INTRO.- ILL.- Two preachers were having lunch at a farm during a certain anniversary celebration. The farmer’s wife had fried several chickens and told her family they could have what was left after everyone had gone home. But it was not to be. Those hungry preachers ate every piece of fried chicken. CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT?
Later, when the farmer was conducting his guests around the farm, an old rooster starting crowing loudly. One guest said, "He seems to be mighty proud of himself." "No wonder," growled the farmer, "HE’S GOT TWO SONS IN THE MINISTRY." (or two sons in those ministers)
Brothers and sisters, you can start out one place in life and end up somewhere entirely different. You could start out as a chicken and end up in the ministry!
ILL.- Between March 1999 and March 2000, 43.4 million Americans moved. That’s about 15% of America’s population. 56% of these moves were within the same county, 20% were between counties but in the same state, and 19% were moves to a different state. 4% were moves from another country. We Americans move a lot.
ILL.- I was born in Joplin, MO, and was raised in Webb City, MO, which is right next door to Joplin. I went all 12 years of school in Webb City. That doesn’t happen as much these days. Since those days, I have lived in Bayard, IA, Iberia, MO, Anna, IL, Mattoon, IL , and now the best place of all: Jonesboro, AR!
We start in one place may well end up in another place. We never know where life will take us, do we? Life is indeed a journey.
Life is not only a physical journey, but also a spiritual journey. Some people don’t have a very good start spiritually speaking and don’t go too far either. It often depends on whether or not the right people come into their lives and influence them in a positive way.
ILL.- We had a neighbor in IL who told me that he got turned off to Christ and the church at the age of 8 when he heard a woman preach for three hours. I didn’t ask any questions.
ILL.- My mother dated a man for several years after my father died. His name was Ralph Lee. Ralph had worked most of his life. He was mainly interested in making money. He often worked seven days a week, building houses, etc.
He was worth about a million dollars, but his spiritual worth was not much. HE WAS NOT INTERESTED IN SPIRITUAL THINGS. The only time he went to church was for a wedding or a funeral.
He told me that when he was just a youngster he got turned off to Christianity when some preacher told him not to visit his grandpa because his grandpa smoked and was a bad influence on him. Ralph loved his grandpa and decided he would never go back to church.
Sometimes we Christian people don’t always say the right things to people, do we? Sadly, we sometimes turn people off to Christ and the church.
The other side of the coin is this. Some of us get a decent start on our spiritual journey by hearing about Jesus in Sunday School, VBS and church and we end up doing fairly well. We stay with it and even make some progress.
Do you realize how fortunate you are if you were raised in any church that preached Jesus as the Christ, the son of the living God? It’s so sad to think that some people, some little children never hear about Jesus. WE ARE BLESSED!