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A.D. The Bible Continues

Part 6 - Aim Small

Pastor Gary Buchman
Emmitsburg Community Bible Church

(5/10) Happy Mother’s Day! While the following is not exactly about Mother’s Day, it is a fitting parody that a friend posted on Facebook about life, and the debate that has occurred over the last 150 years. It’s called; Not the one o clock news...

In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: "Do you believe in life after delivery?" The other replied, "Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later."

"Nonsense" said the first. "There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?"

The second said, "I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now."

The first replied, "That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded."

The second insisted, "Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore."

The first replied, "Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere."

"Well, I don’t know," said the second, "but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us."

The first replied "Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?"

The second said, "She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist."

Said the first: "Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist."

To which the second replied, "Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.

It is fitting that we have such a day as this, whether your mother is living or has passed on as Lev. 19:3 says, "Every one of you shall revere your mother and father…," and the 5th commandment says to, "honor your father and your mother." I like to go back and read what some of our Presidents have said about their mothers. Some of you will never know the influence of your love, discipline and prayers, until you get to heaven. But your consistence and persistence has great value.

George Washington said, "My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her."

John Quincy Adams said, "All that I am my mother made me."

Abraham Lincoln said, "All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother. I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life," and, "No one is poor who had a Godly mother."

William McKinley said, "By the blessings of heaven, I mean to live and die, please God, in the faith of my mother."

Ronald Reagan said, "From my mother I learned the value of prayer, how to have dreams and believe I could make them come true."

I am not sure who said this but I wrote it down, "There is no more influential or powerful role on earth than a mother’s. As significant as political, educational, or religious public figures may be, none can compare to the impact made by mothers. Their words are never forgotten, their touch leaves an indelible impression, and the memory of their presence lasts a lifetime."

If you were blessed with a good mother, you will reap the benefits for a lifetime. If you were not so blessed and I know from my time as a jail chaplain, that not all have been so blessed, you also were left with some lasting memories. I urge you based on the love, forgiveness and grace of Jesus, that you forgive her and honor her with the love of Jesus Christ and if possible begin a new relationship. You will find peace and God will be honored.

I heard this the other day and knew that I wanted to find it and read to you.

The Wide Spectrum of Mothering – By Amy Young

To those who gave birth this year to their first child

—we celebrate with you.

To those who lost a child this year—we mourn with you.

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains—we appreciate you.

To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adop¬tions, or running away—we mourn with you.

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, tears, and disappointment—we walk with you.

Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms—we need you.

To those who have warm and close relationships with your chil¬dren—we celebrate with you.

To those who have disappointment, heartache, and distance with your children—we sit with you.

To those who lost their mothers this year—we grieve with you.

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own

Mother—we acknowledge your experience.

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood—we are better for having you in our midst.

To those who have aborted children—we remember them and you on this day.

To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children—we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be.

To those who step-parent—we walk with you on these complex paths.

To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren, yet that dream is not to be—we grieve with you.

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year—we grieve and rejoice with you.

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising—we anticipate with you.

This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.


Today’s message is called, Aim Small. I started shooting a bow and arrow when I was just 13-14 years old. I used to set up 3 bales of straw and put a paper bag or a paper plate between the baler twine and was happy to hit the bag or the plate. And then I learned the value of putting a small dot or bull’s eye in the center of my target. If I concentrated on the bull’s eye instead of the whole target I had a greater chance of hitting the center and if I missed it wasn’t by very much. The same is true with hunting. If you shoot at the whole deer you have a greater chance of missing, but if you pick a tiny spot behind the shoulder, you have a greater chance of hitting your target. Quail or duck hunters are taught to pick one bird and not shoot at the whole covey. The Principle is Aim Small and You Will Miss Small.

So, now you are wondering what does this have to do with either Mother’s Day or the series A.D. The Bible Continues. Well, it has a lot. Last week I gave you Thom Ranier’s ten marks of a dead or dying church. One of them is that the Great Commission becomes the great omission. You see, our Lord gave us three great commands, and He told us that if we love Him we will keep His commands. Basically He gave us three things to concentrate on and do! Have you ever said to your children, "I gave you just a couple of things to do, and you couldn’t or didn’t do them? Why?" What are the three things class?

1. Love God with all your heart mind, soul, and strength.

2. Love One Another as I have loved you.

3. Tell the Others about me.

Can I get 6 volunteers to read some verses of Scripture?

1. Matthew 28:18-20

2. Mark 16:15

3. Luke 24:46-49

4. John 17:15-17

5. Acts 1:8

6. Romans 10:13-17

Somebody tell me, what is the theme of these scriptures? Tell the world about Jesus! We call this the great Commission. It is one of three great commands for the church. These are our marching orders. The forgiveness and reconciliation I gave you, I want you to tell others about. But we don’t. Sadly less than 5% of all Christians ever share their faith with others. We often excuse ourselves, with excuses like:

I don’t know what to say

This was for the Apostles, or for preachers and missionaries, not for me

I don’t what to cram it down anyone’s throat

I don’t want to offend anyone

I want my life to do all the talking

I am afraid of messing it up and turning them away from Jesus

Evangelism is not my gift

There may be more but you get the idea. Have you ever said such things? "I have no problem with loving God and worship. I have no problem with loving hurting people in my church or community. But I am not comfortable sharing my faith in Jesus." Yet this is what we are saved for. This is God’s objective purpose for His us- the Church- His Bride. Watch This. Video Clip.

I. You Have the Right Equipment – Not a bow and arrows, or rifle and bullets, but you have the ability and all you need to change the world.

Here are a couple of things to nail down.

A. You cannot love God and Love people without telling people about Jesus!

B. While this is an act of obedience, God has equipped you to tell people.

1. You have your Testimony. Blind man theology, May I tell you how Jesus changed my life? You share 3 things:

a. What my life was like before Jesus

b. How I came to faith in Jesus

c. What my life is like now

2. You have His Holy Spirit – Power (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8) God is with you and in you to enable you to do what He has told you to do. You do not have to do it alone. But you do have to be obedient, and show and tell, and He will give you the words to say and the heart to say them.

3. You have His Words- the Bible – His words and His Spirit are what penetrates people’s hearts, you just have to speak them or show them to people. The author of Hebrews said this. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. For example everyone should have the Romans Road marked in their Bible, or listed in the blank pages.

a. Romans 3:23; 3:10

b. Romans 6:23; 5:12

c. Romans 5:8

d. Romans 10:9-10, 13

e. Romans 12:1-2

4. You have a fertile field – the world – 7 and going on 8 Billion people. Jesus said 35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest (John 4:35).

Don’t wait until someone is dying to get concerned about their salvation, because here is a news flash, everyone is dying, everyone! You are dying. We don’t know the hour or day but we do know that our days are numbered. David said, "Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. (Ps. 139:16) We have everything we need to obey our Lord and tell people about Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins, and finding New Life in Jesus.

II. Aim Small. I know that Jesus said to go in to all the world. In Acts 1:8, He said start at home in your city, then your county, and then, your country, and then the world. Now, you may know that God wants you to go to China, or Nigeria, but the majority of us are called to start at home. Aim small. If a quail hunter jumps a covey of quail, or a duck hunter has a flock of mallards come by, you don’t shoot at the whole covey or flock, you pick one quail or one duck. Listen Parents, grandparents, focus on your children and grandchildren. Arlene King poured herself into her great-grandson Christian who is now changing the world. It’s called the snowball effect or the ripple effect.

In order to grasp The Ripple Effect, let’s first take a look at 1 Thess. 1:8, "For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth (or rang out), not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything"

The phrase "sound forth, or rang out" is EXECHEO in the original Greek, and it means to ripple, as if a pebble had been dropped into a pond or lake. Paul is commending the Thessalonians for their example of sharing the good news with their region, and the Holy Spirit chose that particular word EXECHEO to reinforce the pattern of their evangelism efforts.

That dropped Gospel pebble creates a ripple effect that reaches out in a progression of rings. If you picture sound waves emanating from a source, in this case Thessalonica, you get an idea of God’s plan to reach the whole world as the Gospel message ripples out from there.

Jerusalem would be the epicenter of this Gospel earthquake that reached all the way to you and me. It started with persecution in Jerusalem. The disciples started moving out and telling people wherever they went about Jesus. In and Jerusalem and Judea (Acts 2-7); in Samaria (Acts 8), and then to the world (Acts 11-28).

Be open to divine appointments as Philip was with the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8), and Peter was with Cornelius (Acts 10). Every day of your life should include a prayer that asks God for someone to touch for Jesus. Sometimes it is show and tell. Change the world one life at a time. When I was with Good News Jail and Prison Ministry, the motto was, "Breaking the Cycle of Crime one Life at a Time." Matthew 28:19 literally says, "As you are going, make disciples." To the grocery store, to the gas station, to work, to school, make disciples. Do you know someone who is struggling with life or with something in their life? Tell them how Jesus made a difference in your life. You don’t know who will be the next D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday, Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, or a Peter or Paul. But it happens with the snow ball or ripple effect, etc.?

III. You have the Message.

Let me walk you through a Gospel presentation. This is going to be like a day in high school, okay. You have a bracelet and you have a little pamphlet that explains the bracelet. You can share the gospel with your children and grandchildren using a box of crayons or colored paper. I am told that the 19th century evangelist D.L. Moody first started using this with children in Chicago, but Child Evangelism Fellowship and now the Christian Farmers Fellowship, and Christian Motorcyclists of America, and others use this as a means of telling people about Jesus. Wilson Lippy of Christian Farmer’s Fellowship travels the world teaching pastors and churches how to share the gospel with the colors.

A. Transition – learn to look for opportunities to share the Gospel. John 4 (the Woman at the Well).You can use things that people say, questions they ask, or you can ask questions:

1. May I ask you a question?

2. Have you ever thought of what happens to you when you die?

3. Do you have an interest in spiritual things?

4. Do you have a spiritual background?

5. Has anyone ever told you how you can know for sure that you can go to heaven when you die? May I tell you now?

6. If that kind of earthquake should hit here, or tornado, or tragedy, would you be ready to meet God? May I tell you how you can be?

7. Response to, "You just never know do you?" (tragedy or death) We do know; we just don’t know when. The key is to be ready. If that were you, do you know where you would spend eternity? Etc. Hey, what’s up? Heaven and I am going, are you?

B. The Gospel – Read again, Luke 24:46-48, "Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things, and:

Matthew 28:18-20 "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen

1. Yellow – Yellow or gold reminds us of heaven. Heaven is where we want to be. It is where we want to go when we die. Class, why do we want to go heaven? But we have a problem. As we are we can’t go to Heaven. The next color tells us why.

2. Black or dark - Reminds us why we can’t go to heaven. Because God is Holy and we are sinners and sin cannot be with holiness. (Rom. 3:23). What does it mean that God is Holy? How are we sinners? How do we sin? We have a problem. Does anyone think that they are without sin? God has said that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). What are wages? We have a debt we can’t re-pay. But God Himself has a solution as the next color reminds us.

3. Red – God knew we could not pay our sin debt, but He knew that He could pay it for us. So God came to us in the person of Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:8) He was our substitute, who paid our debt for us. (1 John 2:2). He offers us the gift of forgiveness and life. We just have to repent of our sins and receive His forgiveness as a gift. What does it mean to repent? The next color reminds us of what happens when we repent and receive his gift.

4. White – When we repent and receive His gift, God cleanses us from all our sins (1 John 1:9). He considers us as if we had never sinned. He allocates Jesus’ righteousness to us (2 Cor. 5:21). He adopts us as His own child (John 1:11-12).

Ask, "Does this make sense to you?"

Ask, "Would you like to receive Jesus as your Savior?"

If they say, "Yes," you can lead them in a suggested prayer, emphasizing that it isn’t the words, but the heart that God is concerned with. And then share the last color.

5. Green - Green is the color of growth. God wants you to grow and become like Jesus in your character and conduct Peter said, "but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." Read the Bible, Pray, Go to Church, and tell someone about Jesus. But don’t stop there. Don’t leave the person like that. Be their mentor, offer to meet with them regularly to share with them what the Christian life is all about. Tell them there are three things we are to do. What are they class?

a. Love God

b. Love People like Jesus loves us

c. Love the world that Jesus died for

Go through Ephesians 4-6 as you begin to disciple the person to be a follower of Jesus, and then maybe the Sermon on the Mount.

Let me remind you that 2 out of every 3 Americans have never heard a clear Gospel presentation. They are your family, your friends, your fellow students, your co-workers, your neighbors. Converting them is not your job; that is God’s job. Telling them how to be forgiven and saved is your job.

Are there other methods of sharing the Gospel? Yes, there are lots of ways. When I was in college and studying Greek, my friend and I would quiz each other on the vocabulary or verb tenses. Go home and quiz each other, practice with your spouse, your children, your parents, or a Christian friend. Then go, and as you are going tell somebody the good news of Jesus. You just might change the world.

Let’s pray about it.

Read other thoughtful writings by Pastor Gary Buchman