Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Springfield Today, March 13, 2018

March 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Blog

Good Moanin’ Springfieldians,

I read about an older guy that was so proud of his new hearing aid that he went over to his friend’s just to show it off.  After telling him about all of the features in this little technological wonder, the man’s friend asked, “What kind is it?”  And with that the man looked down at his watch and said, “Six o’clock.”

Sometimes I think that’s how we listen to God.  We think we know what He is saying. We’re amazed at what the Word says He wants to do in our life, but we don’t really hear what He is saying to us personally.

We’ve been talking over and over again about being part of The Harvest.  Praying every day at 10:02 – asking God to answer Jesus’ prayer requests that workers would be sent out into the harvest field. Praying that at least 100 individuals or families would come to know the Lord in the year 2018 through the ministry of the church.

Are we listening to God when He tells us, all throughout Scripture, that those tough situations of life we all face are some of the very best opportunities to show others Jesus Christ and to be His minister of grace, to be part of The Harvest.

And it’s during those times we have crucial decision to make: Will we, when the pressure is on and the stress level is high and we think we can’t take anymore, will we choose to be a minister of His grace or will we become a stumbling block to someone; because we chose to respond in an unchristlike way?

I want to suggest to you in the strongest possible terms it’s when we respond in Christlike ways during the tough times, and stressful times, and the unfair times, and the challenging times that we have the greatest impact for Christ.

The best test of my personal spiritual growth occurs in the mainstream of life, not in the quietness of my study.  Anybody can walk in victory when surrounded by books, silence, and the warm waves of sunshine splashing through the window.  People, for the most part, couldn’t care less about whether I’m a post-millennialist or pre-millennialist.  They are not impressed if I can prove the authorship of the Pentateuch or give a theological definition of sin.   They don’t stand in awe if I can drone on about the different Greek words for love.

What they really want to see is how a Christian responds in the tough circumstances, and in the unfair and challenging situations of life.  Will we respond like seemingly everyone else or will we respond like Christ?  And it’s when we respond like Christ that we make the greatest impact for the Kingdom.

Jerry Harpt tells of the great impact a single Christlike response had on him.  It happened 43 years ago he said, and while he doesn’t remember the name of the older lady – he remembers her response.  He was 12 years old, and she was a customer on his paper route.

He said on one mindless Saturday afternoon, he and a friend were throwing rocks on the roof of the old lady’s house from a secluded spot in her backyard.  They just wanted to see how far the rocks would sail out into her yard after they rolled off her roof.

He picked up a smooth stone but he guesses it was too smooth because the second it left his had he realized it wasn’t headed for the roof but for a small window.  At the sound of the shattering glass he and his friend took off running faster than either had ever run before.

He said he was so scared about getting caught that first night that he didn’t even think about the old lady and her broken window.  But a few days later, when he was sure he wasn’t going to be discovered, he started feeling guilty for her misfortune.  Every day when he delivered the paper she would greet him with a smile just like she always had, and that made him feel even more guilty.

Finally he made up his mind that he would save up his paper route money until he had the $7.00 dollars it would cost to replace the window.  (Remember this was 43 years ago.)  When he got the money together, he then put it into an envelope with a note explaining that he was sorry for breaking the window and hoped that the $7.00 would cover the cost of repairing it.  But he didn’t sign his name.

He waited until dark, snuck up to the old lady’s house, and put the envelope through the slot in the door and ran as he did before.  He said his soul felt redeemed and he couldn’t wait until he could look her in the eye without feeling guilty once again.

The very next day, he handed the old lady her paper and was able to return the warm smile.  As she thanked him for the paper, she also said she had something for him and handed him a bag of cookies.  He thanked her and proceeded to eat his cookies and he finished up his paper route.

After several cookies he felt an envelope in the bag, pulled it out – and there were his seven dollars and a short note that simply said, “I’m proud of you.”

She knew all along who had broken her window.  And he said that act of forgiveness impacted him maybe greater than anything else in his life.  Every single time someone did something to him that was wrong or hurtful, whether intentional or unintentional, he remembered a time he was forgiven and he chose to then pass it on.

We really do have a choice in how we’re going to respond if Christ has come into our life; and our response will either impact someone towards Christ or will be a stumbling block to them – keeping them from Christ.

Are you going to be a part of The Harvest?

 

What You Need to Know…

  • There will be a Mystery Trip Parents Meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, March 14 at 7:30pm in room 106.
  • The Orpheus Choir from Olivet Nazarene University will be sharing music during the Worship Gathering this Sunday, March 18th.
  • We are collecting individually wrapped candy and Easter eggs for the Children’s Easter Egg Hunt on March 28th. Please bring in any donations by this Sunday, March 18th.
  • The Spring Thrift Store Crawl will be March 24 at 8:30am. We will meet at Scoop du Jour (in the Chatham Goodwill plaza) for coffee and breakfast then continue on to shop at Chatham Goodwill, Springfield Goodwill, and finish at the Salvation Army. Sign up in the foyer or call the church office if you are planning on attending.

Easter Service Schedule:

Friday, March 30 at 7pm ~ Good Friday service

Sunday, April 1 at 8am ~ Early Worship Service

Sunday, April 1 at 9am ~ Easter Breakfast

Sunday, April 1 at 10:30am ~ Resurrection Celebration Worship Gathering

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