This past Sunday night the music industry gathered together to celebrate the 56th annual Grammy Awards. Celebrities, musicians, actors and actresses all come out for the star-studded event, making their way down the red carpet through a sea of flashing cameras. Every year before the ceremony even begins there are a few surprises that step out of limo's in the form of over-the-top outfits and hair-do's. The attendees are in the business of shock and awe and they never disappoint their audience.
For lack of interesting television, I decided to click to the channel hosting the red carpet festivities. As always, there were some beautiful dresses and handsomely dressed men. The crowds went wild for Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. Couples posed with precision. Designers names, of which I am totally ignorant, were discussed with thrill. Entertainment television hosts and celebrities fawned over each other, hugging and squealing with excitement. Your normal red carpet affair.
The red carpet walk ended and the magic moment arrived, the show began. I decided to see what the opening act would bring. After all, there have been some amazing performances in Grammy history. I figured it couldn't hurt to tune in for a few minutes.
On second thought, maybe it could.
What flashed across the screen was beyond edgy. The opening performance did more than just push the envelope; it ripped open the package, decimated the paper, and burned the evidence. For your sake, I hope you didn't have to witness what the media deemed as "entertainment" on Sunday at eight PM. The performance that took place was morally debase, disgraceful, repulsive, sickening and shameful. I could go on, use more descriptive terminology and get really fired up but I think you get the point. This was an obscene display broadcast for all the world to see and for all the crowd to applaud.
So this is entertainment? This is what our country, our culture and our society pays money to enjoy and finds delight in watching?
I call it sin. Unashamed, brazen, unapologetic sin.
The Bible calls it sin, too. Galatians 5:19-21 says, "The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like."
As I watched the horrendous display celebrated and embraced this past Sunday evening my mind grabbed hold of this scripture while my hand rushed for the remote and fumbled for the channel button. The performance that was capturing the attention of a watching nation was a display of every sinful behavior Galatians clearly defined: sex, drunkenness, lust…
For the past two days I haven't been able to shake this terrible mental image from my mind. What bothers me most is the way in which sin was celebrated and promoted. After the performance ended the crowd didn't fall silent, they didn't gasp in disgust. No, they clapped. They stood up and cheered….for sin! They delighted in, took pleasure in and celebrated the public display of sin.
Brothers and sisters, does your heart break for those people? Mine does. My heart weeps for how lost and blinded they are to truth. They love sin. They spend their lives getting wealthy and famous off of the promotion of sinful behavior. They don't see their lifestyles as the least bit wrong. They don't have a problem with drunkenness and sex, crass language and lust. They embrace their sin.
How can I show them what they are missing? How can I show them that freedom and joy is found in casting off sin and living for Christ?
I won't pretend to have the magic formula for witnessing to these lost and blinded souls. But Galatians 5 does give me guidance on how to spread the message of Christ. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23).
I can tune off my TV and refuse to let these corrupt images to enter my home. I can turn off the radio stations that play sinful music. Most importantly, I can live out the fruits of the Spirit. I can let the Spirit of Jesus Christ live through me by surrendering wholeheartedly to Him. I can cast off sin in my own life and put on the love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that is only found in God.
The law of God is rich in these fruits. He loves when His children display His Spirit to the lost. We are the channel He uses to show the world the true Way. The media wants to promote a message of evil and corruption. It loves darkness and blindness. But God loves truth. He loves to save the lost and restore their sight. He wants to shine through us the fruits of His Spirit for all the world to see.
Beloved, put on the fruits of the Spirit. Stand firm in them. The world wants to clap and applaud sin. But you and I know better than to fall for such a trap. There is no glory in sin. The ultimate glory is found in Jesus Christ. We may not get a standing ovation or Grammy award for standing for His truth but we will receive the ultimate prize. We have eternity in heaven.
Lets spread that message to the lost. We want them to have this salvation and eternal glory, too. They are blinded to the truth, lost deep in sin but Jesus' power to save is just as real for them as it is for you and me. The exact same power that saved me from the trenches of sin is the mighty power that can rescue our lost friends and relatives applauding the Grammy's. Jesus has the power to redeem, cleanse and make new our lost society and corrupt culture.
Will you join with me in fervently praying for their salvation? Pray without ceasing for a revival in our land. There are souls all around us in desperate need of saving. We can show them Christ and we can pray that their eyes will be opened to see Him.