Monday, August 19, 2013

A Rope

That’s our sanctuary, but there were more than the Walker Family’s Round Up Ministries singers on stage Sunday night. Second and third from the right are our own Coach and David, joining their instruments with the Walker’s in a musical celebration of our Lord’s gospel message.

Enjoyable and uplifting, as well as being toe-tapping bluegrass music. As enjoyable as Walker’s Friday morning last week with our VBS children -- their miniature horse, Champ, helped in Bible lessons. There are so many ways to witness!

Sunday morning, Kevin Walker used salt, along with a lamp and water, to illustrate the reasons Christians are both the salt of the earth and the light of the world.  I hope you can attend a church where that gospel illustration is given!

Sunday night, he used rope. One a nice, well made, working cowboy’s rope, then several lengths of smaller, page-marker size ropes. The scriptures started with:

Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. (Acts 9:25 KJV)

He illustrated with our Youth Director, sitting in a chair with the long rope tied to him – four of our youth holding on to that rope. I’ve heard that verse, that scene in other sermons. The most memorable was given by a missionary requesting that we hold on to the rope that stretched out to our missionaries.  Walker didn’t. He stressed how important rope holders were in God's work. They have to:
1 – See the need
Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? (Mark 8:18 KJV)
2 – Have a firm grip – on giving
He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again. (Proverbs 19:17 KJV)
3 –  Be firmly planted
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalms 1:3 KJV)
4 – Be focused on the task
Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country: we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards, neither will we drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king's high way, we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed thy borders. (Numbers 20:17 KJV)

He also used smaller pieces of twine that fit quite nicely as bookmarks in our Bibles at Acts 9. Those will serve as reminders of this illustration. When we see it, we can see down through the years at multiple impacts from that single action of a few men lowering Paul with ropes, saving his life.

Without their help, Barnabas would not have brought Paul to the disciples in Jerusalem. Paul would not have been at Antioch helping establish the lifestyle that created the name Christian. Lydia would not have been baptized in Philippi, nor would the jailor have asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul would not have lived to answer that nor to write so many of the inspired books of the Bible.

What ripples will flow from our seeing a need, giving in support, being firmly planted in faith and being focused on the task? We won’t know unless we follow through and hang on to the rope.

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