all this took about 450 years. and after that he gave them judges until samuel the prophet. Then they asked for a king, and God gave them saul the son of kish, a man of the tribe of benjamin, for forty years. and when he had removed him, he raised up david to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘i have found in david the son of jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ of this man’s offspring God has brought to israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. [acts 13:20-23]


excited about all the wrong things.


i admit it–when a christian or christianity is seen as ‘cool’ or ‘relevant’ by the world i get excited–the way christians are portrayed in this culture has often been as backwards, not entertaining, and  “not getting it”, so when i see a box-office smash hit, a chart topping single, a hilarious ‘christian commedian’, an elite athlete who proclaims Christ, a hip band, a binge-worthy show, a ‘christian politician’ that ‘owns’ the other side, or a pastor who “brings the heat”,  something makes me get excited and want to rise up and cheer them on–but every time, EVERY TIME, these humans and their creations let me down, and yet it persist in my excitement.


what makes me want to be excited about the created thing rather than the Creator? in my own flesh, i still do want to be accepted by the world, so i worship the creation rather than the created–yes, the above things can sometimes be used by God to drive people to Christ, but our natural desire to be of this world will always go too far and will result in the destruction of our idols.

and i will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars and cast your dead bodies upon the dead bodies of your idols, and my soul will abhor you. and i will lay your cities waste and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and i will not smell your pleasing aromas. and i myself will devastate the land, so that your enemies who settle in it shall be appalled at it. and i will scatter you among the nations, and i will unsheathe the sword after you, and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste. [leviticus 26:30-33]


paul knew in this sermon, that the jews would be excited about samuel, saul, david and the prospect of rome-obliterating power, but they would be quickly let down as many–if not most would reject and persecute paul for preaching Jesus-the gentiles (as we will see) will rejoice in the name of Jesus, while many of the high-born ‘chosen’ people would continue in their idol worship of power and of self-made religion. 

what do we want–do we want the power, coolness, relevance, or do we want Jesus? this is what he is like:


who has believed what he has heard from us?

    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

for he grew up before him like a young plant,

    and like a root out of dry ground;

he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,

    and no beauty that we should desire him.

he was despised and rejected by men,

    a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;

and as one from whom men hide their faces

    he was despised, and we esteemed him not. [isaiah 53:1-3]


let us love the stricken Savior, Jesus–he will not need movies, tv shows, songs, websites, bands, politicians, athletes or games to make him relevant or cool–he deserves all the glory, honor and praise for conquering the world, not entertaining it. let us not miss the creator because we are excited about and distracted by the creation. let us sit in the presence of, be in awe of, and overwhelmed with our King Jesus!