This sermon was from my recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina, delivered at the Cathedral Church downtown.
Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”(John 11:25-26)
I tell the story of my friend Providence, who died in 2012, but is still alive today! Try to get your head around that one – you can read her amazing story here.
Here are a couple of quotes from the talk:
Shortly before Moody graduated to glory, he said: “Someday you will read in the papers that D.L.Moody is dead. Don’t you believe it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now; I shall have gone up higher, that is all! I was born of the flesh in 1837; I was born of the Spirit in 1856. That which is born of the flesh may die, but that which is born of the Spirit will live forever!”
John Patton (1824–1907) was a Scot from Dumfriesshire. He had travelled to the New Hebrides (a group of Islands in the south-west Pacific) determined to tell the tribal people about faith in Jesus. The islanders were cannibals. Nobody trusted anybody else. His life was in constant danger.
He wanted to translate John’s Gospel into their language, but he discovered that there was no word in their language for ‘faith’, ‘belief’ or ‘trust’ because such concepts were alien to a culture which lauded deceit, dishonesty and trickery.
Eventually, he found the word he was looking for: one day, when his assistant came in, Patton raised both feet off the floor, sat back in his chair and asked:
“What am I doing now?”
In reply, the servant used a word that means ‘to lean your whole weight upon’.
This became the expression that Patton used. Faith is leaning our whole weight upon Jesus and what he has done for us on the cross.
Are you leaning your full weight on the Lord, or hedging your bets?!