As I type out these words to you, it is cold outside, below freezing. And, if you are reading this, you and I are still alive. Praise be to God. Unexpected things are going to happen to us in our life journey; but, praise be to God that we are still alive. Because we live, we can proclaim to others that He lives. Who is He? He is our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.
And, as is sung in the Gospel hymn, "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know, He holds the future. And life is worth the living just because He lives."
Your life story, your life song should echo these words such that wherever you go, your presence makes a difference for the cause of Christ.
Does your presence make a difference for the cause of Christ?
And, when I write, does your presence make a difference, I am referring to what you say and what you do.
The Apostle Paul had an "I told you so" moment coupled with a "He told me so" moment that I believe sheds some light on how your presence can and should make a difference in the lives of others for the cause of Christ.
In Acts 27:21-25, we have the following passage: "Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul then stood up among them and said, 'Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and thereby avoided this damage and loss. I urge you now to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For last night there stood by me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before the emperor; and indeed, God has granted safety to all who are sailing with you.' So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told."
The Apostle Paul, in his "I told you so" moment, reminded the men that he warned them not to sail. We all have those "I told you so" people in our lives. Unfortunately, for many, all they seem to be able to do is say "I told you so" which does not lead us to conviction and repentance to change for the better but sometimes leaves us, instead, in a place of condemnation and shame that makes bad situations worse.
Are you an "I told you so" Christian who loves to have your "I told you so" moments to share with others?
But, praise be to God, the Apostle Paul did not stop there. The Apostle Paul also had a "He told me so" moment which changed everything for the better. It is not worldly wisdom contrived in our limited minds that truly makes the difference. It is when we appeal to and receive the wisdom from God above that lasting change can occur, even in the darkest of moments.
The Apostle Paul told the men that God had revealed to him that their lives would be spared and they would be safe. Why? Because of the presence of the Apostle Paul in their lives at that moment.
Are you a "He told me so" Christian who loves to share the Good News, the Gospel, messages from God with others to reveal and remind how "He told me so" that lives would be better?
Your presence will make a difference. Will it be for you in a satisfying "I told you so" moment or will it be for the cause of Christ in an illuminating, edifying, love-affirming "He told me so" moment?
Simple choice. Life-changing consequences.
Tonight, we will continue our journey in the book of Galatians at HOPE Wednesday. We will be learning more about what "He told me so" we can make a difference in the lives of others for the cause of Christ. We had a great start.
If you missed last week, so what. Come tonight. We have a book for you.
We will accept your presence; but, you will have to deal with God regarding your excuses. If you need a ride, let someone know. We are robbing you of excuses. He wants you to come so that you can learn more about living a life that will make a difference for the cause of Christ. He told me to tell you that.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!