(John 1:46) And Nathanael said to him, Can there be any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him, Come and see.
Just about anybody anywhere who has been paying attention to the latest movies is aware of the highly successful movie Straight Outta Compton. To date it has grossed an estimated $147,166,000 worldwide. The Faith Based movie War Room beat it out this past weekend while War Room doing well at $24,793,993 Straight Outta Compton has done extremely well. It is also the number one Music Biopic of all time beating out the previous number one Walk the Line by over 20 million dollars so far. After watching the movie myself I came away with a better understanding as to why groups such as NWA had the attitudes that they did. Were there any socially redeeming qualities in this movie probably not; however it did tell their story.
As with many Music Biopics there was plenty of drugs, booze, sex, and carnality which pretty much goes with the territory. Sad to say the same type of activities while not on the scale depicted in Straight Outta Compton can be attributed to some Christian Artists as well as some Preachers. So I’m not going to get on a religious soap box and talk about the sinful depraved lives of rappers. What I will note is how anyone be they a rapper or just an average person who grew up in such an environment. I’m here to inform you that Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior can relate to you. He understands the pain of growing up in such an environment. Scripture tells us that (2Co 8:9) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, for your sakes He became poor, in order that you might be made rich through His poverty. For the majority if not all of his three year ministry he was probably homeless. (Mat 8:20) And Jesus said to him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head. Sounds like a homeless person to me.
Our scripture text lets us know that Jesus came from Nazareth and as we read the verse it appears that Nazareth didn’t have the best of reputations as a city. It is amazing how back then people were the same as they are now. As Pastor John Walthall would say “Times Change but People Don’t”. To this very day people will have their opinion of you simply from what area of town or what city you happen to come from. I find it interesting that the savior of the world did not come from posh surroundings but from a troubled area. That’s because his mission, his purpose was to save that which was lost. He came to heal those who were hurting and suffering to provide them with hope and a better life not only here but throughout all eternity.
It’s sad that many see Christians as mean hypocritical people, some fail to emulate and show the Love of Christ especially to those who need it the most. A pastor friend once shared with me a story of how when he was pastoring in a city. He would often go down on cold nights and pass out coffee and donuts to the prostitutes. Eventually some of them started to attend the church he pastored. Well the church members didn’t like the prostitutes attending services he tried to explain to them the purpose of the church was to help such people. Eventually he wound up leaving the church. I’m sure if Jesus were ministering today he’d surprise people when it came to where he ministered. Instead of the local Mega Church you’d probably find him ministering outside of the Gay Bar located down the street from Hooters. Scripture tells us (John 1:10) He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, and the world did not know Him. (John 1:11) He came to His own, and His own received Him not. Jesus was not well received by the very people he came to die for. However that did not keep him from fulfilling his mission. Can you imagine what it had to be like to spend according to most accounts three and a half years helping folks some who would eventually agree to your death and crucifixion? How often do we hold grudges against people, won’t even speak to them all over something silly and trivial? Jesus expects so much better from us because he suffered and endured so much more.
As Christians we should be descending on the Compton’s and the Nazareth’s around the world trying to help those who society prejudges and looks over. Churches and church folk everywhere are concerned about everything except what the master is concerned about. I wrote a blog about God’s Political Agenda. I recently read a lot of blogs and opinions as to where this country is headed. Some feel that the church here in America is headed for persecution. I am more inclined that the church is headed for judgment because many have compromised their divine mission and mandate. Even satan has no desire to persecute what he’s infiltrated so well. Churches where a watered down gospel is preached are no threat to satan and his kingdom. There was a saying some years back “I’m Okay you’re Okay” well the truth is I’m not okay and neither are you. I wrote a whole series in the past entitled I have issues and I do but so do you!!!
Many of us myself included do more harm to ourselves than anyone else does. In the movie Straight Outta Compton some of the lyrics were brutally raw and honest. It conveyed how they truly felt and depicted their lives. Providing a glimpse of what it was like living and growing up in Compton. The Bible is brutally honest however it also provides us with hope and deliverance from all of society’s ills. It provides us with a path to healing whether we need physical, emotional, or mental healing the answers are there. I’m telling you whatever you need whatever you’re looking for it’s there. There are many practical applications that can and will help you in this life.
Years ago Pastor Marvin Winans, recorded a song it was almost like a cheer it simply said J-E-S-U-S, J-E-S-U-S, J-E-S-U-S, JESUS, JESUS. Yes there is someone who came out of a bad area who taught and lived amongst the worst of the worst. Yet he gave sight to the blind, healed the sick, and raised the dead. He went about doing good yet folks hated him they didn’t like him. So they killed him, crucified him one day on a cross he hung there and died. They tell me he was put in a borrowed tomb but he didn’t stay there three days later he walked out of the tomb. Later on he ascended to heaven where he is right now. However he’s preparing to head back this way and when he comes back this time he’s going to set things straight. I’m glad he’s my friend I’m on his good side nothing that I did so good or so special. He just offered me his friendship and I accepted. When he comes back should I still be around I’m going back with him next time he leaves. I’m going to a place that he prepared for me and countless others. I hope that you’re one if not just reach out right now in your heart and say “Jesus I want to be one of your friends” I accept the gift of your unconditional love and friendship. You provide the only way to true happiness and joy. Forgive me of my past and my present sins I’m all yours please come into my heart”. Welcome to the family of the man from Nazareth the true King. Now pray and ask the Lord to guide you to other family members that will accept you and help you Be Encouraged and Blessed Minister Mike.