A Sermon By Elder G Mordaunt
The story begins on around 1995. It was not far where I was living. There was a Park where you could go and have a leisurely walk near by.
In this Park there are creeks, native trees, high cliffs, and walking tracks. Up at the end of the Park looking up is a train line with a tunnel which runs above the small valley, also there is a disused tunnel which is blocked off. In the tunnel there are growing mushrooms. Whether it is there now I don’t know. There is much flowering plants there too.
I’m just describing this Park. It is a nice place for a Sabbath walk.
On one particular weekend my wife and I went for a walk into this Park. Now in this Park there is horse riding, there is an Archery Club, and many people walk through this park during the year.
We were casually walking through the park enjoying the scenery and we came to the end which was below the train line. Below the walking track there are some telegraph poles. We climbed up the walking track which led up to the train line so that we could see the train tunnel to watch any trains coming through. I happened to look down into the small valley and I spied at the bottom of one of the telegraph poles two lengths of electrical conduit, about half a metre long. It was at one time one piece, but it appeared to have been broken in two. Obviously this conduit had been replaced by a new piece by the electricians and the old one discarded and left there.
I didn’t think much about it at the time and we left for home. But when I got home I started to think about those pieces of conduit and thought came to me that I could have used those pieces for something I had in mind. I thought nothing more about it.
About three months later we decided to have another walk up in the park it was a nice sunny day.
As we approach the train line again and walking up the same track as before, the thought struck me. I wonder if those two pieces of electrical conduit were still there. And would you believe it? They were still there at the same spot. They haven’t moved one inch. You would have thought that after three months lying there that someone would have taken them or moved them, kicked them even smashing them.
So I left my wife and stepped down and picked them up and examined them to see if there were any faults in them, and there was none. My wife said to me: “what do you want a couple of dirty old pieces of pipe for? I told her that I had a use for them. As soon as I get a chance I start working on them.
After about a week I had finished what I intended to do with them. I suppose you would like to see what I did with these two pieces of electrical conduit? I still have it.
You know that there are many people just like those pieces of conduit.
They start out in life with much ambition. Being young they think that the world is before them and will always be good to them. They dream of being successful in business, in marriage and family, owning their own homes.
But as time goes by, through bad decisions in life, getting mixed up with the wrong crowds, trouble with the police, drug addictions, loss of income, divorce, and alcohol. They end up like those two pieces of electrical conduit, lying in the gutter broken in two. And no one caring about them.
There were many walkers who went up that park and bypassed those two pieces and they never thought of picking them up.
There are many who are homeless, sleeping on the streets, Lying in the gutter. Nobody even taking a second look. They may be dressed scruffy, unkempt hair, probably hasn’t had a proper meal for days. Nobody sees any good in them.
Just like the Prodigal Son who after receiving his half of his inheritance went into a far country and squandered all of his wealth on wild living, ending up in the pig pen, eating their food. At least he came to his senses and returned home to his father. But many don’t.
They finish up in the proverbial gutter of life. But along comes God and sees a potential candidate for His kingdom and through one of His servants rescues the person from the gutter of life and through the Holy Spirits’ influence becomes a useful citizen for God’s Kingdom.
From the gutter most to the uttermost God can save us, from the lowest to the highest, from sinner to saint. With genuine repentance we become new creatures in Christ, born of the Spirit.
You Know that when God finds us in the gutter, He loves us too much to leave us there.
He cleans us up and restores us as useful humans again.
This is what Jesus did while He was on earth. When you think of the healings he did for those who were suffering from some illness.
Like the woman who was suffering, bent over and crippled.
Luke 13:10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. The Woman who had a bleeding problem is another case where Jesus freed her suffering.
Mark 5:25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?'” 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Then the leper who came to Jesus.
Mark 1:40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” 41 Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. 43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.
Then there was the demoniac that came to Jesus
Mark 5:1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gadarenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” 9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. 11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. 14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man–and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. 18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
There are many other miracles Jesus did that are in the gospels which have a common denominator. Is that they all were in the gutter of human existence. All had a great need for physical healing. Others had their loved ones brought back to life as Jesus raised them from the dead.
So it doesn’t matter how far one has fallen in this life, Jesus is able to lift them out of the gutter of life, from the mire of sin, and save us from the attacks of Satan.
He has given us the Holy Spirit and His Grace so that we can become a witness to the world that Jesus is their Saviour.
And just like those two pieces of electrical conduit lying derelict there in that valley at the bottom of the telegraph pole with no possible recovery.
Many a person may be like those pieces of conduit, lying derelict in life. But Jesus comes along picks them up and they become useful citizens again and also become candidates for His Kingdom.
This is the extent of His love for us. He came to this world to save us by dying on the cross and paid the price for our sins, because He doesn’t want anyone to be lost. What a wonderful Saviour we serve. Amen!