Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Hub Sunday: “Let Them See You” by Mike Lewis

So, I compare this to the time about 2.5 years ago when we went to Andy and Susan’s house to look at pictures from Africa. Almost before Andy got it out of his mouth, I told him that I was going to Kenya when he decided to go back. When Andy called to see if I wanted to preach today, I said yes pretty quickly. Then, when I got off of the phone, I thought, “What are you thinking? You can’t preach!!!” So here I am...don’t expect an Andy, Reggie or Rick!!!!

Today is HUB Sunday. A day where we traditionally look at the places that we have ministered to, the possibilities that might be coming up and the opportunities that we have sitting before us. I want to dig a little deeper into the why and maybe show you how this goes farther than we can even comprehend.

Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” So what this tells me is that we were made with a purpose. A purpose to serve Him by serving people. He didn’t make us to serve ourselves. He designed us with a purpose. We were made to be a blessing to others. It’s his plan for us, all of us, not just some of us.

In other words, He has given to us, certain people that we are supposed to help. Some that we can serve, some that we can care for and some who we can lead to Him.

For those that were here a couple of weeks ago and heard Andy tell about the gentleman that asked him a question about scripture, did this bring up any certain event that made you think? Should I have helped that person? Should I have done whatever was necessary? Was this one of the people that He sent to us, that we were supposed to help? I know it did for me.

We all have God-given talents that we can utilize to help people. We need to be faithful in doing just that. He made us all different and all of our talents different for a reason. We can use our talents to complement each other. What I can do is probably different than what Roger can do, our Leon can do...but together, we can accomplish what God planned for us. In 1 Peter 4:10 it says “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” A perfect example of this is our upcoming Wounded Warrior Guide Service waterfowl hunt. I’m not the best waterfowl hunter that there is but I know people that are pretty good at it. They are willing to use those talents to help. If these veterans coming to hunt had to eat my cooking, they would probably lose weight while they are here. If any of you have eaten Robin’s cooking, you know that she’s a pretty good cook. I know for a fact that they go home with a belly full of great food and a few extra pounds because she utilizes one of her many talents to serve others. These people are fulfilling God’s plan. Jesus said in Matthew 20:28 that we are to serve others “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve...”

So what happens if we choose not to serve? I want to give you an example. Imagine a pond. Just your little run of the mill pond. The only water it gets is rain water. It gets a little water in to it every once in a while but it has no outlet. The water just sits in this pond. What happens to the water? It becomes stagnant, right? It’s the same with us as Christians. We get knowledge of the Bible coming in...through Church service, Bible study, reading the Word. If that all comes in and there is no outlet, we become stagnant. Our spiritual life become stagnant. God expects us to fulfill His plans for us. We need to be doers of the Word. The Bible says in James 2:20 that “Faith without deeds is useless.” God didn’t design us, before we were born, to be useless. Admittedly, it’s easy to know what needs done but not do it. It’s comfortable...for a little bit. God, or your conscience, will eventually push you to do good works...or, at least, He has me.

God puts people in front of us, all of the time, that need help. It may seem like a burden at the time but maybe, just maybe, He is giving us the opportunity to be like Jesus or at least the opportunity to practice being like Jesus. Even Jesus took a towel and a bowl of water and washed His disciple’s feet because the need was obvious.

I know there are some of us that think, “What can I do? Even if I can do something, it’s not that big of a deal.” I’m here to tell you that all good deeds are important. God doesn’t keep track of how big or important they are. Just like a sin is a sin, one is not bigger than the other...the same applies for the blessings that you give out. The work that you do is important, no matter how big or how small. Proof of this is in Mark 9:41. It reads, “I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name, because you belong to Christ, will certainly not lose his reward.”

We are to be faithful in the things that God has for us, we need recognize these opportunities.

I want to take a look at the maps that Reggie made for us. We see here all of the places that we have served. Whether in person or by sending supplies, we have served. Let me tap in to your imagination a little bit with something my wife said to me about a year ago. Imagine, if you will, that this person that we helped here in Fairfax, helped someone else in Wyoming. We in essence could put a sticker here. Or this person that we helped in St. Louis, helped someone in Texas. I know for a fact, that we don’t, or can’t, have a clue how far reaching our Good Works go. These people, if they see God in our works, will pass the blessing forward. It is His design for us and for them. In reality, we could cover most of Missouri with stickers. We could color a lot of states in stickers and we could eventually put more stickers into other countries. Andy just got back from Honduras...there’s a sticker and because of his work, those people will bless others. How cool is that? It’s the perfect pyramid scheme!!!!!

I read a story this week as I was preparing the sermon. It’s about a pencil. I’d like to share it with you:

“The pencil maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box and said, ‘There are 5 things you need to know, before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.’
  • ‘You will do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand.’
  • ‘You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you’ll need it to become a better pencil.’
  • ‘You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.’
  • ‘The most important part of you will always be what’s inside.’
  • ‘On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.’

The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in his heart.”

Just like the pencil, we need to remember these five things in order to be the best person we can be:
  • You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God’s hand. And allow other people to access you for the many gifts that you possess.
  • You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through numerous trials, but you’ll need them to become a stronger person.
  • You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.
  • The most important part of you will always be what’s on the inside.
  • On every surface you walk through, you must leave your mark.

It doesn’t matter what situation we find ourselves in, we must continue to do our part. Use our gifts. Bless others lives. And maybe, just maybe, they will see God through our good works and be led to Him through us.

There are many people that you see during your daily routines that need our love. There are people here that need our love. There are innumerous people that need to hear about Jesus. We need to focus on these people. We need to do the good works that God prepared for us to do. We need to diligent and deliberate in doing these things. Be the good that people want and need.

One of my favorite songs is, “Let Them See You in Me”. Let the people see Him in you and all of the things that you do. Let them see Him in the gifts that you intentionally use to help others.

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