by J. Gerald Harris

The Surrendered Life
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
Romans 12:1-2

Calvin Miller tells the following story: "I remember some years ago I was over in Millard one day having a cup of coffee with a policeman. He had a can of mace in a holster on his side. He opened the holster and handed me the can of mace. I had never seen one before in my whole life and I was amazed. It looked kind of like an austere can of clergical Aqua Net. I asked him, 'How does this work?'

"He said, 'Well, you take the cap off and spray it in somebody's face.'

"'Basically, what does it do?' I asked. 'Does it knock them out?'

"'No, they're still conscious but inert.'

"'Man, I replied, 'I've been pastor of a Baptist church for 20 years. I understand conscious but inert. In the church, 80 percent of the people are always watching 20 percent of the people do the work.'"

Do you think that describes our church? I think we're conscious but inert. I think a lot of us have drifted into an easy going complacency.

Perhaps you heard about this elderly woman who lived way back in the hills of North Carolina, and she operated a little old country store. This store had everything from feather pillows to horse collars, and everything from Cloverene salve to lye soap. It just so happened that this old store had a creek that ran behind it. It was just a tiny creek, and there were no fish in it.

But one day an old farmer came by and saw the dear old woman sitting at the back of the store with a fishing pole in her hand, and the cork was floating on top of that little creek. The old farmer said, "Aunt Lizzie, what do you think you're doing? There are no fish in that creek."

She said, "I know better than anybody that there are no fish in that creek, but it's just so convenient."

I tell you, we have played the devil by stressing the wrong thing in the church. We have stressed convenience over commitment. We have emphasized comfort over Calvary, and selfishness over surrender. I want to ask you, ...

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