A Salvage Job
“And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?” Nehemiah 4:2
For the past several weeks, I have been remodeling our house. Amanda and the kids are supposed to be helping me. Instead, they usually find something else to do.
The other day, they went to the fairgrounds to work in the 4-H Building. When they left, Amanda said, “We will be back around lunchtime.” Thinking that they would be back soon to help me, I started a big project of ripping out old carpet. They came home around dark.
I looked at them and said, “I am going to start calling you all ‘blisters.’” The kids looked at me funny. One of them said, “Why are you going to call us ‘blisters?’” I said, “Because you show up when the work is done!”
Amanda and I purchased an old house when we moved to Fort Scott. It is a unique Victorian House that was built in 1887. We really loved the character of the old house. As we have been remodeling, we really wanted to salvage as much of the original parts of the house as possible. Instead of putting in new doors, we are cleaning up and re-oiling the pocket doors. Instead of putting in new floors, we are sanding and refinishing the old hardwood floors. Instead of putting in new windows, we are cleaning up and repainting the old windows.
Have you ever tried to build anything with salvage materials? It is much easier to use new materials than to salvage old materials. In the process of remodeling, I have pulled nails out of warped 2 x 4s. Then I have tried to straighten out and re-use those old nails and boards. I have pulled up linoleum flooring. Then I have scrapped glue off the hardwood floors, so they could be sanded and refinished. I have taken off door hinges and hardware. Then I have cleaned the layers of paint off the old hinges and hardware, so I could reuse them. It would have been much easier to use new materials.
About 2,500 years ago, God sent Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. When Nehemiah rebuilt the walls, he didn’t have nice new materials. He had to rebuild the walls out of the old burned up materials. He had to rebuild the walls out of trash. He had to rebuild the walls out of rubbish.
This Sunday, I would love for five, nice, tithing, soul-winning, families who got saved when they were kids to walk in the door of our church and say, “We’re here to join the church!” But that is not the way God works. Instead, we might have a woman who is living with a man who is not her husband. We might have some guy who is on drugs. We might have some drunk. We might have somebody who is going through a divorce. We might have someone who is addicted to pornography. That is who the Lord will send. But God can build a church with those people. He can “revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish.”
The point is: The Lord Jesus Christ is in the salvage business. I don’t know about you, but I am a salvage job. I was as lost as a snake in tall grass. I was lost in my sin, and I was going to bust the gates of hell wide open and sizzle like a sausage. But Jesus Christ saved my soul, and He can save yours too!
Jesus Christ is in the salvage business. Let Him remodel your life into something beautiful.
Pastor James Collins serves at Fort Scott’s First Southern Baptist Church. He can be reached at (620) 223-2986 or through the webpage www.thepointis.net.