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Matthew 28:18-20

This morning, a guest pastor shared a statistic with our congregation.  He said that 22% of Iowans are in church each Sunday.  He shared that because he has a big heart for the lost.

Billy Graham had a big heart for the lost too.  On today’s Billy Graham devotional it says, “As practical Christianity has declined, rudeness and violence have increased…I have seen tough, rough, hardened men open their hearts by faith, receive Christ as Savior, and become gentle, patient, merciful gentlemen.”https://billygraham.org/devotion/an-angry-world/

My family and I saw an example of evidence of a hardened person today after church.  A car had bumper stickers that said, “Proud Atheist” and “Remember-Pillage First, THEN BURN.”  They had another angry bumper sticker that I choose not to publish.

Even though the owner of the car with angry bumper stickers appears to hate Jesus, Jesus died for that person’s sins too.  Although he or she doesn’t seem to be headed for Heaven at this point, there’s still a chance.

Jesus asked those that are His to “Go and make disciples”, to baptize them, and to teach them to be obedient to His commands.  Jesus didn’t say it would be easy.

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Acts 5:12-42

Jesus faced opposition while on Earth, and after He ascended to Heaven, the apostles faced opposition as well.  Because of Jesus, they were able to perform miracles for the people to witness.  The Sadducees knew about this and were very jealous.  They decided to arrest the apostles.  Subsequently, the apostles were put in jail.  However, at nighttime, an angel opened the jail doors and told them to go and teach the people.

The next day, the officers had to tell the Sanhedrin that even though there were guards and a “securely locked” jail door, the apostles weren’t there.  That report confused the chief priests.

God sent the apostles an angel to get them out of jail.  I believe God sent me an angel on 5/21/09.  I was driving without my family on Bever Avenue, a busy street, when someone ran a stop sign and headed for the left front of the car.  I was forced to swerve immediately to the right onto a side street, and unfortunately, there was a little car that suddenly appeared at a stop sign there, right in my path.  I closed my eyes and braced for the impact as my tires screeched, but instead, the front of our car just seemed to float.  When I opened my eyes, I saw the little car I had tried to avoid still at the stop sign, with no damage.  I was pointed in the right direction.  Shaken, I drove very slowly and found a place to park.  I checked out the car.  There wasn’t any damage, and I wasn’t injured!

Believe what you like, but I believe God sent an angel to pick up our car.  Thanks be to God, my rescuer!

Luke 16:1-15

Are you in debt?  Many people are.  Some need to pay for a house, car, college and/or something else.  When you make a payment, you might pay with a check.

In Luke, Jesus told a parable about a manager.  In the parable, someone owed a lot of olive oil (3,000 liters!) and someone else owed a large amount of wheat (30 tons!).  If you need to pay a debt, be glad it doesn’t have to be paid with a mega quantity of olive oil or wheat.

(Repost with minor revisions)

2 Samuel 22, 21:15-17a

I read about a battle between Israel and the Philistines.  David was exhausted and a Philistine named, Ishbi-Benob,  wanted to kill him.  Then Abishai came forward and killed the Philistine.  I believe God used Abishai to rescue David.  David was a thankful man and sang in celebration after God helped him many times.

Eight years ago today, God rescued me.  I was driving on Bever Avenue, a busy street, when someone ran a stop sign and headed for the left front of the car.  I was forced to swerve immediately to the right onto a side street, and unfortunately, there was a little car that suddenly appeared at a stop sign there, right in my path.  I braced for the impact as my tires screeched, but instead, the front of our car just seemed to float.  I opened my eyes and saw the little car I had tried to avoid still at the stop sign, with no damage.  I was pointed in the right direction.  Shaken, I drove very slowly and found a place to park.  I checked out the car.  There wasn’t any damage, and I wasn’t injured!

Believe what you like, but I believe God sent an angel to pick up our car.  Thanks be to God, my rescuer!  God helps me in many ways, but the heavenly help on Bever Avenue that afternoon stands out.  Every year now, when I put up a new calendar, I write on the month of May, “Heavenly help on Bever Ave,” so I can remember what God did for me.

 

2 Samuel 22, 21:15-17a

I read about a battle between Israel and the Philistines.  David was exhausted and a Philistine named, Ishbi-Benob,  wanted to kill him.  Then Abishai came forward and killed the Philistine.  I believe God used Abishai to rescue David.  David was a thankful man and sang in celebration after God helped him many times.

Seven years ago, God rescued me.  I was driving on Bever Avenue, a busy street, when someone ran a stop sign and headed for the left front of the car.  I was forced to swerve immediately to the right onto a side street, and unfortunately, there was a car at a stop sign there, right in my path.  I braced for the impact as my tires screeched, but instead, our car just straightened out and seemed to float.  Shaken, I drove slowly and found a place to park and checked out the car.  There weren’t any scratches and I wasn’t injured!

You can believe what you like, but I believe God sent an angel or angels to pick up the car.  Thanks be to God, my rescuer!  God helps me in many ways, but the heavenly help on Bever Avenue that afternoon stands out.  Every year now, when I put up a new calendar, I write on the month of May, “Heavenly help on Bever Ave,” so I can remember what God did for me and celebrate.

Think about how God has come to your rescue.  Then, you can put it on your calendar every year to celebrate what He did for you.

Psalm 116:4, Psalm 10:17

This past week, several nights were soaked in sirens.  One night, some firetrucks rumbled past our home with red and blue lights penetrating through the cracks of closed blinds.  They charged for access to a small dead end street with a fire.  After some tenants evacuated the apartment building, someone had to escape by jumping out of a window onto a car.  After copious amounts of sprayed water, the fire was out and people were safe.

Many in the U. S. know that if there is an emergency, you can call 911.  But what if someone has a spiritual emergency?  What then?  They can call out like an author of Psalms, “Lord, save me!”  He will hear your cry.

 

 

Luke 11:4

The other morning, I woke up to honking and loud sirens in the distance.  It must have been a big wreck.  Later that day, I saw a car in a parking lot with a good portion of the right front end missing.  The car nose was within an inch of hitting the post of a grocery cart stall.  On my way home, I saw a hubcap on the side of a road.  Cars can get in pretty sorry shape.  So can people.

People can get in sorry spiritual shape by reckless, sinful behavior.  If people don’t ask Jesus for forgiveness, sadly, they’re headed on a collision course with Hell.  People need to ask Jesus to forgive their sins so He can cleanse them and make them brand new.

 

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