Good morning to everyone out there today. It was so nice to get out on this father's day and make it to church. I talked with my son by phone 5 or 6 times, (he lives in GA.) and felt very much appreciated and loved. Our pastor delivered a powerful sermon, relevant to the day and the music was just what was needed to prepare our hearts.
“It's Time To Put Up Or Shut Up”. Have you ever said that, or maybe heard someone say it to you? What do you think of when hearing this? Would the statement offend you if someone said it to you?
I have been in my chair five years and nine months. I have not, am not and will not ever complain about being in this chair. The alternative was death and while I am ready for that trip, I am thankful for each day that I have to spend with my family and to do my best to serve my Lord. I am on borrowed time and maybe that is why I think of this statement to much. But, I am not the only one, on borrowed time.
James 4:13-14 says, “13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” Matthew 9:37-38 says, “37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." John 9:4 says, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” Matthew 6:19-21 says, “ 19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
James 2:15-26 says, “ 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
So, what have we read from God's word? Our lives are but a vapor, so don't plan to do things tomorrow, do them today. There is more than enough work to be done. We must work now, because death is coming and then the time for work will have past. We need to be doing the work for which we were created so that we store up our treasure in heaven, not here. And we need to stop giving lip service about what we were “going to do” , what we “meant to do”. We don't get brownie points for intentions. The Bible tells us, “faith, without works is DEAD”.
Why do you think God told Abraham to take Isaac up the mountain to be sacrificed? God wanted to see that the child He had promised him for so long, was not more important to Abraham than service to God. I say this, to pose the question to you, what are you allowing to prevent your service to God? How many times have you felt God lead you to do something, or seen a need with your own eyes, or had someone contact you with an opportunity to do a service for God, and you put ___________, in front of Him. What do you think matters more to God, that you spent all four Saturdays of the month cutting your grass, of if you missed one to cut the grass of one of the church's elderly? Do you think it will matter more to God that you signed up your child to play ball every Wednesday, teaching them to skip church or that you take a stand and show your family that being in church is more beneficial and pleasing to God?
Think for a moment about all the good and things you see that need to be done in your church and around you. Now, ask yourself, what is preventing me from doing this. I'm not saying you should leave your family out. Include them. Get your spouse, your children or your friends to help out. Instead of allowing others to pull you from His service, pull them into service with you. I tell you, I sit in a chair knowing what I use to do, and seeing what needs to be done and I know it grieves God at the lack of commitment and enthusiasm from those who have no physical limitations to please Him. We were never created to please self. I'm going to close this weeks thought with a poem. Enjoy.
Today, upon a bus, I saw a lovely girl with golden hair, I envied her…she seemed so gay…and wished I were as fair. When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle; She had one leg and wore a crutch; But as she passed…a smile! Oh, God forgive me when I whine, I have two legs. The world is mine!
I stopped to buy some candy. The lad who sold it had such charm. I talked with him He seemed so glad. If I were late ‘twould do no harm. And as I left he said to me, “I thank you. You have been so kind. It’s nice to talk with folks like you. You see,” he said, “I’m blind.” Oh, God, forgive me when I whine, I have two eyes. The world is mine.
Later, while walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue. He stood and watched the others play. He did not know what to do. I stopped a moment, then I said, “Why don’t you join the others, dear?” He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear. Oh, God forgive me when I whine. I have two ears. The world is mine.
With feet to take me where I’d go, with eyes to see the sunset’s glow, With ears to hear what I would know…Oh, God forgive me when I whine. I’m blessed indeed. The world is mine.
Remember: When it comes your time to go home, it won't matter what you meant to do, but what you've done.
Until next time, please continue to pray for each other and me, as I continue to pray for each of you. Love in CHRIST.
Bethel Baptist Church
Bethel Baptist Church