Spiritually Speaking – April 2020

“All the promises of God find their YES in him!” I Corinthians 1:20

I’m told that outside a large European cathedral is a massive statue of Jesus hanging on the cross. It’s absolutely huge, and it’s been sculpted out of the finest marble. It portrays Jesus with his arms outstretched, his head lowered in anguish, and the huge nails driven into his hands and feet. Below him is a simple statement from the first chapter of Lamentations which says, “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by this way?”

The opening words of Saint Paul, in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians, contain a statement that’s one of my all-time Bible favorites. It’s a very simple statement about Jesus—and one that you should memorize.
“All the promises of God find their YES in him!”

Jesus is God’s green light to the world!
Jesus is the one who tells us how precious and how dear
each of us is to the Father in heaven!
Jesus is the one through whom God’s awesome love flows down from heaven and flows into earth…including you and me! He’s certainly not a red or a blinking amber light—from God.
Jesus shines in the darkness of the world
as a constant and bright green light.
He shines there for you and for me—
for every person who has lost his way
for every person who has stumbled and fallen— and for every person who needs a hand up and an
opportunity to make a better life for themselves.

AND THE QUESTION FOR US IS: “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by this way?”

How might you say yes to the One who has said yes to you?

How might you show God how much you love him for all the blessings and gifts that he’s showered upon your life? What could you do with your life—that would pass on to others what you have received so generously from our Father in heaven?

So many people pass on by, don’t they? They receive and receive and receive…but they don’t ever give anything back in return. How many of us here are people just like that?

Do you remember Christina Rossetti’s great poem that we sometimes sing at Christmas? She wrote, “What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb. If I were a wise man, I would do my part.”
“But what can I give him? Give him my heart!”

Everybody can give something to the Lord!
It might be a gift worth millions of dollars. It might be a small gift that has no monetary value at all. It might be the gift of time—or the gift of one’s talent—or the gift of a special commitment you’re willing to make to him.

But make no mistake about it: Everybody can give something to the Lord—
and that “everybody” includes you and me!

The Lord has said “YES” to us in Jesus—
” All the promises of God find their YES in him!”
Surely each of us can find some way to say “YES” to him in return.

When Abraham Lincoln was President, he worshipped at the New York Avenue
Presbyterian Church a few blocks from the White House. Instead of arriving when the other worshippers did, he would always arrive after the service had started. He would slip into a little room off to the side of the sanctuary where no one would notice him. He didn’t want to disturb the congregation and take attention off the service itself.

One night after he and a friend had gone to church and were leaving, the friend said, “Wasn’t Dr. Gurley’s sermon great tonight?” Lincoln didn’t say a thing. When his friend asked again, Lincoln said, “I do think he’s an outstanding speaker; but I don’t think he preached a great sermon tonight.” His friend was shocked and asked “Why not?” Lincoln’s replied: “It was not a great sermon, because he didn’t ask us to do anything great with our lives. No sermon is a great sermon unless it asks us to do something great with our lives!”

I hope you will be inspired to do something great with your life.
It might be done in the simplest of ways.
It might be done in a way that nobody else knows anything about it at all,
but I hope you’ll be inspired to do it;
and I hope you’ll do it as your own personal gift to the Lord.
He’s done so much for you,
whether you’ve thought about it before or not—
giving you the gift of life, loving you and caring for you,
sustaining you in millions of ways, and giving you a place in his family.
Surely, when you think about it…
you’ll want to find some way to do something very special for him.

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by this way?”

Is there not some way you can say YES—to the One who has already said YES to you in Christ Jesus our Lord?

Dr. Norman Neaves
Minister of Church of the Servant—August 19, 2001
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma