July 2014

Green Pastures  Email:- greenpasture@btinternet.com    Listen on WWW.harbourlightradio.org 

                                                             VIEW FROM THE PULPIT                      July Issue 2014

Achievers       ‘Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm’ (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, Circles) Plenty of enthusiasm has been displayed by footballers at the World Cup in Brazil and some have over achieved and others under achieved. National teams from England, Italy, Spain and Portugal all under achieved and returned home early and disappointed in not progressing to the final. Some teams in the last eight have over achieved, such as Colombia, who have surprised the pundits with their attacking football.

 

The tennis grand slam at Wimbledon has produced a young Australian player, named Nick Kyrgios. He turned professional in 2013 winning the Australian Junior title and other tournaments before being wild-carded to Wimbledon. Ranked 144. The greatest achievement that this teenager has accomplished to date is defeating World No.1 Raphael Nadal to reach the quarterfinals of the competition, immediately improving his ranking to below 100. His aim is to be the World’s No.1, which would be a great achievement.

 

Wilbur and Orville Wright progressed from designing, building and selling bicycles, to designing and building the first powered aeroplane that flew in 1903 in Kitty Hawk U.S.A. Some of their design work is still used in modern aircraft. Little did they realise over one hundred years ago, what their achievement would develop into, a multi-billion dollar aircraft industry and billions of worldwide air-travellers every year.

 

Pioneering by other remarkable people in exploration and mountaineering, or, in the realm of medicine and surgery, in science and technology could occupy reams of print.

Wikipedia reports on the discovery of the World Wide Web, ‘Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist and former CERN employee, is considered the inventor of the Web. On March 12, 1989, he wrote a proposal for what would eventually become the World Wide Web’. That comparatively recent achievement has opened up an instant communication system for any person living anywhere in the world.

We know that some have achieved wealth by developing computer systems, such as Bill Gates and have used some of that wealth through the philanthropic Foundation set up to meet the needs of disadvantaged people throughout the world. 

 

There is one realm that no man has ever achieved to of his own ability, except one, and this is the all important matter of life from the dead. The one man who has accomplished this is Jesus Christ the Son of God. When He was alive on earth he said concerning his life, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”

Christ was talking about the cross and voluntarily laying down His life, and then on the third day coming out of death and vacating the tomb, showing Himself alive to many witnesses.

King Solomon said in Eccl. 8:8, “There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.” Everyone of us knows that we are going to die, But When? We shall all enter eternity, But Where? We shall all stand before God, But How? I wonder if you have addressed yourself to these questions? If not, then you should, because the outcome is the most important thing that anyone can face. Heaven or Hell.

 

When Paul wrote to the Christians at Philippi he said, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” He expressed enthusiasm in what he wanted to achieve, he wanted to show himself approved unto God by serving the Lord more acceptably than he had done before. When he came to the end of his life he wrote to Timothy, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” Tradition tells us that Paul’s life ended in Rome with his head on the executioner’s block. Some might ask what he achieved in his life? A short answer to that question would be he pioneered the gospel in Asia and Europe and wrote fourteen Books of the twenty seven in the New Testament. His life and work has impacted upon millions of lives who have believed, and many more yet through the World Wide Web, reading his writings will be saved. Paul’s ultimate achievement will be realised at the Judgement Seat of Christ where he will receive the rewards for serving the best of Masters, the Lord Jesus Christ. Did you notice what he said, “and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”  Yes, he means you! You may not have believed yet but you can today and start on the achievers’ pathway to Heaven and home.  How enthusiastic are you about this?  God bless.

 

 Stan Burditt