Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bethany Bullet - March 11, 2014

Here’s to the crazy ones…the misfits…the rebels…the trouble makers.
The round pegs in the square holes…The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules…and they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only think you can’t do is ignore them…because they change things…they push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
It is the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. 

It was in 1997 that those words, voiced by the incomparable Richard Dreyfuss, accompanied black and white images of Albert Einstein, Bob Dillon, Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon, Muhammad Ali, Mahatma Gandhi, Emilia Earhart, Martha Graham, Jim Henson, Pablo Picasso and others in a 30 second television commercial for Apple Computers that sparked one of the greatest turnarounds in the history of corporate America.  As the images fade to black, all that is left is the phrase, “Think Different” and then the iconic logo of Apple.  Click HERE to watch the YouTube video. *If unable to open the copy/paste this into your browser: http://youtu.be/nmwXdGm89Tk.

With the innovative thinking and leadership of CEO Steve Jobs, and the introduction of new technology that has fundamentally changed the way we interact with each other and the world, Apple computer continued to find ways to “Think Different” and their products pushed us forward to think different.

With new innovations such as the iPod, iPhone, iTunes, and iPad; Apple computer turned their fortunes around and have influenced the entire field of technology.

All too often the church has refused to think different.  The church has ignored how the world is wired at times to its detriment.  Now, I’m not saying we abandon centuries of traditions, or change the unchangeable Word of God, but you have to admit that the church does not do a good job at thinking differently…at changing the world.

Having said that, all too often we, in the church, think different—in other words—our thoughts are not HIS thoughts, and hence our ways are not HIS ways.

There was one couple that did change the world—they were misfits, rebels, troublemakers and we can’t ignore them because they changed things, they pushed the human race forward, out of the garden, and backward out of God’s grace.

It is a story of another epic turnaround.  You can find the particulars in Genesis 2 and Genesis 3.  Adam, the first man, and Eve, the first woman gave in to temptation, rebelled against their creator.  Turns out they were not fond of the rules and they had no respect for the status quo. 

“You must not eat from the tree that is in the middle of the garden…or you will die.” (Genesis 3:3)
They took the fruit of the tree and they ate.  In that moment sin sprang to life on earth and as our New Testament lesson tells us, “Sin came into the world through one person, and death came through sin. So death spread to everyone, because everyone sinned.” (Romans 5:12)

Adam and Eve thought different; they thought they knew best, they thought they could ignore their Creator and their God. This is not the act of someone who might be called a genius. Whether an apple was involved in this turnaround is lost to history but from that point forward, things were different.  Sin has stained the human race.
Hunger, thirst, morning, poverty, war, murder, adultery, revenge, these have all been a regular part of life since that day.  The difference between the Garden of Eden and life in this world was stark. 

An “eye for eye” mentality has reigned and humanity has been enemies with one another, fighting and feuding endlessly. 

You have experienced the effects of sin, I know you have, because you are like me, chief of sinners.  Paul said it this way in Romans 7, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate... For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:15, 18-19)

This different thinking puts us at odds with God, but God had a plan.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son…” (John 3:16)
You see Jesus was one who could think differently. 

Listen to His words,
“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘Never murder. Whoever murders will answer for it in court.’  But I can guarantee that whoever is angry with another believe will answer for it in court.” (Matthew 5:21-22a)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Never commit adultery.’ 28 But I can guarantee that whoever looks with lust at a woman has already committed adultery in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I tell you not to oppose an evil person. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn your other cheek to him as well. If someone wants to sue you in order to take your shirt, let him have your coat too. If someone forces you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give to everyone who asks you for something. Don’t turn anyone away who wants to borrow something from you.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you this: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way you show that you are children of your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:38-45a)

This is from a Genius who could think different.
Many considered Him a crazy one, a misfit, a rebel, a trouble maker.  To the religious elite He was a round peg in a square hole, but He saw things differently.
He was not fond of the rules imposed by man and had no respect for their search for earthly status.
He has been quoted, disagreed with, glorified and vilified, and He can’t be ignored, because He changed things, He pushed the human race forward.
Some still see Him as crazy…we see the Savior.
He is the only one who truly changed the world.

Listen to Paul’s words from our New Testament lesson, “…through one person’s disobedience humanity became sinful, and through one person’s obedience humanity will receive God’s approval.” (Romans 5:19)

Jesus obediently went to the cross for us.  He is responsible for the greatest turnaround in all of history.  Not with innovative technology but with His very body and blood, shed on the cross.  His sacrifice turns us around, which is the very definition of repentance. His resurrection gives us the power to repent and turn from sin.
In Christ, we are called to think differently; to turn from sin, to change one’s mind by repentance and contrition.
It is one of the hallmarks of the season of Lent; to spend some time of introspection, and self-examination, to repent, and experience a changed mind, to think different and then change our ways. 
Now our ways can be His ways, our thoughts can be His thoughts and we too can think different.

As we continue the journey of Lent, I challenge you to be that round peg in the square hole of life and think different and in so doing help others to see the savior and to think different as well.  Let us pray…

-Pastor Seth Moorman


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