Summary: God has a gift for all of us, it’s more valuable than anything on earth and it’s free to those who will accept it
He’s just giving it away!
Intro: There was a preacher at a small church. He had been preaching there for some time and was discouraged by how disinterested the church was. Finally he had had enough of the unenthusiastic Sundays so he decided to write a sermon that would surely fire the members up. He began his sermon by saying "brothers and sisters we are dead, but we can come back to life! we’ve gotta start crawling" an older gentelman in the back said "let it crawl preacher, let it crawl!" this surprised the preacher because he always thought the old fella was asleep but he was glad to see someone come to life so he kept going, he said "church, if we want to we can grow, we can grow by leaps and bounds, but in order for that to happen we’ve gotta start walking" again the old man called out "let it walk preacher! let it walk!" the preacher was on a roll now, he said "friends, we can outgrow this building and build a new one! we can reach the lost, we can meet the needs of the commmunity, we can be the example that all other churches look to, but we gotta run!" the old man said "let’s run preacher let’s run!" the preacher said "amen brother! now in order to do all this in order to crawl, walk, and then run we only have to do one thing, we’ve all gotta start working!" an old lady sat up and said "let it crawl, let it crawl"
You know in every community where the Lord’s church is meeting today, there is work than can be done, work that needs to be done, but unfortunately in most places it’s not being done is it. And it’s a shame that so many people that should have the opportunity to hear the word of God are not getting that chance because Christians, have not and are not willing, to take the time to show them.
As I thought about what I wanted to speak about on my first Sunday with you all I had a few different thoughts but the one I constantly came back to was simply my vision for what needs to be and can be done in our community if each one of us is willing to put forth the effort. Now I could simply say who’s with me and I feel confident that each one of you would raise your hands but I don’t think it’s fair for me to ask you if you’re with me without letting you know what is expected of us. We’ve all heard the saying it takes a village to raise a child, well when it comes to the church it takes the entire family to grow the church, one man or one woman cannot do it on their own, it’s a team effort that takes each one of us working together towards a common goal, our goal is to help as many people as we possibly can find their way to heaven! How many of you have seen the tv show “The Deadliest Catch?” If you haven’t seen the show it’s about a bunch of crab fishing boats off the coast of Alaska that are trying to catch as many crab as they possibly can. Their season only last two to three months and during that time they’re working to make enough money to live off of for the rest of the year. As you can imagine, these guys don’t go out there with a lackadaisical attitude just chilling on deck throwing a little drop net out from time to time and telling jokes while sipping coffee. No, no, no. These guys are constantly working first they have to set out huge traps then they have to go check their traps and if they’re not catching or setting traps they’re repairing work gear on deck, and for three months it’s a vigorous back breaking cycle these guys work at! But if they do a good job of tracking the crabs, get a little lucky, and work hard, they can make enough to take it easy the rest of the year. Now, lets contrast this to another group of workers, lets compare crab fisherman with state road crews. Talk about night and day! Raise your hand if you’ve ever driven by a road crew “working” and seen at least half the men their just watching? Maybe a better question would have been raise your hand if you’ve ever seen half of them working. Maybe I’m just an impatient person and don’t understand the intricacies of building a road but I have yet to figure out why there are 20 men there when apparently you need about 5. Unlike the crab fisherman there’s no time limit placed on them, I mean they’ll throw out a date and say we’ll be done by june ’09 but we know that’s just for kicks isn’t it, it will be at least another 6 months and that’s if it doesn’t rain…at all. Now what’s the main difference between these two groups of workers? I believe you can look at different things and try to figure it out but I think it simply comes down to one thing, Expectations. You get a lazy worker and a crab boat and they’ll throw him off at the next dock, on a road crew, he’ll fit right in. The crab crew will go and find another guy to take his place because a lazy crew member is not only useless he’s also dangerous and a health risks to those around him because he cannot be counted on to do his part to ensure proper work habits. Unfortunately, too often there are lazy Christians who through their actions become a risk to the Lord’s church because people outside the church see these lazy Christians and think to themselves, “if that’s a Christian I sure don’t want to be one!” So with that in mind, let’s answer an important question this morning. What are the expectations for you and me today? What does God expect from us? Does he expect us to sit and watch others work? Or does he expect us to constantly be working diligently?