Sermons

Summary: In times of "doom and gloom", perhaps Christians need to be shook up to the extent that we refocus attention on being remade in the likeness of Jesus Christ so that we choose God's way of grace sufficient for every need.

RESHAKING AND REMAKING CHRISTIANS IN THE 21ST CENTURY

It’s still fresh in my mind and most likely I have told it before but it’s always worth sharing: Granny Canup with her blue bonnet upon her head was our neighbor in Anderson, South Carolina. When I was nine years old, she took a liking to me and taught me gardening before she taught me something far more important.

As a gardener, she showed me how to hoe corn, fertilize tomatoes, plant squash. She even taught me how to fry a squash bloom! Pick the bloom, spread it out, wash it in the sink, dip it into a mixture of corn meal and flour, deep fry it, and then when crispy place it on white paper to soak up the excess fat, cool it off and eat it like you would fried fish. Try it, you might like it!

Also, as a devout member of the Church of God, Granny Canup asked received mama’s permission to take me with her to a revival meeting. The benches on which we sat were made of wooden planks - very uncomfortable; but that didn’t matter because no one stayed seated.

Up and down, praising God! So ecstatic that some even danced in the aisles or stepped from one bench to the other. In the midst of all that, Granny Canup got so caught up in the spirit of the moment that she grabbed hold of me by both shoulders, prayed over me, and supposedly shook the devil out of me!

Maybe what the Body of Christ needs is for God to reshake us until we let go of the grip the devil has on much of “Christian” America today! Let this be our prayer: O God, we need your reshaking . . . your remaking until we are like Thee and so filled with the Spirit that it can be said of us as it was said of “all believers” in the first century - “after they prayed”: They “were one in heart and mind . . . and much grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:31-37 . . . No doubt about it! Christians need to be shaken until filled . . . thrilled . . . spilled!

For a lifetime we have sung this prayer to God: Have Thine own way, Lord, have Thine own way, Thou art the potter, I am the clay; mold me and make me after Thy will while I am waiting, yielded and still.

Folks: genuine, heartfelt praying actively “waits” on the Lord to do great and mighty things . . . While “waiting” for direction from the Lord . . . courage . . . the right moment, we must keep on doing all the good we can do. Actively wait!

To be filled with the Spirit is: first, to reconnect with the Lord by asking and letting Jesus come into our hearts if we have not already done so; secondly, to ask the Lord to remake us after His will; thirdly, once He reveals to you (and He will) what He would have you do, then do it with all your heart, with “enthusiasm” (a word which literally means “God in us”) - which, to use a T. D. Jakes expression, “unlooses” Satan’s grip . . . unleashes God’s power . . . !

Why shouldn’t we “unloose” and unleash God’s power? The more we do so, the more God’s grace will be upon us – “much grace”! Why not take some of that “undeserved favor” that God has shown to us, and pass it on to others even though they do not deserve it either?

When it comes to the need for grace - shed abroad in the lives of we who comprise the Christian community - we are all in the same boat. We all stand in need of some type of shared expression of Christian love of which there are many. In regard to our need for grace, none of us is different from anyone else.

My oldest nephew and I were playing at Adams Park alongside a creek bank next to a huge tree whose limbs spread out over the creek down below. He pipes up and says, “Charlie, let me see you climb that tree and crawl out on that limb over the creek.” “No, I’m not going to do that.” He comes back at me with “What’s the matter, are you a coward?” So I say, “Okay, Mr. Smart Guy, why don’t you do it?” To which he responded, “Because, I’m a coward too!”

Folks, we all are like each other when it comes to need, but the fact is that some folks are needier than others. If people around us deserved to be loved . . . blessed . . . treated well, then it wouldn’t be grace. When we owe something to someone, we are not being noble by paying it. We are just doing what we are obligated to do. However,

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