Shortest sermon: ‘Living as, not for, Jesus’
Calvary Chapel - Carson City Christian Fellowship.
Happy new year!
Attitude and focus are key factors for directing our lives. We can have a new outlook for the new year, which can be optimistic. Or we can say, “look out, it’s the new year,” and begin pessimistically. I try to begin each year with the remembrance of one of the shortest sermons on record.
The founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth, had become an invalid by 1910. His eyesight was failing, and his health became poor, but there was a convention in London for The Salvation Army that he was to lead.
Not able to make it, it was suggested that Gen. Booth would send a telegram or a message to be read to the delegates that gathered. He agreed to do so.
Legend has it that when the thousands of delegates met, the moderator announced that Gen. Booth would not be able to attend because of his health and a sense of sadness filled the room.
Not all was lost. The moderator said their beloved general had sent a message for them, and he opened up the letter. It said:
“Dear delegates of the Salvation Army Convention: Others! Signed, General Booth.
Lord, let me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray,
My prayer shall be for others.
Others, Lord, yes, others;
Let this my motto be.
Help me to live for others
That I may live like Thee.”
The power of such a short message is only impacting because of the life of the man who used that word “others.” In our most recent bulletin in our fellowship, I asked for the phrase to be placed on the front, “Stop living for Jesus (see the back of the bulletin for details).” On the back was another phrase, simply stating, “Live AS Jesus.”
The encouragement that I want to give to each of us as Christians called to the area of Carson City is to live as Jesus. If we have heard it once, we have heard it time and time again: Some may never read the Bible so the only way that they will know Christ is through our lives.
As Christians committed to the churches that we’ve been called to, may we encourage one another while it is called today.
The Lord Himself said, “They will know that you are mine by your love to one another.” Be encouraged by this, saying, “In the essentials, unity. In the nonessentials, liberty. But in all things, love/charity.”
May the Lord bless you, may the Lord keep you, may the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you, may He lift up His countenance upon you, and may you know His peace and live in it.
n Pat Propster is pastor of Calvary Chapel – Carson City Christian Fellowship.