An oldie – but a goodie.
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I heard a great, great message today, on the way to church. It was from a man by the name of Ravi Zacharias. I really love how thought provoking his teaching is.

Here’s what he mentioned.

 Quote:

“Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish
and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it–his bottle,
his mother’s attention, his playmate’s toy, his uncle’s watch. Deny
these things and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness, which would
be murderous were he not so helpless . . . He has no morals, no
knowledge, no skills. This means that all children, not just certain
children, are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in the
self-centered world of his infancy, given free reign to his impulsive
actions, to satisfy his wants, every child would grow up a criminal, a
thief, a killer, a rapist.” (Minnesota Crime Commission, cited in You
And Your Child, Charles Swindoll [Nelson Publishers, 1977], pp. 33,34)

“We’ve somehow come to believe, that if only we educate them,
somehow they will be all right. Send them to college, they will be all
right. I think D.L. Moody said it well. ‘If you come across a boy who’s
stealing nuts and bolts from a railway track, and you want to change
him, and send him to college, at the end of his education he’ll steal
the WHOLE railway track. All we do is make ourselves more sophisticated in our duplicity.”

“If we present man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well
corrupt him. When we present him as an automaton of reflexes, as a mind
machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drive and reactions, as
a mere product of heredity and environment, we feed the nihilism to
which modern man is, in any case, prone. I became acquainted with the
last stage of corruption in my second concentration camp, Auschwitz.
The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the
theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment
– or, as the Nazis liked to say, “of blood and soil.” I
am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka,
and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some ministry or other in
Berlin, but rather at the desks and in lecture halls of nihilistic
scientists and philosophers.
”

– Viktor Frankl

If our educational system needs to read anything today, as they take
out the Ten Commandments – if they put up what Viktor Frankl wrote, as
they walk into those halls, they’d have the answer to the dilemna that
is arising in our time.

Just read Hitler’s Mein Kampf – he’ll tell you where he
got it from. Hitler clearly stated in Mein Kampf – The evolutionary
fury that generated in his mind why the strongest needed to survive and
obliterate the weaker. In the name of darwinistic evolution, he
obliterated millions of people.

What it tells me, is this – if the heart is corrupt when it is born,
and if knowledge alone does not change us, what then, is needed? It is
a very simple statement, by Solomon of old – My son, cries wisdom, give
me your heart.

Isn’t that just hilarious? Right after Hitler was
mentioned on the Jossh forums, earlier, (I wonder if that was a
reference to me… I’m guessing it was. I may just be paranoid though.
If so, he really needs to learn his history. Hitler’s concentration
camps were filled with almost exclusively ethnic groups he disliked,
and the members of any religion he disliked.) I get this quote handed
to me. God is so good, isn’t He?

If you don’t know what Hitler’s concentration camps were really about,
or if you’ve never taken the time to study up on it, I suggest two
references. Schindler’s List, the amazing movie of Steven Spielberg, and a little book by a wonderful woman of God, named Corrie Ten Boom.My Hiding Place

But that was just on the way to church! I promised myself I’d share that, cause it was just such a powerful message.

So, on to tonight’s sermon.

Text
Pastor Bill, like I said earlier, is working through a series
concentrating on the life of Joseph. We’re at the point where Joseph
lets his brothers know who he is, and he issues them an invitation.

He basically pointed out that God issues an invitation, just like
Joseph did, to the brothers that sold him into slavery, and were now at
his mercy, the second most powerful man in the world.

1. Come closer.

Joseph was dressed as an Egyptian – to believe him, they had to see for themselves.

When Nathaniel asked Phillip “can anything good from Nazareth” – Phillip replied “Come and See”.

When the women who came to annoint Jesus’ body came to the tomb, the
angel told them “Come and see where they laid Him – he is not there”

2. Savor

Everything that tastes good has a specific flavor, a specific,
particular group of things that you instantly associate with it.

Taste and see, that the Lord is good, says the psalms.

3. Mercy vs Justice

God equally balances being loving and merciful, with being just and holy.

The Holiness of God requires that he be given what belongs to Him – the
worship, and the glory due Him as our creator, and as our savior. His
justice requires that a penalty be paid for the wrong we do in our
lives.

His Love requires that He take an active interest in the lives of His
creation. His mercy requires that His glory is shown by His opportunity
to escape His judgement by sacrificing Himself for us – our response to
such an act of mercy should be worship, and the desire and attempt to
be holy, which is what he requires, as a Just God. His Justice is
satisfied, His Holiness is acknowledged and emulated, His Love is
displayed to all, and His Mercy is shown to be faithful.

God is a balanced whole.

That’s what I learned tonight.

Had a good talk with my dad about the inherent nature of humanity,
earlier today. He said that the very quickest way to get people to show
what they believe is to bring up the topic of sin.

If you say sin exists, people immediately recognize what I’d consider
sin in their lives, which almost immediately divides people into the
camps. Those who recognize no form of morality save that an individual
person defines as their own, as “correct”, and only for them – Or those
who believe that morality can only come from an absolute definition.
From that point, the “religious” viewpoints differ, but those are the
two major camps.

It’s an interesting study in human behavior, he said, after we talked
about it a bit. It just goes to show that what defines us are our
beliefs. Our beliefs are not solidified, at least to others, until they
are publicly shared. Otherwise, we’re “just like them”. Once we show
ourselves to be different, we’re more recognizable, and the refinement
process begins. The compatible world views, from non-compatible world
views. The sorting process is almost subconscious to some people, I
think. We make “value judgements” almost instantly – once we begin to
mature, and our ideals are cemented, we begin to sort out everyone by
that filter.

If someone’s world view becomes sufficiently different from your own,
that person cannot be considered a friend. When they become close to
incompatible, that person becomes an enemy. If someone solidifes their
opposition to your world view, that hardens your resolve to defeat the
enemy, and the debate, at the initial levels, and open war, at the
extreme, begins.

That’s the admittedly broad-stroke brush I’m painting with, but it
applies well enough. When a Christian identifies openly with his faith,
those who are “conformed to this world” instantly recognize a potential
opponent, I believe.

I’m still just floored how quickly the 180 occurred. I’ve never seen
anything like it. I’m amazed by the accuracy of description the Bible
has for life’s issues more and more every day.

I’m glad I took this chance. It’s taught me a lot about life, and my
faith. I appreciate your (somewhat unknowing) assistance in
demonstrating an object lesson to me. God just used you to teach a
Christian about his faith.

Oh, just something you may want to think about. Joseph said this, later on in Genesis, and it just hit me.

Gen 50:20a
“As for you, you meant evil against me, {but} God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result”

and the New Testament verse based on it.

Rom. 8:28
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to
those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

IXOYE