Missions Begin at Home by J. Gerald Harris

Missions Begin at Home
PEOPLE COUNT
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
Psalm 142:1-7

Each year at this time, throughout all of the nearly 40,000 churches of the Southern Baptist Convention, there is an emphasis on home missions. This year the theme of the home missions emphasis is "People Count." Pastors throughout the Convention have been urged to preach on this text, Psalm 142. Tonight, with the help of God, I want to paint a picture of the desperate need we have in America of reaching our nation for Jesus Christ.

In our nation we have a multitude of lost people, a multitude of hurting people, a multitude of broken people, and perhaps many people who are expressing themselves as did David in Psalm 142, when he said, "no man cared for my soul."

A tombstone in Crittenden, Kentucky, has these words: "Curtis G. Loyd (date of birth) died sixty or more years thereafter. The exact number of months, days, and years that he lived nobody knows and nobody cares. Monument erected by himself, for himself, to satisfy his own vanity."

I guess the question that we need to ask ourselves tonight is: Do we really care for the people who are lost and broken and hurting?

Let's look at our text. This is a psalm of David. It was written when he was in a cave. During the course of David's life, he had rather desperate situations in two caves, one at Adullam and another at Engedi.

Actually, David's troubles as a young man came swiftly to a head at King Saul's court. After Saul had tried to have him murdered in his bed, he fled to Naioth. He had a secret meeting with his loyal friend, Jonathan, who promised to find out if it was safe for him to return home. Shortly afterward, Jonathan returned for a clandestine meeting with David and warned him that his life was in danger. By this time, King Saul was under the tormenting influence of a demon. Nine times in two chapters he tried to have David murdered (I Samuel 19 and 20).

Though frightened, David fled to Philistia for politic ...


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