Summary: How can we be Christians who care? 1. Go beyond what's familiar. 2. Go beyond what's fair. 3. Go beyond putting ourselves first. 4. Go beyond our fears. 5. Go beyond by faith.
Be a Christian Who Cares
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - July 28, 2013
*It's always a good idea to look back over life and think about the people who have made a difference: People who helped us in a time of need.
*People who blessed us.
-Opened new doors for us.
-Helped us grow.
-Imparted new wisdom.
-Made us more than we had been before.
*One of those people for me is a man named Richard Mencer. In the mid-1990's Rich owned a kiosk Christian Bookstore at the mall in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He also served on staff in a church up there. I got to know Richard through his in-laws at Emmanuel Baptist Church.
*In early 1997, I was going through a discouraging time in my ministry. Looking back, I can't even remember why. But I was really discouraged. Then one day Richard called out of the blue. He told me he was going on a mission trip to Ukraine that summer. He said they needed another pastor to go with them, that they had prayed about it, and felt like the Lord was leading them to ask me.
*Then Rich said he had shared all of this with the city-wide singles group he was leading, and they had volunteered to pay the $3,000 cost for the trip. I couldn't believe it!
*God did a lot of great things on that trip. But on top of everything else, He used that trip to give me a new burst of encouragement. And all of that happened, because of some Christians who cared.
*We need to be Christians who truly care for other people. How can we get there? The servant girl in today's Scripture can help us. This Hebrew girl was captured as a slave, and served Naaman's wife. We don't even know her name. But this young girl made an everlasting difference in Naaman's life, because she was a believer who cared. She is a great example for us today.
*How can we be Christians who care?
1. First: Go beyond what's familiar.
*Verses 1& 2 introduce this young girl who was in a most unfamiliar situation:
1. Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.
2. And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman's wife.
*Talk about an unfamiliar situation! We don't know how long this young Jewish girl had been among the Syrians. But she was able to break through all of the barriers in her path: A language barrier, a religious barrier, a racial barrier and a class barrier.
*There were all kinds of cultural differences between her and her owners. But none of these barriers kept her from caring. None of these barriers kept her from sharing her faith. And in this she was a model of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
*A great place to see the Lord crossing barriers like this is in John 4:6-14. There the Lord talked to a lost and lonely woman in Samaria:
6. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink.''
8. For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
9. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?'' For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
10. Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, `Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.''
11. The woman said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?
12. Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?''
13. Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,
14. but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.''
*The Lord Jesus was weary. But He wasn't too weary to care. Jesus crossed gender, racial and religious barriers to offer His life-giving spiritual water to the Samaritan woman.