DayBreaks for 04/03/13 – Us and Them
NOTE: I am on a missions trip/internship to Africa and will be gone until 5/25. Please pray for God’s work to go forth mightily, for protection for myself and those with whom I will be working, and for my wife in my absence! Thank you…I cherish your prayers! You will be receiving DayBreaks as usual (from the archive) after today until I’ve returned.
Ps 117:1 – “Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. 2 For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD.”
We recently were blessed on a Sunday morning to have a guest speaker at our church who shared a message from Psalm 117. What you see above is the entire chapter – it is the shortest chapter in the entire bible. You might read it again and wonder: “How could anyone get an entire sermon from that passage?” Well, let me share with you part of the message that was shared with us!
For centuries, the Jews had recited this psalm and had sung it in their services. Yet they had missed the point. They were happy to sing it when they thought of themselves, but this particular Psalm speaks of “all you nations”, “all you peoples”. And that’s where the Jews got sidetracked. They just couldn’t get past the “Us and Them” concept.
Our speaker shared with us the story of a picture in a church that was called “The Outsiders”. It was a picture that was painted of the rugged west that featured the plains of Kansas and a small church building. Inside the church was filled with worshippers. Outside, on their horses, sat some cowboys. You see, the problem is that they were not allowed into the building for worship because they weren’t part of the town, nor could they dress up appropriately to be “fit” for worship.
When you reflect back on the message of the parables of the coin, the sheep, and even the prodigal son, much of the point seems to be the value of the one who is “outside”, the one who is “lost”, the one who hasn’t found their way back “home” yet.
How is your attitude toward those who are radically different from you – either in the way they dress, look, act, think or even those who have differences of opinion from you but whom still believe in the Jesus of Calvary? What is your attitude toward your neighbor down the street, the rough and tough co-worker with the bad language and drinking habit?
God loves them…just as much as He loves you. And He wants them welcome to come into His house of worship so they can draw near.
Imagine: what would Christianity be like if we could ever get past “us versus them”?
PRAYER: May we remember, Jesus, that without death there can be no resurrection. Let us die to self that we might live in hope! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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