Recession-proof Christian Life
2/18/12 at 06:30 AM 0 Comments

Sermon at the Funeral of Whitney Houston

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A private funeral is set for Saturday, today in the New Jersey church where Houston first showed off her exceptional singing talents as a child. This would have been an unsolicited exhortation at her funeral.  I would have chosen Steve Green to sing an old song (Words and Music by Greg Nelson and Phill McHugh) with a powerful message “ People need the Lord” ... The text I would have chosen would have been from  John 4:6

John 4[6]  Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well:

There will always be times of weariness.  If Jesus, the God of the Universe, could experience this feeling of exhaustion, then the best and the strongest can as well.  How do we react as Christians when we are weary, tired and worn-out?  What are the things in life that makes us wonder if it is really worth it ? What do we do when insatiable boredom sets in and we crave for an excitement that has to be higher than the previous.  The Bible tells us that the disciples went for bread for Jesus ...  surely a meal would satisfy the weariness of Jesus.  I suspect causes of addictions, be it to food, alchohol, sex, drugs are in many ways linked to wrong responses to our frustrations, things that come to all of us.

Times of weariness are the best times for the devil’s temptations ...he promises a fix in another concert, another performance, another young beau ... he promises another drink or injection will make it fine...but he lies as usual. He reminds us of our talents and how wonderful we are to eclipse the reality of our pathetic nothingness and absolute dependence on God.  His best temptations are his oldest ones...” command that these stones be made bread.... or as in Matthew 4[8]  Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; [9]  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

The agents of the enemy litter the glamour, music and money industry promising fame, joys and satisfactions and hiding the pains and sorrow till it is too late.  These agents organise occult initiations at parties with sex, drugs, alcohol ... all made to look like harmless indulgence ... blood of victims are offered as syringes penetrate the unguarded ... for a while the money is good, the highs are thrilling until payday arrives. Eventually the ultimate death ritual delivers the victim’s soul to satan when the talents and gifts appear to have abated and another new diva has been found.

The disciples went searching for food for the weary Jesus, but when they return they find Jesus “high” again... what happened ?

John 4[31]  In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. [32]  But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. [33]  Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? [34]  Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

How was the boredom and weariness of Jesus cured? He did the will of God.  Jesus at the well found a woman in need of salvation ... thirsting for living waters and He ministered to this unknown woman.  I will spare you the details of the ministration of Jesus ...but I can tell, it left her refreshed having tasted of the life that came from Christ who said “ whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

The disciples who had been doing baptisms, ensuring there was food and performing other good tasks did not even grasp the enormity of what was going on ...they only wondered why a weary Jesus should be talking to this woman.  Obedience can be puzzling to many... no one understands how it satisfies all our weariness and hungers.

Making money, doing religious things and performing acts to large crowds for God is wonderful but remember  Duncan Campbell once said "I do not believe that the devil is greatly concerned about getting between us and work for God: his great concern is getting between us and God. " ...

Why does the devil hate our communion with God and love our shows and glamorous acts?  Because he knows when we get to God we will have food and meat that the world does not know of.  He knows we will be refreshed by acts of obedience to God and not by a phone call from mr trouble or the applause or awards from men.  Why does the devil hate our communion with God?  He knows that even as the disciples had a wrong perspective - so will many well meaning zealots if they are not in close relationship with their maker.

Whitney, what do I tell your young daughter who may have inherited a voice (like you also did) that pitches to magical heights and who is being targeted by the same lusts and forces that assailed you.  I plead that the blood of Jesus will break every dark covenant that seeks her destruction.  I pray she will have grace to flee the youthful lusts the Bible warns about ...fleeing even appearances of it.  I pray she will minister in song, but moreso her life will minister of a “meat” others know not of...and desire to have.  She will not sing and bless others and find her own life a wreck.

I am not qualified to and do not judge you, Whitney ... and was greatly blessed and touched by your ministrations in inspiring music  - but still must tell the truths I perceive -  to others who now flock to buy more of your records that have shot up to number one as if to reward the culmination of a sad and untimely death.  The beneficiaries of the deaths of Michael, Elvis, Whitney...et al are of course the music and entertainment industry who find in death the best catalyst for waning sales ...think about it ... and also reflect on the scripture ...

John 4[24]  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

God has always been seeking for worshippers and not another spectacular talent ... May you find abundant grace and mercy at His throne of judgment. Amen

“Every day they pass me by, I can see it in their eyes
Empty people filled with care ... Headed who knows where
On they go through private pain...Living fear to fear
Laughter hides their silent cries ... Only Jesus hears
People need the Lord People need the Lord
At the end of broken dreams ... He's the open door “ ...
 (by Greg Nelson and Phil McHugh)

Come to Jesus, the Lord.

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