Mary Kelley / Sunday January 29th 2017

Good Morning Church! Thank you to Steven for the opportunity to share this with you today, thank you to Daryn for the introduction and to Jerry and the team here at Gulf Coast for all you each do to make worship possible in this space every Sunday. It is a privilege and a pleasure to come here each Sunday, to be a member of this church, to call this church my spiritual home and most of all to hear the Gospel preached each Sunday.

I work for IBM as a xxxx and Steven asked me to talk about the Christian walk in the context of work. Before you say—I’m retired, I’m a student, I’m a stay-at-home Mom or Dad, I’m a volunteer, or I’m between jobs, this topic has NOTHING to do with whether you get paid. I believe this topic applies to anyone on this earth who is taking a breath—we all have work to do unto the Lord.

Think for a moment about your non-Christian friends and colleagues. Are they:

  1. Angry all the time?
  2. Are they short tempered and mean spirited?
  3. Are they critical and opinionated?
  4. Have they built their own world, their own universe around their education, their career, their family, their politics, or their favorite sports team?
  5. Do they shake their fists at God?
  6. Do they suggest that you must be crazy to think that God will provide?
  7. Do they think you turned off your brain when you came to Christ?

If any of these descriptions sound like someone you know, let me strongly encourage you to share your example with them through your Christian walk. Not in words, but in deeds.

  • When they throw flaming arrows at you, give them love in return.
  • When something they do provokes you, remember that God created them, God loves them, so what’s my problem? – that one works well for me, Why should you get mad?
  • Pray for them, encourage them, befriend them and simply live your life, your Christian walk.

How do I know this will work? Because those earlier descriptions—all of them applied to me—during the 35+ years that I shook my fist at God. Thankfully, God pursued me constantly, just as He is pursuing your non-Christian friends and colleagues, they just don’t know it and haven’t recognized Him yet.

When I came to Christ in 2008—and found the church that Bruce and Jeanette Reynolds, the Halpins, the Goetscheous’ and Don and Peggy Korb were attending, it wasn’t because someone shared the Gospel with me personally, or gave me a track, or an invite to personally come.

  • It was because decades of seed planting by Christians made me wonder about this Christian walk.
  • It was because I discovered Moody radio on a business trip—when I was searching for a country music station.
  • It was because Erwin Lutzer, Ravi Zacharias and Chuck Swindoll all said—on the same day—on their programs on Moody radio—that you need Christian fellowship—that you need to go to church, you can’t do this on your own.
  • So I found Cornerstone Bible Church-CBC , meeting at the Women’s Club on Snell Isle. Why that church? Because they sent out postcards at Christmas—6 months before, and I kept the postcard. Part of my reason for keeping the post card was that I often walked past the Women’s Club and wondered what it was like inside. Since September 2013 I’ve been here at Gulf Coast.

Jeanette Reynolds has often said—be Jesus with skin on, be His hands and feet. We can each do that every day, by living our lives in a way that honors Christ, one action, one deed at a time. Here are some techniques that I use, that have worked for me:

  • When someone does something for you—make eye contact, thank them, and tell them to have a blessed week.
  • Once in a while you’ll find someone who ‘gets what that means’. The ones who don’t get it will still remember what you’ve said.
  • When a clerk in Publix, the person in Home Depot, the Nurse at the doctor’s office, or the person on the phone says—how are you—reply with “ I’m fine, more importantly, how are you?” they will remember that, and remember you.
  • Follow the rules our Mother’s taught us—be positive or be quiet.
  • When someone is especially helpful, when you want to thank them– make eye contact and say- “ thank you for doing what you do best.” They will absolutely remember you for this.

Thank you for your time, have a wonderful Sunday and a blessed week!