On June 18, 1956, Dawson Trotman died saving a life. After spending the afternoon waterskiing, Dawson Trotman made his way back on to the motorboat. Although he was tired, before he settled into his seat, he asked one of the two girls on the boat if she could swim. Allene Beck shook her head and Trotman traded places with her so she would be in a safer place. Just minutes later the speeding boat would bounce on a wave and shoot both 50 year old Trotman and young Allene into the water. Trotman swam to Allen and held her head above water until the boat could circle back. Allene was saved. Trotman sank and drowned. As seen in Time Magazine, his obituary read, "Dawson Trotman, always lifting someone up." He died doing something he was known for....lifting someone up....being there for others.
And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
1 Thessalonians 5:14
The rewards for loving one another and ministering to one another are great.
"In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."
The punishment for not doing so is even greater.
He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.
As the body of Christ we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are to go out into the world and minister to those in need - to show them the way, remembering that our words and actions may be the only Bible someone ever "reads." We are to see and love them through the eyes of Jesus.
One of Pastor Joe's favorite bands is Casting Crowns. He owns all of their albums and knows the words to every song they have ever released on their albums. They released a song in 2003 titled "If We Are The Body." Below are the chorus lyrics to that song:
But if we are the body why aren't his arms reaching?
Why aren't his hands healing?
Why aren't his words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren't his feet going?
Why is his love not showing them there is a way?
There is a way.
We are instructed in Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved through grace not works. While works will not save us, we need to realize that faith without works is dead. My favorite book of the Bible is James. It lays out a short and simple outline as to how we are too live our lives. James teaches us that we are called to serve other, not through our faith, but through our service by means of our faith. When we serve others we allow other people an opportunity to meet Jesus, as we are His hands and feet. James addresses this specifically in James 2:21-24
"God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."
"Don't you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say, "Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith. He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone."
Living our faith is not "our butt in the pew and a buck in the plate." It is living faith in serving others. We can shout to the ends of the earth about our faith, we can memorize Bible verses, show up at church once a week but until we put ourselves into the role of servant we will never reach our full potential; we will miss out on blessings. The world is our mission field. Once we get serious about reaching out to others and serving the needs of others in the manner that we're called - our lives will be filled with abundant blessings. Be the Bible someone reads. Let others see the face of Jesus in your works.
Today is a gift - untie the ribbons - be blessed - and be a blessing.