I always think it’s a good idea to pay attention to warning signs. Sherry had a cousin who was the kindest redneck I ever met. He loaned somebody a car and told him to keep a check on the oil level. Well, as is often the case, the folks borrowing the car didn’t have much appreciation for it because they didn’t have to buy it. So they drove it for 3 days with the “check engine” light on, and the engine finally seized up. A warning sign gives us prior notice about a danger that could be avoided. All we have to do is heed the signs.
I have a torn rotator cuff. I helped my son build his house and one thing we had to do was dig and form up so we could have the concrete foundation poured. I could tell something was wrong, but I didn’t want to stop, so I ignored the warning sign – pain. By the time we were done I was in bad shape. The doctor tells me it won’t ever get better without surgery. In my line of work, there’s no such thing as health insurance, so this is a permanent injury. If I had only heeded the warning!
I’m a follower of Jesus. Here’s one that only the followers of Jesus can understand. We have someone who lives inside of us. We are possessed – in a good way. The One we refer to as the third person in the trinity is the Holy Spirit. Billy Graham speaks of Him as being like the wind. He says we can’t see the wind, but we see the effects of the wind. I can’t see the Holy Spirit, and I don’t know how to describe what He sounds like when He speaks; but when He speaks, His voice is unmistakable. He has helped me to avoid trouble when I listened to His voice, and I have gotten into trouble when I refused to listen to His warning.
But, here is something else I know. Even thought everybody is not following Jesus, He is still the Maker of us all. We are all made in His image and even though we are fallen, we still bear a resemblance to the One who made us. His likeness is still stamped in our hearts. Without the Ten Commandments, we still know that stealing, killing, lying, and adultery are wrong.
It is Christmas time and there is a reason this holiday is so controversial. To those who don’t want to follow Jesus, that baby in the manger is the biggest threat they ever face. They know who He is, but they don’t like to think about it. When we get past this season, we remember the truth. He was born that night for the express purpose of dying to save us from hell - And not just some of us, but all of us. Not just the serial killers, child molesters, and drug pushers – regular sinners like me were going to hell. That’s why some get equally pissed about Easter. At Christmas He came making a claim, and Easter proved that He was who He said He was. Everybody who is rejecting Jesus knows they are going to hell, but they hate to be reminded of it. It just sort of spoils the day.
Have you ever noticed that Jesus is the real problem? People want to hear “Happy Holidays!” instead of “Merry Christmas!” If you say “Christmas” then you’ve mentioned Christ. “Christ” is the word that means “Chosen or anointed one.” He, God Himself, chose to die in our place. There’s this Christian comedian I like. I like him because he’s funny and attitudel. He said nobody says “Happy Holiday!” concerning the 4th of July, Valentine’s Day, Labor Day, or any other holiday except Christmas & Easter. If we could just keep it about Santa and the Easter bunny, then the Jesus haters could live undisturbed.
But the warning signs! We’re all in trouble if we ignore the warning signs. There’s warning signs all along the road. They tell us about curves, and deer crossing, and we’re told to slow down. And we all know stories of tragedy because people ignored the warnings. Do you think if we took the signs down that the dangers would go away? No! We can stop saying “Christmas”, and we can stop mentioning the resurrection in April. We can shut down the churches and burn all the Bibles. But there’s no getting around the fact that we are still in danger. We tell children that Santa is real if we believe he is real. Some make the mistake of thinking the same thing about Jesus. They think if they don’t believe in Him, then He will just vanish. It doesn’t work like that. Reject Him, turn a deaf ear, do your own thing, say He’s not real – nothing changes the fact. That baby grew up and died for you and me. And since he died for us, then it presupposes that he was right when He said we were sinners. And make no mistake about it – ready or not – we will all face Him one day.
We have all been warned. All that remains is the question – Will we heed the warning and live?
Makin’ sawdust & Diggin’ the music