Saturday, November 22, 2008

What Matters?

Tomorrow is the Sunday before Thanksgiving. It's one of those times when you prepare in prayer by reminding yourself that numbers don't really matter. That being prepared to preach God's Word means being faithful in season and out of season. Most years, we lose more people to out of town trips than we gain coming in.

But I'm praying tonight that everyone who needs to hear God's Word will hear it - whether it's tomorrow or on down the road through the recording.

Thanksgiving sermons that I've preached and that I've heard over the years are basic appeals to do something your Mom probably tried to teach you: "Be thankful."

Preached a many of them. And they are needed I guess, or I wouldn't have been led to do that. But in the last few days and especially as I walked the halls of the nursing home these last few trips, I've been affected with the crushing losses some people must endure as they go there. They lose their home. Most essentially lose their family. All this after losing their abilities, their independence, and their freedom.

At a time of life when so many are trying to hold onto the past - whether possessions or people - it is as if God is prying their hands loose and asking - "Aren't I enough?"

It reminded me of this old hymn made famous by George Beverly Shea.

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands,
I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand.

Than to be a king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway,
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

Praying that God will use the words of my mouth tomorrow to lead people to His grace. And praying that when the time comes for me, that I will prove faithful to My Lord and Savior.

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