Here’s the lesson I did last night, December 30th, 2009. I managed to record it on my Motorola Droid phone, gives me a bit of a quicker turn-around.
There was TV show in the late 70’s and early 80’s that some of you may be familiar with called Mork and Mindy. Robin Williams played an alien named Mork from the planet Ork that had come to earth to study human kind. In an attempt to make him different from everyone else, the writers of the show decided that he would do silly things like greet people with “Nanu Nanu,” or drink with his finger, or sit on his head. He even aged backwards. His race hatched from an egg as old men and women, and as they grew older, they became young children.
Oddly enough we as Christians have a common thread with that strange alien from Ork.
First, even though he lived in an apartment on earth, and spent time around human beings, Mork was undoubtedly, alien. Everything he did was strange to those around him. Even when he tried to blend in, he stood out.
Like him, we are a peculiar, or special people. 1 Peter 2:9, and Titus 2:14.
We show this peculiarity in the way we live our every day lives. We show it when we stop to say a prayer for our food before we eat. Or when we choose to go to church fellowships instead of work parties or school events. We also show it when we turn to the Bible for our business or household decisions, and when we choose to first give to the Lord, and then spend on ourselves. We show it in the way we treat our brethren, and in the way we treat those in the world.
We are strange, special, and peculiar people, not just for the sake of being different, but because seeking the Lord first in everything will make us different.
Marriage is often used as a direct comparison to becoming a Child of God. Ever since I’ve been married I see this correlation almost every day. When I was single, anytime I was asked by my friends if I wanted do this or that or go somewhere with them I would give an answer based on my own schedule, wants, or needs. Now that I am married, however, my answer has changed a bit. I consider not just my own schedule, wants or needs but my wife’s as well, and if I’m uncertain as to what any one of those are, my answer quickly becomes “Let me check with my wife.”
Now anyone that’s married understands this, but those that are single often respond with confusion, and sometimes even derision, making remarks about pants wearing and the like. When we become Christians, our first priority is to God, and we are to consider His schedule, His wants, and His needs above our own. Hopefully we’ve studied the Bible regularly enough to know these things by heart, and won’t have to “Check with Him” except in the most extreme cases. Because we seek Him first, we will appear strange to those who do not know Him, just like I appear strange to my single friends when I choose to consider my wife first.
The Bible also uses words like holy, and sanctified to describe us. These words all mean set apart. We often speak about how sin separates man from God. When we are baptized and become his children, God removes our sin “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12) and we are no longer separated from God. What I think we fail to realize is that now sin doesn’t just separate man from God, sin separates man from us as well.
We must remember, however, that this only makes us different, not better. We still have temptations and trials just like everyone else, but more is expected of us as we have committed ourselves wholly to the Lord.
Second, we too age backwards.
When we become Christians we are born again, babes in Christ, washed clean of our sins, pure and holy. But we’re still old men. We still have the same weaknesses, the same temptations, and the same trials that we had before we were baptized. Now it is compounded because, as I said before, more is expected of us. We are expected to resist temptation and press on through trials, using them to grow stronger in our faith.
As Christians we are to grow younger. Jesus in Matthew 18 tells us: “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Just like the children of the planet Ork who had to learn how to walk and talk even though they were born fully grown, so must we also learn again how to walk and talk.
We must learn to walk in His footsteps.
(1 John1:7) says that “We must walk in the light as he is in the light” and Ephesians 5:8-10 says that we must “Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.”
Learning to walk again will be perilous, we will stumble and fall, skin our knees, bump our noses, but God will always be there to pick us up, dust us off, and even hold our hand as we try out our new legs.
We also must learn to speak as Christians, not just to others, but to God as well.
Paul tells Timothy in 2 Tim 2:15 to “Study to show thyself approved” and in 2 Tim 4:2: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
We cannot learn how to talk as a Christian without studying the Bible, and we cannot grow closer to God unless we “pray without ceasing” 1 Thes. 5:17.
We learn how to walk and talk as Christians, not only through study but also through example as well. Titus 2 tells us that the older men and women, those who have already become as children, are to teach the younger.
In a couple of days we’ll be changing our calendars and teaching ourselves to write 2010 instead of 2009. We’ll be starting a New Year.
Representative of this time of year is an image of an old man being replaced by a young baby. It comes with people making resolutions to improve themselves. All of this is the world’s feeble attempt to feel some sort of renewal, some sort of chance to start over.
This is but a shadow, a pale imitation of what Christians have.
As Christians we’ve all experienced the joy of a true new beginning. God has taken us and replaced our old man of sin with a newly born child of God. We have had that second chance that so many in the world seek. However, we often stumble and unfortunately can become unfaithful as we are learning to walk in His footsteps. The good thing is, it’s simple to get back up. All we have to do is reach up to Him in repentance and he will lift us up and set us on the right path again.
Those that aren’t Christians have the same opportunity we’ve taken advantage of. However, if you are looking for that second chance in any other place but God, you will not find it. Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Repentance (2 Cor. 7:10), confession (Romans 10:10), and baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) are the only things standing in your way of becoming a Child of God. There is no better time to do that than right now. We are not guaranteed that 2010 will come. We are not guaranteed that tomorrow will come. Now is the only time that we have.