“He Sustains All Things”
1. “Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” (NRSV Hebrews 1: 1-4)
ne Sunday afternoon as I was looking over the worship Visitor’s Cards I noticed one with an address that was nearby the church and which probably was that of the handsome family that had sat near the back. They were first time visitors, so I phoned and asked if I could drop by on my way home and the somewhat surprised husband responded with a yes. It wasn’t even ten minutes until I drove in their circle drive and stopped at the front door. The entire family of four met me at the door.
After a time of introductions and talk I said that I sure hoped they would decide to join our church. The Dad spoke up and said, “We just might do that!” Feeling good, I left and hoped to see them back. Soon they did join the church and it was a great relationship for all four. Soon they were in small groups and youth fellowship.
Later I asked the Dad to go to lunch and it was then that I decided to ask him what he did for a living. It turned out that he was a famous author who had a new book on the best seller list, “Marketing to the Affluent.” He was Dr. Tom Stanley and had been flying around the nation teaching sales persons of all kinds how to reach and sell to those who can afford the sales person’s expensive products.
My nephew was just beginning his career in my brother’s Independent Insurance Agency, and was real impressed with me when he heard Tom Stanley tell how a Methodist preacher followed up on his family’s visit. “He just walked right into our living room and asked for our business.”
I am not taking credit for my boldness on that Sunday afternoon and do confess that I have since placed my own family first at Sunday dinner and the football game. Family time is a gift of God. However, I do still trust in our Christ who is the second person of the Trinity and wants all of us to experience His Power and Boldness and then learn to trust in this Christ who wants to share His power.
Our text is teaching us that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who wants to share His sustaining power. Some translations use the word, “uphold,” as in “He upholds us. Sustain and uphold both can mean that He wants to “supply our necessities.” “To bear us up under adversity,” “To keep us from falling,”
God’s Son does not always turn us into the award winning sales agent, or the home run leader for the Braves, but He will always share His grace and power in whatever situation we are.
Most of us do not need more money. But we all need more reminders of Jesus’ love, grace and promise to keep, uphold and sustain us. Indeed sometimes mammon gets in the way of God. We learn to lean on our own cunning and ability and forget God.
You see, there is really only one thing that can completely satisfy and that is the joy of knowing the “Hope of Glory!” There are times when that is all that matters.
Five young girls brutally murdered in a one room Amish school house last week and we hear the blessed Amish congregation saying, “We know that they have gone to a much better place.”
C.S. Lewis said several times in his books and letters that we would not turn to God as long as He leaves us with anything else to turn to.
Money can become a “fools gold” in that it, at best, only gives a false sense of security. We all have known some who spent their life chasing after gold but only received a taste which made them sell their soul to attain that security which is free at any Christian Altar.
Our closing hymn today was written by Thomas A. Dorsey, the founder of gospel music. He wrote this hymn and the tune on a cold dark night when he had lost about everything he had. He had nowhere to turn but to the Lord; His child had died and he had lost his job as a traveling singer. But from God’s sustaining power he penned:
“Precious Lord take my hand, lead me on let me stand, I am tired I am weak,
Every year in Villa Rica, Georgia, large choirs gather in the home church of Thomas Dorsey and they sing songs that remind them that, “He Sustains All Things.”
sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor