnings, I think that hours of trying to get a tan - for me at least - are pretty much a waste of time. Oh, I change color, but I have I guess what you would call easy come, easy go skin. In other words, I pick up the sun very quickly, but the color also fades very quickly. And in no time, it's taking me back to my usual shade of office white. The color that I get so easily either fades away quickly or just falls off. Actually, there are people like that too.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Easy Come, Easy Go Friends."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Matthew 26, and then from chapter 27 where we read about Judas Iscariot; one of the tragic figures of the Bible and his really tragic experience with friendship. Chapter 26, verse 14 says, "Then one of the 12 - the one called Judas Iscariot - went to the chief priests and asked, 'What are you willing to give me if I hand Him (being Jesus) over to you?' So they counted out for him thirty silver coins." They were pretty quick to accept that offer, huh?
Well, then we go to chapter 27 after the deed has been done. Notice what happens to these easy come friends. "When Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. 'I have sinned,' he said, 'for I have betrayed innocent blood.' 'What is that to us?' they replied. 'That's your responsibility!' So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself."
Do you see the reaction of Judas' sinful friends? They immediately accepted him when he wanted to do sinful things with them. And I'm sure he felt all warm and accepted, and it was profitable for him. But notice the ending of the story. When he didn't play by their rules any more, they said, "Forget you, Judas." That's how it is with sinful friends. They're easy come-easy go. That's still true today. The easiest crowd to be accepted in anywhere is the crowd that's doing wrong together. They'll take you in right away.
Maybe you've drifted into some friendships yourself that are dragging you down right now, because they were easy to get into. They take you as you are. See, people won't say "yes" to Christ many times because they're afraid of losing those kind of friends. If you want to see how committed they are to you, go against what they're doing. Stop doing those wrong things with them. I think you'll find if you say to them, "I care about you guys, but I can't do what we've been doing together any more" you'll see how fast that you're "out" with them. "Forget you, buddy!" They didn't care for you; they cared to have someone else to sin with. You thought you were going to lose some friends, and you found out they weren't friends to lose in the first place.
See, rebellion needs company. The crowds that don't like Jesus, they want more people with them. They feel better the more people are siding with them and doing what they do. But they're a fickle bunch. And all that may be tying you together with those friends right now is sort of a sin pact. It's a mistake to choose easy come, easy go friends over the Savior who will never turn His back on you even when you're rebelling against Him.
Maybe these friends have become the major deciding factor in your choices, whether they're at work, or at school. Whether they're people that you hunt with, fish with, recreate with, or at the gym with. But they've become a major deciding factor in what you do or don't do.
Why don't you cultivate friendships where Christ is the glue, not where sin is the glue. Be smarter than Judas. Don't pin your hopes on people who will drop you as quickly as they accepted you.