Someone has written that you know you are in Texas in July when: the birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground; the best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance; hot water comes out of both taps; you can make sun tea instantly; you discover that in July it takes only two fingers to steer your car; you break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m.; you realize that asphalt has a liquid state; the potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and add butter, salt, and pepper; and farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs.
Nonetheless, despite the hot weather and vacation schedules and all that might distract us this morning, God has brought us to a text of life-transforming significance. How can we be like Jesus? One verse will tell us.
This sentence has been known as the Golden Rule since a sermon by John Wesley in 1750. These are the most famous words Jesus ever spoke. They have been called the “Everest of ethics” (William Barclay), the greatest single statement of ethics in all of literature.
Some of you are new to our city. In the interest of public safety, I wish to help. A friend recently sent me a set of driving rules for Dallas. You’ll find them essential, I think.
If your Mapsco is more than a few weeks old, throw it away and buy a new one. If you’re in Denton County and your Mapsco is one day old, it is already obsolete.
There is no such thing as a high-speed chase in Dallas. We all drive like that.
Morning rush hour is from 6 to 10; evening rush hour is from 3 to 7. Friday’s rush hour begins Thursday night.
If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended, yelled at and possibly shot.
If someone actually has his or her turn signal on, it’s probably a factory defect.
f. Roads change names without reason. For instance, Lake Highlands Drive, when it crosses Northwest Highway, becomes Plano Road. It is then Avenue K, Greenville Avenue, and Highway 5 before ending in Sherman.
It is possible to be driving west in the northbound lane of East Northwest Highway. Do not let this confuse you.
Where did you go on vacation this summer? How much work was it to prepare? You studied your options, read travel brochures, contacted travel agents and friends. You chose the location and manner of travel, reserved plane tickets and hotel rooms and admissions. You chose your clothes and packed them the night before. All to go someplace for a few days or weeks.
Janet is the vacation planner in our house. For our vacation this summer, she read more material than I had to master for my dissertation. I don’t even want to know how many hours she spent booking flights, confirming flights, and checking on details. The rest of us just did as we were told. And all was well.
Now let’s think about our final destination in life. Not just the place we’ll spend a few days or weeks, but all of eternity. If you could stretch a measuring tape from here to the farthest star, your lifespan on earth would be less than a hair on that tape. You’re en route to that final destination, right now. Are you ready to go? Are you sure? Are the people you care about? No trip could be more important than the one before us today. Let’s learn from the only One who knows the way.
A friend sent me this essay. See if it is as true to your life as it is mine.
Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil demons, he said, “We can’t keep the Christians from going to church. We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from conservative values. But we can do something else. We can keep them from forming an intimate, continual experience with Christ.
“If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to church, let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time so they can’t gain that experience with Jesus Christ. This is what I want you to do. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day.”
“How shall we do this?” asked his demons. “Keep them busy with the nonessentials of life and invest unnumbered schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered. “Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, then borrow, borrow, borrow. Convince them to work six or seven hours a day, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their families fragment, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work.