Jump Start # 3167
John 1:41 “He found first his own brother, Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which translated means Christ).”
The other day I met Mr. Lincoln. He wasn’t as tall as I expected. He had a beard and he was as friendly and talkative as I had hoped. Some of you are thinking, ‘Something’s up, this couldn’t happen.’ Here’s the story. My dear friend, Rickie J. was in town to preach for us. We went out to Lincoln’s boyhood home in Indiana. He had never been there before. We got a private and personal guide by one of the employees of this National Park. Abe’s mother is buried there. Across the street, is the Lincoln State Park. That’s where his sister is buried. We went there. The guy at the gate asked how much Lincoln lure we were interested in. That’s like asking a child how many M & M’s do you want. Going back four greats, the man told us, that person and Abe Lincoln’s father were brothers. He went on to tell us that his last name was Lincoln. He even wore a beard. I told many people since, “I’ve met Lincoln.” I did. It wasn’t Abe, but it was a Lincoln.
Our verse is more impressive than that. It’s about finding Jesus, the Messiah. How exciting this was for those people in the first century. The prophets had announced that He was coming. John the baptist had declared that he was here. Now, after all these years, hope was realized. The Messiah had come.
For many of them, they were thinking of national independence. Freedom finally from Rome. No more taxes going to support Caesar. The Messiah was here. Yet, in a short while, they would realize that Jesus was interested in a spiritual kingdom, not a physical one. He rarely, rarely talked about Rome or the political occupation that Rome had upon the Jews. Freedom in Jesus’ terms was from sin, not Rome. Hope was in Heaven, not an independent nation that would rule the world once again.
Some lessons for us from all of this:
First, name dropping might impress us, but it doesn’t Heaven. We see the rich and famous in airports and other public places and we like to tell friends who we ran into. But seeing the famous doesn’t mean they invite us to their homes. It doesn’t mean that they notice us. From God’s perspective, it’s not who you saw, ran into, or met that matters. What God is concerned about is whether or not we know Jesus.
My good friend and fellow blogger, Ken Weliver tells the story of a lady running into the actor Paul Newman in an ice cream shop. She was so star struck that she put her ice cream cone in her purse. What ought to impress us is the Lord. The Psalmist said, “Stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel” (22:23). And, yet, does that happen? We get fidgety during worship, yawn when long sections of Scriptures are read, and check our watches if the sermon seems a bit long. Impressed with God, that’s where we ought to be.
· We ought to be impressed with what God has made. Have you looked at the moon in a while? It’s something. God made that. How about a willy worm? God made him, also. Beautiful mountains, starry nights, waterfalls, rainbows, rain dripping through tree leaves, the smell of mowed lawns, butterflies, lightning bugs, and of course, you. Just consider what God has made.
· We ought to be impressed with what God has done. Just walk through that Bible of yours. Gardens called Paradise. Seas and rivers that parted. Sun that stood still. Storms that were stopped. Diseases that were cured instantly. Demons that were driven out. God’s people have been protected from fires, lions, prisons and even Satan, himself. The dead were called back. Funerals were interrupted. Food was multiplied. Manna fell from the skies. Angels appeared. Armies were sent running away in fear. Prison doors opened. Axe heads floated. It is remarkable and amazing what our God has done. But more than that, God has forgiven you and changed you. Just look where you are today. Look what you have become. Amazing.
· We ought to be impressed with what God is doing this day. Prayers are being answered. Blessings are descending. Sins are being forgiven. Hope is being renewed. Hearts are being made strong. Faith and convictions are leading people to stand up, speak up and put the Devil on notice. Things that once scared us, no longer will. Things we were once bothered about and worried about no longer concern us. Death doesn’t shake us any longer. Evil doesn’t scare us. Our mighty God is upon the throne and there is nothing that shall shake us any longer. Every day, this day, our God is in our lives doing things.
· We ought to be impressed with what God will do in the future. This world is not our home. We belong to the Lord and we are a people that are Heaven Bound. A day is coming when we shall escape the trials and trouble of this ole’ world and be at home with the Lord. Resurrection is coming. Heaven is coming. God promised and it will be. The best is not behind us. The best is not now. The best is yet to come. Someday we shall see His face. Simply amazing!
I met Lincoln. No big deal. What is impressive is that God knows us. Christ lives in us. And, these thoughts ought to bring a true since of awe, excitement and joy to our hearts. Our Jesus. My Jesus.