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"But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.  These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God."
Over the past few weeks we've talked about the negative effect of small sins over a long period of time-how they are barnacles on our soul that weigh us down and keep us from flourishing. We've talked about the importance of confessing our sins and then repenting from them-in effect, turning from our sins. This week, I want to talk about what you turn towards: Christ. It isn't enough to confess a sin or even to repent from it. The Christian walk isn't so much about stop doing bad things, as it is to start doing good things. Certainly, we must confess and repent, but then we must fulfill Christ's command to be faithful.
If the accumulation of small sins over a long period of time will do immeasurable damage, then is the opposite true? What kind of impact on the world will small acts of obedience do over a long period of time? One more question, which will do more good, one large splash, or a constant trickle?
Some people sincerely believe the answer is the big splash. People like John Raymond, the executive pastor of the World Harvest Church in Slidell, Louisiana. This fall, he became the first clergyman on reality television when he appeared on Survivor Tahiti. Pastor Raymond wanted to use the experience to spread the gospel. "Jesus preached the sermon on the mount, not the sermon in the valley. The reason he preached it on the mount was because he got more exposure on the mount. If I can get more exposure for the church and the kingdom by getting on the highest rated show in history, then great, as long as I kept my integrity in the game." Raymond brought things along that reflected his faith-a Bible, and the Christian flag. (The flag turned out to be a 6 by 10 foot waterproof tarp that happened to be the color of the Christian flag.)
Unfortunately, Raymond's big splash was a belly flop. He was the first contestant voted off the Island. Why did he get the dubious distinction of being the first contestant to go? Well it wasn't because of his skills dealing with the outdoors. Raymond says he grew up hunting and fishing in Louisiana, so his outdoors skills were good. The film footage shows Raymond starting the fire, finding water, catching most of the food, and even digging the latrine.
So why did he get the boot? Raymond suggested it was because of his occupation. He said, "Someone also suggested that many people are uncomfortable around ministers because they feel they have to be too cautious or that they have a second conscience floating around. So maybe they didn't want me around long." Reflecting on his experience Raymond says, "I was just hoping they wouldn't vote me off because I was a pastor."
Was his occupation the reason he was voted off the Island at the first tribal council? The producers said they figured Raymond was so capable in the hostile environment that it made the others uncomfortable. (http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)
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