Exodus 3 v 14 "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."
Romans 10 v 15 "And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THEM THAT PREACH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, AND BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!"
Sunday morning, May 7, 2006, I went to the nursing home in Waycross, Georgia to preach. I have been going there for about 19 years. As my friend Nancy and I arrived, we were warmly greeted by Brother "Hoppy", and the few others who had gathered for worship; only about five residents were there. I put on a gospel song, "The Family Bible", and we begin to sing along, "There's a family Bible on the table...I can hear my mother softly singing, Rock of Ages, Rock of Ages, hide thou me". We sang other songs, and more residents came, some rolling in on their own in their wheel chairs, some slowly walking in, and some assisted by the staff. Most all were joining in the singing and the Lord's presence was precious and sweet.
While Nancy was preparing to sing, I had them all join in in singing this chorus, "God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He is so good to me. God answers prayers, God answers prayers, God answers prayers, He is so good to me. O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord". The singing was sweet as birds singing on an early spring morning.
Nancy sang a couple of songs, one was "It's Shouting Time in Heaven", about another sinner being saved. She also shared some scripture. Sister Smith was not with us, she has also been going to the nursing home for almost 19 years. Her health is not so good, and she recently had a stroke, but overcome that and is usually with us on Sunday morning. Today, she had pain in her knees, and had to stay home. She lives about five miles from the nursing home and drives herself. She is 82.
After the singing, all was quiet as I opened the scriptures. The Lord had given me a message from Exodus Chapter 3. Everyone was very attentive, despite their physical afflictions. When Moses turned aside to see the burning bush, the Lord saw that he had turned aside, and then begin to talk to Moses. We all need to take time to turn aside and hear God. He then told Moses, to put off his shoes from his feet because he was standing on holy ground. I just imagine the Lord saw Moses feet, and thought they were beautiful. After all, them feet was going to carry Moses and the children of Israel out of bondage and into the promise land. Those sent by the Lord have beautiful feet!
I then preached on the Exodus, and how God was with Moses, how enemies were in the land, and how Moses had help. I then relayed how God sees our afflictions and sends deliverance in His time. I also talked about hope, and the expectation of what lies before us. I used an example from my own life. As a teenager, I used to help a local farmer. He grew tobacco, and we had to harvest it. We each had a row to pick, and the work was dirty, hot and backbreaking. At the end of the row, we would get to rest, and get to drink some cool refreshing water. We knew what was at the end of the row.
On my row, I sometimes encountered rattlesnakes, spiders, and other enemies. I had to be alert to see these dangers. Sometimes, I lagged behind the other workers, and they would help me catch up. Sometimes, I was ahead, and I would help them. Our Christian walk is like harvesting a row of tobacco. We sometimes get tired, encounter enemies, but others help us along (and we help others). It requires a team effort. But at the end of our row, lies the reward...heaven and eternal spiritual water and rest.
I preached some on Psalm 42 v 5 "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance". I relayed how the children of Israel had hope in the Lord while in bondage for over 400 years, and God heard their cries and sent deliverance. I told the congregation that God would hear their prayers and send help to them. I talked about King Hezekiah, how the prophet came and told him to get his affairs in order because he was going to die. Hezekiah prayed unto God, God heard his prayers and saw his tears, and gave him 15 more years to live. I then quoted Hebrews 11 v 1.
This great service and worship of the Lord came to a close, we sang "Til we meet, til we meet, God be with you to we meet again."
Nancy and I then went to a homecoming service at Martha Memorial United Methodist church, about 24 miles away from the nursing home. The nearby Baptist pastor brought the message, and we then had a great homecoming dinner. I saw some old friends (I had preached there as an associate for four years), and it was good to see all of them.
The Lord calls and sends preachers...they have beautiful feet.