Even in our fast-paced world we need to make time for the life-changing wisdom of God's Word. Let "60 Seconds With Gabe" help you with that in...well...60 seconds. Hear more of these segments, exclusively at docradio.org.
A Tainted Burger
You know there's one thing I love and that's a big juicy burger with all the fixins. I will tear that thing up. There's also one thing that I really hate, as a matter of fact I find it repulsive, and that's a cockroach. You could take that burger that I love and put a handful of cockroaches on it and it becomes something I hate. As a matter of fact, if you just took pieces of cockroach and and sprinkled it on that hamburger how much of it is going to enter my mouth...none. Even if you just took a cockroach and blew air from the cockroach onto my burger I would consider that burger tainted and unworthy of entering my mouth. That's the same way God feels about sin -- He finds it repulsive. How much sin will enter heaven to be with God...none. That's why Jesus had to take care of our sin problem...He took our sins upon himself; He loved us so much He was willing to take the punishment for us, suffer, die, be buried and on the third day rise again from the dead. And He claims that if we'll repent and put our trust in him we're cleansed, we're clean. God sees us as though we never sinned. The scripture puts it this way: God made him who knew no sin to become sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
When I was thinking about this parable I thought of something that God allowed to happen to me that really drove this parable home. I was teaching PE and we were playing a game called buffalo hunter that day. And in that game I pick some buffalo hunters and the rest are buffalo, and you send the buffalo out. And the buffalo hunters, 5 or so, they all have a dodge ball. The goal is to simply run around and peg kids with balls, and as long as you don't hit them in the head they have to fly away to the buffalo graveyard. But I remember at the beginning of class this little girl came up to me, I think a 4th grade class, beginning of the day, and said "Coach Graham will you hold my glasses for me"? . Everything in me told me, Gabe don't do it. You're going to lose those things, they're expensive, you won't remember what happened to them. Don't do it. But I don't know something took over my voice box and I just said okay and I took them and I put them right here. I hung them on my shirt and I said to her, hey they're right here - you need to remember they're here - because I won't. So come to me and get them at the end of class.
So we're playing the game and suddenly I feel like I've got some pent up frustration with these kids and I think it would be nice to be the buffalo hunter. So I get in the game, I'm the buffalo hunter, things are great, I'm pegging kids, they're flying to the buffalo graveyard all over the place. We get to the end of class and the girl comes over to me and says "Coach Graham where's my glasses?" I go oh . . . where are they? Oh man they must have fallen off. I must have dropped them on the field. And so I'm like, okay whole class, let's look for them real quick... We'll find them, real fast. We go out we look for them but can't find them anywhere. I line the kids up military formation, side by side. We scan the whole field, couldn't find them. That class had to go. I said don't worry about it I'll find them next period and I'll send them to your class. Next class comes out, military formation we scour the whole field, I think three times. We don't find them. I'm frantic, I skip my break, I skip my lunch I'm searching everywhere in the hot sun; can't find them anywhere.
Finally I had just about given up and I thought, well I'll just have to find a way to pay for these things. And so, we brought these little first graders down and explain them the game. At this point I'm already over it, I'm not going to find these things. But my assistant she said "hey we're going to play this game buffalo hunter but I want to let you know that there's a pair of glasses out there and if one of you finds them we'll give you a dollar." The kids are like whooo. I kid you not, 30 seconds later this kid Brandon picks up the glasses and starts running to me.. . . "Coach Graham Coach Graham I've found the glasses". I'm like what, and I came running towards him and I looked at the glasses, and they're not bent, they're in perfect shape. And I'm like Brandon you're a hero. And I just spontaneously put him on my shoulders and I started dancing around. And all the other little first graders 6 years old 7 years old maybe, knew what was going on and just instinctively everybody started chanting Brandon, Brandon, Brandon. Oh we were so happy, we were having a celebration, we were having a party on that field because what was lost was found!
That's exactly how God The Father feels when one sinner repents and turns to Jesus Christ for salvation. That last verse we read says in the same way I tell you "there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents". It doesn't say the angels are rejoicing it says there's rejoicing in the presence of the angels. God the father, God, is throwing a party, is rejoicing. He is elated, he is joyful in heaven, when a sinner repents and puts their faith in Jesus Christ. And that's the heart he wants us to have. One soul is of infinite value to God!
Have you ever heard a skeptic say you believe Jesus is the only way to God? You're so narrow-minded, you're such a bigot. Well consider this story that maybe gives a different bend, a different perspective on the issue. Let's say you have a terminal disease called hermatavitis. You're going to die from it and there's no known cure. But someone says to you, wait I know of a cure, there's only one. You're going to have to sell everything you have and travel deep into the Amazon jungle. When you get there you'll have to obtain a rare herb called hemoglatius. If you take this herb daily, faithfully, you'll be healed, you'll be healed from this disease, you'll be saved. You wouldn't say to this person, what do you mean there's only one cure? What do you mean there's only one way for me to be healed? You'd be thankful that there was a way for you to be healed. In the same way we all suffer from the universal disease called sin and it's gripped all of our souls, and is pulling us towards death and hell. Jesus is the only cure, he's the only one who can save us from our sins and deliver us unto an eternity with God in Heaven.
I want you to think about the fact that living things are irreducibly complex. That might sound complicated, but it just means that a living thing is an entire system of interacting parts working together, and if even one of those interacting parts is not present from the beginning, the living thing would not be able to survive. Think about it, let's imagine that a fish evolves lungs through evolution. What happens to it...does it keep changing and eventually become a frog? Nope, it just drowns. A frog needs every organ in his body to survive - it is irreducibly complex, so it could not have slowly changed from a fish into a frog. When sharing this with unbelievers, just remember this short story of a fish evolving lungs and drowning. Living things are irreducibly complex.
Hey check out my shirt man, it has no creator. One morning I woke up and sometime overnight the shirt just formed itself on my body...do you believe me? Check out this painting, isn't it beautiful? It has no artist. One day in the bright sun some colors just materialized and formed themselves together into that beautiful picture...do you believe me? Hey check out these shoes man, aren't they cool? They have no designer. One day I was walking barefoot thinking how nice it would be to have some shoes and suddenly they constructed themselves on my feet...do you believe me? Everywhere we look in the universe we see creation, design, and art. Where there is creation, design, and art, there must be a creator, a designer, and an artist. A painting is absolute proof that there is a painter - a building is absolute proof that there is a builder - the detailed design of the universe is proof that an intelligent designer exists.
Wind and Sand
Imagine that you're walking along the shoreline on the beach where the waves lap up on the sand and you see a thin line of deposited sand... You might reasonably say oh natural forces made that, the wind the waves the tide. However if you were walking near the shore on the same beach and saw several lines that form the words I love Michael Jackson you'd never say oh the wind and the waves the tide formed those words you would say that an intelligent person wrote those words. Inside of one human cell we find a message far greater than I love Michael Jackson... DNA is like a language in the heart of a cell that gives specific instructions. One human cell has as much DNA information as three or four complete sets of all 30 volumes of the encyclopedia Britannica. The discovery of DNA in the cell is like walking along the beach and finding 120 full-length novels written in the sand near the shoreline...you would never assume that that kind of information came from blind natural forces. Finding DNA within a cell is like walking into the basement of an enormous complex structure building and finding 120 books which have every detailed instruction for building the building. DNA is like God's plans for building – you God made you!