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Summary: Jesus in Matthew 10:42 when he speaks of sharing a cup of cold water is speaking of the practicality of living the Christian life. Christianity and our relationship with God is personal, but not meant to be private. Our life with God is a life that is des

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The Great Life: Sharing Jesus in Practical Ways

June 29-30, 2002

Matthew 10:40-42 (New International Version)

40”He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. 42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”

INTRODUCTION: Servant Evangelism.

Jared and his dad were playing a game of catch one afternoon, when Jared asked, “Dad, is there a God?”

Joe had the same helpless feeling he experienced on the high school baseball team when he lost sight of a fly ball in the blazing sun. He didn’t know whether to move forward, backward, or jus stay put. A string of trite answers raced through his mind. In the end Joe opted for honesty, “I don’t know, Jared,” he replied.

Yet Joe’s agnosticism failed to stifle his son’s curiosity. Jared dug a little deeper, “If there is a God, how would you know him?”

“I really have no idea, Jared. I only went to church a couple of times when I was a kid, so I don’t know a lot about those kinds of things.

Jared seemed deep in thought for a few minutes as the game continued. Suddenly, he headed for the house. “I’ll be right, back,” he yelled over his shoulder. “I have to get something.” Jared soon returned with a mylar balloon fresh from the circus along with a pen and an index card.

“Jared, what in the world are you doing?” Joe asked.

“I’m going to send a message to God – airmail,” the boy earnest replied. Before Joe could protest, Jared started writing on the index card, “Dear God, if you are real and if you are there, send people who know you to Dad and me.”

Joe kept his mouth shut, not wanting to dampen his son’s enthusiasm. This is silly, he thought as he helped Jared fasten the card to the balloon’s string. But God, I hope you’re watching, he added to his silent petition. After Jared let go of the balloon, father and son stood with their faces to the sky and watched it sail away.

Two days later, Joe and Jared pulled into a free car wash that a church was holding as part of their outreach into the community on a Saturday morning. “How much?” Joe asked as neared the line of buckets, sponges and hoses.

“It’s free,” the guy told him. “No strings attached.”

“Really!” Joe exclaimed. He was intrigued by getting something for nothing. “But why are you doing this?”

“We just want to show you God’s love in a practical way.”

It was as if that simple statement opened a hidden door to Joe’s heart. The look on his face was incredible, “Wait a minute,” he practically shouted. “Are you guys Christians?”

“Yeah, we’re Christians,” the man replied.

“Are you the kind of Christians who believe in God?”

The man couldn’t help but smile, “Yes, we’re that kind of Christians.”

After directing a big grin at Jared, Joe proceeded to tell the story of releasing the helium balloon with its message only days earlier. “I guess you’re the answer to one of the strangest prayers God’s ever received,” Joe said.


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Talk about it...

Jeffrey Piccirilli

commented on Jun 28, 2008

I thought this sermon was well thought out and shared some very poignant insights. It is true that as Baptized Christians we are called to "pay it forward", to borrow a popular phrase; to put the love God has shown us into action in our everyday lives with simple acts that have a ripple effect on the world around us. Thanks, Richard! Job well done!

John Fildes

commented on Jun 26, 2011

The moral/ethical dilema answer you used to describe thinking outside the box made me laugh out loud. It reminded my of how nearsighted I am when I am challenged with difficult circumstances. It is just like God to lead us into senarios that bring Him glory from every direction.

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