The Preacher Says....  
  Practical Christianity  
  Mark 4. 1 - 25

A pervasive subject on the minds of so many speakers today is that of this crazy world in which we now live and how to make sense of it all. This world of relative values–moral values–where there are no absolute standards by which to live allows–if we don’t watch out-- expediency rather than what- is- right to be our touchstone. Nobody wants to be thought of in any light except to be a ‘good guy’. Influenced by the writings of Sigmund Freud who declared man a victim of certain subconscious inclinations over which he is powerless–tendencies over which he has no control–when this negative philosophy is coupled with another facet of 20th century life, self-seeking opportunists, the idea becomes ingrained . We are a nation of status seekers, with easy going tolerance of all kinds of aberrant behavior because, I guess, we dare not rock the boat by taking a stand. OK, you do your thing and I’ll do mine. Then when we are no longer our brother’s keeper, immorality is free to run wild.

My purpose today is to indicate to you that when we feel we cannot control our subconscious tendencies that work in tandem with a self serving philosophy, the undermining effect will ultimately destroy us. An increasing awareness of this insidious influence becomes more clear when we think about the warnings we hear every Sunday. I sense that sometimes what is preached sadly bears no relation to our lives as we actually lead them, i.e.

We are admonished regularly not to lay up treasures on earth.

Most of us are busy trying to do this very thing.

We’re admonished that Jesus will save those who feed the hungry, take in strangers, clothe the naked, visit the sick.

We spend most of our time looking the other way.

Take no thought or anxious thought for tomorrow.

Most of us spend most of our time worried about tomorrow; We must, because our quest for things puts us in the hole financially

Press toward the mark of the high calling of God, as did Paul

We don’t press toward anything

Gird your loins about with truth and the breastplate of righteousness

So clothed, those around us would notice

The fact is that we like our lives. And there’s nothing wrong with this, but have we come to worship a way of life? There must be a change in us if we are going to figure in God’s plan. In a nutshell, we must look for ways to serve God instead of looking for ways to avoid this service. It’s a matter of life or death.