July 17, 2011: 4th Sunday After Trinity

Let us pray: Dear Savior, give us courage and a warm heart when it comes to dealing with people who need You. Give us courage to overcome our apathy over the spiritual plight of others and give us love to break down any barriers to them we might have within our hearts. And then, dear Lord, open our eyes, open our mouths, and open our hearts to the eternal needs of hurting souls everywhere. Amen


TEXT: Matthew 10: 24-33

Dearly Beloved By Christ:

It’s a gorgeous summer morning. You’re half-way through your early morning walk. No one is around except you and the birds. Suddenly you happen upon an accident. The poor driver is pumping blood from an artery wound. What are you going to do?—Without any hesitation you grab your cell phone and call 911. At the same time you hold your sweat shirt with pressure against the wound. You talk soothingly to the victim and pray for them and the ambulance to arrive very soon.

When you see someone is physical pain and distress, you act to help them. It’s our natural response. We don’t wait for someone else to come along. We don’t focus on our own schedule or how it might inconvenience us. No, someone is in pain. Someone could die. We act.


So, why don’t we do exactly the same when it comes to applying the life-saving balm of Jesus’ blood and righteousness to victims of soul cancer? Why are we so timid to rush to the aid of spiritually terminal heart patients, but we’ll run to administer CPR to those with physical heart ailments? As Jesus was sending out the disciples to engage in sharing their faith, this was the issue on His mind. He knew many would oppose their efforts and brand them as cranks, or worse. In fact, Jesus even reminds them of how He was branded as out-of-touch with the religious mainstream and how His enemies called Him a follower of Beelzebub, the prince of the demons!—So, why should they expect anything different?

And yet, souls are bleeding and dying before their eyes. Soul-destroying accidents, the grotesque disfiguring disease of sin, all this and more were staring them in the face. Sitting on their hands was not an option. Walking away was not an option. Waiting for the religious expert to come and help was not an option. Souls were bleeding to death. The disciples’ need to act now! They needed to shove their fears aside and get busy. Eternal lives were on the line.

Again, Jesus addresses those who hate Him, hate His followers, and hate the soul-saving work they do.—”Do not be afraid of them…Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” And then Jesus goes on to add: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”


Applying the forgiving love of Christ to terminal souls, thereby saving them, isn’t rocket science. It’s simply opening your mouth and talking about your faith and how it has saved you. Yes, it’s personal. So is your weight loss plan and diet, yet you eagerly talk to strangers about how much of a difference it’s made! Yes, you might be confronted with a scowl or a frown.—So what? Doesn’t that happen a lot during the cattle call at the airport these days?—And we all seem to survive. But, I might lose the friendship of an acquaintance at work? If they seem to object to your honest confession of Jesus, just tell them: “I had to share this with you. For me it’s life or death. And I care too much about you to let it slide.”

If we view not knowing Jesus as an eternal death sentence, then how in good conscience can we let petty human objections deter us from our confession of Him? Moreover, when Jesus Himself promises to watch over our lives and bless our efforts because we’re that valuable to Him—our fears become rather silly, don’t they? God’s Son didn’t die to save sparrows, yet He watches over them. Well, He did die to save you. He did die on that cross to make you right with Him. He did give His life for yours to earn eternal peace with God on your behalf. That kind of quiet comfort stills our inner fears. It even quiets death. As you look around and hear the groaning cries of cluelessness coming from our culture being silent about our Loving God is not an option.


Finally, to drive that point home even more to His newly minted missionaries, Jesus adds these final words: “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.”

You and I are corpsmen, medics, doctors and nurses on the spiritual battlefield between the forces of light and darkness, good and evil. A whole lot of people are crying out in pain. Even more are suffering silently and waiting to die. Yet, we have the cure for them. We can help them. We can heal them with the forgiving love of Jesus Christ. We know His cure will work because it has worked upon us and millions of other lost souls. And all we have to do is recognize our situation and quietly tell about Jesus by applying His truth to their wounds. And lastly, behind our humble actions lies the comforting joy that someday when the battle is ended, our confession of Jesus will find a wonderful heavenly echo is His words to us: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Amen

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