4. We must realize that it is not all about us! It’s about Him. We should use this time to look for ways that we can contribute to the overall health of the body of Christ. We should consider the mission statement and our purpose. Remind ourselves that we are in a war for our own souls and those of our families, neighbors, friends, and coworkers. Looking for ways to serve. Looking for ways to use your spiritual gifts. Looking for ways to build up one another. Looking for ways to show support to the body. Looking for ways to change your behavioral patterns to reflect Christ, and what He wants for the church, and not yourself, and what you want for the church. This should be a time for strengthening unity in the body by unifying around a vision, around goals, around the Word, and around Christ.
A. Closing illustration: “In 1949, my father had just returned from the war. On every highway you could see soldiers in uniform hitchhiking home to their families. The thrill of the reunion with his family was soon overshadowed by my grandmother’s illness. There was a problem with her kidneys. The doctors told my father that she needed a blood transfusion immediately or she would not live through the night. Grandmother’s blood type was AB negative, a very rare type. In those days there were no blood banks like there are today. No one in the family had that type blood and the hospital had not been able to find anyone with that rare type. The Doctor gave our family little hope. My Dad decided to head home for a little while to change clothes and then return for the inevitable good-byes. As my father was driving home he passed a soldier in uniform hitchhiking. Deep in grief, my father was not going to stop. But something compelled him to pull over. The soldier climbed in but my father never spoke. He just continued driving down the road toward home. The soldier could tell my father was upset as a tear ran down his cheek. The soldier asked about the tear. My father began telling the stranger that his mother was going to die because the hospital couldn’t find anyone who could donate AB negative blood. My father explained that he was just heading home to change clothes. That is when he noticed the soldier’s open hand holding dog tags that read AB negative. The soldier told my father to turn the car around and head back to the hospital. My grandmother lived until 1996, 47 more years, about the slaughtering of the lambs
B. So tonight as we partake together as the covenant body called New River Baptist Church, let us judge ourselves that we not be judged. Let’s prepare our hearts as we sing, meditate, and receive the elements. May they strengthen our souls. Pray.