“But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” Mark 8:29
One afternoon a little boy decided he would help his father. He had heard his dad say that the car was “low on gas.” Well, this little boy knew how to fill the tank. He knew it wasn’t all that complicated. After all, he had watched his father do it a hundred times. With confidence, the boy removed the gas cap, got the garden hose—it was just like the hose at the pump—and squeezed the hose nozzle. (It, too, looked like the nozzle at the gasoline station.) Then he proceeded to fill the gas tank with water.
With a smile, he waited for his dad to start the car—to see the gauge that now read “Full,” to thank him for his kindly efforts. You know what happened. Dad tried to start the car. It sputtered and died. And Dad didn’t say “thank you.”
As I look at the world, I see a great many people making the same mistake the boy made. The greatest difference is that these people are making a spiritual mistake rather than a physical one. Like the little boy, they start out trying to do the right thing. For these spiritual searchers, the right thing is trying to find a god. Also like our little boy, these folks attempt to do something that looks good and feels right. In their search to be at peace with their god, they are ready to make any sacrifice they think will get his attention. They are ready to try as hard as they can to please him.
Finally, like that boy, these folks have made a major miscalculation. They will eventually discover that the best of intentions and the greatest sincerity can never turn water into gasoline. No matter how much you believe, water is never going to power your car and loyalty to a false god will never save you. On Judgment Day, those folks who have worked so hard to please their false god and who expect to hear a “thank you” will be disappointed.
For 2,000 years the word has gone out: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name [other than that of Jesus] … by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). For almost 75 years, The Lutheran Hour has been Bringing Christ to the nations—and the nations to the church. In this book of stories we have tried to share the Savior with you. It is our prayer that the Holy Spirit will touch the story of your life with the sharing.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on October 5, 2003
The Prayer: Dear Lord, my heart goes out to the people who believe in their god as much as I believe in my God. Give me the fuel so that I can share 100% pure Jesus, who is a never-ending resource. In Jesus' Name. Amen