November 1: the day that every teacher in the country prays for the day off. Every child in America has eaten and will be eating more candy in a single 24-hour period than they would normally eat in a month. Now, I’m no fan of Halloween, but I want you to know that I am so very proud of my church family at First Baptist Church of Dadeville. We opened our hearts and our doors to our city, gave out tons of candy, and fed chili and crackers to about 2,000 people. You want to talk about a miracle of multiplication – we didn’t run out of anything last night. God is so good!
But as the “multitudes” came past our “Trunk,” decorated as Noah’s Ark, my heart broke for many reasons. I looked at the children, youth, and adults and I knew that many of them had little or no idea of what the true grace of God is all about. If statistics apply in our community, and I fear that they do, 60% of the people that passed through our facilities are spiritually lost and even more than that have less than a solid relationship with a church. Then, as I sat there passing out candy, laughing at the costumes, and teasing the children, I heard this more than once. More than three times. More than six times. “What is that?” They were asking about my boat with animals walking up the boarding ramp. Laughingly I replied, “That’s Noah’s Ark,” believing that answered the question. It didn’t. They had never heard the story of Noah’s Ark. This wasn’t in an earthquake-devastated village in Nepal or a tropical jungle in Belmopan, Belize. This was in Dadeville, Alabama – the heart of the Bible belt. The questions came from young and old, black and white and Hispanic. And the majority of them came from just a few miles away from our church.
So, as excited as I am about the number of compassionate touches offered by my church family to the people of this community and as excited as I am about hearing some of our youth inviting other youth to join them in their DNow weekend and as excited as I am to know that most of these people received something that had the gospel written on it, I am heartbroken for my city. When Jesus described the people of Jerusalem as “sheep without a shepherd,” He could have been talking about Dadeville. They are hopeless and helpless, and the saddest part of it all is that most of the people don’t even realize they are in need. In need of a Shepherd? Yes. In need of a church family? Absolutely. In need of someone like you or me to befriend them, build a relationship with them, live the Christian life in front of them, and earn the right to share the gospel with them? YES! YES! YES! And that my friends is the only way they are going to find hope.
One more thing. We are approaching Election Day 2018. In fact, in just a few minutes, our county poll workers will be meeting in our sanctuary for training. And everyone is yelling, “Vote Democrat!” “Vote Republican!” Can I make a suggestion? If you don’t want to read about my political opinions, stop reading here. Failure to stop reading at this point will expose you to a truth that you may not like and may offend you. I will not be held liable for your feelings because you have been warned!
Okay. Here is my suggestion. When you go to your polling place on Tuesday, “Vote JESUS!” Just as He is the only way to find hope in our lives, He is also the ONLY answer to the political mess our country is in. What do I mean by “Vote JESUS?” Think about what He taught and how He lived, and ask yourself, “Would Jesus vote for this person/issue/amendment?” Be careful though. Make sure you are thinking about the Jesus of the Bible and not the Jesus you have created in your own mind.
This ad was not paid for by anyone, but I approve this message!