Christian Bourbon?

81rsS8+B3XL._SL1500_This week I got a 100-word email after my sermon that had an 8-word line in it I’d like to memorize. Our sermon topic was Awkward Church, which got this individual thinking. I hope you like his email as much as I did.

When I was about 11, we stayed with my grandparents for about a month when we were between homes. My father liked a glass of bourbon before dinner. Although he never drank himself, my grandfather kept a bottle of bourbon in a cabinet in his living room and invited my dad to have a drink each evening.

 A couple of years later, I asked my grandfather why he did this, believing as he did in abstinence from alcohol. His answer was short and concise: “Abstinence is a choice, hospitality is a commandment.”

It’s important for us to make sure we don’t treat our preferences like commandments.

God bless …

 

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If I set God first, my world will be blessed.

happy-faceI despise the “become a Christian and the rest of your life will be happy” theology. I remember the kids songs we sang in church. “Down in the dumps I’ll never go.”  And, “I’m so happy, so very happy…” It was lousy health and wealth theology before Benny Hinn was cool.

And now I’m saying, “If I set God first, my world will be blessed.”

I got that theology from reading Daniel for our current Sunday sermon series. Daniel put God first – in his diet no less – in Daniel 1, and his world was blessed. But it wasn’t always happy. Or easy. Or down in the dumpless.

As a result of putting God first in his life, Daniel became leader of the Magi, later became Governor of Babylon, and finally one of the most powerful people in the world. Everywhere Daniel went, his world was blessed. Even Babylon, called by some the “City of Satan,” was blessed through Daniel and the decisions he made as he put God first.

But Daniel and his friends were betrayed, fed to lions, and thrown in a furnace. They probably weren’t singing, “I’m so happy, so very happy…” No, those were “down in the dumps” days, even for Daniel. But, if we will put God first, even the worst days can result in blessing our world.

I still despise the “become a Christian and the rest of your life will be happy” theology. But, if we will set God first in our lives, putting His will before all else, God will bless our world through our very actions. Maybe the hope for America isn’t in the next election. Maybe the hope for America is people like you and me putting God first in our lives.