I'm going to do something a little bit different to get started today. I'm going to read the Bible. But I'm going to change the names of people and places to modern day equivalents. Here we go.
"What sorrow awaits you who lounge in luxury in Washington, DC, and you who feel secure in Beverly Hills! You are famous and popular on social media, and people go to you for help.
But go over to OJ and see what happened to him. Then go to Kanye and down to Sam Bankman-Fried. You are no better than they were, and look at how they were destroyed.
You push away every thought of coming disaster, but your actions only bring the day of judgment closer.
How terrible for you who sprawl on ivory beds and lounge on your couches, eating the meat of tender lambs from the flock and of choice calves fattened in the stall.
You sing trivial songs to the sound of the harp and fancy yourselves to be great musicians like Drake, or Elvis, or Taylor Swift.
You drink wine by the bowlful and perfume yourselves with fragrant lotions. You care nothing about the ruin of your nation." (Amos 6:1-6, NLT)
Other than the words that are underlined, this is word for word from the Bible, in the New Living Translation (a very readable translation).
Welcome to our series called A Maverick Spirit. We have been asking God to speak to us through the Bible. And specifically through a book in the Bible written by the prophet Amos.
My talk today is part seven in the series.
Today's title is: Kryptonite
"There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death."
In case you don't know, kryptonite is the one element that cancels out all the super-powers of Superman, the Man of Steel.
We have arrived at Amos chapter 6. In this chapter, Amos points to the single most destructive element that cancels out all of the super powers that could be yours, if you belong to Jesus.
The world is hurting. So many things are broken. Violence. War. Family breakdown. Moral breakdown. Financial systems where the math doesn't work. I'll stop.
Wait, I won't.
Because these things have pretty dramatic consequences, especially on a younger generation.
We can state those consequences in four words: depression, anxiety, despair, suicide.
You cannot separate morality from psychology. The moral choices that people make, and the moral choices that society makes, have an effect on the heart.
The human heart is fragile. It is delicate. Yes, there's a lot of strength. Yes, the human heart is capable of great acts of nobility and courage. We can bounce back. We can cope with a lot. We can rise above horrendous circumstances.
But deep inside of every heart, there's a vulnerable little kid sitting in the corner taking the hits and getting hurt.
Your heart keeps score.
Every sin. Every evil. Every dishonor. Every crime. Every exploitation. Every betrayal. Every abandonment. Every violation. Every scary thing. Every hurt.
Your heart keeps score. Everybody hearing my voice knows that your heart is extremely breakable.
That's why we do so many things to numb the pain, deny the troubles, or fight back.
That is also why God is so clear. It's why God's prophets are so fiery. They see a reality so clearly that most people never figure out.
There are two paths, two ways, two roads.
The first way: life
The second way: death
God says, "Choose life." Real life, true life, abundant life, the God-blessed life here on earth. Which goes hand in hand with eternal life, everlasting life, the most real possible life forever in heaven.
God says Choose Life.