Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Three Little Lessons on Life....and God

I had youth last night at Rock Mills.  I only had 6 there...I had compiled a lesson of three emails I got this week and thought it would be a good lesson for the last official night of youth.  Next Wednesday night we are having a cookout at our house....and then youth will be done until school starts back.  I have to admit I have mixed emotions.  I am sad for this year to be over....but not sad because it has been a tough year with them.  So with that said, here is my lesson.  I do not know who the authors of these three email stories were or even if they are true stories...whether they are true or not does not matter...what matters is the moral they each have for us....youth....or adult.  These three stories are just plain all around good life lessons and lessons that we need to heed.
Lesson Number 1 – You can’t save all your friends….but the ones you do save will work with you….Just like the statement…tell one…now two know....and then they tell oneand you get the picture.  The more you tell....the more who will know. The moral here is don’t be afraid to tell about your faith and what you believe in.  "Josh Dykstra knew a man who used to be an incredible Godly roll-model he volunteered with the church, was a great inspiration in his love for the Lord. But he got comfortable with his position, God decided to test this man like he did Job, He took away his job and since this man spent so little time exercising his Faith he fell and he fell hard. Satan dug a hole for him and as he laid in the bottom of it broken and confused he would look up and see people calling out to him to climb out of the hole, But he would not listen. One time a man of God came along and handed him the rope of salvation, but the man did not grab hold. As soon and he would think he could climb back out he would hear the sin whispering in his head, “Your not good enough to get out of here, this is where you belong in a hole of darkness.” The man eventually started to dig deeper into his hole for it became a comfort to him, no longer was he bothered by the chaos of the world above him, he grew ever more secure with his situation. He began thinking “this is not so bad, I can’t fail if I don’t try, no one loved me anyways.”  But One day a wise man of the Lord came and yelled into the hole. The man in the hole said “Why have you come?  Many have tried and not one can save me from this place.” The wise man of God simply leaned his head into the hole and yelled. “It is not men who can save you but he Lord himself, as a tool of the Lord we are used to calling out to you and from the majesty of our father in heaven you are saved.”  The man in the hole sat there and pondered this for quite a long time. “Perhaps I am qualified to be saved, maybe the Lord will forget my sin and resurrect me.” The man kneeled, bowed his head and prayed for the Lord to save him from his hole. He sat there waiting for something magnificent to happen. Perhaps an angel will swoop down and fly me out, he thought. After some time with no response the man began to doubt, in his anger he called out, " Lord just kill me if you have already turned your back on me and end my life."  It was then he heard a thundering voice say. “I have never left your side, I was the man with the rope, I was the man with the encouraging words. I have not left the side of this hole once the entire time you have been down there.” The man replied then why have you not saved me? It was then the Lord did a miraculous thing he whispered into the hole and said “My child, come home. ” Immediately the man was filled with strength he dug his nails into the wall of the hole and began to climb. As he reached different layers of dirt he realized the grains were his sins, he saw the layer of adultery, they layer of lies, all yelling for him to give up. He continued to climb for the light from the Lord was so great it inspired his entire being. He passed through the sin layers but he began to slip and fall back into the hole, he cried tears covering his chest turning the wall into slipper mud. The man did not give up he continued to climb eager to see the Lord. He was almost to the top when he found a lay of sand, the heat coming from the Lord was melting the sand into glass, as he gazed into it he saw his reflection tattered dirty, bleeding from his nails from the climbing. He thought “No way can I appear before the Lord like this.” So he let go, but right before he was about to fall God grabbed his hand and began to pull him out. As soon as the man’s feet touched the ground he was cleansed, the dirt completely gone from his body, the sweat and tears were gone, his blood was washed away. His torn clothes replaced with a white robe which radiance was greater then that of the sun. He gazed upon the Lord and said thank you, thank you, thank you. How ever may I repay you, how can I fulfill my life for you?  The Lord smiled upon him and said look out upon this desert, tell me what you see. The man turned and gazed every which way and replied, Lord all I see are holes. The Lord placed his hand upon the man’s head and said yes, Be the man with the Rope, Be the man with encouragement, go out and save that which is lost just as I have saved you I also wish to save them. The man replied, Lord there are so many holes I can never save all of them. The Lord replied you are not destined to save them all, but resurrect those who will continue my work."  The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness, He not only forgives you, but He forgets.
Lesson Number 2 - I heard a wonderful story once called the devil and the duck. I was a young person when I heard this tale…and it was told to me by my grandmother after I had done something wrong (I broke her Avon Topaz bottle....her favorite.....and hid the evidence) and allowed someone to run roughshod over me. You see, once upon a time there was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. He was shocked and grieved! In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile; only to see his Sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing. After lunch the next day Grandma said, Sally, let's wash the dishes. But Sally said, Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen. Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck? So Johnny did the dishes. Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper. Sally just smiled and said, Well, that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help. She whispered again, Remember the duck? So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help. After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's, he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you. Thought for the day and every day thereafter…whatever is in your past and whatever you have done. The devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.)... Whatever it is... You need to know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing. He has seen your whole life... He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven. He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you. The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness, He not only forgives you, but He forgets. It is by God's grace and mercy that we are saved. Always remember God is at the window!"
Lesson Number 3 – God can take a little…..especially when it is given with the right spirit and make a lot.
I think this was my favorite email of the week.  I sat here and tears welled up in my eyes.  I know I have thought many times that I am but one....what difference can I make....after reading this....I knew the answer.  "A little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was 'too crowded.' 'I can't go to Sunday School,' she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus. Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements. As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump.
Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: 'This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School.'   It appeared that for two years she had saved for this offering of love.When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.
But wait.....the story does not end there....
A newspaper learned of the story and published It. It was read by a wealthy realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents. Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide.. Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00--a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends. If you are ever in the city of Philadelphia , look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300. And be sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students are educated. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time. In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history."
In wrapping up….let me tell you….don’t ever think you don’t make a difference…..sure you may not be able to save all your friends…but you can save some. Don’t forget that the greatest thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness…He not only forgives you….He forgets….AND that God can take a little…and make it go a long way.  Have a wonderful Thursday and I will check back in with you tomorrow....same bat time...same bat channel!  God Bless!


Sweet Tea said...

Lucky kids to be in your youth group. Great stories.
Enjoy the summer break. (remember the duck? - my favorite)

Sweet Tea said...

Great truths for teens (and adults). The teens are fortunate to have you in their life.
Good job!