Summary: Jesus shares an important truth with us in the Gospel of Matthew,Who of you by being worried can add a single hour to their life?" Aren't most of the struggles of this life, especially when viewed in hindsight, nothing more than an inconvenience
For those not familiar with and Anglican Service there are four Scripture readings prior to the Message. Scripture Today's assigned readings are: (Mathew 6:24-34; Malachi 3:6-12; 2 Corinthians 9: 6-15; Psalm 24)
Jesus shares an important truth with us in the Gospel of Matthew, Who of you by being worried can add a single hour to their life?" (Pause)
Aren't most of the struggles of this life, especially when viewed in hindsight, nothing more than an inconvenience?
We live through the struggles of life, we grow through the struggles of life and hopefully we learn from those struggles that they are no more than........ an inconvenience. Once we go through them we become empowered.
We realize that we will live trough that situation if we are called to face them again. (Pause)
A student squeezes in line, in front of you, at a high school football game, that is not a problem it's only an (Pause) inconvenience.
When someone takes a parking space that you are about to pull into, that is not a problem that;s only an (Pause) inconvenience?
Help me here!
You have a flat tire while driving to the airport and you might miss your flight; that is only an .......inconvenience.
It takes five and a half years for your child to graduate from college, that's only an........ inconvenience.
The Dow falls below 8,000, you lose 40% of the value of your 401(k), you are company is being acquired and you're probably going to lose your job, that's only an ......... Yes, that too is only an inconvenience (Pause).
I remember very clearly a conversation with my grandfather when he was in the hospital dying of cancer.
He said .....Jeffy, all the other problems I faced in life were nothing compared to this; I would give up all my money and all the things that I own to only have my health back.
I had the opportunity to pray with my grandfather in the hospital a few days before he died. (Pause) Yes, even death itself is only an inconvenience to those who know Christ as their Savior.
If we are honest, most of the situations that we become most anxious about, are also the ones that we have little or no control over;........ much like these very difficult economic times that we are all facing individually, and as families, ......as a nation and as a Church.
But they too are only an inconvenience.
We are called to be good stewards of all that God gives us and to bring to Him our lives,..... our tithes and our offerings.
In fact in Malachi God says: .....Test me now on this bring me your titles and offerings and see if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
Being a good steward reminds me of the campaigns that our church in Ohio would have; .....Yes, ......Once a year we would discuss finances and tithing.
Is tithing an important part of the Christian walk?
Of course it is.
But what leads us to move in Faith to be willing to tithe?
Is it a once a year Stewardship campaign?
Maybe that engages some but I do not believe that would work for me.
Stewardship obviously includes financial support but it also encompasses sharing your time and your talents in support of the Church and in bringing others to a deeper relationship with our Lord and Savior (Pause).
It was the Stewardship of two friends from my youth that brought me into a deeper relationship with Christ.
Approximately 1 ½ years after I graduated from Ohio University; I stopped to see two old high school friends, friends I had not seen in years.
For some reason when you leave high school, life takes you from people that you thought you would always stay close to.
They asked me if I would sing with them at a Church next Sunday and I agreed to go along.
After the Service we were sitting around and talking about things we would like to do with our life.
I mentioned that I would like to be re-baptized in the Jordan River someday. I guess that was the opening they were waiting for because they turned to me and almost in harmony and said Jeff,...... We have been meaning to talk to you.
They each shared with me what it meant to them to give their life to Christ.
Sadly, my question was where are all these Christians hiding?
Where were all these dedicated Christians that held the belief they were talking about?
I wanted to see them! I wanted to meet them! So the next week they took me to a Christian fellowship.
That night there was scripture reading, prayers and singing, Prayers that were lifted to God and singing that was simple but full of praise.