Save Time and Preach Like Never Before. Try the new
1. Godís plan for a pure redeemer (18)
2. Godís plan for a public redeemer (19-20)
3. Godís plan for a perfect redeemer (21)

MATTHEW 1:18-21

Iíve got an old Massey Ferguson tractor at home. I have a nice place all cleaned out for it in the barn. But itís not in the barn. Itís sitting out in the weather, right outside the barn. The reason itís sitting there is because, earlier this year, I started it, put it into gear and backed it out of the barn. There were only a couple of problems. As it was backing out, I realized I had no control of the steering. I could crank and crank on the steering wheel and it wouldnít turn. So, as it was backing out, the front wheels began to drift toward the side of the barn. Simple solution, right? Iíd just stop until I could get the wheels turned. Not so simple. I stepped on the clutch. Nothing happened. I couldnít get the clutch to engage. Well, luckily, the front of the tractor just skidded along the side of the barn and out into the field before I got the thing killed. And there it has sat. I started it once just to watch the field mice run out. But other than that, it hasnít moved. Now, as youíve probably guessed, Iím not a mechanic. And I donít have the tools, time, nor patience to be one. But even someone as mechanically inept as I can figure out what the problem is. I have a hydraulic problem in the steering and my clutch is out. Itís not rocket science figuring out what the problem is. All you have to do is open your eyes and you can see it. The problem is what to do about it. I can identify the problem, but I am utterly incapable of doing anything about it. Iím pretty good at a lot of things. Iím a pretty good carpenteróbut a circular saw wonít do anything for it. I know telephone cable and communication systems like the back of my handóbut the tractorís problem isnít circuitry. I can teachóbut for some reason that old tractor just doesnít want to learn. So, there the tractor sits. In our society today, itís easy to see whatís wrong with it. Itís easy to look around and see whatís broken. The problem is, knowing how to fix it. As I was preparing, I came across something that really sets the stage for our text this morning. I donít know who wrote it, but itís called Our Greatest Need.

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator;
If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist;
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist;
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer;
But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a redeemer.

See, all too often, we try to fix the worldís problems with the wrong tool. Thereís nothing wrong with information, technology, money, and pleasure when used the right way. Theyíre just the wrong tools to fix the problem. Weíre trying to fix the tractor with a circular saw. Just like me with that tractor,
Lee Floyd
December 12, 2013
I believe the poem referred to in opening - is called "God Sent us a Savior" by Clarice Reid Hart. At least its very close to what is quoted here.
Eugene Smith
November 30, 2007
Good outline. Enjoyed your story about the tractor