May 13, 2020
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Over the years, I've learned a few lessons about how to meet a little child for the first time and how not to. I used to stand there all big and adult and come on real enthusiastic, "Hey, how you doing, Billy?" Well, at that point the child promptly turned his head and disappeared somewhere in his mother's leg.
Have you ever seen that happen? I think I scared him to death! When you're only knee high, and an adult reaches down to you, especially as enthusiastically as I did, it probably looks like Goliath reaching for David.
But I'm getting a little smarter in my old age. Now I sort of squat down or I kneel down; get down where he is and look that little guy in the eye and I talk gently, not real loud. I come on soft instead of strong. (Honest, I can do it.) And believe it or not, I get some smiles and handshakes back from little Billy. I mean, even big folks respond better to that kind of treatment.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How Not to Be a Scary Giant."
I was at a conference some years ago and a young woman asked me how she could get through to her boss with the Good News about Jesus Christ. The hurdle was that because of his sexual lifestyle choices, he was very guarded when the subject of Jesus came up. He hadn't been treated too well by some Christians. And it was further complicated by the fact that this girl is like the picture of innocence. She's the model girl in her youth group, wholesome looking, doesn't even attend a public school or a Christian school. She's being home schooled as a sixteen-year-old girl. I showed her the Good News she has for her boss, and in the process, a little something about herself too. But then, it's good news for all of us who have done like not God's way, and there are so many ways to do that.
Our word for today from the Word of God is from 1 Corinthians 6, beginning at verse 9: "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the Kingdom of God?" Oh, that's bad news! Who are those folks? Well, he says, "Do not be deceived, neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, or homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God." Now, that's bad news!
Here's the good news: "and that is what some of you were, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God."
That's a glorious word, "some of you were like this." No one has to be sexually immoral ever again. No one has to be a drunkard, a swindler ever again. "You were washed." The slavery of sin was broken by the cleansing of Christ. Every kind of sin, and it comes in so many different ways. That is good news to deliver, like when I was trying to be friendly to a little child.
But the Good News has to be delivered from across from the person, not above them, making them feel cared about and respected, not condemned. See, most of us don't realize we have to come down to their level, which we really are already there anyway. Not to do what they do, no, but to let them know that this is a sinner who's talking to them; a sinner just as much in need of saving. And I'm just talking to a sinner in need of saving when I say to this girl, "Have you ever been greedy?" She said, "Oh, yeah." I said, "Have you ever said anything bad about anyone, slandered anyone?" "Yeah, well, I guess." "Have you ever let anything be more important than God is?" "Yeah." "Well, see, that's idolatry. We're all on the same list as the sexually immoral." See, often the one that we're trying to reach feels condemned by our presence.
A person tends to back off like a child retreating from that intimidating adult. That's not how they should feel. "I'm a beggar. You're a beggar. I just happen to be a beggar who found bread."
I want to tell you where I found it. I must never forget that I am a sinner, still desperately in need of what Christ did on the cross. I heard a song that said, "Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future." I like that!
When I remember who I am, I'll come in on their level. And maybe they'll be willing to listen to a fellow sinner who's found a Savior, who changes what you were into what you can be. And then I won't be this scary giant.