Brazil trip is nearing the end. I hope you enjoy this encore post in the meantime.
Double Dog Dare: According to the Urban Dictionary, after a dare has been made and the daree has refused, the darer can then raise the stakes by double dog daring the daree, meaning that if the dare is carried out by the daree then the darer will also perform the task. Triple dog dare is when a third person wants in on the dare. And so on.
I am currently preaching a series of sermons under the overall heading of Double Dog Dare You. Borrowed loosely from a series I listened to on Southland Christian Church sermon podcast, we are challenging each other in the arenas of out-running grace, resisting temptation, and showing kindness.
Not included in the sermon series is a thought I wanted share with you the reader as I Double Dog Dare you this week to consider, as we approach Thanksgiving, an idea.
No, not the usual challenge to list that which you are thankful for, but rather — If I might be so bold — I would ask you to consider if God is “grateful” that He gave His Son for you.
That may seem a bit strange. I realize that it is. As I contemplate this idea I have to admit that first of all we can never present to God a life or an act of service that would make Him say — “Wow! Thanks! That is so beyond what I could have imagined taking place“. Our righteousness is undoubtedly as filthy rags before God.
But on the other hand — I am often grateful to my kids or grandkids for things they do for me. Sometimes it involves things that I really could have done myself (often done better), or things that aren’t just “exactly” what I want or need. Yet I am grateful. These acts and gifts represent their devotion. They represent their love. They represent the willingness to take time and make an effort.
So what have you offered God lately? Anything He’d be grateful for? Anything that despite the “completely falling short of the ultimate” still represents your love, devotion, and best efforts?
On my first trip to Brazil I was humbled to the point of tears when I sat in a church building (not much more than a storage shed by U.S. standards) and looked around at various flags around the upper wall. My wife asked about the flags and we were told quite proudly they represent the nations of the world where this church sends mission money. Mind you — this is in a village that has no permanent electrical supply, no running water to speak of, a population of less than 200 hundred (maybe less than 100), and an economic level that makes almost every American look rich. I probably spend more on my coffee and bagel here in this coffee shop than the average adult there makes in a week. They sacrifice. They give. One of the flags was the U.S. flag…..
So, what are you doing that would make God feel gratitude? Not just are you giving — but are you making sacrifices?
18 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up, as the Lord had commanded through Gad. 20 When Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.
21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”
22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 Your Majesty, Araunah[d gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the Lord your God accept you.”
24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
While it will be quite appropriate here in a few days to focus on those things for which we are grateful — is God grateful He has adopted you as His child?