Silence can be Deadly…

Romans 10: 13,14a”For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord  shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? …”

Silence can be Deadly!

There are people near us who are going down spiritually. Some are dead spiritually
because they don’t know the Savior and some are hurting and are having trouble reaching
out to their Savior. Are you able and willing to help them this morning? Of course it may
require that you look for those needing help and it will require your time and love.

Once you realize the ultimate reason why you are where you are, your everyday
activities will never be everyday again. Consider the example of the young woman from
the Word of God in 2 Kings 5:2-3. It’s the story of a young Jewish girl who has been
taken captive by the Syrians and forced to become a servant girl in the home of a Syrian
military commander. She’s clearly a victim of unfair circumstances beyond her control.
She’s in a situation that had to be lonely, she’s ripped from her home, forced to live in
another country, and we can be pretty sure she’s in a place she doesn’t want to be. But
none of that makes her forget why she is where she is. In the course of her everyday
chores, she has the opportunity to save a life – and she does.

Her master, General Naaman, has developed leprosy. He’ll die from it unless he
can find a cure which, humanly, does not exist. But the Bible tells us, “She said to her
mistress,’ If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure
him of his leprosy.'” She realizes she is in a unique position to save this man’s life
because she knows the dying person and she knows the only one who can save him.
If you belong to Jesus Christ, that is exactly the position God has put us in with the
people we go to school with, the people we work with, the people we live close to, the
people we recreate with, the people in our family.

When we go where we go each day to do what we do, we go on an eternal
rescue mission! Jesus put us there for a reason. So, how are we doing? Every day,
we are there to show by our life the difference Jesus makes and to capture every
God-given opportunity to tell them how they can belong to Him. And suddenly our
everyday takes on eternal significance.

That Syrian commander didn’t die because someone who worked for him
cared enough to tell him how he could live. Imagine if that girl had been too shy
or too scared to speak up about the answer she knew. Her silence would have been
his death sentence. And so it is for the people near us who don’t know Jesus. Our
silence could mean their death sentence, because we know the Jesus who is their
only hope. They don’t know Him, but they do know us. And, humanly speaking, we
are their best chance – maybe their only chance – of ever belonging to Jesus, of ever
being in heaven.

——————————————————————–

Romans 10:13-15 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

Each of us has the responsibility (Mat 28:19, 20) and the power (Phil 4:13) to share the gospel.

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The Spiritual Cold War…

If I told you that there was a war going on you would probably ask me if I read the papers or listen to the TV and radio. Of course there are wars going on all around us. But if I told you there was a war going on that no human can actually see and can have very little affect on the outcome you would then give me a strange look and wonder what planet I am living on.

Well this morning I want to remind myself and you of that very fact. There is an ugly cold war going on that we cannot see and it has eternal consequences.

Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

 2 Cor 4:3, 4 “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

So if those verses are true and the real enemies are satan and self then how does he attack?

I Peter 5:8, 9 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

James 4:1, 2a “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war.”

 If I honestly look around me and within me I quickly realize there is a war going on for my soul. There is a war going on to keep me from serving Jesus. I am ‘born again’ so satan can no longer have my soul but he can keep me from serving Jesus. So how can I fight it?

2 Tim 2:22-26 “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,  and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”

 Galatians 5:16, 17 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would.”

Put on God’s armor today that is described in Ephesians chapter 5 so you can stand in the midst of this cold war. I stand with Jesus our Lord and Savior and with you fighting the good fight………………..daily!

Luke 9:23 “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

Through the Storm, through the Night…

Romans 8:28 “And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good,

even to them that are called according to his purpose.”

Through the Storm, through the Night…

Back in 1932 I was 32 years old and a fairly new husband. My
wife, Nettie, and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago’s South Side.

One hot August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis, where I was
to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn’t want to
go. Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy with our first child. But
a lot of people were expecting me in St. Louis.

I kissed Nettie good-bye, clattered downstairs to our Model A
and, in a fresh Lake Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chicago on Route 66.

However, outside the city, I discovered that in my anxiety at
leaving, I had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and headed back. I found Nettie sleeping peacefully.

I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to
stay. But eager to get on my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I
shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.

 

The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd
called on me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a
messenger boy ran up with a Western Union telegram.

 

I ripped open the envelope. Pasted on the yellow sheet were the
words: YOUR WIFE JUST DIED.

 

People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could
hardly keep from crying out. I rushed to a phone and called home.

 

All I could hear on the other end was “Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead.”

 

When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy.
I swung between grief and joy. Yet that night, the baby died.

 

I buried Nettie and our little boy, both together, in the same
casket. Then I fell apart.

 

For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an
injustice. I didn’t want to serve Him any more or write gospel songs. I
just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well.

 

But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment those first
sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis. Something
kept telling me to stay with Nettie.

 

Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him
that day, I would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died.

 

From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him. But
still I was lost in grief.

 

Everyone was kind to me, especially a friend, Professor Fry, who
seemed to know what I needed. On the following Saturday evening he took
me up to Malone’s Poro College, a neighborhood music school.

 

It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows. I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys.

Something happened to me then. I felt at peace. I felt as
though I could reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody,
one into my head-they just seemed to fall into place:

Precious Lord, take my hand,
lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn,
Through the storm, through the night
lead me on to the light,
Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.

As the Lord gave me these words and melody, He also healed my
spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel
farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open
to His restoring power.

And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that
day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home.

Tommy Dorsey/ “The Birth of ” Precious Lord

Neil and Rosemary Merckens

“Be still and know that I am God” ~Psalm 46

The Cause for School Shootings…

Luke 9:23 “If anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves, take
up their cross daily, and follow Me
.”

The Cause for School Shootings…

Guess our national leaders didn’t expect this. Darrell Scott,
the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School
shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House
Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders
during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.
They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well.
It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician,
every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert!

These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful,
penetrating, and deeply personal. The following is a portion of the
transcript:
“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the
hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the
seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott,
and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who
died must not be in vain.

 

Their blood cries out for answers.” “The first recorded act of
violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The
villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National
Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the
murder could only be found in Cain’s heart. “In the days that followed
the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be
pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am
not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or
defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for
my daughter’s death.
Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed
they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest
opponent.” I am here today to declare that

Columbine was not just a tragedy–it was a spiritual event that
should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the
blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing
fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem that expresses my
feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking
here today:

“Your laws ignore our deepest needs; Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage, You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms, and precious children die. You seek
for answers everywhere, and ask the question “Why?” You regulate
restrictive laws, through legislative creed. And yet you fail to
understand, That God is what we need!” Men and women are three-part
beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to
acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows
evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc.

Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems
for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as
theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to
us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open
the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as
Columbine’s tragedy occurs politicians immediately look for a scapegoat
such as the NRA.  They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws
that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do
not need more restrictive laws.

Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors.
No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this
type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. Political
posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young
people of our nation hold the key. There is a spiritual awakening taking
place that will not be squelched!

We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy
television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage. We do not
need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic
needs are being ignored. We do need a change of heart and a humble
acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple
trust in God!”

 

“As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and
saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, He did not hesitate
to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right!
I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to
realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was
brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by
those students be in vain.

Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for
legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him.
To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA- I give to you a
sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the
first stone!

My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of
this country will not allow that to happen!”

How bold are you in proclaiming God’s word? Jesus will return a 2nd time. Both now and then He is the only solution to sin.
1 John 1:5-9 “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

 

Luke 9:26 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of
Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s,
and the holy angels.”