Summary: The final of four sermons on Nehemiah, also the introduction of our Corps Vision Statement.
The man came in and sat down, I’d say he was in his mid-thirties; he looked a bit rough around the edges and hadn’t shaved for a few days. We introduced our selves and the question was asked how are you surviving? “Well I can’t get the benefit right now so I’m doing a few burglaries, mind you it doesn’t affect any body, and nobody’s getting hurt!
While my fellow worker went to get him a food parcel I had the opportunity to talk to this bloke.
Being all bold and an officer cadet to boot, I asked “what do you reckon the world would be like if everybody followed the two great commandments?”
The reply was a fairly blank look; this bloke had never heard the two great commandments. “What do you mean?” he said.
“In a nut shell mate I said; “If everybody was to love God with all their heart and soul and mind and strength and to love their neighbour as their self.”
Another blank look and a few moments later was his reply, “no mate it wouldn’t work!”
All confident like, I asked, “Eh?”
He summed his reply up this way, “It wouldn’t work, because some body would always be out to rip somebody else off.”
I guess that my question hinged around everyone being on the same page with the two great commandments.
The truth is that we live in a world where not everyone is.
For the last wee while we did a series on Nehemiah and this sermon is to sum it up. Part of the point of it is on working together, as was the point of Tim Hawkins sermon big idea a few weeks ago which was, “were not spectators, …were (can anyone remember) players.”
Imagine this as Jesus ‘body’ here on Earth we all, that’s everyone who calls themselves by the name of Christ, Christians that is, are actually answering the call to live those two commandments, to Love the Lord and neighbour etc, and in doing so to make a difference.
Imagine what it would be like if we were all to do our bit in bringing God’s Kingdom here on Earth!
Think about this people would be meeting with our living saviour, and in their meeting with him, making decisions to live for him. The Holy Spirit would then come to abide with them as their helper, friend, encourager and counsellor. As a result of this happening life change would occur.
What would it be like, if this life change was like a contagious disease that spread the love of God to many, many others, Jesus compared it to yeast in dough, that made the bread expand and grow.
Christ’s body the church, growing expanding, lives changed, saved from the mundane existence that they are currently suffering, people free from addictions, fears, worries and day to day dramas that drag them down, living life like some badly written soap opera.
Attitudes changed from being that of; “I no longer serve just myself and the world, but a God who can, a God who will, and people experiencing the love of and the direction of / God in their lives.”
Lives changed, people living abundant lives, won for God’s kingdom, for eternity, people on mass praising God. People, Living for God and serving one another / really a bit like Heaven on Earth.