Thursday, August 30, 2012

We Are the Watchmen

One of my friends told me a story once that has really stuck with me.  His dad was a handyman who later came to know Christ and became a preacher.  One day, my friend was helping his dad do some electrical work.  At one point, the dad turned to his son and explained that he would be working with live electricity, and that if he touched the wrong wire, it would electrocute him.  If this happened, he wouldn’t be able to let go of the wire.  So he handed my friend a two-by-four and said, “If this happens, you’ll know it.  And if it does, you have to hit my arm with that board to force me to let go of the wire.  Don’t touch me with your hand, or you’ll get shocked, too.  Do you understand?”  By the way, my friend was around 10 at the time.  Can you imagine him standing there, holding that board, shaking like a leaf and praying to God that he wouldn’t have to hit his dad?  I think about that story sometimes when I think about being charged with heavy responsibility.  Like most 21st Century males, I try to avoid as much responsibility as possible, as a general rule.  But I especially try to avoid those kinds of responsibilities.  I don’t like jobs that are simple in concept but very important.  I am continually amazed at my ability to mess up simple tasks in wildly creative and original ways.  It’s my true talent, in fact.  So if the responsibility is heavy, if lives are on the line, I don’t want to be the one holding the two-by-four.  

If you feel like that too, I have some bad news and some good news.  The bad news is that you and I have been given exactly that kind of responsibility—a job that is so simple in concept that a child can understand it—but hard to carry out, and with eternal consequences if we fail.  In fact, you might accurately say that this responsibility is our life’s work.  We all have different personalities, circumstances, careers and callings in God’s Kingdom, but we’re ALL called to do this.  The good news is that God has given us exactly what we need in order to succeed.  This Sunday at Westbury Baptist, we'll take a look at Ezekiel 33:1-11.  We'll spell out this great responsibility God has placed on your shoulders and mine, then we'll talk about the three ways we can mess it up, and what we need to do in order to succeed.

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