by Buddy Maynard
(Panama City, FL)
John 6:1-13 – The feeding of the 5000. Total people probably upwards to 15,000.
Lord, Here’s My Basket…a sermon on Surrender.
1. Unknown – not mentioned in the other 3 gospel accounts
Why Should We Surrender Our Life to the Lord?
1. The Loving Savior Wants it
I once read that the United States Navy has 768 ships which comprise what they call the "mothball navy." These ships are anchored in various harbors around the country. They receive regular maintenance, being repainted periodically and receiving frequent electrical impulses to retard the process of rust and corrosion. Moisture content of the air in their inner compartments is kept at a proper level with giant humidifiers. While these ships can be readied for combat on very short notice, at the present time they just sit there doing absolutely nothing. The only purpose they presently serve is to provide jobs for those who provide the upkeep.
It set me thinking about "mothball Christians." How many do you suppose comprise that fleet? They are being preserved somewhat through the ministry of concerned friends. They consume incredible amounts of time and energy in local churches. Periodically someone must go after them and try to reactivate them. Their talents and abilities are not being used for anything constructive. They are on the church roll and perhaps feel snugly harbored because of it. They receive a lot of attention and loving concern, but never give anything in return. They are served, not serving.
I can see a legitimate reason for maintaining our "mothball navy." National security is at stake. But there is no excuse for believers to remain inactive. The energy and manpower needed to win the world is sidetracked--used up on those who should be involved in helping reach the world. Every Christian is responsible for using his God-given abilities for the salvation of the world.
2. The Loss of Self Warrants it
Someone remarked to the director of a mental institution, "I imagine all the people in here are 'beside' themselves." "No, you're wrong," the doctor replied. "They're shut in here, not because they're 'beside' themselves, but because they're 'inside' themselves. They think of nothing else but self." When preoccupation with self becomes your problem, you become a problem for the world and to God Himself.
3. The Lost Soul Waits for it
4. The Little Sacrifice is Worth it
Near Lincoln, Kansas, stands a group of gravestones that boggles the imagination. A farmer named David, a self-made and determined man, managed to amass a considerable fortune, but had few friends and no relatives for whom he cared.
When his wife died, David erected an elaborate statue showing both her and himself sitting at the opposite ends of a loveseat.
So pleased was he with this monument that he commissioned the sculptor to create another, this time showing him kneeling at her grave with a wreath in his hand. And that made such a fine impression upon him that he set out to erect still another tombstone depicting his wife kneeling at his future graveside with a wreath. He even put wings on her back as she now resided in another world. So, as time passed and one idea led to another, he eventually spent over a quarter of a million dollars on monuments to his wife and himself.
David had no interest in aiding his fellowmen or benefiting his nearby town. Nor did he become a blessing to the church, for he used all of his resources on shrines to self. He died at the age of 92, a resident of the poorhouse, and his cherished stones are slowly but surely sinking into the Kansas soil, victimized by vandalism and neglect, weathered by time.
There lived in a poor village a girl of sixteen. She was never more than six months at school, but she thirsted for knowledge. She almost learned by heart the few books within her reach, and then turned to study the Bible. The result was conversion, and with the experience of forgiveness, a great desire to serve her Savior. She thought of her brothers, and read to them, over and over again, the Bible lessons she had learned herself.
She had heard of Sabbath schools, and determined to establish one for her scattered neighbors. Her father permitting the use of the kitchen, it was soon filled, the old and middle-aged coming for instruction as well as the young. Years passed, and in place of scores, hundreds were seen in that school every Sabbath. A neat church, too, grew up beside the old kitchen. That teacher has gone to her rest, but her work continues. One brother, who learned the truth from her lips, devoted himself to the ministry; others are useful Christians, and one of her scholars became a foreign missionary.
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