Sermon delivered August 29, 1998

by Pastor Donald J. Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Quotations from the Bible are from The New International Version

God Carries a pager

As a boy we never had a telephone. We couldn't afford it. But my grandmother next door did. Her phone number was - 293. Today our telephone numbers are 10 digits long. Nowadays many folk have even more than one number.

How many of you carry a pager? Pagers make things convenient don't they?

I believe God carries the ultimate pager. It's not like we use. His pager will handle almost six billion messages at one time. And He can handle more than six billion messages Himself at once. He is omnipresent. He can listen to everybody's page at the same time. He carries the ultimate pager. Our wonderful, devoted and caring God is universally available; 24 hours a day. Always on call. Always listening. Dependable. As soon as you call, He's listening.

I was visiting Erlanger Hospital this week and saw a nurse. She was wearing TWO pagers! I said, "You must be important!" She said, "Look over here on this side." And on her other side were two more pagers! A Four-pager nurse! "Well, what do you do if several go off at once?: She said, "One day three went off at the same time. I just had to serve the most urgent need." She rushed off to the most pressing crisis.

God doesn't have that problem. It doesn't matter what your need is, you are the focus of God's attention. How many pagers does God wear? One for each and every human being? No, just one. God is able to listen to every prayer at the same time and be everywhere at once. What a God we serve!

I Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. We need to cast all of our anxieties, all our worries on God. If only we could get hold of the life-changing fact in our minds that in God's sight nothing is minute. Everything is important. There are no little things with God. Your seemingly small trouble is of eternal importance to Him this moment. I Peter invites us to cast or dump all our cares on Him.

It's like as if you look up in the yellow pages and find under "w" the "Worry Service," and there is God's telephone number. And you basically cast all your worries on Him. So you dial God's pager service, His Worry Service and a voice answers, "Good morning. Worry Service. May I help you?" You may say...

My daughter is flunking school, what can I do?
My son no longer wants to obey.  What do I do?
I just can't lose weight.  I need Help!
My marriage is getting real bad.  I think I am being cheated on. 
What do I do?
We are in serious debt with no ability to pay.  Now what?
Christians can actually depend on God. You can dump, or cast, your worries upon Him and He will do all the worrying for them. He can save us from ulcers. He will provide an answer to our crisis in His own time and in His own way and to His own glory.

Several years ago, the Wall Street Journal printed an article. A lot of you probably have been jittery about the zig-zagging, mainly zagging that Wall street has been doing. So they printed an article to pour some oil on the water. It was a story about Sally, an overly conscientious youngster who made herself miserable as a professional worry wart. Early one fall, while the leaves were still on the trees and there was an exceptionally heavy snowstorm, Sally's grandfather took her for a walk. On the walk the grandfather pointed out those beautiful elm trees. Their branches sticking straight out, many of the branches broken off from the heavy snow. The grandfather said, "Notice those elms, the branches are so badly broken that the trees may die. But just look at those pines and evergreens. They are completely undamaged by the storm.

"My child, there are two kinds of trees in the world, the foolish and the wise. An elm holds its branches rigid. As it becomes weighted down, eventually its limbs break. But when an evergreen is loaded, it simply relaxes, lowers its branches, and lets the burden slip away. And so it remains unharmed. Be a pine tree, granddaughter."

When you give up all your cares to the Lord you can face life's burdens much better than people who try to bear the weight by themselves. Our problem is that we carry the load alone. We can't seem to turn it over to Jesus.

Imagine a Television with two remote controls. Wouldn't that be neat? Your husband could have one and you could have the other one. That would be fun! He would want to watch one program and you'd want to watch another. So you two switch back and forth and back and forth .... You might wear your thumbs out. Imagine an automobile with two steering wheels. You sit behind one and Jesus sits behind the other. And here you are on your journey and you turn it over to Jesus, which you rightfully should. You've cast all your cares on Him. He's in charge. He's doing the driving. All you have to do is tell Him your destination. My destination is heaven. And He'll get you there. He has ten zillion years of experience in driving. You may disagree with the route He chooses. I know you're going to disagree because you will say, "This is the wrong route. This will never get me to heaven. I can't suffer this pain. Here I am losing my marriage. I've already lost. I'm divorced, I'm single again, I can't understand... This is the wrong route." And so we grab the steering wheel and we lose out. Your steering wheel will override His. You have veto power. Since Jesus has been driving 10 zillion years accident-free, you should trust Him. Don't touch that wheel yourself. Jesus has flawless judgment. Trust Him.

Have you ever seen the video, Driving Miss Daisy? In Driving Miss Daisy could she trust her driver? It took her a long time, didn't it. Some of us live a long time. I can bet that's why some of us live so long. We finally learned to trust in Jesus. With Jesus in control, just sit back and enjoy the ride. Tell Him that your destination is heaven and He will take you there. Oh, you might question the route He chooses, but Jesus uses only the best navigation.

God cares for you. Trust Him. Place yourself totally in His hands as He chauffeurs you to Heaven. Psalm 121:1-8 A song of ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you-- the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

This tells me that God is not a disconnected creator. General Motors might produce a car, but once you have that car it up to you to get the proper maintenance, to do what you need to do. I believe that God has a hands-on involvement in our lives. He doesn't leave us. You think about that. God continues! After the seventh day of creation He was still there. And He's there today and always will be.

If God ever went on vacation, what a disaster we would have. The laws of the universe are always stable because He is there to make sure of that. For instance, when water freezes it floats. Almost every molecule in the world when it gets cold it shrinks. If ice did not float you would not be hearing this sermon today. There would be no life on this earth as we know it.

If the balance between protons and electrons were not perfectly the same, electromagnetic force would overcome gravity or vice-versa. We would be in a terrible mess. Just think if the laws of gravity were suspended for ten minutes. Where would you be? And then all of a sudden gravity kicks back in. Then where would you be? It would be a mess to live in this place wouldn't it? We wouldn't last very long. We serve a God Who continues to care for His creation.

Active Omnipotence is required which our God happily continues to provide. He doesn't leave us in the lurch. He's active because He loves us. Our fantastic God never goes off line.

* OUR GOD IS LIKE A GOOD FATHER.

Psalm 103:13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.

Two neighbors went out for the evening. The younger one was going to the dance and the other to a Bible Study. The youth was dressed to kill. Since it had been raining he wore rubber boots to protect his shiny dancing shoes. The older man tried to convince him to change his plans and attend the Bible study.

As they neared the dance hall the younger fellow slipped and fell in some mud. That cut him out of the dancing. So he begrudgingly went to the Bible study. After it was over he grumbled all the way home.

Quickly his attitude changed when he later learned that three tough bullies had been waiting for him with pipe wrenches. The youth thought about what might have happened. Eventually he gave his heart to Jesus and became a solid Christian.

He could see that God really did care for Him. Psalm 18:35 Thy right hand holds me.....

** Jesus is like a GOOD SHEPHERD

Ezekiel 34:12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them...

A true story that happened near Boston in 1814. Mary Sawyer was 8 years old. She went into the barn one cold morning and found a lamb that had been born during the night. Forsaken by its mother it was cold and nearly dead. She took it to the house and warmed it by the fire. All day long she rubbed and nursed the little lamb. By evening it was drinking some milk.

All night she continued her job of shepherding. By morning the lamb could stand up. It grew and became her pet. She even dressed it in human clothes. I don't know why little girls do that. I never wanted to do that. That lamb became her pet, and they were inseparable. That fall school started and the lamb ran with her all the way. She hid the lamb under her seat covered with a blanket.

But when it came her turn to come to the front and recite up jumped the lamb! Clatter Clatter. At noon she was told to take the lamb home. But before she did a famous poet came by (John Roulston) and saw her. He wrote a famous poem called Mary had a little lamb.

At Thanksgiving the innocent lamb followed Mary into the barn. It ran along in the feed trough in front of the cows that were fastened in their stanchions. One cow lowered its horns and gored Mary's little lamb. With a painful bleat and blood streaming from its side, it hobbled over to Mary who took it in her arms and saw it bleed to death there in her lap. She cried for days. How she loved that lamb. A terrible experience. ( Animal Land, true stories, 1925, by Judson Press, p. 144.)

Did you know, that is just a sample of how God loves us and cares for us. We are His little lamb. He is our Shepherd. And God loves you. He cares for you. We get hurt, He holds us. We die, He will resurrect us. We will be back again. Is Jesus your shepherd? Mary was a shepherd for that lamb. Is our fleece as white as snow? Do we follow Him wherever He goes? Jesus is a good caring shepherd.

God is like a good fisherman. Every day God tries to fish the world out of the mud hole of its own selfishness.

God is like a chicken. Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.

Like a good mother chicken God cares for us. One day a farmer had a crisis. His barnyard caught on fire. After much effort and help the fire was put out. He noticed a lump in the black charred stubble. It was his hen. Her feathers were burned off in the fire. As he lifted her dead body he saw several little baby chicks, all alive and well. 10 yellow chicks safe under her wings.

She could have flown away and saved her own life. But she stayed. Her children were more important than her own life. Now if a chicken can do that, God can do much more fore us.

When you have a crisis go to God. Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (No final Evil will destroy you.)

When you get a lump and it is Cancer...
When you pray till you are blue in the face....
When your kids leave the church.....
When you can't sell the house.....
When your husband stays out all night....
You are in a crisis!

Go to God. Get under His big covering wings. Even there you may wonder if you are going to be able to cope. Like those little baby chicks, you may question your survival. You may be battered and hurt bad. But under Gods sheltering wings you will be preserved from Final Evil. Someday the storm will be over.

Jesus came to this world that you might live. He gave His life to save us from the fire that is soon to consume this entire world. To save us Jesus lost His own life in the process. He could have flown away and saved His life. But we would be forever lost. Jesus stayed. He gave His life that we might live. Psalm 57:1B I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.

Our caring God carries a pager. Have you paged Him lately? What good is a pager if nobody pages you? I suggest we ought to page Him often because He's listening, He cares for you, He cam, He died for you, and He ever lives to save you. So get connected with Jesus. Pray to Him Give your heart to Him. Accept Him as your Savior. Get under His wings and there you will be safe.

Opening: Hymn # 191
Scripture:    Responsive Reading #723
Closing: Hymn # 529   Under His Wings


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