THE EVOLUTION OF THE CHRISTIAN

Reading: Psalm 34

INTRODUCTION

(*) On this Remembrance Sunday, we acknowledge that the events of the past, especially the sacrifice of others on our behalf, have enabled our country evolve into what it is today, with it’s prosperity and freedom.

[a] WE ARE ALL THE PRODUCTS OF EVOLUTION!

[b] When we mention EVOLUTION, people usually  think  of  men  like  CHARLES DARWIN, who was the first to cause  uproar  by  suggesting  in  his  book  The Origins of Species”, that mankind had DESCENDED FROM APES!

[c] Now of course, I’m not for a moment promoting his ungodly theories,  because that’s all they were and shall remain! However, it is interesting to note  that he himself, on his death bed, repented of his theories in this respect!

[d] The Bible says that God “CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE,” which  of  course, makes the idea of evolution from an ape repugnant to Christians.

POINT 1

[a] Now, let me return to what I said in the beginning!

WE ARE ALL PRODUCTS OF EVOLUTION!

[b] In other words, we are all PRODUCTS OF OUR PAST.

That past has made us into what we are today!

[c] The STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT which we have today, has evolved over many years learning lessons, hopefully, from the mistakes, and errors of the past.

The problem is that, as we’ve found in recent years, it sometimes takes a long time for the lesson  to  sink  in.

POINT 2

[a] SO MANY THINGS HAVE EVOLVED to what they are today.

Our modern QUIET MOTOR-CARS have evolved from the “CHITTY-CHITTY  BANG  BANGS” of the past, where you needed GOGGLES AND RAINCOAT if you were  going  anywhere, not to mention a MAN WITH A RED FLAG to  walk  in  front  of  this  horse-less carriage!”

[b] T.V. viewers some years ago,  enjoyed the  program  Marching  as  To War”, showing how, UNDER THE HAND OF GOD, THE SALVATION ARMY HAS EVOLVED into a worldwide movement, from those O so humble beginnings. If it had  not  been  for those EARLY DAYS, with the  VICTORIES and FAILURES,  the  INSPIRATIONS  and  the MISTAKES, then we would not have our modern Army of today  continuing  to  march around the world taking the message of the Saviour!

[c] All of the MODERN HOME CONVENIENCES which we enjoy today, have  EVOLVED  out of the very BASIC DOMESTIC ITEMS OF THE PAST!

Once when in Northern Ireland, we went to the ULSTER FOLK MUSEUM, and  were  able  to view first hand, life as it was hundreds of years ago!

They have literally taken from their original   setting   and   then   RE-BUILT, stone, by stone -  WHOLE BLOCKS OF HOUSES, A SCHOOL, CHURCH, RECTORY, COURTROOM, FARMHOUSES,  FLAXMILL,  A  WEAVER’S  HOUSE,  A  BLACKSMITHS  FORGE  AND  OTHERS.

When  you  walk  into those buildings, it is as if you are WALKING BACK IN TIME.

The best about it is that you can go in and LOOK IN DETAIL at everything: SIT IN THE CHAIRS, CLIMB THE NARROW STAIRS, FEEL THE HARDNESS  OF  THE  IRON  BEDSTEAD, WARM YOUR HANDS AT THE HEAT OF THE PEAT FIRE BURNING IN THE  ANCIENT  GRATE,  on which all cooking for the family had to be done!

POINT 3

[a] There are so MANY THINGS in our PAST which have MADE US EVOLVE into what  we are today - both GOOD and BAD things!

There are  times when we’ve GONE TO BELFAST, and so MANY THINGS FLASHED THROUGH MY MIND.

How did that HUGE TIN BATH ever FIT INTO THE LIVING ROOM  for  us  to  have  our baths, with water heated in saucepans?

I could look at the STREET in which I lived, and  imagine  the  times  I  PLAYED there as a child, and the FRIENDS I played with, and wondered what became of them.

The street ROUND THE CORNER brought MEMORIES OF MY FATHER RUNNING DOWN  IT  WITH ME ON HIS SHOULDERS as a tiny tot.

A short distance  away, an ESTATE is BUILT ON what used to  be  MY POND for catching TADPOLES, NEWTS AND SPRICKS, to bring proudly home.

I've  DRIVEN DOWN THE HILL,  down which I used to RIDE MY BIKE at  seemingly  BREAKNECK SPEED, HOPING MY BREAKS WOULD WORK at the bottom - OTHERWISE it would have  been TRULY ‘BREAK-NECK SPEED’.

I went to the LOCAL CHIP-SHOP, and the owner MARGARET, still remembered me coming in as a little boy, and CAUSING SOME CONSTERNATION amongst the  customers,  when my PET WHITE MOUSE STUCK IT’S HEAD OUT OF MY TOP POCKET.

You know what memories are like, ALTHOUGH SO LONG AGO, much  of  it  JUST  SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY!

[b] When I go home, I always took my mother to the  CHURCH  in  which  I  GREW  UP,  both PHYSICALLY and SPIRITUALLY - the place  where  I  uttered  my  FIRST  STAMMERING PUBLIC PRAYER - the place where I SANG MY FIRST SOLO, and where I GAVE MY  FIRST WORD OF WITNESS in the open-air.

[c] It was THROUGH ALL of these PAST EXPERIENCES that I HAVE EVOLVED into what  I now am - and exactly the same is true of you!

But of course,  I  can  also  LOOK BACK to PAST EXPERIENCES which, BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD, COULD  HAVE  DESTROYED me, and would have meant that my PRESENT WORK AND WITNESS COULD NEVER HAVE BEEN!

[d] Surely it is at SUCH MOMENTS of self revelation, that we must humbly look up to God and whisper “THANK YOU LORD!” At such times, the REALISATION COMES AFRESH to all of us that it is “All of HIM AND NONE OF ME.”

CONCLUSION

[a] In our reading,  we  read  in  verse  4  of  a  GOD  Who  hears  and  BRINGS DELIVERANCE FROM OUR FEARS when we seek Him in prayer. DAVID is saying, “I  know it to be true, because I am looking at what God has done for me in days gone by. I’ve proved it!"

[b] This is the SHEPHERD BOY who PROTECTED HIS SHEEP from  all  manner  of  wild animals!

[c] This is the boy who AGAINST ALL THE  ODDS  KILLED  THE  EVIL  GIANT  of  the Philistines! Here we see God, again using the  WEAK  THINGS  OF  THIS  WORLD  TO CONFOUND THE MIGHTY, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:27.

[d] He was well qualified to state in verse 7,The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.”

[e] We all at one time or other have bad times - David certainly had, and plenty of them! He even had to hide from the murderous intents of King Saul! He backslid miserably, when he fell for the beautiful Bethsheba.

But he INSISTED IN LOOKING BACK AT THE TIMES WHEN GOD HAD  PROVED  HIMSELF,  and this instilled in David, faith for the future!

[f] We too must look back at those times when we can say,  “Hitherto  hath  the Lord helped us, and like David, take them as an ASSURANCE FOR THE FUTURE!

[g] Remember I said we are ALL PRODUCTS OF OUR PAST - we  have  EVOLVED  through those events.

MANY of them will be MEMORIES WHICH WILL BRING BLESSING AND ASSURANCE FOR  THE  FUTURE, but MANY may also be MEMORIES which will NEED SOUL HEALING from the Lord.

[h] THE GOOD MEMORIES should bring forth PRAISE from our hearts, like  David  in verse 1 of our Psalm when he says, “I will bless the Lord  at  all  times:  His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

The BAD MEMORIES CAN BE BROUGHT TO HIM,  so that  HIS  HEALING  BALM  can  be APPLIED. Often in fact when we FOCUS our minds upon the GOOD MEMORIES, they,  in themselves CAN HELP IN THE HEALING PROCESS!

[i] We are STILL EVOLVING SPIRITUALLY through the EVENTS OF THE PRESENT, and our SENSITIVITY TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, will  either  HELP  or  HINDER  that  evolution, towards BECOMING MORE LIKE THE SAVIOUR!

 

Sing Chorus 107: “To be like Jesus.”

 

 

SONG                                                      TUNE

184                                                             771

Prayer Chorus 107

 13                                                              127

Chorus, “When I remember what He’s done for me”

769                                                             237

950                                                             257