As most of you know, my two daughters live in an apartment in Searcy while they are attending Harding. They have a meal plan for the cafeteria, but pretty well only eat lunch on campus...since they have an actual kitchen in their apartment.
So the other day one of them calls us (I promised I wouldn’t say which one) as they are preparing a wonderful dinner of hotdogs. She called and said, “Did you know that water boils better if you put it in the pot?”
She had, inadvertently, set the pot on the stove without water, then turned on the burner. Fortunately she noticed her mistake fairly quickly and started over...this time with water in the pot.
If you’re going to boil hotdogs, you have to have enough water in the pot to cover them! The same would be true of boiling anything...you have to have water!
There are many people in the “religious pot” who have removed water from salvation. They see baptism as a “work” and, as such, as unnecessary for salvation. They will say that faith and grace are all you need to be saved.
The Bible, though, says you have to have enough water to totally be covered in order to contact the blood of Jesus. “Baptism” is a transliteration of the Greek word that means “immerse.”
Yes, it is by God’s grace through faith that we are saved and this is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). But the faith mentioned implies and involves obedience.
Acts 2:38 and many other passages tell us that baptism is essential to salvation. Galatians 3:27 tells us that baptism clothes us in Christ. Clearly water is involved in God’s plan for saving man.
God could have chosen to tell us to do anything He wanted in order to become His child. He could have told us to fight a giant, to be thrown into a fiery furnace or a den of lions, or to show our faith by leaping off of a building, or, well, you get the idea.
But instead He chose the fairly simple act of being immersed in water to have our sins washed away (Acts 22:16) so that we could become His child (1 John 2:28-3:2).
If we will simply obey Him, He will work in our lives to forgive us of our sins and bring us into His family.
So if you want to boil hotdogs or become a New Testament Christian...don’t forget the water!
We all like to have other people do nice things for us. It makes us feel special. It makes us feel loved. It makes us feel good.
But what about the one doing the nice thing for us? Do they feel special? Do they feel loved? Do they feel good?
When we recognize their efforts and tell them how much we appreciate them, I believe they do feel special, loved, good, and appreciated.
Then there are those times when someone does something nice...and nobody else really notices.
When things like this happen, often what is the end result? Many times the one who did the nice thing decides that nobody appreciates or even notices what they do...so, often, they stop doing nice things for others.
We need to remember that Jesus cautions us about taking this sort of an attitude. In Matthew 6:1-4 Jesus says, in essence, “Don’t do nice things for people to be recognized and applauded by them. Do nice things for people to be recognized and applauded by your Heavenly Father. In fact, if you do things for people to be rewarded by them, you’ll have NO REWARD from your Heavenly Father.”
We have a number of people in the congregation who do a number of nice things for others...and even for the congregation as a whole. Some of these things go pretty much unnoticed by the congregation at large...but if they did not do it, the congregation at large would notice in a heart beat!
Sometimes it is a simple thing. Sometimes it is not so simple. Sometimes it is something anybody could have done. Sometimes it is something that takes a special talent or knowledge to know how to do correctly.
Most of us know who those who work “behind the scenes” are. They don’t do it for the earthly recognition, but for their Heavenly Father. But, still, telling them thank you every once in a while would do wonders for their morale.
Those of you who were here on Sunday morning know that at the beginning of our worship assembly, we discovered a snafu in our technology...the monitor in the pulpit was not working.
After doing some quick troubleshooting, to no avail, Dink decided to lead songs out of the song book. It was weird to not be able to look down and to make sure the PowerPoint was on the right slide, but we made it through Sunday morning.
Sunday afternoon, Linn and I met here at the building at 4:00 to try to figure out what was wrong. By 4:02 we had solved and fixed the issue!
There is a VERY long VGA cable that runs from the computer in the AV room, up to the attic, then down the south “light trench” and into the ladies changing room. But it has to connect to another fairly long VGA cable in order to go through the wall, under the stage and come up under the pulpit, only to plug into a short cable, then into the monitor.
The issue was that the connection between the VERY long cable and the fairly long cable had been unplugged. All that needed to be done is to plug the two cables together again and the monitor worked!
So how did the cable become unplugged? I don’t know...perhaps it was inadvertently or purposefully (though not with any malicious intent) unplugged by the crew working to repair the ceiling in that room?
The odd thing is that, after 7½ years here, I wasn’t even aware that there was a connection in the women’s changing room! If I’d known, I would have checked it Sunday morning while I checked the other connections.
Sometimes we do or say things that inadvertently hurt others. It could just be something small that we really didn’t even mean to do or say...but we did and it had a negative effect on someone else.
Sometimes we do or say things that are purposeful, though not with malicious intent. But we forget to “put it back together” when we are done...and it has a negative effect on someone else.
Fortunately this was an easy fix. Relationships that become unplugged may not be so easy to repair. So be careful what you do or say, it can have an effect on other people...whether you mean it or not!