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Inspiration of Greatness

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise. Proverbs 13:20

The other day I was watching a video of a world famous guitarist
performing with a back-up band consisting of three unknown
artists. Known for his perfectionism, he is recognized as one of the
greatest guitarists alive today. His fingers certainly know their way
around the frets and strings of his guitar. But I was most impressed
by the no-name accompanists who played with him. It seemed
that his greatness inspired his band-mates to excel also. His
abilities brought out the best in their abilities. His great playing
made them play better.
Greatness begats greatness. Singing with a great singer will
inspire you want to sing better. When I run a 5K my fellow runners
motivate me to run faster than when I run alone.
Likewise, mediocrity begats mediocrity. If your close
companions settle for less than their best, you probably wont excel
Bottom line: If you want to excel for Gods glory make every
effort to be in the company of the best people you can find in their
particular field.


The Simple Plan of Salvation

John 3:16-18 (NKJV)
March 13, 2011
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in
Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the
world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who
believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already,
because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Wednesday Evening we our monthly supper before business mtg. I saw something as the
food was all set out I dont recall seeing before in a Baptist Church. We did not have any
fried chicken!
We have delicious meatloaf, ham and another meat choice; but no chicken. Today I am
preaching from John 3:16 and in my opinion that should happen at least once a year. This text
contains the Simple Plan of Salvation.

1. The . . Source of Salvation.

" For God so loved . . . "
A. He Is The Source From the . . Foundation of The World.
Rev 13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in
the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. NKJV
1 Peter 1:19-21 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and
without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was
manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him
from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. NKJV
Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,
B. He Is The Source . . In These Last Days.
Heb 1:1-2 1 God, who at various times and in various ways
spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His
Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
An Example of Love
My daughter Hannah practiced for two weeks for the high school cheerleader tryouts. She
had been a junior varsity cheerleader but wanted to move to the top squad. Only three varsity
spots were available in a school of about two thousands students. And Hannah was nervous
about competing against the other girls. "Dad, do you think God wants me to make the
varsity squad?" she asked.
"Practice as hard as you can," I answered. "Do your best at the tryouts, and leave the results
to God."
Her best friend, Melissa, who was already a varsity cheerleader, practiced with Hannah every
day to help her make the varsity squad. They had talked about how fun it would be if they
could cheer together. Melissa taught her the proper way to jump and encouraged her to keep a
smile on her face. When Hannah became discouraged, Melissa always egged her on with,
"You can do it, Hannah! I know you can!"
On the day of the tryouts over a hundred girls showed up to compete for the three spots. That
afternoon each girl performed a routine in front of the judges. The results of the competition
would be posted at 9:45 p.m. Although each contestant had high hopes of making the squad,
all but three would go home heartbroken that evening.
Just before 10:00 p.m., Hannah came bursting in our front door sobbing uncontrollably.
Immediately my wife, Cindy, and I jumped out of our chairs and rushed over to comfort her
for not making the cheerleading squad. Cindy patted her on the back and said, "Its OK that
you didnt make varsity cheerleader. We still love you, and were glad that you tried."
Hannah continued to cry. She finally settled down and explained what happened. "Mom and
Dad, I did make varsity. But Melissa didnt make it! The judges demoted her to the junior
varsity squad and gave me her place on the varsity. Shes devastated. I hurt so badly for her!"
We were stunned. Melissa had gone the extra mile to help Hannah make the varsity team so
they could cheer together. We certainly didnt expect this strange turn of events. With hands
covering her face, Hannah continued to weep. "I dont want to be a varsity cheerleader now. I
want my junior varsity position back so Melissa can stay on varsity. Do you think the judges
will let me swap places with her? I love her so much. Now she says she has nothing to live
"Hannah, I dont think the judges would allow that," I said.
She realized what she needed to do. Immediately she got up, walked out the front door, and
drove to Melissas house. She wanted to comfort Melissa that night, so she slept on the floor
next to her bed. Hannah knew the best thing she could do was to be near her friend during
this difficult time.
The next few days Hannah helped her work through her devastation. Melissa put her
disappointment behind her and excelled in other ways during her remaining years in high
I watched Hannah lead cheers at varsity football and basketball games for the next two years.
But thats not what I remember most about her cheerleading career. My fondest memory was
the night she slept on the floor of a hurting friend. (AMG Publishers, 2004, 85-86)
Illustration Cross
A certain medieval monk announced he would be preaching next Sunday evening on "The
Love of God." As the shadows fell and the light ceased to come in through the cathedral
windows, the congregation gathered. In the darkness of the altar, the monk lighted a candle
and carried it to the crucifix. First of all, he illumined the crown of thorns, next, the two
wounded hands, then the marks of the spear wound. In the hush that fell, he blew out the
candle and left the chancel. There was nothing else to say.

God the Father is The . . Source of Salvation.

2. The . . Scope Of Salvation.

"For God so loved the world. ."
A. The . . Singularity of This Scope
Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in
that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. NKJV

B. The . . Singularity of This Scope

1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins,
and not for ours only but also for the whole world. NKJV
There was a little fellow who was returning home from a store with a pail of honey in his
hand. A gentleman who walked beside him saw him slip one finger down into the pail. Then,
because his mother had told him never to wipe his sticky fingers on his shirt
or trousers, it found its only logical destination, his mouth. It really tasted good. After he had
done this several times, the gentleman approached him and said, "See here, Sonny, what have
you in that pail?" "Some honey, sir." "Honey--is it sweet?" "Yes, sir."
"How sweet is your honey?" "It is very sweet, sir." "Well, I do not understand you. I asked
you how sweet your honey was, and you have not yet told me. How sweet is it?" "Why, it is
very, very sweet, sir." "Well, you are a funny little fellow; I asked you how sweet your honey
is, and you just tell me it is very, very sweet. Now, can't you tell me really how sweet your
honey is?" The little fellow was impatient by this time, so he stuck his finger down into the
honey, and holding it up said, "Taste and see for yourself." That's what you have to do!)
Ps 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! NKJV
The . . Scope Of Salvation.

3. The . . Simplicity of Salvation.

". . . that whoever believes in Him. . ."
A. The Simplicity of The . . People of Whosoever.
". . . that whoever believes in Him. . ."
B. The Simplicity The . . Plan of Whosoever.
". . . that whoever believes in Him. . ."
A businessman brought a thirty-year-old man to a summer Bible conference who was
paralyzed from his hips down. As he sat beside the soul-winner on a bench under the trees, he
expressed his desire to be saved. He said, "I believe everything in the Bible," but it gave him
no peace.
The Christian then inquired of him whether he knew he was lost, to which he replied he did.
The inquiry was then made as to whether he knew that Christ is the One who saves and the
only One who can save. He replied also to this that he believed it. Just at this point a public
bus drew up in front of the conference grounds and the Christian said to his lame friend, "that
bus is intended to carry everybody into the city, is it not?" "Yes," he replied. "
Does it carry everyone?" he asked. "No," he said, "only those who get into the bus." He had
hardly made this statement when the light of God broke into his soul. "I see!" he said. "Christ
came to save everybody, but He saves only those who take Him: The light of heaven flooded
his soul. The peace of God filled his heart. His face became radiant with joy. He had entered
into the Lord Jesus by faith.
John 1:11-12 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as
received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in
His name: NKJV
The . . Simplicity of Salvation.

4. The . . Security of Salvation.

". . . should not perish but have everlasting life."
A. The Negative About Security
". . . should not perish but have everlasting life."
B. The . . Positive About Security
". . . should not perish but have everlasting life."
(Steve McQueen )
Steve McQueen was a top-billing actor who led a life as tough as the ones he portrayed on the
screen. Success filled his life until alcohol and a failed marriage left him empty. In his despair
he attended a crusade led by one of Billy Graham's associates. McQueen made a profession
of faith and requested an opportunity to speak with Billy Graham.
A connecting flight in Los Angeles allowed Dr. Graham to spend a couple of hours with Mr.
McQueen in the actor's limousine. The great evangelist shared numerous scriptures in his
quest to give spiritual hope and confidence. Steve McQueen struggled with the thought of
God giving eternal life to a man who had such a checkered past.
But, in Titus 1:2, Steve McQueen found his hope: Titus 1:2 "a faith and knowledge resting
on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of
time, NIV
He requested something to write down the verse, but Billy Graham gave McQueen his Bible
Later, Steve McQueen died in Mexico while seeking experimental treatment for his terminal
cancer. He passed into eternal life with his Bible opened to Titus 1 and his finger resting on
verse 2. Regardless of our past, we have the hope of God's eternal promise.
The . . Security of Salvation.
My hope is built on nothing less,
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is seeking sand.