From the Pulpit of a Holiness Preacher
An email newsletter ministry of Richard D. Swift, publishing the sermons of Rev. Reed A. Swift (1899-1973), a holiness preacher
It has been brought to my attention, the need of typing my contacts in the BCC headliner so as to hide addresses. I apologize for having not done so. I also apologize for any inconveniences or other problems not doing so may have caused.
The following sermon was preached in the Free Methodist Churches of W. Hollywood, California; Lydiaville, Louisiana; Jena, Louisiana; Pomona, California; and MiraLoma, California and in the Bible Missionary Church of Cucamonga, California (1960) in that order. It was also preached on the radio in Phoenix, Arizona. This sermon is handwritten on the back of two pages of a letter written from Berdoo Camp, California dated Oct. 22, 1936. It was not written by Rev. Swift. It begins with "Dear Folks" . The writer says he is only making 5.00/day and pays 1.40/day for board and room. Unfortunately the letter is not complete so is not signed by the writer.
Mark 10:1-31 Text-Verse 22
"And he went away grieved, for he had great possessions."
A few years ago, towns and families in Michigan panicked because banks closed. Life's earnings saved just the day before, were lost. Do you know the reason why the banks closed? Frozen assets. Securities that cannot increase in value and cannot be sold.
These things which are true about about bank dividends are also true of individual talents. In individual experience, a man's material, mental, or moral assets or talents, not turned to aid in the need of humanity are "frozen". Not until they are liquid or available to the needs of humanity are they of any value no matter how great they may be.
There are some complimentary things said of the young man in the text. But just one thing was lacking, the willingness to turn his assets or wealth into the channel of service Jesus directed. He might have been a shining light in the hearts and affections of mankind but chose rather to be buried under money.
What a blessing men are to humanity who refuse to horde their riches. Examples: Colgate- soaps, Hyde- mentholaturn, Crowell- Quaker oats, Kraft, LaTourneau, and hosts more. One busy man who had no time for God, church or others had this inscription cut on his tombstone: "Born July 7, 1859 A Human Being Died (date) a Wholesale Grocer."
What a fool one is to be rich in money and poor in soul; to be hard fisted and grasping and sweat and toil for that which will damn him.
It may be the same with other talents. Intellect, for instance is a curse if not used to bless others.
A wicked sailor, in looking at a painting of Jesus said, "I think I could be a Christian too, if Christ has a face like that." Does your talent portray Christ like that?
What about your time? Is it for self or others? Watch the man that takes God's Sabbath or the tithe that belongs to Him and see how he prospers. In fact, we must be stewards of time and money. "For whether we farm, peddle milk, etc., eat or drink, or whatever we do, do it all to the glory of God." Service for others and Christ is the means of happiness in this life.
Think of the vast wealth of personality and power in men and women for good, but now: "Frozen Assets" as far as spiritual things are concerned. Are our banks of service closed in "Frozen Assets" to those we owe our best? How sad they are! Let us ask the Holy Spirit of God to warm our hearts until they become "Liquid" for service. But most beautiful to me those hands that serve. (Mother's, it makes me weep to think of hers. They lost their lilly witness for others but were calloused and knuckles knotted. Yet, no painting, so beautiful. They clasped in prayer for a wayword boy.) Hers are hands like Jesus.
To doubting Thomas, Jesus said, "Behold my hands!" Deep scarred with iron pins that for others. Victory came through those scars! Oh for more hands like Jesus, always giving, working, lifting, blessing, healing, and now pleading for me. "Five bleeding wounds." How different frrom the man of this text. (Tell the story of the very illiterate young convert who led twelve thousand to Christ in five years.)
"One thing thou lackest." When any man iquires the Way of Salvation, Jesus sees something good in him and loves him and will tell him faithfully what to do to inherit eternal life. What will we do about what He tells us? Obey, or go away sorrrowful?
This concludes my grandfather's sermon. Reader, how are the assets God gave you? Are they "frozen" and of no use or are they "liquid" and useful in the hands of the Holy Spirit?
Yours for Radical Holiness,
Richard D. Swift
505 Hickory Hills Dr.
Dexter MO 63841