The Greatest Question of All Time

A BBC magazine answered the “101 greatest questions of all time.”[1] What did they include? Well, questions like “What is OK short for?” Answer? “OK comes from ‘oll korrect’, a deliberately misspelled writing of ‘all correct.’ It was popularized in Boston newspapers around the 1840s when it was fashionable to go around spelling things incorrectly for humorous effect.”

The #1 “greatest question” was “Where is the safest place to stand outside in a thunderstorm?” And, in case you must know the answer, it is “A car or other enclosed metal structure is the safest place to be in a thunderstorm.”

Jesus asked a question that should have been first on the list. He and the disciples were in Caesarea Philippi. Call it the shopping mall of religion. It was located in a region known as Paneon, or the home of the Greek god Pan. Once it had been a center of Baal worship. A temple was located there dedicated to the godhead of Caesar. And other temples of Syrian gods dotted the landscape.

Plenty of gods to choose from in Caesarea Philippi. So Jesus asks his disciples this question: “Who do you say I am?” (Mark 8:29). Oh, at first he asked them what others were saying about him. The answers came back in rapid fire: “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”

But Jesus was more concerned with their answer to his question, so he asked, “Who do you say I am?” They all looked at this homeless carpenter and thought about that question. We don’t know how long they thought before Peter replied, “You are the Christ.”

[1] “Greatest 101 questions of all time: 1-20” found at  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/

4696372/Greatest-101-questions-of-all-time-1-20.html

Advertisements

I Can Make a Difference part 3: Do You Have an Hour to Spare?

Okay everyone, one more time. Say it with me, “I can make a difference”.

Do you believe that? Do you truly believe that you can make a difference? What do you have to do in order to make a difference in this world that God has placed you in? Today I want to look at the thought, “Do you have an hour to spare?”

In Matthew we read a very familiar passage of scripture. It is one that we read all the time during Easter. It is the story where Jesus is praying at the garden of Gethsemane.

Let’s look at Matthew 26:36-46.

36. Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.”

37. And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.

38. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”

39. He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

40. Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?

41. Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42. Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

43. And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.

44. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

45. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.

46. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

Look closer at verse 40. It says, “Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?’”

Do you notice how he singles Peter out? Why Peter? I believe it was because He was closer to Peter and He saw great potential in Peter as the leader of the bunch over anyone else.

And He asks Peter that question, “Could you not watch with Me one hour?”

I can see Him looking at Peter and maybe He has tears in His eyes, maybe there was just a look, but it was as He was telling Peter, “One hour, that’s all I’m asking you for is one hour.”

Maybe Jesus has come to you today and He is asking you, “Do you have an hour to spare?” The disciples couldn’t make it an hour at that moment. And knowing now what Jesus was about to go through I’m thinking surely you could give Him one hour. But the disciples didn’t know what He was about to go through. They didn’t know until it happened.

But we know. We have the Bible to tell us what Jesus went through. We have the Bible to tell us about the trial that He was falsely accused of. We have the Bible to tell us about the beating that He endured. We have the Bible to tell us about the nails that weren’t driven in His hands and feet. We have the Bible to tell us about His last words on the cross as He hung there and said it is finished. And we have the Bible to tell us about the resurrection. So surely after we know all that we know we can make the decision to spare an hour for Him.

After all, look at what He has done for us.

Here’s the challenge. I challenge you to commit one hour of worship, one hour of personal devotion, and one hour of service each week.

The hour of worship will be easy if you attend church each week, but if for some reason you miss church one week, just make it up at home by listening to worship music and find you a good preacher on TV or podcast. Most weeks the one of hour of service could be easy depending on what you do in the church to serve. But serving doesn’t have to just be in the church, it could be volunteering somewhere else. And the devotion time will be something that you may have to work on. Some of you no problem you are already doing this. But think about it this way, if you took Monday through Saturday and spent just 10 minutes a day on reading your Bible and praying you would accomplish one hour in a week.

Think about how much time we give to other things in our life. How many hours a week do you watch TV? How many hours a week do you play on the computer? How many hours a week do you spend on your relationships? How many hours do you spend doing housework? Sure, none of these things are bad things, but we spend time on them because we want to do them.

Jesus said to His disciples, “Could you not give me just one hour?” Just one. And I believe that He is asking that of you today. Do you have an hour to spare?

I want to close with an article written by a man named Monte Unger. It was written in a publication called NAVLOG in January of 1975. This is what it says.

How often have you talked with someone on the telephone who seemed to be in a hurry and wanted to get on with more important business? Or visited with someone on the street and received that same hurried feeling? You’ve undoubtedly experienced it…and didn’t enjoy it. And, perhaps, you have also been guilty of this. If you have, why not decide to tithe time, save up chunks, bits and pieces of it, and give them away to people who interrupt your pre-established plans?

It is a great principle of love that people don’t interrupt, not really. Perhaps there shouldn’t even be such a word as interrupt; for when people come into your existence, even for a brief time, that is a wonderful moment of experience for both of you. Relish it. Probe it. Invest some of the time you have tithed. We can’t afford to indulge in the luxury of “being too busy and important” for another person.

We have time for such inanimate things as pieces of mail, vast sprawling shopping centers, the television program which starts at 7:30. But what about relationships with people? Isn’t that a great deal of what life is all about–loving other people? Remember Jesus? How he raced about, hurrying from one city to another, collecting great crowds on the way to give them a few minutes of hurried heaven-data, then dashing on to the next place?

No, that is not the picture of Jesus the New Testament gives. He had time for people. In a crowd, a woman touched his robe. Lots of people were probably pushing against him, touching his robe, but he discerned the urgency in this particular touch. He stopped, taking valuable time for this “interruption.” His disciples were full of fire and computer-like- efficiency. They wanted to get on with the task of getting something done, even if they didn’t always know what that “something” was.

Once a bunch of small, grimy-fingered kids came along and wanted to climb on the Master’s lap. “Get those kids out of here,” thought the goal-oriented disciples.

“No, let them stay. Let’s enjoy them and let them enjoy us,” thought the true-goal-oriented Man from heaven who knew and expressed the great worth of the individual.

The next time a person “interrupts” you, think not of your work and your deadlines; rather, think of that person’s needs, of his covert compliment in desiring to spend a few moments with you. Your meeting may be a significant point in each of your lives, because it is an encounter with another person God has created. you may impart something crucial to his fulfillment–or he to yours.

Paul prayed: “May God, who gives patience, steadiness, and encouragement, help you to live in complete harmony with each other–each with the attitude of Christ toward the other” (Rom. 15:5, TLB). Are you caught up on your time-tithe?

Again my question to you today is do you have an hour to spare?