Summary: In this sermon you will see how a person can be a stabilizer at church, at work, and through-out the world, for God.
Today we honor our senior adults. If I were to pick one word that describes senior adults it would be the word stable. Senior adults give stability to our church, our community, and our country. They are effective stabilizers. Do you know the definition of a stabilizer? The dictionary defines a stabilizer as any person or thing which brings stability. Stabilizers are important in many endeavors of life.
• Airplanes have tail fins, wings, and other means to stabilize them and keep them under control.
• Ships have fins and other means to stabilize them and to counteract roll.
• Chemistry has additives that stabilize substances to prevent unwanted change.
• Tanks have a gun stabilizer that helps a moving tank’s gunner to aim the gun properly.
• Psychiatrists use mood stabilizers.
• The training wheel on a bicycle is a form of stabilizer.
• Cars have a stabilizer bar to minimize the danger of rollovers. I will take this example a step further. Think about what happens to a car in a sharp turn. If you are inside the car your body gets pulled toward the outside of the turn. The same thing is happening to all the parts of the car. So the part of the car on the outside of the turn gets pushed down toward the road and the part of the car on the inside of the turn rises up. A stabilizer bar tries to keep the car’s body flat by moving force from one side of the body to another.
Each of these examples illustrates that stability is an important ingredient. Stability is vitally important. Ask the sports fans in a program that is in upheaval. Ask business leaders in a business that is in upheaval. Ask family members in a family that is in upheaval. We need stabilizers in our families, businesses, schools, government, and churches. We need Godly stabilizers that point people toward God during chaos. I want to consider what it takes to be a person who gives stability to others. This would apply to senior adults but should be a virtue in all of us.
I want to take a few minutes to look at a man who did a marvelous job of offering stability to people around him. For a text we are going to use Nehemiah 5. Nehemiah supported God’s people when they were struggling. Nehemiah’s leadership shines through when times were difficult. He was an instrument in God’s hands. Notice four qualities that distinguished Nehemiah as a stabilizer
1. A stabilizer addresses the needs of hurting people. In our text we read some important words in verse 6. It says Nehemiah became very angry when he heard their outcry. Nehemiah heard the cries of God’s people and took it to heart. He was given a heavy burden for them. They were experiencing a number of trials.
* They were struggling to secure food to feed their families. Things were so bad they had to take out a mortgage in order to buy food. (vs. 3)
* They also had to borrow money to pay taxes. (vs. 4)
* Their children were forced into slavery. (vs. 5) This still happens in our world. I read, a few weeks ago, about some parents in Southeast Asia who were selling their daughters into prostitution in order to meet their needs.
Nehemiah saw the hurt and felt the pain of his people. He was angry at injustice. In verse 6 we discover that Nehemiah was angry because of what he saw taking place. This reminds me of the occasion when Jesus became angry and cleansed the temple in Jerusalem. Why did he do this? The religious leaders were treating the house of God with disrespect. Also, they were taking advantage of the worshippers who had traveled to Jerusalem to worship. This upset Jesus.
Nehemiah’s faith motivated him to address the needs of those hurting people. It is exciting to see people who are inspired to address the needs of hurting people.
Illustration: I am reading a book about Larry Jones. Larry Jones is the founder and president of Feed The Children, an international nonprofit organization providing aid and assistance to children and families in need in the U.S. and around the world. Larry and his wife Frances started the organization in 1979. Their first office was in the basement of their home. Today, Feed The Children is one of the largest and most efficient charities in the country, consistently spending less than 15 percent on fundraising and administrative costs.
Illustration: Franklin Graham organized Samaritan’s Purse to address the needs of hurting people. For over 35 years, Samaritan’s Purse has done their utmost to follow Christ’s command by going to the aid of the world’s poor, sick, and suffering. They seek to share Jesus love with hurting people in countries around the world with food, medicine, and other assistance in the Name of Jesus Christ.