Make Him Your King

   Life becomes good when you make Christ your King.  And I can't think of a better time to do that then the Christmas season, can you?

   Norm Dwight tells the story of a young youth pastor who took over the ministry of a very affluent, snooty church up in the Bay area. The poor guy was totally unprepared for what he encountered; the entire youth group was just a bunch of rich, self-inflated, spoiled brats! Designer clothes that cost a fortune, Benzes and Beemers and Jags that 'daddy had bought them'; College tuition already tucked away for the finest Ivy League schools. The kids all looked down on anyone who didn't meet their lifestyle standards. They were ruthless towards newcomers.

   An entire youth group just living for themselves: with themselves on the throne, and Christ not even in the picture. Oh, they all claimed to believe in Jesus, of course, but you couldn't find any evidence of it.

   The youth pastor came home from his first meeting and got down on his knees: "Lord, I can't minister to kids like these! Why did you send me here?" he pleaded.

   "The rich to Christ, too."  So the young man decided to roll up his sleeves and get busy. The first thing he did was announce a mission trip to Mexico for the Christmas break. But--Man!--was that ever a flop!  When he asked for a show of hands--"How many want to go?" not a single hand went up. The girls were smacking their gums and rolling their eyes: "Uh, hello! Christmas week is our ski week. It's like...we're really going to give that up to go to Mexico? There isn't even any snow in there?

  The youth pastor challenged them. "Hey, if you want to ski ... go ski! You'll be skiing for the rest of your lives until you get old, but go ahead! I just thought you might want to make a difference in someone's life this year, that's all. But as for me, I'm goin', and if any of you want to go with me, we're meeting next week." A few showed up and gradually, by divine intervention, I'm sure more kids started to show interest until pretty soon almost the entire group had decided that it would be 'kind of cool' to go down there and do something different.

    It was a very odd mission trip. One of the first things that happened was that the bus arrangements fell through at the last minute. And so, after a forceful appeal from the pastor, the parents supplied their own vehicles for the trip.  Now, get this! There was not a single economy car in the entire town, let alone the church. And so this 'mission' starts heading back for the hills of Tijuana driving $80,000 BMW's, Benzes and Jags! It was a cross-cultural nightmare, to say the least! Not one of the kids could speak Spanish either. They had one parent, who could barely speak the language, going along as a translator.

  And so, off they went: rumbling over the dirt-roads of back-country Baja; on their way to some church that needed help. All the way down, the kids were totally out-to-lunch. Trying to act cool, and grumbling about the ski trip they'd missed. Not a single spiritual comment was made during the entire car ride down! 

   After a long grueling drive, the caravan finally pulled into an absolutely ancient, primitive Mexican ghetto. The interpreter got out and asked where the church was, and one neighbor pointed to a beat-up old building right across the street.

    They had arrived! And so all the kids got out of their cars and walked over to the church. The door swung open at the slightest touch, and they all stepped inside. 

   They were immediately struck dumb by what they saw! 

   The church was in absolute ruin! Everything had been burned and destroyed inside. The only wall standing was the one they had just passed through. One of the neighbors explained, through the interpreter, that some six months ago, gangs had come and stolen everything in the church and had set it on fire. For the last six months, they had been worshipping there ... among the ruins of that gutted-out building. 

   And the kids just stood there speechless! They'd never seen anything like it! All they'd ever seen was their own church and its lavish facility. 

Then the pastor finally showed up, with tears in his eyes. He could barely explain what he wanted to explain. Finally, the interpreter figured it out and told it to the kids: "He says they've been praying for the past six months already, asking God to send them some help; hoping that, somehow, they could rebuild their church. They 've been awfully discouraged. They'd given up hope! Until now, that is. Now you have come and God has answered their prayers! '" 

   When the Pastor finished speaking, not a sound could be heard from the kids for the longest time. And then suddenly one of the boys spoke up. He was totally blown away by what he had heard, and he shouts out to everyone with an awe-stricken voice: "I can't believe it! We 're an answer to prayer!" It was something he had never dreamed he could be! The rest of the kids were just as amazed. 

   For the rest of that week, much of that church got re-built. But something even greater than that took place. Those kids! Suddenly surrendered to their King! Their lives would never be the same. 

And you know? That youth group went back and trans-formed that church! Parents wanted to know just what it was down there in Mexico that their kids had discovered, that was making such a difference. I'll tell you what they'd discovered! Jesus their King! His right to reign is indisputable. His title is one that cannot be altered. Everything else is so shallow without Him. And life becomes good when you make Him your King!


See you Sunday!

He Takes the Anger Away