The Titanic

 
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” –Matthew 9:36-38 (NLT)

  Welcome to Crossroads! We are honored that you’ve chosen to worship with us and we pray that you’ll encounter God’s boundless love today!   The photo above is a still taken from a riveting scene in the 1997 movie, Titanic. In the scene, Harold Lowe, 5th Officer of the Titanic, directs Lifeboat 14 in a desperate search for survivors. During the search, Lowe said to his crew: “We waited too late.” “Too late” is the epitaph on every missed opportunity and the indictment of every mission failure. It was “too late” for 1,503 souls who died in Titanic’s sinking. 2,208 people were aboard; only 1,178 lifeboat seats were available. Of those seats, a mere 706 were used. The greatest tragedy in sailing history took more lives than it should have due to a failure to prepare adequately for a mishap by the company who built and staffed the ship. The goal of any ship’s captain and crew is to make sure that passengers arrive safely at their intended destination or in the event of an accident, that every passenger is kept safe and secure.   What does this have to do with us? Every person that we’ll meet today is in the process of dying. No matter how successful or beloved anyone may be in life, no human achievement or merit can grant them immunity from mortality and its final outcome: death. As followers of Jesus, it is our privilege and our responsibility to share the only path of escape from death: a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.   In Matthew 9, Jesus sees a multitude of lost and lonely people. Like scattered sheep, they desperately needed a shepherd, but not just any shepherd. They needed a Shepherd-Savior—Someone who truly cared for their SOULS. Jesus cared enough to leave His throne in heaven, to suffer false accusations, to be betrayed by those He came to save, and to die a horrible death on a cross to prove His love for the lost. Why? Love sees a need and pays the price to meet it, even if it means personal loss.   In Christian circles, there are a lot of “Officer Lowe’s.” Many messengers are sounding doom and gloom. Prominent ministers even state that God has given up on America and its people. Meanwhile, as Jesus said of the scattered and the helpless, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.” You and I are the laborers needed to work His harvest fields in Marshall County. Time is of the essence. For the sake of those whom Jesus loves, may it never be said of us, “We waited too late.”   Do you have a list of loved ones that you are praying for? We shared handouts this January and asked all who took them to write the names of their loved ones and others whom they wanted to come to know Jesus as Lord. Are you praying for them daily? It is never too late to pray for those who are lost until it’s “too late”, heaven forbid.   The words on the front of the bulletin were taken from a hymn written by Frances J. (Fanny) Crosby. Historians say she wrote over 8,500 texts in her lifetime, of which over 1,000 were set to music and are sung even today. P.S. Fanny was blind! Once in New York City, Fanny met many men in an inner city mission. As she shared the gospel with them, a few responded to her plea to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. Dozens more spurned Fanny’s invitation. She felt a huge burden for those who heard the Savior’s call but refused His heart. As she wrote this hymn that night, she included this stanza: “Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting, Waiting the penitent child to receive; Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently; He will forgive if they only believe.”   Friend, will you take some time daily to plead for the lives of those you love who are drowning in a sea of despair? Will you also plead with them? Ask the Lord to lay someone(s) on your heart and plead the blood of Jesus over their sin-sick soul today. “Pray to the Lord who is charge of the harvest.” Save our loved ones and friends, Lord Jesus! Amen!!   God Bless You and All Those You Are Praying For!