Summary: God’s love will never let you down. God’s love will never let you off. God’s love will never end! (*PowerPoint available - #253)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(PowerPoint slides used in this sermon are available at no charge. Just e-mail me at email@example.com with your request -#253.)
After the end of Word War II the American Bible Society published a little pamphlet written by a soldier, Clarence Hall, who had been a part of the invasion of Okinawa. It was entitled, “What I Found At Shimmabuke.” Let me read a portion of what he wrote:
WHAT I FOUND AT SHIMMABUKE - by Clarence W. Hall
It was an obscure little community of only a few hundred native Okinawans. Thirty years before, an American missionary had stopped here. He hadn’t stayed long - just long enough to make a couple of converts, leave them a Bible & then go on.
One of the converts was Shosei Kina, the other was his brother, Mojon. Since the time of the missionary’s visit they had seen no other missionary, had no contact with any other Christian person or group.
But in those 30 years Shosei Kina & Mojon had made that Bible come alive. Picking their way through its pages, they found not only an inspiring Person on whom to pattern a life, but sound precepts on which to base a society.
Aflame with their discovery, they taught the other villagers until every man, woman & child in Shimmabuke was a Christian. Shosei Kina became head man in the village; his brother Mojon, the chief teacher.
In Mojon’s school the Bible was read daily. To Shosei Kina’s village government, its precepts were law. Under the impact of this Book pagan things had fallen away. In their place, during these 30 years, there had developed a Christian democracy at its purest.
Then came World War 2, the Japanese occupation, & finally the American Army storming across the island. Little Shimmabuke was directly in their path & took some severe shelling. When the advance patrols swept up to the village, the GI’s, their guns leveled, stopped in their tracks as two little old men stepped forth, bowed low & began to speak.
An interpreter explained that the old men were welcoming them as fellow Christians. They remembered that their missionary had come from America. So, though these Americans seemed to approach things a little differently, the two old men were overjoyed to see them.
The GI’s reaction was typical. Flabbergasted, they sent for the chaplain.
The chaplain came & with him officers of the Intelligence Service. They toured the village & were astonished at what they saw - the spotlessly clean homes & streets, the high level of health, happiness, intelligence, & prosperity of Shimmabuke.
They had seen many other villages on Okinawa - villages of unbelievable poverty, ignorance, & filth. In comparison to these, Shimmabuke shone like a diamond in a dungheap.
Shosei Kina & Mojon observed the Americans’ amazement, but mistook it for disappointment.
They bowed humbly & said: "We are sorry if we seem a backward people. We have, honored sirs, tried our best to follow the Bible & live like Jesus. Perhaps if you will show us how . . ." Show them??
Clarence Hall went on to say, "I strolled through Shimmabuke one day with a tough old Army sergeant. As we walked he turned to me & whispered hoarsely, `I can’t figure it - this kind of people coming out of only a Bible & a couple of old guys who wanted to live like Jesus!’ Then he added, `Maybe we’ve been using the wrong kind of weapons!’"
You see, the relationship we have with God is the pivotal point in our lives. Our relationship with God determines our values. It determines our attitude toward duty & responsibility - towards our homes & families. What we believe, or fail to believe, about God is the critical issue of life.
One thing is for sure, none of us can ever say that we don’t know God because God has not revealed Himself to us. Hebrews 1:3 says this about Jesus: “The Son (that’s Jesus) is the radiance of God’s glory & the exact representation of His being….” And in John 14: 9 Jesus Himself said, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father."
If you want to explain who God is, & what He is like, & what He is doing, all you have to do is look at Jesus, because in Him you have a picture of God. When you have seen Jesus, you have indeed seen the Father.
In fact, the revelation of God through Jesus Christ can be pretty well summed up in three simple statements that I want to share with you this morning: I. GOD’S LOVE WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN!
A. First of all, through Jesus, we learn this about the Father: “He will never let you down! God’s love will never let you down!”