“Don’t Try This At Home”

The other day, I was watching a program called “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”  The home video showed a man on a snowmobile attempting to jump over a highway using a huge bank of snow next to the road as a ramp.  Notice, I said attempting, because the result was almost fatal.  Perhaps funny in one sense of the word, but the crazy stunt nearly cost him his life.  At the beginning of the video clip the show’s host, Tom Bergeron, said, “Do not try this at home.”

Those words stuck in my mind.  It would be absurd to think I would even consider a stunt like that, at home or anywhere else. The phrase, “don’t try this at home,” really means do not try this unless you are a trained professional, prepared for the consequences, and your life insurance is up-to-date.  In other words, do not attempt this unless you really know what you’re doing!

Have you ever thought about how unbelievable the Great Commission must have sounded to the first followers of Jesus?  He said “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations . . .”  Matthew 28:18-19 (NLT)   In Luke’s account, Jesus said, “It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem . . . and you are witnesses of these things.” Luke 24:47 (NLT)

With less than three years of training, Jesus sent His disciples out to proclaim the Gospel and to make disciples in every people group throughout the world.  Educationally, socially, and religiously, this small band of followers was not what the world would call “the A-Team.”  Yet, Jesus chose them and commissioned them to evangelize the world!  The Bible says, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself,” and after His death and resurrection, He gave to His disciples “the ministry of reconciliation.”  (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)

After giving the disciples their marching orders, He gave them His version of the “don’t try-this-at-home” warning.  He said, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before . . . But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:4, 8 (NLT)

Proclaiming the Good News and making disciples of all people groups, is not something we can do on our own.  Transforming rebellious, sinful, selfish people into fully committed followers of Jesus is a work only the Holy Spirit can do.  What is truly amazing is God chose to accomplish this work through human beings! We are sent to do a work only God can do – make disciples!

In light of this, we should remember the words of the prophet Zechariah, “It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Heaven’s armies.”  Zechariah 4:6 (NLT)

Don’t try this at home, or anywhere else, without the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.  Remember; never attempt God’s work without God’s power!

Published by Larry Doyle

Dr. Larry Doyle served as the Director of Missions for the Piedmont Baptist Association from September 1, 2003, to May 31, 2016. Since retiring from the Piedmont Baptist Association in 2016, Dr. Doyle has served as interim pastor and pulpit supply for several churches in the Piedmont Triad area. He served the Pinecroft Baptist Church from August 2018 to October 2020. His ministry began in the pastorate in Kentucky, his native state. He served as pastor of three churches while completing his undergraduate, graduate and post graduate degrees. (1968–1979) He and his wife Becky, a native of Greensboro, served as missionaries with the International Mission Board in Ecuador from 1980 to 1992. They returned to North Carolina where Larry pastored the Union Cross Hispanic Baptist Church in Kernersville from 1992 to 2000. In January 2001 he and Becky moved Honduras where they served as the On-site Coordinator for Disaster Relief with the North Carolina Baptist Men, coordinating volunteer teams in rebuilding houses and churches after the destruction of Hurricane Mitch. Upon returning from Honduras in January 2002, Larry served as the International Ministries Director for Baptist Metrolina Ministries in Charlotte, NC, a position he held until answering the call to become the Director of Missions for the Piedmont Baptist Association in Greensboro, NC in September 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Kentucky University, and received a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Today Larry enjoys “Strengths Coaching” and mentoring pastors and church leaders. He also enjoys finding, refinishing and repurposing old, discarded furniture. Larry and Becky have two sons, Steve and Tim, and are the proud grandparents of five.

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