Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

A Samaritan Sermon

October 16th, 2009 No comments

Luke 10:25-37

Sometimes I wonder if God shakes His head in dismay.  As He observes our attempts to be good Christians there have to be times of divine discouragement.  We seem to learn rules and ritual more rapidly than right behavior.  As I read the following account shared by one of my online students I actually felt sorry for God.  A divine tear must have fallen on His royal robes as he watched this man in his attempt to be a responsible Christian leader.  Read and weep with God.

“When I first came to Christ, I was a real legalist.  Things had to be done a certain way or you were going to hell.  I did not give anybody any slack.  I not really interested in help serve people.  I just want to tell the truth of the Gospel and not really move to much farther beyond that.  That was until I had a unique experience happen to me in college.  When I was in college, I accepted Christ and got involved in the local Student Union.  After I was there for a few months, I volunteered to lead a Bible Study on Campus.  One day I was running late, so I grabbed my materials and ran up the hill to the building where the Bible Study was being held.  As I approached the top of the hill, A homeless man started toward me.  When I saw him, I moved to the other side of the street.  So he moved to the other side of the street.  I switched sides a few time, but he always followed me.  In my mind I said, “I do not have time for this.  I am late.  Maybe I can give him a few bucks and he will leave me alone.  So as I approached him, I pulled a few dollars out and handed it to him.  As he took the money, he grabbed my hand.  He would not let it go.  He said’ “Before you go, I have a quick question to ask you”.  I thought, “Ok here comes this guy’s sob story.”  He asked me “Do you know Christ?”  My heart sank.  He said’ “I see college kids go by all the time and I wonder if they know Jesus.”  At that moment I felt 2 inches tall.  Here I was going to teach a Bible Study about Christ and missed an opportunity to minister to someone else.  As we talked, he told me that it was hard to share with people because he did not have a bible.  I had some with me so I gave him one.  I walked away changed that day. “

Now it is time for us to pray.  Can we be changed like this young man?  Can we understand and order our priorities so that they follow God’s plan rather than our preconceived notion of what it means to please God?

by Dr. Gayle Woods

Categories: News

The End is Not Yet

July 21st, 2009 No comments

Matt 24:6

The coach was giving good advice. It was half-time and his team had a comfortable lead. He stood in front of the team and spoke with a serious tone. “Fellows, the one thing that could cause you to lose this game is to think that it is over before the last buzzer sounds. I expect you to play to the very end with the aggression and energy of a team that is behind but thinks it can win if it tries a little harder. Remember, the end is not yet!”

Jesus told His disciples the same thing. In Matthew 24 while describing the terrific calamities of tribulation He said a strange thing. “But the end is not yet.” Just because we see the signs and symbols of the end we have no right to stop working with fervent and aggressive energy in Christian ministry. Actually, Prophecy encourages our continual service – Matt 24:6. The condition of an evil world should not encourage us to give up but rather should solidify our determination to work harder – to do more for God while there is still time. Some day the end will come but until the very minute that it happens we have not excuse or reason to slow down or slack up in our work for the Lord.

This same message appears in Luke 15. It is there that Jesus through His descriptive knack at story telling reveals to us that Love excites our continual service – Luke 15:7, 10, 32. In that portion of scripture a shepherd risks much to find a lost sheep. A woman expends great effort in her endeavor to find a lost shekel. A father puts all aside in his focused concern to receive his lost son that he is sure will return from a life of sin. What was the motivation in each case? Love excites us to compel everyone to come to Christ. A common thought is repeated at the end of each story. Luke 15:7 – I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Luke 15:10 – Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. Luke 15:32 – It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. KJV Do you have any lost children? Do you have lost neighbors? Do you have lost friends? How can we even consider letting up while there is still time?

Finally, I want you to notice that Jesus exhorts our continual service. In Luke 19 Jesus gave the parable of the pounds. He told of a man that was going on a long journey. The man gave his servants each an opportunity to be productive while he was gone. When he returned they were held accountable for how productive they had been during his absence. In like manner Jesus gives us ministry opportunities. He gives us a chance to serve Him with active commitment. As He gave the servants ministry opportunities He said, “Occupy til I come.” – Luke 19:13. Work, keep busy, until I return. He did NOT say, “Work for me until you get old.” He did NOT say, “Work for me until you get discouraged.” He did NOT say, “Work for me until you think that there is no use doing any more since the world is getting so evil.” He said, “Keep busy UNTIL I return.” This timeless parable speaks to our generation as well. That is also the message of the great commission. Our commission is to accomplish His mission. Matthew 28:18-20 says, 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. KJV Did you notice that Jesus said He would be with us to the very end as we do our work of ministry. He is not going to stop short of the goal and neither does He give us license to do so.

I can almost hear Him praying in the Garden of the Gethsemene. He is in agony. The burden is so heavy that it seems that He can not bear its weight. It is a time of great concern. It is a time of great burden. Jesus longs to have a concentrated prayer support. Rising from the place of prayer He goes to get His disciples. Does He long for their encouragement? Does He plan to call them to come to pray by His side? Whatever His desire for the moment He is crushed with the disappointment of the inevitable. They are asleep. They had let Him down. “Fellows, couldn’t you just pray with me for one hour?”, He cries out in despair. Matt 26:40 Today He speaks to us. “Can’t you just continue to the end? Can’t I count on you to work diligently in Christian service for one short human lifetime?”

As we see the end nearing we must not let up in our work for Christ. Rather, seeing that there is not much time left we must double our efforts. The end is not ye… can He depend on you to continually be looking for opportunities to serve? Can He depend on you to be at your post of duty?

Dr. Gayle Woods

Categories: News