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What If? I Could Make A Difference for the Vulnerable

What If? I Could Make A Difference for the Vulnerable

Jan 07, 2018

Preacher: John Welborn

Series: What If?

Detail:

January 7, 2018
Pastor John Welborn
What If?
I Could Make A Difference for the Vulnerable
James 1:27
 
“The LORD God took the man & put him in the garden of Eden to work it & keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good & evil you shall not eat...”
Genesis 2:15-17a
 
“The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, & I ate.’ Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, & I ate.’”
Genesis 3:12-13
 
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, & death through sin, & so death spread to all men because all sinned.”
Romans 5:12
 
“The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23
 
What Could I Possibly Do?
4 responses to the devastation in our world:
Deny It
Downplay It
Decry It
Determine to Help
 
I. I Make a Difference for the Vulnerable When I Worship God
“Religion that is pure & undefiled before God, the Father, is this:”
James 1:27a
 
• Pure & Undefiled: Commanded & Accepted by God
“... present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Romans 12:1b
 
“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
1 Peter 2:4-5
 
• Impure & Defiled: Rejected by & Offensive to God
 
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed & truth.”
1 John 3:18
 
“Pure religion has nothing to do with ceremonies, temples, or special days. Pure religion means practicing God’s Word and sharing it with others, through speech, service, and separation from the world.”
Warren Wiersbe
 
II. I Make a Difference for the Vulnerable as I Recognize Them
“to visit orphans and widows in their affliction,”
James 1:27b
 
Who are the vulnerable?
Widows: The forgotten. In 1st century, widows with no family to care for them would be resigned to begging or even face premature death.
 
Orphans: The abandoned. In Roman culture, orphans were the most vulnerable people alive. A child with no one to protect, care for or instruct him was wide open to be hurt, exploited or even worse.
 
“Give justice to the weak & the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted & the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy, deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
Psalm 82:3-4
 
“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor & needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9
 
“Do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor.”
Zecariah 7:10
 
Who are the Vulnerable in our context in the year 2018?
• Foster Children
• Senior Adults
• Special Needs
 
“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
Luke 14:13-14
 
• Immigrants
“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, & you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”
Leviticus 19:33-34
 
III. I Make a Difference for the Vulnerable By Not Fitting In
“and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
James 1:27c
 
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 2:3-5
 
Two ways to Make a Difference for the Vulnerable:
• Personal Involvement
• Corporate Investment
“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
Malachi 3:10
 
Nobody has done more for vulnerable people than Jesus Christ. Because of my sin, I was not only vulnerable to the devil, I was enslaved to him. But Jesus stepped out of heaven and set me free!
 
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
John 8:36
 
 
Sources and Further Reading Opportunities:
• Bible Exposition Commentary – Warren Wiersbe (1996)• Strong’s Concordance – James Strong (1890)• Tony Evans Book of Illustrations – Tony Evans (2009)• Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes – Charles Swindoll (1998) • Holman New Testament Commentary – R.L. Cooper (2000)
• The New Bible Commentary – D.A. Carson (1994)• NIV Application Commentary – Gary V. Smith (2001)• Word Pictures in the New Testament – A.T. Robertson (1933)• MacArthur New Testament Commentary – John MacArthur (2015) • United States Census Bureau – Website• The Call to Carry the Cross – Will Toburen (2015)• Real Faith Expresses Love and Good Things – Johnny Hunt (2017) • Tyndale Bible Dictionary – W.A. Elwell & P.W. Comfort (2001)