Summary: • With Jesus there is room for everyone in God’s mercy; • He’s called us not to wait a safe distance away, but like boat #14, to follow after the cries of people in the darkness. • It’s a profound truth to discover how much lost people matter to God, bu
Here is an account by Eva Hart of the sinking of the Titanic:
Survivor Eva Hart remembers the night, April 15, 1912, on which the Titanic plunged 12,000 feet to the Atlantic floor, some two hours and forty minutes after an iceberg tore a 300-foot gash in her starboard side: "I saw all the horror of its sinking, and I heard, even more dreadful, the cries of drowning people." Although twenty life-boats and rafts were launched - too few and only partly filled - most of the passengers ended up struggling in the icy seas while those in the boats waited a safe distance away. Lifeboat No. 14 did row back to the scene after the unsinkable ship slipped from sight at 2:20 A.M. Alone, it chased cries in the darkness, seeking and saving a precious few. Incredibly, no other boat joined it. Some were already overloaded, but in virtually every other boat, those already saved rowed their half-filled boats aimlessly in the night, listening to the cries of the lost. Each feared a crush of unknown swimmers would cling to their craft, eventually swamping it. "I came to seek and to save the lost," our Savior said. And he commissioned us to do the same. But we face a large obstacle: fear. While people drown in the treacherous waters around us, we are tempted to stay dry and make certain no one rocks the boat. Yet the boat is not ours, and "our" safety came only at the expense of the One who overcame fear with love - and saved us. (James D. Smith III, Leadership, Vol. 9, No. 2)
A rather disturbing account; yet an account that may help capture the reality that we’re to share of God… It is the distinction between a religious response to life and the response of those in relationship with Christ.
Last week, we discussed the religious leaders of Jesus’ time that were offended, threatened, afraid and wanted to stay safe.
• With Jesus there is room for everyone in God’s mercy;
• He’s called us not to wait a safe distance away, but like boat #14, to follow after the cries of people in the darkness.
• It’s a profound truth to discover how much lost people matter to God, but it’s equally life-changing to discover that he uses us to help them find God.
> God chooses to use people just like you and me to help lost loves find Him.
It’s an exciting proposition: His very words by which he called his first disciples… ‘I will make you ‘Fishers of Men’—Wow! Talk about career advancement! It can also be a challenging proposition.
• Many if not most of us desire to do His work, but also feel discomfort about it.
• Perhaps we’re so overwhelmed with the reality of so many people being lost apart from God that we ignore it.
• Perhaps we fear the minefield of misconceptions that we’re likely to step on.
• Perhaps we just feel awkward talking about God and spiritual matters.
It’s a process of ‘becoming’…He will take us from where we are and lead us to where we’d like to be. It is life changing.
This morning, PRIME THE PUMP! God’s word gives us an encounter in the Book of Acts that has often been used as an example. This spoke to me in fresh ways when I went back to it.
“Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” 34 The eunuch asked Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.” Acts 8:26-35
What can we learn from this?
We can help lost lives find God as we grow in…