[forthright] For Real

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2011 08:48:21 -0200
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

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COLUMN: HANDS-ON FAITH

For Real
  by Barry Newton

The midnight intrusion seemed surreal. For as long as
people could remember, the sun had risen and set.
Once again darkness had embraced the city when the
sound of pounding on a door revealed someone
demanding to be heard -- even in the darkness of
night.

Opening the door, the young man found himself
confronted by his future father-in-law, Lot. Lot
recounted how he had invited two strangers into his
home. But they turned out to be no ordinary men. When
a mob had threatened, they had struck it with
blindness.

Because of the evil in Sodom, the two men warned,
"YAHWEH is about to destroy Sodom." Lot encouraged
him to join his own family in fleeing Sodom in the
darkness. But this future son-in-law thought Lot was
joking.

What's real? The church youth group sat listening to
their teacher speak about the importance of living
for Christ. Yet for some, the message seemed remote.
For them their reality revolved around dating
relationships, sports, exams, and who was wearing the
latest.

What's real? Driving home from lunch early Sunday
afternoon, she briefly commented on the morning's
sermon. Sunday afternoon faded away into another week
of the same old routine. This Christian couple was
pleasant enough, but you could not distinguish them
from their non-Christian neighbors. Their reality
revolved around work and family. And of course, they
would attend church on Sunday.

If you have begun to read through the Bible in this
new year, undoubtedly the biblical message has tried
to leap from the page into your heart: What God has
done, is doing, and will do is real! Repeatedly the
scriptures advise us to live intentionally for the
Lord, placing God at the center of our decision
making.

Many years ago a young man thought that God's message
was a joke. Quite literally, his reality went up in
smoke.

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