Heavenly and gracious God, I come before your throne of grace, with head bowed and heart humbled, to say thank you. Lord I thank you this morning for life, health, and strength. Lord I thank you for eyes to see, ears to hear, and a tongue to give you praise. Lord I thank you for allowing me to wake up with my organs functioning and my bones and limbs intact. Lord I thank you for the covering you have bestowed upon my family and me. Lord I pray this morning that all these blessings that you have granted me, be also to each reader and doer of your word. I pray that you grant a special blessing on each individual who will take time to read this lesson. I pray that it can be a blessing to them, and that they not hold it for themselves, but that they also share it. I pray that they are at peace this morning, and I pray that they will be at peace in the evening. I pray a covering over all their family and friends, so that they can see the evidence of your grace for those who love you. I give you all honor and glory, and I pray that you forgive us for any trespasses, whether by thought, speech, or deeds. This we pray in your son Jesus name. Amen.
As a child of God, sometimes you have to be your brother’s keeper. One of my brothers in Christ, who is young in the faith got with some friends and went back to familiar activities. I am not sure what he was about to do, or what others were going to do, but God gave him a brief period where he was in the right mind to give me a call. As I was speaking to him, he was just rambling and not making any sense. I asked if he was drinking, which he confirmed. So to keep him on the phone longer, I led him to believe I wanted to hang out with him. He wasn’t aware enough to get me the address, but he put a woman on the phone who gave it to me. I hopped in my car, punched the address in my GPS, and headed to Sanford, FL with one focus; to remove my brother in Christ from that environment.
When I got there, he appeared to be a bit sober, but I think he forgot that I was coming, so in seeing me, put him in a position of embarrassment. As I began to minister to him, of course the troublemakers wanted to chime in. It amazes me how drunkards know the word, but do not apply it to their life. Seeing that they were more focused on bringing attention to themselves than hearing a word, I respectfully dismissed them. As I continued to minister to my brother, a woman drew up a chair and joined us. The look in her eye told me that she was curious, and possibly that she have heard the word before. She got involved in the conversation and I was pleased with her inquiries. However, when some of the other guests walked by she would change her posture as though she was ridiculing us instead of being interested. When they went back to what they were doing, and before she opened her mouth to say anything, I told her that God shares her with no one. She asked me what I meant, I told her God bless her, and got my brother out of there.
Only when no one was looking she wanted to hear about God. Nicodemus did something similar. The bible states “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (Joh 3:1-3) My, my, my. Nicodemus the ninja came to see Jesus at night. He said “we know….”, no, what he meant was “him alone knew…”, or he would have brought the “we” with him to make that same profession, and it would have been done in the daytime. His fellow Pharisees saw Jesus as a heretic and Nicodemus dared not to be seen inquiring of Him in the daylight. But he could not resist the wisdom of this so called heretic. Jesus knew this. Observe Jesus’ response. He addressed something completely different than Nicodemus spoken statement. Nicodemus would have to be baptized. He would need to display an inner conversion with an outward action, and it would have to be done in the daytime. So it is an intelligent assumption, that Nicodemus had in his heart the inquiry on how to make it into heaven to be in the presence of the Lord. Amen.
You have those who want people to pray for them, but they do not want to be seen receiving the prayer. You have those who may see their family members who are Christians in the mall, but because they are with their worldly buddies, they pretend like they did not see them. There is no shame in being a blessed child of God, nor is there shame in wanting to learn more about the almighty God and His Kingdom, and our actions should support that. The bible states “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” (Mt 10:32-33) Family, I remember where I was. I remember the constant struggle. I remember the uncertainty. I remember being surrounded by hell, and the remnants that were present, but by the grace of God, by way of His son Jesus Christ, with blessings from the Holy Spirit, I need not worry about them times anymore. I would gladly say it anytime, anywhere, in front of any audience, and would not be ashamed. I know you wouldn’t be ashamed either. Right? Amen!