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Well, it’s April 1st — April Fool’s Day.  It is traditionally the day we pull pranks and jokes on people. This tradition dates all the way back to Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in 1392. And over all these centuries, it has changed and developed in European countries as well as ours. No one likes to think they are a fool or foolish, but at times we all are. The Bible says in Psalm 14:1-5 says this:

“The fool says in his heart, `There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good. (2) The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. (3) They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. (4) Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the LORD? (5) There they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous” (ESV).

When we live our lives foolishly and sinfully, are are living as if there is no God. Christian author Warren Wiersbe writes this about Psalm 14:1-5:

“Our English word “fool” comes from a Latin word that means “bellows,” suggesting that the fool is a person “full of hot air.” In the Hebrew language, there are three basic words for “fool”: kesyl, the dull, stupid fool; ewiyl, the unreasonable and perverted fool; and nabal, the brutish person who is like a stubborn animal. 

Nabal is the word used in 14:1, and it was the name of a man who was brutish and refused to help David (1 Sam. 25). People who say “There is no God” are not necessarily lacking normal intelligence; in fact, they may have good minds. However, they lack spiritual wisdom and insight. 

The nabal fool has a moral problem in the heart, not a mental problem in the head. The American evangelist Billy Sunday used to say that sinners can’t find God for the same reason criminals can’t find policemen—they aren’t looking!

Nabal fools are self-righteous and don’t need or want God. They want to live their own lives the way they please. Their problem is willful ignorance and not lack of normal intelligence (2 Peter 3:5; Rom. 1:18–28). But this decision causes sad consequences in both their character and their conduct. By leaving God out of their lives, they cause their inner person to become more and more corrupt—the heart (v. 1), the mind (vv. 2, 4), and the will (v. 3). 

The Hebrew word means “rotten, putrid, decayed.” It is used to describe Jeremiah’s useless sash (Jer. 13:7). When God looks down to investigate (Gen. 6:5, 11–12; 11:15; 18:21), He sees people who are filthy (v. 3), a word that describes milk that has become rancid. “Gone aside” means they have turned their backs on God (Jer. 2:21) and refuse to fulfill the purpose for which they were created—to glorify God.

This indictment is universal: all people, individually or all together, cannot do anything at all that is good enough to merit heaven—no one, no, not one. Paul quotes from this passage in Romans 3 as part of his proof that the whole world is guilty before God and can be saved only by the grace of God as revealed in Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:9–26). Human depravity doesn’t mean that all persons are as wicked as they can be, or that all are equally bad, or that no man or woman can ever do anything good (Luke 11:13). It simply means that all have a fallen nature they cannot change, and that apart from the grace of God, none can be saved from eternal judgment” (Source: Warren Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, p. 59).

I remember reading years ago, the famous atheist Bertrand Russell was asked, “Suppose, when you die, you immediately find yourself standing before God, what will you say?” His response was, “You did not give us enough evidence.” David writes in Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork” (ESV). 

An atheistic Russian cosmonaut said he’d looked carefully while in space and didn’t see God. Someone commented, “If he’d opened the door of the space capsule, he would have met Him!” The truth is: there comes a day with the devout atheist will meet the Divine Almighty God. One of the character traits of a fool is they often see everything, including people, and the disadvantage as means to an end for themselves. An end that only benefits themselves. So, if God were to take you to court, would there be enough evidence to prove you are a Christian? A Christian who is lukewarm, half-hearted, is lacking in evidence to prove they are what they claim.

We just celebrated Easter — the most sacred holiday for Christians. Jesus did not endure 6 illegal trials, mocking and scourging by Rome with a “Cat-of-9-Tails”, a crucifixion and death so  you and I could be half-hearted in our commitment to Him. He didn’t come out of that tomb so we could live foolish lives with no regard to the impact our lives have on others and the Gospel. To live such a way is to live as if there is no God. Believe me — you will stand before Him one day no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

It has been said that a fool is born every minute. Maybe so. April Fool’s jokes reveal how gullible we can be to jokes and even sin. For example, read the following:

“So, where's spaghetti come from, anyway? Would you believe a spaghetti farm?

Maybe you wouldn't believe it, but many did. Just ask the thousands of Englishmen duped by a TV special about "spaghetti farming" in northern Italy.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) pulled off one of history's greatest April Fools' Day pranks some years ago, airing a fake documentary about the annual pasta harvest along the Swiss-Italian border. BBC commentator Richard Dimbleby described peasant farmers raking spaghetti out of trees, while news footage rolled in the background. Viewers fell for it--hook, line and noodle.

The BBC isn't alone in the media for pulling off great April Fools' Day gags. Some other notables:

—A National Public Radio talk show featured impersonator Rich Little pretending to be former President Richard Nixon and announcing his decision to run in the 1992 presidential election. After a number of calls from distressed listeners, the network 'fessed up to the joke.

--A London newspaper, the Daily Mail, reported that a goldfish named George had leaped out of his bowl and taken a bite out of 12-year-old Amanda Baker's hand. The article, which included a picture of the bandaged Mandy, said George was the result of an attempt to breed a male piranha and a female goldfish.

--Sports Illustrated ran a spoof, written by George Plimpton, about an aspiring monk named Sidd Finch, who had learned in a Tibetan monastery how to throw a baseball 168 miles per hour (the major-league record is 101). The alleged Mr. Finch, who pitched with one bare foot "for balance," was supposedly granted a tryout with the New York Mets. A writer from The New York Times called Plimpton and asked, "It's not true, is it?" Plimpton dryly replied, "How did you guess?"

So, if the joke's on you this April 1st, just remember: You're in good company. (By the way, did you know fettuccine grows on shrubs?) — Source: ("Strange World," Campus Life, Vol. 53, no. 9). 

So, while you might think it is funny or joke how you live your life, to God it is not. Others might see some humor in how you live your life and even make jokes about it. God is not laughing. So, this week, having just celebrated Easter — the Resurrection — make a commitment to Jesus Christ to live an obedience, holy, godly, righteous and humble life in serving Him and others. Please don’t give others fodder to make jokes about Christians or Christianity. This April 1 — April Fool’s Day — if you are going to be a “fool,” be such a “fool” to the world for Christ, not to God for being in the world and not of it. 

Scripture To Meditate On: 1 Corinthians 1:10a, Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools . . .” (NLT).

Prayer To Pray: “Dear Jesus, if I am going to be a fool, I want to be a fool for You in the world’s eyes. I do not want to do anything that would due to my own sinful foolishness that would cause someone to stumble in their life or walk with You. I do not want to live my life in such a way that it seem I am saying or living, `There is not God.’ I want people when they see me, to see You. I ask that You help me live this through through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in me — the very same power that raised You from the dead. In Jesus’ name, Amen!”

I love you Southside! — Pastor Kelly

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