Friday, August 27, 2010

"Are You With Me, Or Not?"

Not one of them dared to look into the coach's eyes as the question came out of his mouth. To a man, they knew their efforts in the first half of the game had been half-hearted at best. All the hours of practice during the week seemed to have been for nothing. The game plan the coach had carefully crafted had been ignored. Now they were losing by 24 points and there was nothing to indicate things would turn around during the final 30 minutes of the game.
"Are you with me, or not?" he shouted again.
Would his players follow his instructions, play together as a team and give their very best effort? The question demanded an answer of either "yes" or "no". "Maybe" was not an option.
"Maybe" is not an option when answering Jesus Christ's question, "Are you with me, or not?" While many people would like to "sit on the fence" with Jesus, saying things like, "He was a great man, a wonderful prophet, but I'm not so sure about him being God," they have answered his question with a "no". When it comes to life, we have to be on someone's team and we only have two choices--God's team or our team.
Many years ago a man named Peter was throwing out his fishing net into the Sea of Galilee, patiently plying his trade. His mind was probably on a million things; how many fish he had to catch to pay the bills, how to fix the leak in his roof and the fight he had with his wife earlier in the day. But then suddenly he heard a voice call out, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." At that instant Jesus asked Peter, "Are you with me, or not?" Peter answered with his feet. He followed Jesus that day and for the rest of his life.
Several years later as Peter was nearing the end of his earthly life he wrote a short letter to some Christians living in what today is the nation of Turkey. In the second chapter of that letter he confronted his readers with the same question asked of him years earlier. "Are you with Jesus, or not?" That question, 2000 years ago, was the most important question a human being could answer, and it still is today.
Certainly, Sunday is a day to rest, kick back and reenergize for Monday and the start of the new week. Most of all, though, Sunday is to clear our heads of all our distractions and hear from the One who created us, who paid for our sins, who is preparing an eternal home in heaven for us. This Sunday, through the writings of the Apostle Peter, our Lord is going to confront us with the compelling question, "Are you with me, or not?" Join us at 10:00 am (August 29th).

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.