Archive for May, 2012
That is horrible. It will not work. It does not work in God’s economy and it should not work in our economy because we know and love him. Here we make all these judgments and all these decisions because of where someone lives, or what they drive, or what they look like, etc. We can’t do that.
James says something pretty basic here. I am going to talk about three things he tells us to do concerning favoritism.
Number one, James says, do life from the inside out. He says that because most of us do life from the outside in, don’t we? Everything is from the outside. Everything is external. Everything is showcase stuff. James says we have it wrong. It’s from the inside out. My wife and I have met many people over the last several years and we could parade several couples up here.
If you saw these couples, some of you would go, “Oh, look at him. He is drop dead gorgeous.” The guys would go, “Look at her. Wow!” But if you let them talk for a while, if you got to know these people for a while, you would be shocked.
Verse three, “If you show special attention,” maybe he is talking to the ushers or the parking crew back there, I don’t know. This word “special attention” means to take at face value. It means just to look at the external. James says, if you do that, you have messed up. Look at verse 4, “Have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” James says that favoritism is wrong. Favoritism is a sin. Discrimination is wrong.
Discrimination is a sin. It should never happen, especially within the body of Christ, especially within the church. Pretty straightforward stuff.
Sometimes when I walk into a restaurant, I love to see those signs that read, “Warning: You have just entered a smoke-free environment.” I love that. I think churches ought to put above their doors: “Warning: You have just entered a snob-free environment.” Don’t you? I am very sensitive to this subject because of two reasons.
Number one, I am sensitive to favoritism because I moved around a lot as a child. I moved from Irwin, NC to Canton, NC. From Canton, NC, to Greenville, SC. From Greenville, SC to Columbia, SC. From Columbia, SC, to Houston, TX. From Houston, TX to Tallahassee, FL. From Tallahassee, FL, back to Houston.
From Houston now to Dallas. I have moved around a lot. I am extremely sensitive to people who are coming in who are brand new, who don’t understand the deal, who have not met this group or that group. One of the things I love about you guys, one of the things I love about Fellowship Church, is the fact that we are very inclusive.
We warmly welcome those who show up here. We must keep this value. It’s a biblical value. I, for one as a Christian, and I know God does, hate discrimination, and I hate it when people show favoritism.
So I am not really into yard work. I will admit it. But a lot of people are. When you are into yard work, you have got to be into grass. Winter rye. Let’s see, I don’t even know any other names of grass! Artificial turf, whatever. Grass should point us to worship. The Bible speaks volumes regarding grass.
The Bible says that grass withers, the flower fades but the word of God stands forever. It also says in Psalm 103:15-17, “As for man, his days are like grass….” We are temporal. “…he flourishes like a flower of the field….” We are temporal. “…the wind blows over it and it is gone…” We are temporal. “…and its place remembers it no more…” Temporal. “…but from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him and His righteousness with their children’s children…” Grass should motivate me to worship.
They have rotten apple cores and banana peels just hanging around. They produce fruit but they don’t share it. They just consume it and they become spiritually obese. They are like Fat Albert! Now if you are not laughing, ask your parents about Fat Albert, an incredible cartoon character by the genius of comedy, Bill Cosby. Well, don’t be a Fat Albert person of faith. The Spirit produces the fruit, share it. People are hungry. People need it. Become a Farmer’s Market believer.
I have a confession to make. I don’t like yard work. I love Chem Lawn. Some of my friend just love yard work, they really get into it. I guess it goes back to living in the country when I grew up. My father had us mow our two acres with a push mower. My brothers and I had to weed the flowerbed which was about 200 yards long.
Have you ever been to a fashion show? I have. Fashion shows are hilarious because people wear all these weird clothes that no one would ever wear! And I love how people walk. It’s hilarious! And all these designers, and all these important people are watching their every move. They’re into the shoes, outfits, dresses, and suits. And they’re picking apart everything.
Hey parents, you’re on the runway 24-7 and your kids are watching you. Lisa and I have four sets of eyes watching our every move. They’re seeing how we love each other, how we talk to one another, how we romance one another, how we forgive one another, how we defer to one another, and how we do special things for one another. The marriage has got to be the most important thing, because kids leave and spouses stay.
Let’s talk about sex. It’s an important part of marriage. It’s not the most important thing. I’ve read some books where it says the number one desire in a man’s life is sexual fulfillment. I don’t believe that. I think it’s emotional connectivity. But guys connect emotionally through sex. I don’t think sex is number one.
Ladies, let’s talk about sex. Husbands, look at your wives for a second. Wives, look at your husbands. You are looking at your only sexual option. And the Bible tells me a lot about sex, and if you’ve got a problem with me talking about sex, you’ve got a problem with God. The problem’s not with me, it’s with God. He’s the one who’s made it up; he’s the one who invented it. And we should talk about it in our homes, but the second most important place we should talk about it is in the local church.