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Summary: Heather is a single 30-year-old hairstylist from British Columbia. When asked why don’t you attend Church? This was her reply:

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West Greeley Baptist Church

June 3rd 2001

John 12: 26

“Saved to serve”

By Pastor Mark Hensley

26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. John 12:26

Introduction: Heather is a single 30-year-old hairstylist from British Columbia. When asked why don’t you attend Church? This was her reply:

“ I was raised to believe you had to go

to Church every Sunday

confessing your sins, reciting your

prayers, being faithful. It was

just too hard. I couldn’t see how a

loving God could be so

demanding. As soon as I got out on my

own I left all that behind.

And the longer I stay away the less

guilty I feel.”

Transition: For Heather doing comes before being! For Christians being comes before doing! You see Christians are to serve not out of guilt or a feeling of foreboding, but out of Joy!

“ I was raised to believe you had to

go to Church every Sunday

confessing your sins, reciting your

prayers, being faithful. It was

just too hard.” I couldn’t see how a

loving God could be so

demanding. As soon as I got out on my

own I left all that behind.

And the longer I stay away the less

guilty I feel.”

Less guilty? Going to Church just too hard? A loving God …so demanding.

Heather’s experience and perception of the Church represents millions of people today. I will spend the rest of my life trying (successfully I hope) to change peoples perception of the Church. Two many people come to Church three times primarily. There Baptized, they get married, and they have their funeral service at the Church.

The first time they throw water on you

The second time rice

The third time dirt!

Oh that people might know the thrill of a relationship with God! Sometimes Church can be a boring uninspiring routine…but don’t blame God! When we get more excited by a bunch of sweaty behemoths trying to move a inflated ball of leather across a goal line, than we do about worshiping almighty God then no wonder the Church seems so oppressive to so many!

John Bisagno former Pastor of Houston’s First Baptist Church tells the story of his coming there to candidate for the position of pastor many years ago. He said that as he entered the auditorium it was dimly lit, with just a few people huddled together. They were singing some old slow funeral type song that was depressing.

Later that day he took a walk in downtown Houston and came upon a jewelry store. It was some sort of grand opening and there were bright lights and a greeter at the door to welcome you in with a smile. Inside there was a celebration going on. There were refreshments and people having a good time talking and laughing with each other. They welcomed him and offered him some punch. He said that after attending both the church and the jewelry store, if the jewelry store had offered an invitation, he would have joined the jewelry store!

Today in a message called “Saved to serve” we will learn that when being comes before doing, the church can be a fulfilling and affirming place to attend and to belong! John 12: 26.

26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. John 12:26

Servants follow the Lord

Servants are found where Jesus is working

Servants will be honored by God

I. Servants follow the Lord 26Whoever serves me must follow me;

Jesus clearly states that servants follow the Lord! My favorite seminary professor J. W. Mcgorman once said “It’s never the servant’s prerogative to tell the master what he will do”. To follow Christ is to be led by his spirit, to make choices with his wisdom to live for him to do what he would have you to do!

* If we’re really honest with ourselves what we want is for Jesus to follow us around and bless what it is that we have chosen to do with our time and our resources. But that is not Jesus’ command to us today. Today Jesus gives us the challenge, “26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.”

Look at what God has placed into your life today and then ask yourself, "If Jesus were given this life of mine, what would he do with it? Where would he go with it?"

Would Jesus be trying to get popular with that group of people at school? Would Jesus be spending so much time at work? Would Jesus skip an opportunity to pray with his disciples because of a television show? Would Jesus have a hard time squeezing in the needs of the poor and homeless? *All Saints Lutheran Church, Pastor David M. Jahn 765 N. Hickory Ridge Road

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Talk about it...

David Parks

commented on Dec 15, 2012

Thanks for the wonderful message. A word of caution. I wold not use the illustration about paganini''s violin without further confirmation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Il_Cannone_Guarnerius

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