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(DOUBLE DOG DARE) SCRIPTURE- PSALMS 34:8                                            FEBRUARY, 1995

O TASTE AND SEE, THAT THE LORD IS GOOD: BLESSED IS THE MAN THAT TRUSTS IN HIM.

SUBJECT - I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU, TO GIVE GOD A TRY

Remember the days when you were a little kid? Remember how you and your friends used to get together, and dare each other to say, or to do something? Remember how your reputation, among your friends, depended on how many things you did, on a dare? Things usually went like this, for me. "Hey George, I dare you to go up to the teacher's desk, and glue one of her books together." "Man, you must be crazy.", I said. "What's the matter George, CHICKEN?" My reply would be "No." "Well then, go ahead and do it." "No." Usually, I could get out of it by walking off. Sometimes, I had to endure the name CHICKEN, for awhile, but at least, I stayed out of trouble.

There were others in our crowd, that resisted the initial dare, and would start to walk off too. Then the person really pressed them by saying, "I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU!!!" When they said that, that was the breaking point. They would turn around and say, "Oh yeah, well you just watch this." And with that, they proceeded to do what they were dared to do.

In many instances, the dares, would come from people, who had already done the thing they were daring others to do, but not always. You had some, that were too chicken to do something themselves, unless someone did it first. Sometimes, they were harmless pranks. But, other times, they brought trouble, injury and even death.

As mentioned earlier, people participated in these things, to gain a reputation, or seek approval of peers.

Think back over your past. How many times, did you do something on a dare, just to prove how much of a man (or woman) you were? How much trouble did you get into, based on a dare? How many times, did you start to walk away from the dare, but had to go through with it after you were double dog dared?

Yes, in all those instances, pride, and reputations, were at stake. Some of you, are going through that right now, because you are still, relatively young. You think you have to meet every challenge head on, or you aren't going to be respected. You want everybody to know, "I don't take anything, off of anybody." "I am just as bad as anybody else, if not badder." And when you say, and think that, you are being very foolish. Why? Because you are setting yourself up, for destruction. Either by your own hand, or someone else's.

One need only to look at all of the apparent stupidity of some people, young and old, that have gotten injured, or worse, based solely on a dare. All the way from, lighting a cigarette, putting it on your arm, and seeing how long you will let it stay there, to playing chicken with a car, in a head on race, to doing drugs, and playing Russian roulette, all for the sake of a stupid reputation. Some people, you didn't have to dare, because they wanted to set the standard, and then they would dare others to join them. Why? Because, when they are out on a limb, by themselves, it gets lonely. They have to have company, or they will feel like the outcasts. So, they goad others to do what they have done.

Well, let's look at something here. How many of you, have been in jail, because of being dared to do something? How many of you are, or were, strung out on drugs, because of a dare? How many of you, are parents, because you were dared to have sex, outside of marriage? How many of you, have been injured, because of a dare. How many of your friends, are dead, because of a dare?

If I were a betting man, I would bet, all of you fit into one or more of these categories.

Well, if you want to have a rep, why not take this into consideration? Only a fool, will risk life and limb, for something, that isn't going to make them a better person. You think, having a rep as a fool, will get you a better job? Do you think you will have trustworthy friends, if they know how foolish you are? Fools, usually attract fools. Birds of a feather, flock together, and all that.

However, if you still feel you have to prove how much of a man (woman) you are, I have a proposition for you. Since you like to try things, on a dare, I dare you to do something that will not only benefit you, but will make you look totally ridiculous. I DARE YOU, IN FACT I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU, TO GO OUT ON A LIMB, AND GIVE JESUS CHRIST, A CHANCE TO SHOW YOU HOW GOOD HE CAN BE, FOR YOU. That's right, I am daring you to get saved.

You see, the reason you act the way you do, is because you are searching for something. Usually, that something, is something to satisfy that empty space that you have in your soul. That's right. All of this time, you have been trying to fill that part of your life, that longed for acceptance. But, despite the things that you tried, nothing worked. You are still just as miserable, as can be. You go home, to an empty house, and you have to have a beer, a shot of whiskey, a joint or a snort, just to get you through the night. You have tried it all, and nothing works. The only thing it does, is cause you, to miss work, get in trouble, to get sick, and lose your money. I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU, to give God a try. You thought that boyfriend, or girlfriend, would help you make it, but now they are cheating on you, or if you are a woman, you got pregnant, and he left you, and you feel like life isn't worth living, and you want to end it all, but you hang in there, for the sake of the children, I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU, to give God a try. Every time you move one step forward, you get knocked two steps back, but, you are mister macho, and you are going to make things work the way you want them to. I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU, to give God a try. If you want things to be good in your life, and to fill that space, in your life, I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU, to give God a try.

You see, only God, can fill that emptiness in your soul. It is He, that has made us, and He made us, to be worshippers of, and to fellowship with, Him. As a result of that, when you are not doing what you were designed to do, you fall short. There is something missing. You try to fill it with anything other than what should be there, and it just doesn't work. Cars, are made to run on gasoline. Try filling your tank with water, how far do you think you will go? If you have any electrical device that runs on DC voltage, and you try to use AC voltage on it, not only will it not work, you may destroy it. Well, by the same token, the rep, the drugs, the sexual encounters, the money, the power, and whatever else you can think of, are just poor substitutes, for what you really need, and that is Jesus. Only Jesus Christ, can fill that void. Only He can make you truly fulfilled and happy. I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU, to give Him a try. Jesus says, "Come unto Me, all of you that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, take my yoke upon you and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls." (Matt. 11:28-29).

Come on. What have you got to lose? The alcohol and drugs, nearly killed you, and had you acting like a fool. It took all your money. The fornication and adultery, has you wondering if you are going to get AIDS. You say, 'Man, I'm just not ready yet.' My response is an echo from the past, 'What's the matter, CHICKEN ? I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU.'

NEXT MONTH'S MESSAGE - YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!!
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