Sunday, January 27, 2013

Would You Save A Life If You Could?

"If you knew someone was going to die and  you had some information that would save their life would you not be obligated to share it with that person?"

That's the question our pastor asked us this morning in church.  Over the last four weeks he has been talking about stewardship in a series of sermons called "The Secret To A Happy, Healthy, Productive Life."  Today's message was called "The Forgotten Treasure".  It was about stewardship of the Gospel and what we're supposed to do with the good news.

In Paul's letter to the Romans (Chapter 1, verse 14-17) he said "I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.  That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome."

"I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jew and then the Gentile.  For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as is written: "The righteous shall live by faith." 

As our pastor said - are we who are saved not obligated to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others?  Do we not have an obligation to save someone's life by sharing the gospel so they too might live?

How many of us, besides my good friend Mark Atterson, actually do this on a regular basis?  As believers we are expected by God not only to live His word but to share His word and inform non-believers about the saving grace of Jesus.  In this day of secularism it is difficult, at best, to put yourself out there and talk to non-believers about Him.  Many people don't want to hear what you're saying and, in fact, probably consider it a violation of their rights. Our government certainly doesn't encourage it.  Instead our government is trying to stifle religion.  The health care law forces business owners to do things that are in direct violation of their religious beliefs.  And sadly the court upheld it.

Our pastor relayed a story to us last week that fit in with this particular topic.  When Chik Fil A opens a new restaurant somewhere the company President, Dan Cathey, comes to the location for an opening ceremony with the employees of that store.  Being a Christian man and running his corporation by Christian principles, Mr. Cathey always has a pastor or two on sight for the ceremony for prayers and encouragement.  Our Pastor, Dr. Marr, was invited to one of those ceremonies here in Fort Worth a couple of years back.
He said Mr. Cathey got up to speak to the employees about his beliefs and philosophies.  Cathey said they (Chik Fil A) are closed on Sundays so his employees can go to church and/or spend time with their families.  He said other fast food chains and business professionals told him that staying closed on Sundays was absolutely not a good idea for a fast food restaurant.  But Mr. Cathey didn't change his mind.  He said that like everything else in this world, the business belongs to God and he (Cathey) is merely a steward of if for God.  He said God will always come before profit.  Chik Fil A has been extremely successful with this philosophy even after being targeted for boycott by secularist liberals after Mr. Cathey publicly commented on his Christian beliefs pertaining to same-sex marriage .  (Hobby Lobby practices the same things and is closed on Sunday because their founders put God before profit.)

So anyway, there it is.  We are simply guests of our Lord here on Earth and, as such, we are obligated to be good stewards of His belongings.  There are those who believe the things they have here on Earth belong to them and not to God.  For them I will relay another story told to us by our very wise pastor.

There was a very wealthy and successful rancher who owned a huge ranch in Texas.  He went to church every Sunday.  One Sunday morning the preacher spoke of stewardship and said that everything we have here on Earth really belongs to God.  This thought bothered the rancher so he invited the pastor over to his home for lunch and a conversation.  Following a wonderful meal the rancher invited the pastor to get in his truck and proceeded to drive him all over the thousands of acres of his ranch.  He showed the preacher his livestock.  He showed him all of the buildings where he produced milk and beef and pork products for grocery stores.  He showed the preacher land as far as he could see which the rancher had purchased with the money he made from his huge success.  Finally he took the preacher back to his magnificent home and they walked up on the porch and sat down.

The rancher said "Preacher - I just showed you everything I have.  I got it all through hard work, skillful and successful business ventures and perseverance.  How can you tell me that I don't own any of it?"

The preacher looked at him with compassion and said "Ask me that question again in 100 years."

Remember, no matter what possessions or wealth you have here on Earth, you can't take it with you.  The only thing you can take with you when you die is your Jesus.  Or rather....  He will take you.

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