The Demand

   "And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God.  Let them be a living and holy sacrifice - the kind He will accept."  Romans 12:1

The evangelist James Robison tells the story of one of the first meetings he held as a young man where at the conclusion of his message, a young girl, paralyzed from the neck down was wheeled forward by her father.  The pastor of the church met them and leaned down to hear what the girl wanted to say.  She spoke, and he slowly rose up, tears streaming down his face.  At this Robison came to her, and drew close as she spoke the same words to him.  She said, "I want to give Jesus everything that I am. Do you think He can use someone like me?"  Robison said he immediately sank to his knees, humbled and broken before God at such a willingness to be broken bread and poured out wine in His hands.

Sheila Walsh tells the story of an atheist, lying in a hospital bed, near death.  A pastor who knew the man went to see him.  The dying man spoke these words to the preacher.  "If I believed what you say you believe, I would crawl on glass throughout the nation to tell people about it.  I have not seen in you the kind of life that you say you believe in."  Walsh, deeply impacted by what those words say about the testimony of one who said they were His spoke, "I want to live a life in Him that demands an explanation."  Two questions for us today:  Do we share such a desire, and do we live such a life?  

I believe it was T. Austin-Sparks that asked the question, "Has anybody ever remarked about us that there is such a presence of Christ flowing through our lives?"  So many of us live seeking always to draw attention to our ourselves.  Do we live in such a way that all attention is focused upon Him?  Who gets the notice through our lives?  Whose name do we seek to put forth? Chinese believer Brother Yun, known as the Heavenly Man, wrote down in one of his books these simple words, "I am nothing. Jesus is everything."  He lived a life, and had a witness that showed forth the truth and power of those words.  Many of us are willing to speak those words.  How many of us are really living them out?  We are a celebrity worshiping culture, and the church is not immune.  We've embraced that culture.  Beth Moore says that we are called to be "rock stacks," not "rock stars."  By this she meant that we are stones built into the "temple" that is the Body of Christ.  The stones go unnoticed, Christ does not.  Yet those stones, so integral to the Body, perhaps unnoticed in themselves, singly and together, live in such a way as to demand an explanation from a watching, unbelieving world.  

The overwhelming and consuming desire of a young girl, able to offer nothing but herself, was to give all of herself to Him.  There can be no doubt that He took that sacrifice, and that offering, made so many years ago, still speaks in power today.  Her words and complete giving of herself humble me.  Do they humble you?  There is no doubt much that you and I are willing to offer Him today.  Are they offerings of "the kind He will accept?"  Do we offer up the living and holy sacrifice of ourselves, or, do we seek to get by with something much less?  Do we want to be noticed, all the while living lives that bring no glory to Christ, and all of it before a lost and dying world that desperately needs to see Him?  To see Him in us.  Do our lives demand from them an explanation, or is no explanation needed because in the end, our lives are little different from theirs?

Like the old time movie marquee's that carried the phrase, "Now Appearing," so do our lives make such an announcement to those we live before.  The question is, who's appearing before all those passing by our " life sign?"  You, me, or Christ?


Pastor O


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   May 2019   
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