Summary: "Seven things you can become" - These are good things you want to be "That don't necessarily cost money" So we can afford to develop them "That can help meet the needs of others" - And that is important! (Powerpoints available - #179)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
SEVEN THINGS YOU CAN BECOME
THAT DON'T NECESSARILY COST MONEY,
THAT CAN HELP MEET THE NEEDS OF OTHERS
(Powerpoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #179.)
This sermon is one where the title is much longer than usual. But I think we'll get some good out of it. Let's start by examining the title:
"Seven things you can become" These are good things you want to be.
"That don't necessarily cost money" So we can afford to develop them.
"That can help meet the needs of others" - And that is important!
Ready? Let's look at some of the things that other people need but which won't cost us money to become.
I. BECOME A HEALER
#1 become a healer. Almost everybody can be classified as either a "healer" or a "hurter." And there are far too many "hurters" in the world today. Some people use guns & knives. While others use hateful words to hurt those around them. Some people make things better; others make matters worse.
ILL. The Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25 37 is a case in point. It is rather disappointing that we specifically call him the "good" Samaritan. Wouldn't it be so much better if we thought of his behavior as "normal" or "average?" We should all be the kind of person he was.
Jesus was trying to explain how we should treat our neighbors. So He told about a mugging. A man was beaten, robbed, & left for dead beside the road. Three people happened along in succession.
The first was a priest. That was fortunate ... wasn't it? Now you know a priest would help. But no! He didn't want to get involved. Do you suppose that it might have made him late for an appointment? Or that it might have messed up his robe? So he just crossed over to the other side of the road & passed the man by.
A Levite came along next. Perhaps he felt that he just didn't have time for this. It wasn't his fault the man was in trouble. Besides, no one would know. So he, too, passed on by.
And then the Samaritan came along. Remember, the Samaritans were at the bottom of the social totem pole. No one would help him if he were the one lying there. But he had pity on the man.
He bandaged his wounds, put the injured man on his own donkey, & took him into town. To put it into modern terms, he took him to a Holiday Inn, registered him for a room there, & put it all on his own credit card. He also told the manager, "If he needs to stay longer, just add it to my bill."
Then Jesus turned to the crowd of Jews who were listening to the parable & said, "Go & do likewise."
And in this same spirit, later on the Apostle Paul writes, "Carry each other's burdens, & in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2)
So the first thing we can strive to become is a "healer," not a "hurter." Yes, I realize that sometimes this trait may cost you something, just as it cost the Good Samaritan, but Oh, what a reward you will receive!
II. BE AN ENCOURAGER
Secondly, be an "encourager." Romans 12:5 8 lists 7 gifts God has distributed to His people. Among them is the gift of encouragement. It surely belongs near the top of our list of traits that we need to develop.
ILL. In Acts 4:36 Barnabas was called "Son of Encouragement," & that was certainly an obvious trait in his life. Do you remember? He & Paul were selected by the Holy Spirit to travel to the region that is now called the country of Turkey to spread the Good News about Jesus.
Barnabas had a nephew named John Mark. And he encouraged John Mark to go with them on the trip. But as they traveled, some difficulty arose. We're not told what it was. Perhaps the going was just too tough, or maybe John Mark got home-sick. Whatever the reason, John Mark quit & returned back home.
A few years later, when Paul & Barnabas were preparing to go on a 2nd missionary journey, Barnabas wanted to take John Mark along again, but Paul refused. He didn't want to take a quitter again.
So Paul & Barnabas decided to split their efforts & go as 2 mission teams. Barnabas would take John Mark, & Paul would choose a new partner, Silas.
We don't hear about John Mark again until years later, near the end of Paul's life. Paul was in prison in Rome, writing to Timothy with instructions about coming to visit him. He writes, "Get Mark & bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry." (2 Timothy 4:11)