Summary: Challenging our hearts, that would really on God. That we would seek to be Spirit filled people.
You know how there’s some people who just seem to have something special about them, that edge in personality, an ability to just be great with other people or at doing stuff. We all know those people, the one’s with a kind of charisma.
Often we look at a person and find there’s something special about them, say the All Black team. Richie what a great leader, what a great sportsman, the whole team what a bunch of winning individuals. Not just during the world cup but always. The team photo, the stance in the Haka, it would have had those Frenchmen shaking in their boots. Julian Sevea, that second try this morning, what a number eleven, knocking those three Frenchmen out of the way, check out that second try of his.
Often what we look for in life are those who have made great achievements. If I was to mention a couple of names to you I can grantee that there is one that you will know, and one you’ve probably never heard about. Edmund Hillary, that’s the one you will know, Sir Ed, knocked Mount Everest off, went to the South Pole in a Massey Fergusson, High Commissioner to India, he’s even on a bank note. What about Esther Munro? This lady was one of my hero’s growing up. Esther was a member of the Stoke Methodist Church, came from a very full on Christian Family, one of those families where Mum and Dad both went to church. A big family, lots of brothers who had beards and a sister, I remember her name being Joy, all the family knew that they were saved by the grace of God, an awesome Christian family.
The reason Esther was a hero of mine, and I probably got to know her in her forties. I first met Esther when I was about thirteen, the reason she was a hero was that I heard a story about her when she had been doing mission work in the Solomon Islands. In the part of the Solomon’s where she was there was this cultural thing, an animist belief thing. Where if a baby, the first born baby in the family was born and it cried on its first night, it was buried alive. Yes, this is a horrible thing. I have been to the Solomon’s and pre-Christianity they had some fairly harsh customs. I have googled this and there is a reference to this custom on the Island of San Cristoval. What I did hear and what started Esther as being a hero was that she saved a baby from such a situation at risk of her own life. The thing is that Esther had this posture before God that she was serving him and that part of that service was to see this child’s life as a precious thing and to save it even if it might cost her own life. Esther was an amazing person who returned from her mission service, got married to a nice bloke in her late forties, adopted a son, but sadly died of cancer at the age of fifty-two. The celebration of her life was an amazing witness to all present.
We live in a culture where big things that are accomplished often appear to mean more than relationships. Big things often appear to mean more than serving others. How we stand before man seems to take a place of importance over how we stand before God.
In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians we read:
“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” (1 Cor 2:1-5).
Paul’s posture before the people of Corinth was one of putting Jesus Christ to the forefront, this man who was one of the great Apostles. Paul did nothing out of his own wisdom, I guess for some of us that’s an easy thing to do. Is it that reliance on the Holy Spirit’s power is easier if we are willing to put our own power to one side, our own educated wisdom one side,and to take a humble posture before God and men. Reliant in our being, on God, rather than being of prime importance? (Repeat).
I’d like to read you these are words of William Booth from a book entitled “Through the year with William Booth”;