Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

He Chose You!

"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." John 3:17

  When I first went to work for Edgecombe County, I served as the Flood Recovery Officer. My job was to run a group of programs that provided housing assistance for people who had been affected by Hurricane Floyd of Sept. 1999. I lived in Rocky Mount at the time of the Hurricane, so I had seen the affects of it long before I took that job. But it was after I started working there that I was able to feel the affects by talking to people whose homes were destroyed.

In particular there was one man who told me about the day after the storm. He lived downstream from where a dam on the Tar River had broken, but he didn't know it had broken. He said he could see that the water in a creek near his home was rising, and figured his yard would get flooded. But as the waters quickly rose, he knew it would probably reach his house, so he decided to make plans to leave. He began making a mental list of all the things he was going to pack in his truck. Little did he know he would barely have time to fill his pockets, much less his truck.

The waters entered and started filling his house so quickly that he knew he couldn't make it out. He waded through the water and into his kitchen. He looked around to see what he thought he should try to save. He grabbed a family picture that he felt like he couldn't live without. Then, (he said he was lucky to think of it, I think he was blessed) but he also grabbed a hammer from under the sink, a pack of crackers and a couple cans of potted meat. Seeing that his home was filling up with water, he climbed into his attack hoping the water would stop rising before that attic became his water-filled coffin. Thank the Lord it did. He said the water stopped only inches short of coming up into that small attic space. But there he was, stuck. Though in his story, he never gave God credit for the small things that saved him, but I know it was God who led him to grab the few things he did. See, those crackers and potted meat sustained him the two days he was stuck in the attic, and that hammer allowed him to knock out the gable-end vent so he could wave out for help. Rescuers saw him, and he lived to tell me and many others that story.

That made me think about, what if that were me? What would I have decided to save? What would you have saved? If you only had moments to save the most precious thing to you, what would you grab? Would it be pictures? Your wallet or purse? Your cell phone? Your family bible? That would be a hard decision, wouldn't it?

Well, it wouldn't be a hard decision for God. In fact, there would be no question at all what He would save. Of all of His marvelous creations; the most majestic mountains, the most beautiful birds, the rarest of gems, or the brightest of stars, none of them are more valuable than His greatest and me. In fact that decision has already been made. God realized that when He gave us freedom to choose, we would often choose to sin; Adam proved that. And now that sin has filled this world and the flood gates are breached. The warnings have been ignored too long, and there is no saving to this life now. This world will come to and end. So the Lord had to decide what He would save...and He chose you. So He sent His own Son to save what is most precious to Him. The Apostle John wrote "For God sent not his son into the world to condemn it [it was already condemned; already flooding with sin], but that the world through him might be saved". He came back to save you!

If you ever start to feel down like you are nothing, stop thinking about what others say about you, and stop thinking about what you say about yourself. Think about how God feels about you. Just remember that when time started to run out, and He had to make the decision on what to save, He chose you!

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