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From my friend, Barney Cargile (with a few modifications):
A preacher found the perfect visual aid for a Sunday sermon. He placed four worms in four separate jars. The first worm was put in a container of alcohol; the second in a jar of cigarette smoke; the third in chocolate syrup; the fourth in good clean soil. As the sermon concluded, the preacher reported these results:
The worm placed in alcohol: Dead
The worm in cigarette smoke: Dead
The worm in chocolate syrup: Dead
The worm put in soil: Alive
The minister then asked, “What did you learn?” A young boy sitting in the back quickly spoke up and said, “As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won’t have worms!” That ended the service.
Although there’s value in the preacher’s point, don’t you applaud the young lad’s comment? I have no idea how this preacher was coming across, but I can easily picture it as taking on a self-righteous, religious tone. (Any of us who have ever stood in a pulpit, I’m sure, have been guilty of that!) I’m sure that we have all been around someone who may have been communicating truth, but the way they presented it makes you want to cover your ears, cover up your “Christian” badge and run the other way! (Even if you agree with what they’re saying).
2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them.”
So here’s the question: How well do you “represent” Jesus? Rather than shoving religious rules down someone’s throat, are you “entering into God’s work of making things right”? The second half of the text says, “Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.” “Become friends with God”; now that’s good news most folks would like to hear…And don’t try to “worm your way” out of that message.
PRAYER: Jesus, let our tongues be eloquent and gracious when we share the truth and remind us that it is Good News! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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