Psalm 22

6 But I am a worm and not a man. I am scorned and despised by all!
Everyone who sees me mocks me. They sneer and shake their heads, saying,

“Is this the one who relies on the Lord? Then let the Lord save him! If the Lord loves him so much, let the Lord rescue him!”


Usually in the Bible, the Hebrew word for a worm is “rimmah”, which means a maggot – but the Hebrew word used here in Psalm 22 for worm, is TOLA’ATH, which means “Crimson worm” or “Scarlet worm”. Both scarlet and crimson are the colors of blood – deep red.

Generally speaking, when we think of a worm, we think of a helpless creature that lives in the dirt; we picture an earth worm, the kind we put on a fish hook. These little creatures are helpless; they have no defense mechanisms. People don’t respect them, value them or appreciate them. I’ve know folks that have pet snakes which is detestable to me but I’ve never heard of anyone who has a pet worm, have you. No one loves the lowly helpless dirty worm.

The Point is crystal clear: we treated Jesus with contempt–we treated the Son of God as if He was worthless. We scorned Him, mocked Him; we even sneered at Him and said, Is this the one who relies on the Lord? Then let the Lord save him! If the Lord loves him so much, let the Lord rescue him!”

In other words, we did not treat Him like a man, a human. We gave Him absolutely no respect. We treated Him like a worm.

But interestingly here in Psalm 22, the word Tola’ath is used and that refers to the Scarlet worm which is more like a grub. It bears the red, scarlet or crimson color…a deep red like blood.

“When the female of the scarlet worm is ready to give birth to her young, she attaches her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother dies, she secrets the crimson fluid that stains the tree and her offspring. For there entire life cycle, the worms will be scarlet or crimson. From the dead bodies of such female scarlet worms, the commercial scarlet dyes of antiquity were extracted. After three days, the scarlet worm loses it’s color and becomes as white as snow which brings Isaiah 1:18 to mind… “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.”

What a picture this gives of Christ, dying on the tree, shedding his precious blood that he might ‘bring many sons unto glory’ (Hbr 2:10)! He died for us, that we might live through him! Psa 22:6 describes such a worm and gives us this picture of Christ.

As Dale was singing the OLD RUGGED CROSS at Joyce COLS, the second verse struck me in a way that it never had…

Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world, Has a wondrous attraction for me; For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above, To bear it to dark Calvary.

I finished up the Revised English Version last week with the gospel of Luke and so I read through passion narrative one more time and I was moved. Just thinking about the cross and what Jesus did for me, moves me, it stirs my inner being. The QUESTION I keep asking the LORD is why did you have suffer the indignities? If a man is sentenced to die, to be executed by the State, I get it but to mock him, ridicule him, beat him to a pulp, make a spectacle of his execution, all these things are cruel, unnecessary and inhuman.

The only answer I get and it may not be the right one is: The Father allowed this to show us how sinful and depraved we really are. There are two extremes that the CROSS illustrate: It is the greatest display of God’s redeeming love and the greatest example of our depravity. At the CROSS, we see God at His Best and man at his worse.


I was reading Psalm 130 yesterday and these two verses took lodging in my heart…

3… If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?
4… But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

Aren’t you glad that God forgives sin?

Have you ever ask HIM to forgive you of your sins?


Two Ways

The Narrow Gate

13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.


We are coming to Jesus conclusion in his famous discourse, THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. From verse 13 until the end of the chapter, we have Jesus brilliant and insightful conclusion. He wraps up the sermon with four illustration that teach us clearly: THERE ARE ONLY TWO GROUPS OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. This is illustrated by [1] Two Ways [2] Two Trees [3] Two Relationships and [4] Two Foundations to build life on.

Let me say by way of INTRODUCTION, I have searched the scriptures and I cannot find any teaching of a THIRD DIMENSION known today as the “Gray Area.” Read my lips, there is no gray area. The gray area is the invention of the devil and the hope of the unregenerate. I have argued with liberals until I am blue in the face and I have asked repeatedly for them to produce scripture to back their claim and I’ve never seen one verse Old or New Testament.

In Luke 15, the greatest presentation of the gospel in the bible [other than the passion narrative], Jesus said, “A father had two son,” why two sons, why not three or four? Because there are only two kinds of sons, the repentant and the unrepentant.

Have you ever heard a person claim neutrality. “I’m not for it or against it,” they say. O really! What does Jesus have to say about that? “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.” Didn’t Pontious Pilate claim neutrality?

When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”

Let me ask you a question: was Pilate innocent of the blood of Christ? Could the Jews have executed Jesus without Pilate’s consent? Pilate’s claim of innocence is wishful thinking. He was as guilty as you or I.

Listen folks there is:


But there is no gray!

What about purgatory? It is man’s wishful thinking but it is not scripture.

Jack Ryan is a fictional character created by Tom Clancy. Jack is a professor and a reader for the CIA. In one of the novels he uncovered corruption is the president’s administration. An upper level cabinet member begs him to keep quiet and the president himself offers him a compromise but Jack refuses to buy in: He insist on making the TRUTH KNOWN. The cabinet member begins hollowing at Jack as he leaves the building…“The world is gray Jack, the world is gray.”

You may wish the world was gray but it’s creator determined it’s color and it is black and white. You are either saved or lost. All men or in one of two categories: on the straight and narrow or the broad and easy. The straight and narrow is difficult because it takes the high ground. It involves sacrifice and suffering. You can’t get your worldly luggage through the narrow gate: the squeeze is too tight. This is why the RICH YOUNG RULER did not get in…too much baggage. No, there are not that many who choose the NARROW WAY, most prefer the BROAD. It is the path of compromise, the path of least resistance…no persecution on this path and it is by far the most popular.

The two paths leads in different directions and it is not possible to take them both: you have to choose one or the other but there are only two choices. If you refuse the NARROW, you take the BROAD by default. The Narrow may be difficult at times but it leads to LIFE. The BROAD way is easy but it leads to destruction. Two destinations after we leave this earth, not three, only two–Heaven or Hell.

Crowned or Crucified

I stood alone at the bar of God in the hush of the twi-light dim and faced the question that pierced my soul, WHAT WOULD I DO WITH HIM…Crowned or Crucified, which would it be, no other choice was offered to me.

The LORD Is My Light

Psalm 27

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my light and my salvation
    so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
    so why should I tremble?

When evil people come to devour me,
    when my enemies and foes attack me,
    they will stumble and fall.

Though a mighty army surrounds me,
    my heart will not be afraid.

Even if I am attacked,
    I will remain confident.

The one thing I ask of the Lord—
    the thing I seek most—

is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    delighting in the Lord’s perfections
    and meditating in his Temple.

For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
    he will hide me in his sanctuary.
    He will place me out of reach on a high rock.

Then I will hold my head high
    above my enemies who surround me.

At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
    singing and praising the Lord with music.

Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
    Be merciful and answer me!

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
    And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

Do not turn your back on me.
    Do not reject your servant in anger.
    You have always been my helper.
Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
    O God of my salvation!

10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,
    the Lord will hold me close.

11 Teach me how to live, O Lord.
    Lead me along the right path,
    for my enemies are waiting for me.

12 Do not let me fall into their hands.
    For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
    with every breath they threaten me with violence.

13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
    while I am here in the land of the living.

14 Wait patiently for the Lord.
    Be brave and courageous.
    Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.


For some reason, I found it difficult to come up with a suitable outline. I like alteration when it fits but I don’t like to force the issue. The Holman commentary has an outline:

[1] David’s Confidence

[2] David’s Commitment

[3] David’s Cry

[4] David’s Courage

I want to begin with…


The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?

This is the first time that LIGHT is used as a metaphor for the LORD. I am highly impressed with David’s keen theology–Wow, what a choice of words. Light is a symbol for truth, goodness, life, power, purity and in a sense security. Having an enemy lurking about is one thing but having them concealed in darkness is another. Light enabled us to track the movement of our enemies. Light is the perfect metaphor for the LORD who said during the incarnation, “I AM the light of the world.” Light cannot be contaminated. You can contaminate water, air and everything else except light. Light can touch impurity but impurity cannot touch light. We know there is energy or power in the sun and it is the life source of our solar system. So Jesus is all these things and more: He is LIFE, TRUTH, POWER, PURITY and GOODNESS. Jesus is our LIGHT and our SALVATION.

David’s confidence is not in himself, not in his gifts or his past success: his confidence is in the LORD and this is why he has courage in the face of his foes.

Was David a superman, was he above fear? Not at all: David battled fear constantly just like you and I. I heard a black preacher say this past week that life is a constant battle between FAITH and FEAR. Of course, the greater our faith, the less our fear. Jesus upbraided the disciples for their fear more than any other thing. Why? Because, man by nature is insecure and our biggest fear is the fear of trusting God.

What David is saying is: When are absolute faith is in the LORD, there is no reason to fear. Our future is firmly in the LORD’s hand. If you believe in His goodness and His incredible love for you, why should you fear? What can man do to you? He can kill the body but he can’t touch the soul. The ancient martyrs saw death as a release, an escape hatch to a better world.

Some Muslims stopped a missionary in North Africa and threatened to kill him if he continued to preach and distribute bibles. They put the gun to his head but he dared them to pull the trigger. He told them, “You can’t kill me, I’m already dead.” There is not stopping a man with that kind of faith. When I heard the story, I prayed “LORD, give me that kind of faith.”


When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.

One of the things that has amazed me over the years is the number of professing Christian who think it is awful to have enemies. They are under the illusion that if we are peace loving and good [Politically correct] we can live without enemies. This is bologna! No one was better than Jesus and he had all kinds of enemies. He did not die of old age, he was killed by people who hated Him.

David had foes, I have foes and you have foes. To be honest, people are not my greatest concern; there are enemies that are much closer like PRIDE, LUST and GREED. These are the things that destroy men.


The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.

For He will conceal me there when troubles come; He will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high Rock. {Jesus}
Then I will hold my head high  above my enemies who surround me. At His sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,  singing and praising the Lord with music.

I don’t think there is any question: David’s passion was WORSHIP. He loved the LORD’s sanctuary; he loved corporate worship, he loved the manifestation of God’s glory and presence that is so often associated with the sanctuary. He love praise and music. David was not a perfect man but he was a passionate man and the thing he was most passionate about was worship–being in the presence of the LORD and His people.


Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Do not turn your back on meDo not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation!
10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.

11 Teach me how to live, O Lord.
    Lead me along the right path,
    for my enemies are waiting for me.
12 Do not let me fall into their hands.
    For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
    with every breath they threaten me with violence.

You can see David’s list: his petitions are obvious…

  • Hear my prayer
  • Do not turn your back on me
  • Do not abandon me
  • Teach me how to live
  • Lead me in the right path
  • Don’t let me fall into the hands of the enemy


Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.

14 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

What do we do with our enemies [problems] surround us?

[1] Remain CONFIDENT…don’t lose your courage… the enemy will pounce on weakness.

[2] WAIT patiently for the LORD…don’t get in a hurry, don’t panic

[3] Be BRAVE…trust the LORD to see you through…never give in to fear

I’m not going to pretend that leading a church is the most difficult job in the world but it is challenging. I would think that Trump’s position is many times more difficult BUT you cannot show fear and lead a church: you can’t show fear and lead anyone. You better know who you can trust and who you cannot and you never confess to the devil.

The Golden Rule

Matthew 7:12, NLT

12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

Jesus is nearing the end of this great Sermon and in verse 12 we have a capstone, a summary of all that has been said previously. Remember the Scribe who tried to entrap Jesus with a question about the law…He ask Jesus which law was most important and this is what Jesus said…

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” [Matthew 22:37-40]

Then Paul tells us in Galatians …The whole law is fulfilled in one wordin the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” [Galatians 5:14]

Matthew 7:12 is known as the GOLDEN RULE and it sums us the teaching of Jesus. It is the most universally quoted statement that Jesus made. Like all of Jesus teachings, it was revolutionary, unheard of until Jesus teaches it here on the mount.

The Rabbis had a SILVER RULE which sounds similar but is very different. The SILVER RULE simply stated says: “Do do anything to anyone else that you would not want done to you.” Epictetus [ep-pi-tet-us]the Greek philosopher used the rule in fighting slavery. “Would you like to be another man’s slave? Then do not enslave another man.”

The Silver Rule is the basic law that governs all civilized men: Don’t murder me and I will not murder you. Another way of putting it is “You stay in your lane and I will stay in mine”. Driving would be impossible if we didn’t follow this law. We even practice this law in the social context: “You mind your business and I will mind mine.”

It is very civilized but it is not CHRISTIAN or Christ like.

The SILVER RULE is negative: we keep the rule by doing nothing. Don’t steal from your neighbor, don’t tell lies on your neighbor, don’t murder your neighbor, etc. The SILVER RULE is passive by nature. You might say it is a “do nothing” religion. You can actually keep the rule by doing absolutely nothing.


It is very unfortunate that we have made it a DO NOTHING religion but this is a gross distortion of true Christianity. The GOLDEN RULE is not passive or negative. Jesus said, “Do to others what you would have them do for you.”

Our love for God should take an active form: we must express our love for God passionately in word and deed and we must love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. To love your neighbor is to do more than refusing to bring harm upon him.

Let me illustrate and then go to a story that will illustrated this point. If I am driving down the road and there is a pedestrian walking down the road, it is one thing for me to avoid running over him which is in keeping with the SILVER RULE but it is another for me to stop and give him a ride. The law of the state of Alabama regulates my speed or my hitting a pedestrian but there is no law that says I have to stop and help the person, even if it is obvious that they need help.

Do you see what Jesus is saying? He doesn’t want us to be governed by the law of survival but by love for those in need. We can do what is legal and yet fail to do what is right.

A perfect illustration is found in Luke 10 [Good Samaritan]. The Priest and the Levite did not do anything to break the law. What they did was perfectly legal. Jesus does not want our lives to be governed by the legal but by love. They should have stopped and helped the hurting man but they did nothing.

Christ and Christianity are governed by love. Love for God that expresses itself in love for man. To follow Christ is to become a servant to others.

I’m not much of a shopper: I’m a little too impatient and I can never find what I am looking for…I love it when a store clerk walks up to me and says, “Could I help you sir?”

This is the question that you and I need to ask each day: What can I do today to help someone else?


Some years ago a movie came out about a modern day man who was called upon to build an ark like the one Noah built. The one thing I remember from the movie was the acronym ARK, it stood for ACT of RANDOM KINDNESS.

I was already practicing what I had labeled in my daily planner as an AOK [Act of Kindness] and to be honest, I don’t like the word “random” so I changed it to REDEMPTIVE. Act of Redemptive Kindness; make it your goal to do one every day. Ask God to provide the opt for you to help someone.

Last Thursday Bill and Carol carried June and I out to eat and as we were going into the restaurant, a group of ladies were coming out so I held the door for them. The older one, the mother I think, smiled and said thank you. I said, “You are welcome, that is my act of kindness for the day.”

Some of you are probably thinking: “That is such a small thing, why did you even mention it?” Because God loves small acts of kindness.

I had a good friend who has gone on to be with Jesus but long before his departure, he lost a son basically because the boy didn’t get his medicine at the right time [diabetic]. The boys daddy had been so kind to my family that I felt indebted to him. It would take me hours to recount the many acts of kindness done for men and my family by this hurting family inside. As I pulled up to the church building where his COLS was being conducted and I looked at this huge edifice which was impressive is size and the thought crossed my mind...WILL I EVER PASTOR A BIG CHURCH THAT PAYS A BILL SALARY SO I CAN DRIVE A BIG CAR AND BE A BIG SHOT? The LORD, who knows our thoughts, interrupted my vain train of thought and I have never forgotten what He said to me that day…


The LORD’s conversation with me that day changed my life and today I want to challenge you to ONE ACT OF KINDNESS EACH DAY.


Psalm 26

A psalm of David.

Declare me innocent, O Lord,
    for I have acted with integrity;
    I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.

2 Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me.
    Test my motives and my heart.

For I am always aware of your unfailing love,
    and I have lived according to your truth.

I do not spend time with liars
    or go along with hypocrites.

5 I hate the gatherings of those who do evil,
    and I refuse to join in with the wicked.

I wash my hands to declare my innocence.
    I come to your altar, O Lord,

7 singing a song of thanksgiving
    and telling of all your wonders.

I love your sanctuary, Lord,
    the place where your glorious presence dwells.

Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners.
    Don’t condemn me along with murderers.

10 Their hands are dirty with evil schemes,
    and they constantly take bribes.

11 But I am not like that; I live with integrity.
    So redeem me and show me mercy.

12 Now I stand on solid ground,
    and I will publicly praise the Lord.


This is a Psalm of David written during one of his life’s crisis, probably the rebellion of Absalom. It would be a mistake to think that Absalom pulled off his coop without a lot of help and I remind you that he had the support of the Elders {Israel’s congress}. David was not a politician. He was not good at kissing babies or rears or even kissing up. Over the years he had acquired a lot of enemies and many of them were not foreigners, they were folks who went to church with him.

It would also be a mistake to assume that David is implying that he is without sin or totally innocent. It takes some thorough study to see beneath the surface: David is declaring his innocence about the accusations these people are bringing against him. He is not saying that he has never sinned or that he does not sin. NO MAN IS SINLESS, other than Jesus of course. What is saying is that HIS INTEGRITY IS IN TACT and if it is not, he desperately wants God to show him what is wrong.

The word ‘integrity’ is used twice in the Psalm: verse 1 and then verse 11. The Hebrew word is ‘tome’ and it means complete. It is the word used to describe Job. It is a term that comes from the carpenter’s shop, it means to be well turned, like on a lathe. It means that there are not cracks or checks in the wood but that the wood is ONE SOLID PIECE.

There are areas in David’s life where He is rock solid and where he is an example we can follow.


I’ll be the first to admit, David was no saint. He had a violent temper, he killed men that he didn’t have to kill. He shed too much blood. He was also a lust hound: he had too many wives and too many affairs. We are all aware of his deceit in the matter of Uriah the Hittite which is a little sickening. It was no doubt, David’s lowest moment but we have all had low moments.

The one thing we all have to admit about David was his incredible faith that he had since childhood. The story of Goliath illustrates this incredible faith. David trusted God with his very life. He put his life directly into God’s hands and there is no question: he was envied for his FAITH.

Look again at verses 1-3…

  I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
2 Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me.
    Test my motives and my heart.

For I am always aware of your unfailing love,
    and I have lived according to your truth.

The word wavering means steadfast, sure, unfaltering, steady, not tottering or leaning or weak. David had an incredibly STRONG FAITH, for above average. David’s faith was not shaky.

David’s incredible faith was based on GOD’S FAITHFULNESS. The NLT reads…I have lived according to Your truth. The REB reads…I live by your faithfulness. David’s faith was strong because it was based on God’s TRUTH and FAITHFULNESS. {Remember the battle with Goliath: David recalled God’s faithfulness in the past: he helped me slay the lion and the bear…God delivered me from them and He will deliver me from you [Goliath].}


Look at verse 4-5…

I do not spend time with liars
    or go along with hypocrites.

5 I hate the gatherings of those who do evil,
    and I refuse to join in with the wicked.

As I stated earlier, David was not a politician. He was the Trump of his day. David was above the bribe. Not only did he refuse to join the wicked: He opposed them. David dislike liars and hypocrites…people who did not say what they meant but used duplicity to get their way.

Matter of fact, Steven J. Lawson says in the Holman Commentary [and this was written before Trump]…“False charges were calling into question David’s ability to lead the nation. They were even calling into question his fitness to enter the sanctuary in worship. These men were not only seeking his abdication, they were seeking his death. Their goal was to destroy David and bring him down.” History does repeat itself. Trump’s enemies are doing the same thing David’s enemies were doing, slandering, lying and all the while pretending to be something they are not.

David refused to take part in their wickedness and they hated him for it.


Warts and all, David was an exceptional person and when it comes to worship and his ability to praise God, we all take a back seat. David worshiped in the TENT, the one he build to house the ARK OF THE COVENANT. The old Tent that Moses made was at Shiloh but the Israelites lost the ARK to the Philistines in battle and David is the one who brought the Ark to Jerusalem. Like Moses, David loved going to the tent, the place of worship. David organized the Levites into teams and he had Levites and Priest on duty at all times. You could worship day or night, 24/7. David didn’t wait until Wednesday night or Sunday morning. He went to church whenever he wanted to.

He loved corporate worship and he was totally uninhibited. He sang praises to God with choir and even dance before the LORD. There is no question, he played instruments in worship. The man loved worship.

I wash my hands to declare my innocence.
    I come to your altar, O Lord,

7 singing a song of thanksgiving
    and telling of all your wonders.

I love your sanctuary, Lord,
    the place where your glorious presence dwells.

So David was even hated for His worship. There have always been tares among the wheat, goats among the sheep. Jesus told us that He will sort them out when he returns but remember this, David enemies were worshiping with him inside the tent.

Verse 8 is prophetic… I love your sanctuary, Lord, the place where your glorious presence dwells. Jesus became God’s sanctuary where God’s glory dwelt. In other words, DAVID LOVED JESUS.



You can find many faults with David, but you cannot separate his extraordinary success from his faith and prayer life. David never lost a battle but he never entered into a battle without praying for God’s will and wisdom.

Verse 9-11 is David’s Prayer…

Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners.
    Don’t condemn me along with murderers.

10 Their hands are dirty with evil schemes,
    and they constantly take bribes.

11 But I am not like that; I live with integrity.
    So redeem me and show me mercy.

David makes three petitions:

[1] Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners.

[2] Don’t condemn me along with murderers.

[3] Redeem me and show me mercy [11b]


Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the Lord. David integrity gave him solid footing to stand and praise the God of heaven in public. How many have that kind of courage and integrity today.

Paul Finebaum is sports writer turned TV/Radio host. I would like to say I admire him but really I don’t. Ten years ago, he openly made fun of Tim Tebow and Mark Richt: both outstanding Christians who were unashamed of their faith in a culture which depreciates faith in Christ. I do not know what happened between Tebow and Finebaum but Finebaum changed his attitude. Now he admires Tebow and Richt. I think Tim overwhelmed Finebaum with love and kindness. David was a Tebow type personality: he was not ashamed of his love for Jesus. I have one word to say about that: HALLELUJAH!

People Are Crazy

Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Man

26 So they arrived in the region of the Gerasenes, across the lake from Galilee. 27 As Jesus was climbing out of the boat, a man who was possessed by demons came out to meet him. For a long time he had been homeless and naked, living in the tombs outside the town.

28 As soon as he saw Jesus, he shrieked and fell down in front of him. Then he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please, I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had already commanded the evil spirit to come out of him. This spirit had often taken control of the man. Even when he was placed under guard and put in chains and shackles, he simply broke them and rushed out into the wilderness, completely under the demon’s power.

30 Jesus demanded, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, for he was filled with many demons. 31 The demons kept begging Jesus not to send them into the bottomless pit.

32 There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby, and the demons begged him to let them enter into the pigs.

So Jesus gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned.

34 When the herdsmen saw it, they fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. 35 People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been freed from the demons. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. 36 Then those who had seen what happened told the others how the demon-possessed man had been healed. 37 And all the people in the region of the Gerasenes begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone, for a great wave of fear swept over them.

So Jesus returned to the boat and left, crossing back to the other side of the lake. 38 The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying, 39 “No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.


Several years ago, Billy Currington came out with a country song that I was never fond of but my daughter listened to it and my innocent granddaughter knew the thing by heart. One night she got down by her bed and prayed…GOD IS GREAT, BEER IS GOOD AND PEOPLE ARE CRAZY. That is the title of Currington’s song. I realized immediately it would make a good sermon title for this passage. EXCEPT: I made an editorial change: GOD IS GREAT, JESUS IS GOOD AND PEOPLE ARE CRAZY.

Think about the setting of this story: Jesus and His disciples are coming in to the beach on the Eastern shore of the sea of Galilee. They are landing on a strip of beach that is Gentile territory. Two wild maniacs come running toward Jesus and they are buck naked. Not only did they not wear clothes, they sleep in tombs, that is when they were not hollowing and screaming. They were the local terrorist, everyone was scared of them. No one could control them. Chains would not even restrain them. The approach Jesus screaming…“Jesus, Son of the most high God, why have You come to torment us?”

You say, your right, these two guys are crazy: no, actually, they are not the crazy folks in this story–they are demon possessed and that is a problem but they are not crazy.

They know who Jesus is…

They know about Judgment and torment, the pit, hell…

They even have enough sense to pray

NO, they are not the crazy folks I am referring to…

I am referring to the Gerasenes, the owners of the swine and the folks that asks Jesus to leave…and there is documented proof of their insanity.


The two demoniacs were a menace to the community. They terrorized the entire neighborhood. The answer was to restrain, to chain them, to enslave them but though they seems logical to man, it doesn’t fix anything. These wild men simply broke the chains. Adrian Rogers once said; Sin deformed us, education informs us, prisons reform us, the world conforms us but ONLY JESUS TRANSFORMS US.


We humans think we are pretty smart and the solution to everything is more money or more education. We think money and education will fix everything. Money is not working in education or drugs. We are losing ground because we throw money at every problem.


Wiersbe said, “We live in a THINGDOM, not a KINGDOM.” When will it sink in: what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?

JESUS transforms a man’s life: He tames a wild and dangerous man. A man that lived like a beast. In no time, Jesus has him dressed and carrying on a normal conversation. What is it about this transformation that does not impress you? WOW! Jesus not only saves the men from destructive behavior, He makes the community a better place to live and yet these Gentile brothers of our are more concerned about the price of pork than they are the soul of a man.

You may think Greed is not a problem in your church; GREED IS A PROBLEM IN EVERY CHURCH.

People are crazy…They love money more than Jesus, just like they love entertainment more than Jesus and their property more than Jesus.


Jesus and what He did [His power] made them afraid. There is nothing wrong with fear as long as it is awe of His power but this was a superstitious and silly fear.

This fear may have been linked to their lack of understanding…How did Jesus do this?

Perhaps they were afraid of change…

Maybe they were afraid of losing control…

The only thing I know for sure is IT IS CRAZY TO REJECT JESUS.

The Law of Prayer

Ask, Seek, Knock

Ask and it will be given to youseek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!


Practically all modern commentators believe this tiny passage on prayer is linked to verses 1-5. When and how are we to judge others and to whom do we correct? These are some of life’s most difficult questions and we need God’s wisdom. How do we get God’s wisdom, we ASK FOR IT…{James 1:5}…

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Brother Inman’s paraphrase of this verse was…“If you need wisdom, ask God for it and He will give it to you and will not fuss at you for asking.”


Although the above may be true, there is much, much more to this passage. This short passage contains the LAW OF PRAYER or as Dr. Jack Taylor called it, the PRINCIPLE OF PRAYER. If you want to learn to prayer; you must learn to ask. [Ask the congregation if anyone has a $100 bill]


I am not a Greek scholar or the son of a Greek scholar. There is a lot I do not know about English and I am much more ignorant when it comes to Greek but Matthew 7:7 is one of those verses that I remember from Seminary. The word for ask is aiteō {i-tay-o} and it is a verb…ASK, SEEK and KNOCK are all verbs in the present imperative tense.

Let me illustrate: this verb used in the aorist imperative tense would be “Shut the door behind you.” But the word Jesus uses is present tense, nor aorist and it would be “Always shut the door behind you.” The NLT has it right… “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

The present tense of the verb indicates continuous action…ASK AND KEEP ON ASKING

RECEIVE , FIND AND OPEN are also verbs that speak of a continuous action so that Jesus says…THOSE WHO KEEP ON ASKING, KEEP ON RECEIVING. Folks, I ask everyday and I receive everyday. James, the half brother to our LORD was a man of prayer and he had this thing figured out. He said in his epistle….

You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

The Law of prayer is to ask, not to demand…


Effectual Prayer must be seen in the context of relationships. Who do you enjoy talking to, conversing with? People you love, right! Jesus uses the FATHER/SON analogy. I might also point out that when the word aiteō {i-tay-o} is used, it conveys the idea of the lesser appealing to the greater:

A son to his father…

A subject to his king…

A servant to his master…

A mortal to God…

ASKING is basically a confession of need.

Look at what Jesus says“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!

I have one son and our three girls think that he is favored because I use him in a lot of illustrations. He calls me two or three times a week and generally {not always} to ask for something. Sometimes it is advice, sometimes he ask for instructions [how to get to fort Benning last Thursday] and he has in the past ask for money. He borrowed money from me to get Lori’s engagement ring. I’m not going to say that he and I have the best relationship in the world, that might be considered bragging and that will get me in trouble but I love him a lot and he loves me. I am not God, I am among the evil that Jesus mentions, the fallen creatures who do their best but still make lots of mistakes. BUT when he asks for something, I do my best to get him what he needs.


I do not have unlimited resources like God, nor do I have the wisdom to know for sure what my son needs and there may come a time when I cannot give my son what he really needs because I am human but HIS COMING TO ME AND MY GIVING centers around our relationship. Kay, Charles and Perry have sons and they have never ask me for anything–that is because they are not my sons. This doesn’t mean I would give them what they ask but because they have no relationship to me, they lack the confidence to ask.


What does my son or Charles Son or Perry’s son or Kay’s son build their confidence on? Why are they bold when it comes to asking?

My son thinks, he fully believes that I am a good man and that I love him more than life…don’t you tell him any different. {Trampoline}


He is infinitely better as a FATHER than I am…no comparison. If my son ask for bread, I will not give him a rock. If he ask for a fish dinner, I’m not going to fry him a snake and try to make it look like a fish. If he ask for an scrambled egg, I am not going to fix him a poisoned omelet. Consciously, I will never give him anything that will hurt him.

In Jesus day, a sand stone looked like a loaf of bread and an ell was consider a fish of sorts but unclean and unfit and a scorpions were white and rolled up in a ball like an egg.



There is a lot more in the passage, I just scratched the surface but let me conclude by saying: God wants a relationship to YOU. He wants to talk with YOU daily. He wants to give you more than sunshine and rain; He longs to give you HIMSELF and He does that by giving us HIS SON.