For Real

by Barry Newton
The midnight intrusion seemed surreal. For as long as people could remember, the sun had risen and set. Once again darkness had embraced the city when the sound of pounding on a door revealed someone demanding to be heard — even in the darkness of night.
Opening the door, the young man found himself confronted by his future father-in-law, Lot. Lot recounted how he had invited two strangers into his home. But they turned out to be no ordinary men. When a mob had threatened, they had struck it with blindness.
Because of the evil in Sodom, the two men warned, “YAHWEH is about to destroy Sodom.” Lot encouraged him to join his own family in fleeing Sodom in the darkness. But this future son-in-law thought Lot was joking.
What’s real? The church youth group sat listening to their teacher speak about the importance of living for Christ. Yet for some, the message seemed remote. For them their reality revolved around dating relationships, sports, exams, and who was wearing the latest.
What’s real? Driving home from lunch early Sunday afternoon, she briefly commented on the morning’s sermon. Sunday afternoon faded away into another week of the same old routine. This Christian couple was pleasant enough, but you could not distinguish them from their non-Christian neighbors. Their reality revolved around work and family. And of course, they would attend church on Sunday.
If you have begun to read through the Bible in this new year, undoubtedly the biblical message has tried to leap from the page into your heart: What God has done, is doing, and will do is real! Repeatedly the scriptures advise us to live intentionally for the Lord, placing God at the center of our decision making.
Many years ago a young man thought that God’s message was a joke. Quite literally, his reality went up in smoke.

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