[forthright] Asleep in Jesus / Your worth

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2012 07:36:03 -0800 (PST)
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

The Fellowship Room, warm posts and hearty communion.


Asleep in Jesus?
 by Stan Mitchell

   "And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at
   the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul
   talked still longer. And being overcome by
   sleep, he fell down from the third story and
   was taken up dead" (Acts 20:9, ESV). 

You have heard the joke. A man falls asleep during the
sermon. The preacher spies him, and addresses his
neighbor. "Can you reach over and wake brother so-and-
so up?"

The punch line follows: "Preacher, you put him to
sleep. You wake him up!"

I'm sorry. I never liked that joke.

And I don't think it's because I lack a sense of humor.
I think Jesus used humor to get his points across, and
as long as it's appropriate, I think a preacher can do
it effectively today, too.

Can you imagine a man attempting eye surgery with a
beam in his own eye? Can you imagine a punctilious
housewife straining a gnat out of her soup...and
swallowing a camel?

What I don't like about the joke is that it blames the
wrong person. It's like saying that an assaulted woman
was guilty because she was running at night or the
victim of a robbery was guilty because he left his car
window open. Perhaps he was unwise, but the thief was
the guilty one!

And I don't really mind (much) if someone is having a
hard time staying awake on a given Sunday morning. You
know what I mean — when he dozes for a moment, then
wakes up guiltily, and does his best to stay the
course. Get more sleep next Saturday night, but trust
me, I understand.

But what I don't understand is the person who outright
"crashes" in worship, making no pretence that he
despises proceedings. It's not just a rebuke to the
preacher, it demonstrates a lack of respect for God

If you are a child of God, ask yourself, is this the
way you should act in God's very presence? What if the
Lord were to come and speak to us directly, would we
pay attention? If the preacher uses God's word, is
there a difference?

Parents, I ask it in all kindness, observe your child
in worship. If he or she is not demonstrating proper
respect for the Lord, it's your responsibility to teach
them, by word and example how to do it properly.

Your leadership might also be needed with regard to
bedtime on Saturday nights. If need be, cancel other
activities in order to carry out the most important
thing you will do all week — worship God!

I say this in love. If we do not show proper respect
for God, worse things than falling out a window may
happen to us!
Read this article online, write your reaction, and
read others' comments as well. Click here:


Your worth
 by Paula Harrington

I love watching those television shows where someone
will bring an old piece of junk to an antique collector
and find out that it's actually worth thousands or
millions of dollars. I find it amazing that something
that looks like trash to me can actually be extremely

We tend to do the same thing in life sometimes, don't
we? We look at a person or situation and only see the
flaws.  Aren't you glad God doesn't do that?

God views our damaged lives and says we are beautiful.
He sees our failures and, even though we may think that
because of them we are useless, he calls us Holy
(Colossians 3:12). We're from broken families and
suffered our fair share of broken hearts, but our God,
in his son, says we're complete (Colossians 2:10). He
calls us his chosen, precious children (I John 3:1).

Our father knows where we've been and what we've done
and yet still offers not only a second chance but an
opportunity to use our past to bring others to him. Our
God is a God of restoration. A perfect God of imperfect
people. A God who sees our scars and calls us valuable.

The world is going to tell you that you're not good
enough, thin enough, or rich enough. It will try to
sell you the lie that happiness can be found in
appearance and possessions. It will work day and night
toward the delusion that you need to fit in with the
crowd.  You will never have peace, hope, joy, or true
wealth if you seek your worth in the world.

When life gets you down and you begin to think that
you're not worth anything, take a good long look up at
the cross. God thought you were worth it, now it's time
to believe it. Step up. Stand out. Make a difference.

Read this article online, write your reaction, and
read others' comments as well. Click here:

You can help get the word out. Here's how: