Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sacrifice and Surrender

The ultimate example of sacrificial love is the Lord Jesus. He chose to surrender the glory of His heavenly home out of love for each one of us. As followers of Jesus, we should desire to emulate this attitude of self sacrifice.

The apostle John tells us in IJohn 2:6 that "whosoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus walked". The great question this - are you willing and ready to make yourself as nothing? To take on the very nature of a servant, to be obedient?

In Matthew 25, Jesus condemns the people for not caring for Him as they should. When they questioned Him as to when they were negligent in this, He responded "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not". In verse 45 he tells them "You didn't help them and therefore you didn't help me."

Ouch! That is a slap in the face. Think of it this way - how much would our lives change if we actually thought of every person we came in contact with as the Lord Jesus? If we believe, as the Bible teaches, that the two greatest commands are "Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself", shouldn't we behave accordingly?

Conversely, in the same chapter Jesus blesses some of the people for what they have done. Confused, they ask "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in? When did we see you in prison and visit you?" His answer was staggering. "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did unto me."

Matthew 25 is essentially teaching us that by loving others we actually demonstrate our love for God.

Treating those around us like they were Jesus requires sacrifice and surrender. God expects us to live in such a way that demands abandonment to self. He doesn't want us to say how much we love him, He wants us to show how much. As the Lord Jesus Himself charged us in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."

See you on Sunday!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Hungry Crab

Most of you know I am a native of New Jersey. Born and raised on the shore, I spent a great deal of time on the water. After teaching school for seven years in Oklahoma, God lead me back to Maryland and again be the water.

I love summertime. The biggest reason is because of the outdoor activities. One of the most popular in our area is crabbing. I distinctly remember the first time I went out on the Chester River with Bro. Manning and learned how to crab. The procedure was simple. Tie the bait to a trot line, and then drop the line in the water. When you pull up the line, a crab is eating the bait. Remove the crab, and then throw him into the boat.

Later on you throw several of them in boiling water to steam them. Sprinkle on some Old Bay, add some corn-on-the-cob on the side, and talk about good eating! Whoa!

This thought occurs to me whenever I eat steamed crabs; we humans are much like the crab. He becomes so preoccupied with his appetite and so absorbed in the meal that he does not see the impending danger to his freedom. How many people resemble the hungry crab? They are so interested in their own ambitions and desires they fail to realize that life will soon be over. How we need to resist this practice - failing to plan on eternity. Both nationally and individually we are sacrificing our future on the altar of immediate gratification. Don't jeopardize your eternity while yielding to temporary earthly pleasures. Remember the fate of the short sighted crab!

Thank God for last Sunday! Looking forward to a great time this Sunday!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


For years, I have been a fan of mysteries. I have watched all of the Sherlock Holmes stories many times over. By the way, no one can touch Basil Rathbone. I even enjoyed the Alfred Hitchcock stories. For many years he was the Dean of movie-makers. He wrote his own rules. No one created suspense quite like him. It is said that he became bored with his story lines. In an effort to rekindle his passion, he devised an innovative plan to jump-start his movie making. He began making cameo apperances in his movies. In Birds, he's found walking past a pet shop with two white terriers. In North by North West, he is spotted missing a bus. In Psycho, he is seen through a window wearing a cowboy hat. In Rear Window, he is winding a clock in the neighbor's apartment. In Dial M for Murder, he's seen in Ray Milland's class photo. In Topaz, he is being pushed through an airport in a wheelchair.
Innovation: it is the oxygen for the suffocating Nine to Five routine. And to be honest, all of us could use a dose! God's people are better known for their traditions than for innovation. However, when you consider Bible heroes, all of them were innovative. Noah used a boat as a sermon visual. Joshua walking around Jericho was not the norm-but it worked. Solomon's temple was one of a kind. John the Baptist's wardrobe still hasn't caught on. Many of us become bogged down with the same ole, same ole. We often need to be stirred and that means asking God to move us. Maybe it means a fresh prayer life. For others, it may be time on your knees just worshipping God. Often a slight change is needed to enhance our walk with God. Maybe a new sermon or even a new chorus would help us to be fresh. Think of your life spiritually. Are you in a rut? Does your heart ache for God? If so, then change your ways; become biblically innovative and regain your passion. Let Christ be seen in you again. I love you blessed and wonderful people.

See you Sunday!