Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sermon preview--Trading Glory for Beans

Eugene Peterson, the man responsible for today’s most popular paraphrase of the Bible, The Message, once observed that there are no perfect families in the Bible. Think about it: Adam and Eve’s family featured history’s first murder, an act of domestic violence. Noah had a serious problem with one of his three sons. Abraham and Sarah had fertility problems that led to an illegitimate child named Ishmael. Go right on down the list: Who had an ideal family in the Bible? Not Moses. Certainly not David. Not even Jesus Himself, for we see His own brothers mocking Him early in His ministry, and at one point, His immediate family thought He had lost His mind and came to take Him home and lock Him away. I mention that because one of the Devil’s most effective lies is to convince you that God’s church is only for people who have their act together. If you come from a dysfunctional family, or you have been divorced, or you have a child who is in rebellion right now, or your kids fought this morning, you may be tempted to think, “Maybe I shouldn’t even go to church. Maybe I’m a hypocrite. Everyone else has a perfect family but me.” In truth, God wants the best for your family and mine, but He knows that building a family is a process that takes prayer, work and time. It doesn’t happen overnight, and He is patient with us in the process.

This Sunday, we'll study Genesis 25:19-34, a look at a family in the scriptures that was far from perfect. Yet God was patient with them. In spite of their issues, He was able to redeem three of the four members of the family. We are going to focus most of our attention this time on the one who never quite figured it out. After all, one of the most effective ways to learn is to study the mistakes of those who have gone before us. We are going to look today at a man so foolish, he traded something priceless for something worthless. We'll consider examples of how we make those same kinds of bad trades in our own lives, and explore the reasons why we--otherwise intelligent people--make such huge, life-altering mistakes. And we'll see the one and only cure for the destructive forces that lie within all of us. My hope and prayer is that God will use this story to save many people from the terrible things we do to ourselves.

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