A Drop of Example, or a Gallon of Advice???

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Signboard | 0 comments

On May 10,2017 (several days before Mother’s Day), the following message was posted on our signboard:

A DROP OF EXAMPLE

IS WORTH MORE THAN

A GALLON OF ADVICE

  

 

As we approach Mother’s Day, think about it…  What has left a deeper impression- what do yo remember most:  The things your Mom said, or the things she did?

Chances are, you probably remember some great advice that Mom gave.  A host of sayings, scripture, music, or just plane home-spun wisdom constantly prod and remind you and push you towards a better life.  But would these “words of wisdom” still be in your mind if they hadn’t been backed up by her example?

And, Father’s Day is around the corner; what about Dad’s example?  Throughout the year (especially as we get older), we encounter “services of remembrance” or “celebrations of life” when loved ones pass away.  As we look at the saints who came before us, what examples can we glean that can drive us closer to God and to Godly living?  But even more importantly, what can we learn from the life of the only perfect person who ever walked the face of this earth; Jesus???

 

Drops of Example

How many drops add up to a gallon?  Who knows!?!  But here are a few “Drops of Example” that can help us take a better measure of our lives…

Humility

In John 13:1-17, Jesus washes His disciple’s feet and tells us that what He just did is an example of what we should do.  But think about it: washing the dirty sand-coated feet of your guests was normally the work of a servant.  And… just who was the host at this Passover meal?  Was it Jesus or the disciples?  Shouldn’t somebody have been washing His feet???

Jesus didn’t “stick his rights”; He did want was needed. 

Is this drop of example part of our living?

Obey God, not Divisions

In John 4:1-26 Jesus strikes up a conversation with somebody who society said He shouldn’t even associate with.  “Just pass through Samaria and stick to your ‘own people. ”  Beyond this woman being a Samaritan (and a woman), she’s “shacking up” with a man and isn’t very highly regarded in her community (to say the least).   But Jesus doesn’t feel bound by those divisions.  Instead, He shares the truth about “Living Water” with her. 

Verse 4 says that He HAD to go through Samaria.  Samaria wasn’t just an obstacle on the map; it was a destination that God called Him to.  His meeting with this woman didn’t come by chance.  God was behind it.  Because of Jesus’ conversation with this woman, many in that region became believers, and God’s will was fulfilled.

Is this drop of example part of our living?

Forgive first, Judge Last

In John 8:1-11 the righteous religious leaders brutally threw a woman to the ground at Jesus’ feet.  She had committed adultery.  Regardless of whether it was a trap or not, SHE had done a bad thing.  Even though “it takes two to tango” and the man was just as guilty, it was this woman who needed to be stoned.

But Jesus sees through the hypocrisy of the world which calls for brutal “thumbs up / thumbs down” justice.  He is driven by His mission statement (Luke 19:10)-   “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.

This woman was lost; Jesus told her to “leave your life of sin.”  But He also tells her to “Go and sin no more.”  On that day, no stones were cast.  In this passage He gives us an example of how we should blend justice with love.

Is this drop of example part of our living?

True to your word

1 Samuel 1  tells us the story of Hannah.  Hannah was more than a palindrome; she was a wife in a rough spot.  Back in her day, a wife’s main job in life was to bear an heir for her husband.  Hannah’s husband was Elkanah, and they loved eachother very much.  But, she was barron.

And so Elkanah did what was pretty common in that day; he took on another wife.  Her name was Peninnah, and she did bear “their” husband children.  Elkanah’s line would continue through Peninnah; not through his true love, Hannah.

So Hannah made a vow to God.  “If you give me a son, I will give him back to you.”  He will become a Nazerite and serve in the Tabernacle.  In other words, she would give birth to this child and then give him up for adoption… IF God actually gave her a son.

Well, it actually happened- God DID give her a son!  Now what?  It would be easy to wave away that vow; “God, you know I didn’t really mean it… You know that he’ll be better off if he stayed with me… He’ll just get in the priest’s way if he stays in the Tabernacle…”  The list could go on and on.  But, whether or not  it was right for Hannah to make the vow in the first place, she followed through. 

Is this drop of example part of our living?

Imagination and Dedication

Drops of examples are not confined to the pages of the Bible; we are surrounded by them in our daily lives.  Drops of examples flow from people who are infused by the love and power of the Holy Spirit.

Do a search on this website for “BLAST” (our youth group).  You’ll find countless activities that required an inspired imagination to plan and selfless dedication to pull off.  Or, do a search through your own memory- Youth Group Leaders, Sunday School Teachers, Pastors, Parents, Scout Leaders…  Chances are pretty good that somebody will stick out in your mind. 

God sends us Drops of Examples through the love and dedication of His people.

Is this drop of example part of our living?

Giving your time when you don’t have any to give

It was a call anyone would dread to receive.  I returned home after spending the entire day in an ICU room with my wife, and the doctor called: ‘The end is nearing.  You should come back now.’   It was 10 PM, but when I returned to the hospital my pastor was already there.  He prayed with us, explained things to us, cried with us, and even spent the night with us in the waiting room.  At 9 AM the end came, and we prayed my wife into glory.

A pastor is “on duty” 24/7.  Days are never short.  The thing you want most is a good night’s sleep, and the thing you want least is to spend the night in a hospital waiting room.  But love has a way of pushing you beyond your own limitations.  You give drops of example without even realizing it.

Is this drop of example part of our living?

Praise, God…

On May 9, 2017, we held a celebration of life service for member John Shaerer.  John was a teacher by profession.  And a teacher imparts wisdom; he gives advice.

But over and over, people spoke of John’s example.  “He had a way of making you feel that you could succeed“…   “You could just feel Jesus flowing from his heart and into his voice as he sang“…   “He didn’t just sing ‘He touched me’- he sang JESUS touched me.” …   “He helped me learn how to pitch. After every game he got behind the plate and caught“…    “He was always willing to help me out with the service“…     “Whenever there was a tense moment, he diffused it by saying “Praise, God!

His life dripped with Praise for God.  Over and over, the actions of this man’s life gave an example of what it means to put Jesus first.

Is this drop of example part of our living?

 

Wise Advice

As we grow through this life we learn lessons.  We make mistakes that teach us how to navigate through choppy waters, and the next time we face similar situations we’re prepared to do better.  And when we see someone else headed into the same torrents we have faced, we are obligated to share our experiences and help someone benefit from our lessons.

Advice given in loving humility is part of our call as Christians.

But, “Talking the Talk” has no power unless we can back it up by “walking the walk.”  There’s another signboard message that carries the same truth:

Preach a sermon.  Use words is necessary.

This familiar verse in James 2:18 says the same thing:

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

As we walk through our lives, it’s easy to offer “Gallons of Advice.”  But in the little things we do, are we constantly radiating “Drops of Examples”?  And, are we even noticing the Drops of Examples that come our way through other people?

 

+   +   +   +   +   +   +   +

This button will let you view other Signboard Messages:    Signboard Messages 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *