I have never been attrascted to people who are always negative. I think that is true of most of us. As a pastor, I have been called to preach the Gospel. Now as part of that calling, there is always the danger of being seen as too negative. After all, we have to mention sin because without sin there is no reason for a Savior. Jesus is not a divine success coach, or someone to help us feel better, or just a role model for a good life. The Lord Jesus is our Savior, who satisfies the wrath of God against sin through the Cross and gives us life eternal and victory over sin, death, and Hell.
In the raging culture wars, there is a danger that we Christians will become known more for what we are against than what we are really for. Sadly, multitudes define and see the Bible, the Church, and Christians as something legalistic and negative. The devil rejoices when that happens because it keeps people from the Lord of grace, love, and life everlasting. Hence, when the Church camps out on a negative message, or allows others to define us by what we are against, we end up losing our real message.
I must tell you that I am absolutely overjoyed to be called to talk to people about the Lord. That’s what I love doing more than anything else. I don’t like being against anything... except things that hurt people and keep them from enjoying the Lord’s best... we call that sin. But after many years of preaching, I realize that I won’t be able to stop people from thinking I am a negative person on some level. In the end, the reception of the Lord’s message is the Lord’s sovereign work, not mine or any Christian’s ultimate responsibility.
Like the Psalmist, I delight to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). There is no greater joy than to savor the Savior. To think of Him every day and in every way is beyond words, a wonder and a glorious thing. I realize the Lord of Heaven and Earth knows my name and loves me. I am His and He is mine. This Lord created me to know Him and have fellowship with Him forever. This amazing Lord created 100 billion galaxies in a moment and knows the number of hairs on the heads of the over 7 billion people alive today. The Lord designed the world to honor Him and glorify Him and you can find the Lord and His redeeming plan in the Lord Jesus Christ in everything from the smallest flower to the highest mountain. The Christian songwriter Chris Tomlin said it well in the song, “Indescribable.” That is our Lord and that is the privilege we have as His people. Sin gets in the way of that song of praise, that Hallelujah.
Every breath I exhale makes a “HA” sound. Try it... take a breath, exhale and listen for the sound you make. That sound is the first syllable of Hallelujah, which is Hebrew for “praise the Lord.” The Psalmist commands all of us with a breath to “praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6). All of us have been created and conceived in wonder to join the love story of the ages with the Lord Himself. That song is without sin and isn’t defined by the negatives of sin or anything going on in the culture wars. It is about the Lord, a Savior and God worth savoring this day and forevermore. Join me... more importantly, join Him.