Monday, August 18, 2014
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Years ago, when I went to Niagara Falls, I saw this waxed figure on a tight rope over the street in Niagara Falls. And I learned that that's a real remembrance of an incredible moment in Niagara Falls history. It goes back to the turn of the century, The Great Blondin, a great aerialist had drawn a tight rope across the roar of Niagara Falls. And then he took his balancing pole and ran across the falls on that rope and back. I thought, "Man! That must have been crazy person!" Well, there were thousands of people there to see him.
And then he took another dare. He lifted 200 pounds, and he said, "How many of you believe, now, that I can take a 150 pound man across the falls on that wire in that wheelbarrow?" Oh the crowd cheered, and they hooted and hollered, "We do! We do!" And he said, "All right, who would like to climb in the wheelbarrow?" There wasn't a big rush for that wheelbarrow. There was one volunteer, his manager. And he took him across and came back safely.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Beyond the Cheers."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Isaiah 6:1. Isaiah says, "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted." Then there were angels calling to one another: "'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.' At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 'Woe to me!' I cried. 'I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty." Then a little later he said, "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'"
Now, Isaiah here is just absolutely caught up in praise and worship. "I see the Lord high and lifted up." That's like many contemporary followers of Christ. I mean, you love praise music, you love to go to praise gatherings, you love praise concerts. You often hear, "Praise the Lord!" and that's good. God invites our praise; He desires our praise. He deserves our praise. He inhabits our praise. We need to lift Him up and praise Him. I mean, He is worthy of all the praise we give Him and more.
But, see, praise doesn't end in itself. It's supposed to make a difference. As he sees how big God is, he begins to see what he's got to deal with himself. It's kind of like, "God, you are awesome, and now I see that I'm a mess." He's talking about his sin. See, after you've done all the praise the Lord's, are you saying, "Lord, I've got a mess inside me that needs to be dealt with?" We've got to deal with our sin.
Biblical praise isn't just a feeling; it leads to repentance if it's the real deal. But then it leads to action, "Here am I. Send me." I mean, the end result of praise and worship is a mission! The prophet here knows he can no longer delegate spiritual service to others. It's me; I've got to go for you, Lord. I'm concerned that a lot of our praise never gets past experience. And you look around and you say, "I have seen the King, but I'm surrounded by people who never have."
And so instead of just the cheers; the cheers are not enough. Just like in the days of that aerialist with the tight rope over Niagara Falls. A lot of people cheering. A lot of people believed in him, until it was a matter of getting into the wheelbarrow and resting everything on him.
You know, you may have heard about Jesus your whole life. You may be a very religious person. You may have a ton of Christianity in your background. But Jesus is going, "Thank you for cheering for Me. Thank you for being enthusiastic about Me. Thank you for liking Me. Did you ever get in the wheelbarrow?" Did you ever pin all your hopes on Him to carry you to heaven with Him someday?
If you've never really put your trust in Him, all that you've heard and all that you've cheered Him for will not matter. For it's getting in the wheelbarrow and letting Jesus take you home. That's what brings you to heaven.
If you've never done that, I'd love to help you get started with Him and get this settled once and for all. Just go to our website ANewStory.com and find the man who thought you were worth so much He went to a cross for you.