The First Steps - #1 Series
Contributed by Dr. Jerry N. Watts on Aug 6, 2007 (message contributor)
Summary: This is the first in a series of messages for the "Just walk across the Room" emphasis. These messages are adapted from the book by Bill Hybels.
JUST WALK ACROSS THE ROOM - #1
The First Steps
(For PowerPoint go to http://www.hueytownbaptist.com/pastorspage/sermondownloads.html)
> This morning take a minute, look around the room, select a face of someone you don’t know, and then play the pretend game with me. Pretend we are at a party and this person is someone you don’t know. Now with that person’s face in your mind let me direct your thinking. Realizing, at some point, every living person will experience this thing called death & that, after death, an individual spends all eternity in one of two places (heaven or hell), if you knew that you walking across this room would make a difference in their eternal home, would you make the effort, take the risk, & give the energy?
> Let me give you 3 truths: a) if no one ever walks across a room for them, they will indeed spend eternity separated from God; b) If you choose to walk across this room, maybe a process will begin which ultimately leads that person to faith in Christ; c) Never forget, someone walked across the room for you.
> During these next four Sunday mornings, we are going to use this “symbolism” to challenge us to “take a walk.” My desire is for these messages to be Biblical, helpful, and practical. We will visit many passages and Bible stories.
> Today turn with me to Galatians 4 and consider the idea of “The First Steps.” I remember our children’s first steps; they were truly exciting and fearful. The exciting part was obviously, they were doing what they had never done. The fearful part was found in the possibility of falling and failure. Let’s read our text. (READ)
> In the world of business there is a term which is frowned upon. It is the term “nepotism”. This means “favoritism shown to relatives or friends by those in power”. For our purposes, it is a family thing. In this regard, there is no place known where legal nepotism is practiced than in Heaven itself. In heaven there are no guests, drop-ins, or the unexpected. In fact, only family is admitted, those who have “received their adoption” papers.
> So who takes or who took the first step which makes the adoption a sure thing? There are 3 people, let’s see;
1) THE FIRST STEPS OF THE SAVIOR. In the late 70’s, Lanny Wolfe wrote a song entitled, “He was seeking for me.” From the splendor of heaven to the world down below. From a manger to an old rugged tree. From the dawn of creation thro’ the corridors of time. The Savior in love was seeking, seeking for me. He was reaching for me but I rejected His touch. Instead I reached for other things I thought meant so much. Things of value in earth’s market I had sought all of them but all the time I was seeking I was seeking, seeking for Him. He was seeking for me, seeking for me. Though I knew Him not still He loved me and was seeking for me. He was seeking for me seeking for me, though I knew Him not still He loved me and was seeking for me.
Consider this; In Jesus’ first steps He came seeking, not hit or miss, but;
a) They were part of a plan. We are told that “at just the right time” Jesus left the throne, the crown, the praise, the celestial setting, and the accolades to come to earth. This initial walk was across what we call the universe and He would simply call it a room.
b) Built around a person. The Bible is pretty clear that Jesus is God’s one and only Son. Furthermore, we are told that God sent His Son or gave His Son. On at least two occasions, witnesses’ record that God spoke from heaven and said this IS MY SON; I am pleased with Him so do what He says. The initial walk across a room was not arbitrary and still had to be taken by person. That person was sent by God the Father in the person of Jesus the Christ.
c) For a specific purpose. Our scripture says that He came to “redeem those” under the law. That would be you and me. The Bible gets even more detailed when it says; “we were helpless, unworthy, ungodly, sinners” Christ took the ultimate risk and made the ultimate sacrifice. Why risk? First, risk taking is what being a Christ follower is all about. Next, what if He had died and no one came to faith? Or in our case, what if no one was “offered” faith?
> You think that won’t happen? Look at Romans 10:14 But how can they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher?”