Sermons

Summary: How developing the right kind of "righteousness" can develop "Christlikness" within us.

BACK WHEN THE TELEGRAPH WAS THE FASTEST METHOD OF LONG-DISTANCE COMMUNICATION, A YOUNG MAN APPLIED FOR A JOB AS A MORSE CODE OPERATOR.

ANSWERING AN AD IN THE NEWSPAPER, HE WENT TO THE OFFICE ADDRESS THAT WAS LISTED IN THE PAPER. WHEN HE ARRIVED, HE ENTERED A LARGE, BUSY OFFICE FILLED WITH NOISE AND CLATTER, INCLUDING THE SOUND OF THE TELEGRAPH IN THE BACKGROUND.

A SIGN ON THE RECEPTIONIST’S COUNTER INSTRUCTED JOB APPLICANTS TO FILL OUT A FORM AND WAIT UNTIL THEY WERE SUMMONED TO ENTER THE INNER OFFICE.

THE YOUNG MAN FILLED OUT HIS FORM AND SAT DOWN WITH THE SEVEN OTHER APPLICANTS IN THE WAITING AREA. AFTER A FEW MINUTES, THE YOUNG MAN’S EARS PERKED UP. HE QUICKLY STOOD UP, CROSSED THE ROOM TO THE DOOR OF THE INNER OFFICE, AND WALKED RIGHT IN.

NATURALLY THIS GOT THE ATTENTION OF THE OTHER APPLICANTS. THEY QUICKLY WONDERED WHAT WAS GOING ON. THEY WHISPERED AMONG THEMSELVES THAT THEY HADN’T RECEIVED ANY INVITATIONS YET.

THEY ASSUMED THAT THE YOUNG MAN WHO WENT INTO THE OFFICE MADE A MISTAKE AND WOULD BE DISQUALIFIED. WITHIN A FEW MINUTES, HOWEVER, THE EMPLOYER ESCORTED THE YOUNG MAN OUT OF THE OFFICE.

THE MAN SAID TO THE OTHER APPLICANTS, "GENTLEMEN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR COMING, BUT THE JOB HAS JUST BEEN FILLED." NEEDLESS TO SAY, EVERYONE WAS SHOCKED.

THE OTHER APPLICANTS BEGAN GRUMBLING TO EACH OTHER, AND ONE SPOKE UP SAYING, "WAIT A MINUTE, I DON’T UNDERSTAND. HE WAS THE LAST TO COME IN, AND WE NEVER EVEN GOT A CHANCE TO BE INTERVIEWED. YET HE GOT THE JOB. THAT’S NOT FAIR!"

THE EMPLOYER SAID, "I’M SORRY, BUT THE LAST SEVERAL MINUTES WHILE YOU’VE BEEN SITTING HERE, THE TELEGRAPH HAS BEEN TICKING OUT THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IN MORSE CODE: ’IF YOU UNDERSTAND THIS MESSAGE, THEN COME RIGHT IN. THE JOB IS YOURS.’

NONE OF YOU HEARD IT OR UNDERSTOOD IT. THIS YOUNG MAN DID. THE JOB IS HIS."

WHY DOES THAT SEEM SO MUCH LIKE THE WORLD TODAY? WE ARE SO BUSY LIVING IN A WORLD THAT IS FULL OF NOISE AND CLATTER, LIKE THAT OFFICE.

PEOPLE ARE DISTRACTED AND UNABLE TO HEAR THE STILL, SMALL VOICE OF GOD AS HE SPEAKS IN CREATION, IN THE SCRIPTURES, THROUGH HIS PEOPLE, THE CHURCH AND IN THE LIFE AND WORK OF JESUS CHRIST.

IT IS SADLY AMAZING HOW MANY PEOPLE COME TO CHURCH SUNDAY AFTER SUNDAY, READ THEIR BIBLE DAY AFTER DAY, AND RECITE PRAYER AFTER PRAYER WITHOUT ALLOWING THESE THINGS TO SINK IN AND BECOME AN EFFECTIVE PART OF THEIR LIFE.

HOW DO WE KNOW WE ARE NOT ALLOWING THESE THINGS TO MAKE US EFFECTIVE? WHEN THERE IS NO OBVIOUS FRUIT BEING PRODUCED IN OUR LIVES.

WHEN THE CHURCH FINDS FEWER AND FEWER VOLUNTEERS FOR HER PROGRAMS. WHEN THE CHURCH ENDS UP CANCELING MORE PROGRAMS THAN THEY ARE STARTING DUE TO LACK OF SUPPORT. WHEN THE CHURCH BEGINS SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME AND EFFORT ON JUST KEEPING THE PASTOR PAID, THE DOORS OPEN AND THE LIGHTS ON.

ACCORDING TO PAUL, WE HAVE IT GOTTEN IT ALL BACKWARDS. PAUL SAYS WE ARE TO COUNT ALL THINGS AS LOSS AND "IN THE WAY" OF TRYING TO GET TO KNOW GOD MORE INTIMATELY THROUGH A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST.

INSTEAD OF COUNTING THE THINGS OF THE WORLD AS LOSS, WE CONSIDER THEM AS GAIN! HOW DO WE KNOW THIS? BECAUSE MOST OF THE TIME WHEN FACED WITH HAVING TO "CHOOSE" BETWEEN THE CHURCH AND THINGS OF THE WORLD IT IS USUALLY THE ACTIVITIES OF THE CHURCH AND THE THINGS OF GOD THAT "GET THE AX" FIRST.

"THE LODGE MEETS ON SATURDAY NIGHT SO WE BETTER FIND ANOTHER NIGHT TO HOLD THE CHURCH SOCIAL." "IT LOOKS LIKE IT MIGHT RAIN SO I BETTER FINISH UP THE YARD WORK. DOESN’T LOOK LIKE I’LL GET TO BIBLE STUDY TONIGHT!"

"THE SOFTBALL LEAGUE ONLY PLAYS DURING THE SUMMER SO I GUESS IT WON’T HURT TO MISS YOUTH GROUP AND SUNDAY SCHOOL FOR TWO OR THREE MONTHS."

"WHAT? COME TO PRAYER GROUP? I JUST DON’T HAVE THE TIME. AFTER ALL, THAT’S MY BOWLING NIGHT!"

WHATEVER OUR EXCUSE MAY BE FOR NOT COMING TO BIBLE STUDY, PRAYER MEETING, WORSHIP, SUNDAY SCHOOL OR SUPPORTING ANY OTHER MINISTRY, IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO THE STATUS OF MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!

A STATUS THAT SHOWS IT IS EITHER NON-EXISTENT OR ONE THAT IS SO DISTANT FROM GOD THAT I AM NOT ONLY INCAPABLE OF FEELING THE HOLY SPIRIT’S CONVICTION, BUT I AM BEGINNING TO BELIEVE MY OWN EXCUSES!

BUT WAIT! IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY! THERE IS GOOD NEWS! THERE IS A REMEDY! WE MUST ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO BRING US UNDER CONVICTION IN THE AREAS OF OUR LIVES THAT HAVE GAINED HIGHER PRIORITY THAN GOD.

PAUL KNEW THAT HE COULD NOT LET ANYTHING IN HIS LIFE INTERRUPT OR DISRUPT HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. HE KNEW THAT IN ORDER TO CULTIVATE THAT RELATIONSHIP IT WOULD TAKE MORE THAN JUST HAVING HIS HEAD FILLED WITH "FACTUAL" INFORMATION ABOUT GOD.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion