Things We Ought To Say To The Lord.
by Dr. Tim Green
Dr. Tim Green is a local church evangelist from Day Heights, Ohio.
“And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”
“And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” (Matthew 8:2) This is the first time in the New Testament that Jesus is addressed as Lord. He does not rebuke these men; therefore it is all right for them to call Him that. When these men are calling Him, “Lord,” it’s the same as them calling Him, “God.” He is addressed this way 663 other times in the New Testament. You can mark it down this morning that Jesus Christ is not only Lord, but He is the Lord God today. God help us to realize who we’re dealing with in this hour when we’re dealing with Jesus Christ, our Lord, and our God. Have you prayed for the Lord to make you clean, like this poor leper prayed?
Lord, save us.
I want to talk to you about some things we ought to say to the Lord. If you look a little farther down in your Bible, a few verses to verse number 25, you know the disciples are in a storm. There are three sides to every storm in the Christian life. There is the Occupant’s Side. That’s you and I and the messes we get ourselves into. We all face storms and dangers in our lives where we need to cry out to the Lord.
Then there is the Omnipotent Side. That’s God’s side. Did you ever think about this -- that God doesn’t get upset when we’re in the storms of life. It doesn’t bother Him all that much. There is the Occupant’s Side and the Omnipotent Side, but my favorite side of every storm that I’ve ever experienced in my life as a child of God is the Other Side. I’m glad to get all the way through one and gain the strength and garner the wisdom that you can receive in the midst of a storm, and then realize you’ll be facing another and another as days go by.
The storms of life are consistent and constant in our Christian walk. My Bible says there in verse 25, “...Lord, save us: we perish.” Now one thing you ought to say to the Lord is, “Lord, save us.” We all need to pray that prayer. Now they’re not talking about personal redemption here. They’re talking about being delivered from this mess that they’re in. “Lord, save us.” I think they’re saying things like, “Lord, save us from wrong decisions in life. Save us from the mistakes that we’ve made. Save us from blowing it. Save us from messing up. Save us from ruining our lives. Save us from wrecking our testimony. Save us from being men with no faith, or as Jesus said, little faith,” in this portion of Scripture. There are a lot of difficulties that you’ll have to face as a Christian and many storms that you will go through.
You can mark this down. Every fiery trial that you face in your life will already have been filtered through your heavenly Father, and He knows what’s best. He knows how to help us. He knows what we need. Greatness is grasped in the gristmill of problems and heartaches and situations.
I’ve sat where you sit one time in my early twenties as a young preacherboy. I had no anticipation of the problems to be faced in the future, but they’re out there by the millions. Your problems may never be my problems, and my problems may never be your problems, but all of us will have problems, and we need to pray, “Lord, save us.” I don’t want to perish. I don’t want to be a statistic. I don’t want to be an illustration in some evangelist’s message. I want to be a child of God that lives for Him until I lay my armor down.
“Lord, save us.” Men mess up in marriage. Some of you young guys right now think that’s the most important thing in the world, getting married. You’re looking for a girl with an hour glass figure. That’s all you’re looking for. None of you remember Ma Kettle, but Ma Kettle said, “The problem with the hour glass figure is that, after while, all the sand settles.” There is a lot of truth to that.
I heard about a fellow who went to hear one of those preachers that preaches hot and heavy about how women ought to be in subjection, and all that. I believe that because it’s in the Bible, but they leave out that verse of Scripture that comes before it that says we’re to submit one to another in the fear of the Lord. He went and heard this guy rant and rave about women being in subjection. His wife didn’t go to church that night. He came home and said to his wife, “Honey, you should have heard this fellow. He preached tonight in essence that I am the boss and you are nothing.”
She said, “That’s great. You’re the boss of nothing.”
Some how he dragged that old gal to church the next night with him. That night it was even worse. That guy ripped and tore women up. It was awful, the way he talked about them. All the way home from church that night he preached that sermon over and over again to his wife. He got out of the car, and they had a little discussion, then he didn’t see his wife for three days. But on the third day he was beginning to see her just a little bit out of that right eye!
I heard about another man and his wife who got in a fight. The man said, “You know, Honey, I was a fool when I married you.”
She said, “That’s true, but I didn’t know it back then.”
Lord, save us! I want to tell you something. I’ve been married for over 40 years to the same woman. If she ever leaves me, I’m going with her. She’s stuck with me. But guys, it is hard to be married to a woman. You can’t figure out a woman. They’re beyond comprehension.
Have you ever gone out to eat with two or three couples? You will never have a man stand up and say, “Bill, Tom, Joe, let’s all go to the bathroom.” It ain’t happening! But if you eat out with a bunch of couples, they’ll be a woman stand up, and she probably doesn’t have to say anything. She’ll just nod and all of them will just take off and go together, like that’s normal.
You boys need to pray about who you get hooked up with some day. You need to be looking for more than batting eyelashes and an hour-glass figure. If God called you to preach and to serve Him, then you better find someone who wants to serve the Lord. Lord, save us from making a mess of our lives.
Lord, teach us to pray.
Turn in your Bible, if you would, to Luke 11 and verse one. Here’s another thing you need to say to the Lord. “...Lord, teach us to pray,...” Prayer is not a luxury. Prayer is a lifeline. Prayer is not something you do after you’ve tried everything else. Prayer is something you do initially and continually.
In 1951 a young couple stood in front of their church on Thanksgiving eve, a Wednesday night. That little couple sang, “Teach us to pray, Lord. Teach us to pray. Humbly we beseech thee. Teach us to pray.” After the couple sang their duet and that preacher preached his message, they packed their little two year old boy in the back seat of their vehicle and drove across the northern tier of the state of Michigan to the wife’s homeplace to be with the family for Thanksgiving. It was a little trip of about two hours.
That little two year old boy had a raging fever, and by the time that family drove those two hours and turned around and looked at him, that little boy had bent over so far backward that the back of his head touched the back of his heals.
When they admitted him into the hospital, they cut a little pair of maroon pants off of him and a little striped shirt. They put those clothes in a little bag and gave them to the mother and dad and said, “His temperature is 106. He has spinal meningitis.” When they gave that little couple their only child’s clothes they said, “He’ll never need these again. Your child will not live. If that little boy lives, he’ll be a vegetable. He’ll have no mind.”
That little mother and father entered the schoolroom of intensive prayer that night. “Lord, teach us to pray.” That little boy, some weeks later, walked out of that hospital, and he’s preaching to you today. I lived. Some people still say I don’t have much of a mind, but I lived. The mighty God of Heaven hears and answers prayer. “Lord, teach us to pray.”
We’re going to face some desperate needs and crises in this life, and you need to find out how to get in touch with God. You’re going to need God’s miracle-working power. “Lord, teach us to pray.”
Lord, Increase our faith.
Look if you would in Luke 17:5. The disciples again were the ones who said, “...Lord, Increase our faith.” Faith is not having an alternate plan. Faith is not believing that God can do something, but that God will do something. Faith is doubt that blossoms in the hands of an Almighty God. Faith is the victory. Lord, increase our faith.
Over eighty years ago there was a little woman in Saginaw, Michigan, by the name of Helen. She was about 21 years of age. She was a brilliant young woman, a school teacher, still single. I’m going to use terminology that you may not agree with, but that’s all right. I don’t even know if I agree with it or not. Helen felt like God had called her to the mission field of India. She told her pastor. Her pastor thought it was the will of God. As a single girl, she raised her money. She only needed $75. a month in those day, and she raised it out of two churches and raised the passage money on board a steamer to ply the waters of the Atlantic and go across the sea to India. She had her trunks packed.
Just days before Helen was to leave, her mother died. Her father came to her and said, “Helen, I forbid you to go.” She had seven siblings. He said, “I can’t raise these children without you, Helen. I need you. You’ve got to help me.” So you can argue the right or wrong of it if you want to today, but that young lady said, “All right, Daddy.” She gave the money back to the churches. She unpacked her trunks. She stayed and helped raise her little brothers and sisters until her sister Esther became of age and took her place.
Helen married a man by the name of Stafford. They had a little baby boy. A few months went by, and Mr. Stafford got sick and died. Here she is now, a widow with a little fatherless boy. She meets a man by the name of Emery Nolton. They fall in love and get married. In the season of life they have a little baby boy. He lives a few weeks and dies. She becomes expectant the second time as Mrs. Nolton. She has another little baby boy. He lives a couple of months and dies. She becomes expectant the third time as Mrs. Nolton and has another little baby boy. He lives a matter of mere hours, and he dies.
On May 14th, 1929, twins struggled in Helen’s womb. A little boy by the name of William is born and a little girl by the name of Winifred that weighed two pounds, eight ounces. William lives until July 25th, and he dies. Helen and her broken hearted husband go out to the cemetery now for the fourth time and place in the ground another precious baby. She takes that little two and a half pound baby girl and places her in a satin lined cigar box, takes her to the Par Memorial Baptist Church in Petoskey, Michigan, and places that little child on the Lord’s Supper table. She said, “God, You’ve taken a husband, and you’ve taken four of my babies, but I’ll give you this little girl. You can have her. I pray that there might come from her those that would serve the Lord.”
That little girl, Winifred, lived and grew up. She met a preacher boy. On September 5th, 1948 they were married. That little girl was my mother. Helen Nolton was my grandmother. From that little girl came a preacher, and another preacher, and another preacher, and another preacher, and another preacher, and a little girl who grew up and went to the mission field. From their families now have come several more who are preachers and missionaries, and servants of God. Lord, increase our faith. We don’t look like much, but God can make much of our little.
Lord, remember me.
Let me give you the last thought. Look in Luke 23:42. Don’t ever do this preacher boys. I’m going to stretch the Scripture a little. The thief is on the cross and he said, “...Lord, remember me...” Now he was interested in his eternal salvation. He was interested in going to Paradise in a few moments, and he did, by the way.
But I want to give you this thought. Here’s something you need to say to the Lord. “Lord, remember me. Remember to use me. I’m not much. I’m just a kid. I’m just a this. I’m just a that. Lord, remember me.” Down the road of life God has a place to plug you in to His service. We has a job for you, a will and a plan for your life. Lord, remember me.
I have a son who suffered a stroke at age 14. That’s been many years ago now, and he still has some paralysis. All that works on his right hand is his little finger. He has to think before he talks. That’s a valuable malady to have, really. You say, “What’s he doing?” For some time he was the assistant pastor in the church where we go. You mean God could use a crippled boy? Yes, God can use a crippled boy. Then he and his family went to the mission field. Lord, remember me.
The last time Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. preached on this planet, he preached at my father’s church. He preached for three hours. I sat up in the balcony and fooled around the whole time. I was just a dumb teenager and didn’t even know what I was hearing. I didn’t appreciate it. After they took him home from that meeting, he never left the campus again and died, I believe, on January 19th, 1968.
But that day he preached, and he told this story. He told about one day preaching in New York City, an extended meeting, a five week campaign I believe it was. You know I had a preacher who booked me a long, long time ago. He said, “We want a mini revival, a one day revival.” You couldn’t have a one day mini revival in America in a million years. The average Baptist church needs a month of revival. The problem is we don’t have time to do it, because we don’t have time for God. Everything else is more important to us.
But Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. was there in that long extended meeting. Walking the streets of Manhattan one day he saw a big flyer advertising about a fellow that was going to play a $25,000 Stradavarius violin. Bob Jones said to himself, “I’d like to hear that.”
He went to the matinee and sat there in that great auditorium. A fellow came out there and took a violin in his hands and began to play. He said, “He took us to a little woodland path. We traveled that woodland trail. We could hear the birds as they talked in the trees and listened to the squirrels. We could hear the leaves rustle. He took us to a little brook with his music and we heard the water that rippled across the rocks and came to a great cataract and where the mighty waterfalls crashed. Finally in his music he took us to a great mountaintop and a zenith and back down we came. We came back down by that same water fall. We listened as the water crashed on the rocks. We listened to that rippling stream. We walked down that same woodland path. We listened as the woodland creatures pillowed their head for the night and finally he came to a hushed silence, pulled that bow from the strings.”
“The entire audience stood to their feet and began to applaud. Remember that this crowd came to hear that violinist play on a $25,000 Stradavarius, that today would probably be a quarter of a million dollars. Before their eyes, he lifted that instrument above his head, stepped back, and brought that thing down and crashed it into a thousand pieces on the lectern in front of him. Women gasped. People cried out. They couldn’t believe it.”
“He silenced the crowd. He reached over and grabbed another violin and began to play it. He took us down the same path. We heard the same woodland creatures. We listened as the same water rippled across the rocks. He took us to that great crescendo of music and that waterfall and then up to the top of the mountain to the great zenith, and then he brought us down. We came down by that same waterfall. We listened to that water that rippled across the rock. We walked that same woodland path and listened to those woodland creatures as they pillowed their heads for the night.”
“Finally he pulled that bow from the string and bowed. We stood and applauded but we were a little unsure of what was going to happen. That man placed that violin carefully in it’s case and he said, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the violin that I just played for you is the $25,000 Stradavarius. The one I played for you earlier is a $2.98 violin that I bought in a music shop down the street.’ People applauded and cheered.”
Nobody in the room probably thought like the old man. He said, “I fell to my seat, put my head in my hands and said, “God, I’m probably nothing more than a $2.98 violin, but in Your hands I can bless people. I can encourage folks and help and challenge them. If I’m in your hands, it doesn’t matter if I’m worth a little or worth a lot.” Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. saw God bless and use his life in a great way in his generation.
But what about us? What about our generation? I want to tell you something. In this room today there might possibly be a Christian who could compare to that $25,000 Stradavarius, but then probably there’s not. But I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a whole bunch of $2.98 violins among us. I guarantee you the majority of us are nothing but 69 cent plastic kazoos! But in the hands of God, we can bless and help and encourage people and be used to do something great for God Almighty. It’s not our greatness or value that makes it possible. It’s being placed in the Master’s hand, being used as His instrument.
• • • • • • • •
The Touch of the Master’s Hand
‘Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bid, good people”, he cried,
“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”
“Two dollars, who makes it three?”
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?”
As he held it aloft with its’ bow.
“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”
“Two thousand, Who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone,” said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
“We just don’t understand.”
“What changed its’ worth?”
Swift came the reply.
“The Touch of the Masters Hand.”
“And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with sin
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters’ Hand.
- Myra Brooks Welch