Today’s message summary of February 26, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:
A true measure of a person is how one stands during the time of a crisis. Will people stand for the Lord, or not?
History is important to remember and understand. What we experience in our past will help in dealing with future events. It is important to look upon where you came from, but even important to see God’s fingerprints throughout your life and how He has kept you. You should be able to see where God has moved in your life.
Don’t move an ancient boundary marker, and don’t encroach on the fields of the fatherless.
There are markers throughout life that need to remain in place as reminders as to who God was at that time and to see His work.
Young children would ask mothers, fathers and grandparents, “Why is there segregation?” “Why is their racial discrimination?” Sometimes, because a child was too young to understands, the answer would be, “That’s the way it is!” and to avoid trouble or not get in the way.
Dr. Martin Luther King inspired many people to take a different view…to get in the way and even into trouble. He encouraged people to get active for the cause of freedom, but there were also times when it was best to speak up. He wanted people to believe that change was possible, even with the society of his time. This is still true today. Change is possible even with the difficulty that many experience today (drugs, murder and lack of education).
Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
In the midst of difficulty, we are to look for how God will act, and He reminds us to put the interests of others before yourself.
Life is not just about you.
It is OK to suffer as you recognize that you are becoming more like Jesus Christ. God wants you to see Him in the midst of all of this.
If you really study Martin Luther King, you would see that his life was about those that he served.
In his life story, he certainly had his faults, but he also noted when he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. God will use a person who is much less than perfect to accomplish His will and for His glory. He used King to proclaim a dream for others during his time that others could not see.
King entered Morehouse College at age 15. One of his heroes was Mordecai Johnson, President of Howard University. He would read his speeches and studied him. This was how he learned about speech and how to speak. He heard Dr. Johnson say, “In the midst of death, life persists. In the midst of darkness, light persists.”
Life was in Him (Jesus Christ), and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.
From the words of Dr. Johnson came the inspiration for Dr. King as he prepared to enter the seminary. He said, “We are going to change this nation.”
Young people, are you looking for ways to do better than your parents or grandparents ever did? Are you looking to go to greater heights to overcome your family history? What matters most is what you set out to accomplish. What are your goals? Study your own family history to avoid the pitfalls. It is wise to choose the ones in your family, or even outside of your family, that will provide wise counsel. When you want to learn, God will put someone in your path to help you.
When looking at life in the present, history shows us what needs to be changed in order to do well in the future.
Stephen’s speech is a history lesson (Acts 7). We learn how Stephen demonstrates his measure of being a man who takes a stand for Jesus Christ. He asks for an audience, which is made up of people who are both younger and older than he is (Acts 7:2).
First, he spoke about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who was the father of the twelve patriarchs (tribes). He then spoke about Joseph, who was forgotten, and also Moses, Joshua, David and Solomon. Stephen brings his audience to a place of recognizing their history and facing it. The people were just like their ancestors–they resisted God.
You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit; as your ancestors did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They even killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become. You received the law under the direction of angels and yet have not kept it.
All cultures should be aware of their history…both the good and the bad things.
Paul shares his history as a Jew, and how he became a Pharisee (Philippians 3:4-8).
Paul also shares another history when he became an apostle (Galatians 1:11-18).
It is from these two experiences that make Paul the person that he was, and from this it is hoped that you can see that reviewing your own history is also helpful and provides perspective on the wonders of God in your own life.
History tells us that God had a hand on this country through very difficult and trying times.
God has given you a history. God has given this country a history. In both instances, there are things to be proud of, and some that bring shame and regret. These things are still to be reckoned with and acknowledged in order to see how to avoid mistakes of the past and imitate those things that are good and proclaim God’s glory and presence. We learn from our past to know how to live our future in Jesus Christ, and to please Him in your service. God uses people who are visionaries to accomplish His will.
Like Stephen and Paul, if a person worries about personal safety and status, they will accomplish nothing.
Dr. King was an idealist and a visionary. He transcended race, ethnicity, nationality and politics. He talked with those of little education as well as those with graduate degrees. He walked with everyone. His faith in Jesus prevailed over fear and uncertainty, fatigue and depression. He stood in the gap for our nation.
I searched for a man among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land so that I might not destroy it, but I found no one.
As far as this church, and its future, is concerned, it is much more than just a black church, or a mixed ethnicity church, or a church of people with different backgrounds. It is a church of people who serve the Lord Jesus Christ.