Wednesday, March 16, 2011
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I was all alone on that Atlantic Ocean beach that day. It was almost dark, and all the sun bathers had gone home to take another kind of bath, with creams, and lotions and so on. I was walking along the edge of the water, playing a little game of dodge-em with the waves. And I looked back, and I noticed the long trail of footprints I'd left behind me. I said, "Hey, I'm making a mark." Well, I had a distant jetty in my eyesight; that was going to be my goal. So, I walked that far, turned around and came back. I looked for that bold trail of footprints in the sand. Of course, there was no trail. They were gone. I thought about that Hollywood theatre where celebrities put their footprints in cement instead of sand. Maybe that's what I should try if I want my mark to last.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Prints in Sand and Cement."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 1 Thessalonians chapter 2. And I'm going to begin reading at verse 19. Paul says, "For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when He comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy." The Apostle Paul had a lot of other things he could glory in, don't you think? What a track record spiritually! But you know what he said was his glory and joy. He said to these spiritual children of his, "You are my marks in cement."
You see, the Apostle Paul knew where to make footprints that last. So many of our efforts are poured into, well, things that are like prints in the sand. A man or woman rises to a top position in their company, and everyone's looking to them, and they've got power, and they've got influence, and they've got importance. And then they retire or they're replaced. You know what - it's amazing how quickly that hole closes up. It takes about one day to change the name on the door. And the waves come in and wipe out all the years of footprints.
Or an athlete breaks a record, only to leave someone else's wave to come in and wipe it out. Awards, titles, victories, great speeches, recognition, things we work so hard, sacrifice so much for. Maybe even we sacrifice so many people for. But those things come and they go. The marks that last are not the achievements you score, but the people you touch.
Your children - they're wet cement. Don't be so busy making your mark at work or at church that you don't have your prime energy for them. The people you teach, the people you manage, they are wet cement. You're marking them your friends. Especially those who need your Jesus and have no idea that what happened on that cross was for them. Ultimately, the marks that last are not the ones that give you a name, but the ones that are made in Jesus' name.
Could it be that you didn't mean to, but you've been caught up in the footprints that you've been making in the sand? It's been so important to make that mark at work, at church, with a group of people you want to impress.
Well, are the people close to you losing out to the things that you're involved in? Put your prints in cement, where they'll last, not in sand where they can't last.
See, the waves can never erase what you write in human cement.