How are you participating?

The greatest moments of my life come when I preach. At this point, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Years, years, years ago I may have said otherwise, but today I realize the privilege granted in my life to preach and love people. The other day I was thinking about all of us. Realistically, we are all walking sermons. It’s not about how many times we come to church or how much money we give. It’s not about the bumper stickers on our cars or the symbols we wear around our necks. No! Our sermon is what we do everyday – it’s how we walk, talk, respond, and act.

Obedience to God’s word – not just on Sunday – but Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday too! It’s at the ballgame, work, in the classroom, and in the gym. Everything we do and say is a sermon for God. It leaves me with the question – what are you preaching? What am I preaching? At Wal-Mart, what sermon did you deliver yesterday? One of kindness and love or impatience and intolerance. Maybe it was one about being judgmental or of being discriminatory.

The other night I was reading the story of Lazarus. It comes from John 11. The story is about a man, a friend of Jesus, who died. When Jesus returned to his house, he had been dead for at least four days. He was already in a tomb. Martha, the sister of Lazarus, was very special to Jesus and when he arrived, a heaviness of grief hovered over the home. I’ve read the scripture many times; I’ve preached on the story more times than I can count. But, the other night this scripture stood out for me.

John 11:38, “Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 ‘Take away the stone,‘ he said.”

Now Jesus knew he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. So why would He ask that the stone be rolled away? I mean, if I could raise someone from the dead, I could certainly move the stone, couldn’t you? And oh how dramatic it would’ve been to point my fingers, wiggle them, shout out, “Open the tomb and come on out!” The stone would roll away and out walk Lazarus.

The reason Jesus didn’t do it that way is simple – PARTICIPATION. He wants our help. He wants our participation. He wants us to play a part in the miracle. He wants us to be His sermon.

Today, take away the stones blocking the miracles of God. Realize that you are an instrument God wants to use in a mighty but it starts with YOU. In your quiet time with God, ask Him to help you preach the life sermons He needs you to preach. Participate in The Kingdom of God.

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