We’ve Got Mail
II Chronicles 30:1-6
When I was a little boy my dad was a mail carrier, before he entered the ministry. And from that day to now I have had much respect for those who go door to
door and street to street, carrying the mail for us. They are representing someone else who has sent them, and they bridge the gap between us and others who reach out to us.
To think that someone of the stature of Ed McMahon would care about me and want to make me rich! And I’ve got someone else who wants to give me dozens of
music cds for just a penny! Seriously though, our hearts really do skip a beat when we receive a card or letter from someone far away that we love dearly.
Read 29:36 They were having revival, brought on by God.
30:1, 5-6 We read in these verses about a man named Hezekiah, who reigned over Judah from the throne in
Jerusalem. His father had been king before him. He was an evil man, and when he died the kingdom was in a sad state. But Hezekiah learned from a young age what sin did to people,
and he determined in his heart to bring the people back to God. He led the people to seek the Lord, and they found Him and revival ensued.
But Hezekiah was not satisfied that this revival be located just in Jerusalem. He wanted the whole world to be in on it, and so he sent word from border to
border about what God was doing. V. 1 says the method chosen was letters, and v. 6 says the letters were carried by ‘posts’, or letter carriers.
You and I are supposed to be God’s mail carriers. We have a message from the King to deliver throughout the land. Today, news travels fast by the web
and by email. Our church delivers God’s mail around the world to many thousands right into their ‘inbox’. But that lacks a personal touch until a man of God on the other end receives that
message and relays it personally to the people around him there. It’s a personal touch when we send out missionaries to all these nations and they willingly submit themselves as letter carriers
to share the good news with others.
The post office will tell you: it’s hard to find people who want to carry the mail. Most want to work behind the counter, in the sorting room, or behind
1 way glass supervising. Why is this? And why in the Christian world do so few want to ‘be the one’ to go out and personally hand deliver the mail for God?
Here’s some reasons I can think of:
- You have to show up every day, on time.
- You have to be willing to submit yourself and take orders from the postmaster.
- You must spend all your time and energy doing the will of someone else.
- You must accept the route you are given and must go there whether you want to or not.
- You have to study and memorize details, and as soon as you’ve got it down you are called to fill in for someone else and learn their job.
- You have to go house to house to those you like and those you don’t, maybe a good neighborhood, maybe not, maybe a white, maybe a black, maybe a Jew, and maybe a
[Gentile] dog! But those on the other side of the tracks need to get their mail just like you do.
- You have to brave the elements in season and out of season.
Let me tell you about one who faithfully delivers the mail day after day no matter the circumstances...that one is known as ‘the postage stamp.’
The postage stamp is always faithful to bring the mail along...and it’s a good picture of the Christian. How so?
- Because of where it originated. The postage stamp can trace its origin back to a hill far away. It was invented by a man named Roland Hill who lived
far away in England. And we as Christians can trace our origin back to a hill far away as well!
- Because of how it was named. The word post is the root word. Originally the post was just a wooden pole driven into the ground, and on it the king
would tack up announcements and decrees and proclamations and they would stick there on public display with the king’s seal thereon so everybody who passed by would realize the king had made these
official statements. For the believer, on that hill far away another wooden post stood, and on it God nailed up His love letter to the world. He put the King of kings on public display,
and made the announcement of His love, the declaration of His mercy, and the decree of His grace.
- Because of the love shown for it and the great price paid for it. All will agree we pay an ever increasing price for the stamp, but do we love it?
Other than licking it I don’t remember expressing my affection for it! Well, we must remember in this illustration that we are the stamp, not the licker. Ever heard of a
philatelist? Honestly, where I come from we don’t use words like that. I only learned the word in studying this week about stamps. The philatelist is the stamp collector. The
word comes from 2 great NT Greek words: phileo = “to love” and teleo = “to pay for”. The philatelist loves stamps so much he is willing to pay whatever necessary in order to purchase
them. And our God is collecting the souls of men because He loves them...so much He is willing to pay any price. Matter of fact, that word ‘taleo’ is the root word of what Jesus said on
the cross—‘tetelestai’ = “it is finished” or “paid in full!”
- Because of where it can be found on the envelope. Always up in the corner. God got us cornered. He got on our trail and got us to the place where
we had our backs against the wall and no place else to go! That’s where Boaz, the kinsman redeemer, found Ruth, the Gentile bride, was in the corner of the field where the gleaners were
- Because of which side it’s on. It’s on the right side! Don’t put the stamp on the left side, that’s the wrong side. Don’t put it on the back
side, it’s the wrong side. Put it on the right side! And make sure you’re on the right side, the winning team, and deliver the mail for God!
- Because of the colors of the postmarks. They use 2 colors: black and red. And I once was stained w/ the black marks of sin, but Jesus blotted out
my sins with a crimson red, rich, royal, righteous blood He poured out for me. When the postmaster places his postmark across the top of the letter it overlaps the stamp. Do you know what
they call that? They say that stamp has been cancelled. And when Jesus sees all the sins of a repentant sinner like you He doesn’t rub them in, He stamps them out, cancelled, paid in
full! “You ask me why I’m happy, I’ll just tell you why: because, my sins are gone!”
- Because of the watermarks. Many stamps today have a watermark for identification. And the Bible says that they that gladly received God’s Word received
a watermark for identification. You don’t have to have the watermark to be a stamp, but it helps the stamp to have one!
- Because of what you see pictured on the stamp. Originally you would only find royalty on stamps, like we put presidents on money. But these days you
find all kinds of things on stamps. And these days you’ll find all kinds of things in the lives of Christians...but it used to be that when you looked at a Christian, you’d see the
- Because of the records kept. Millions of stamps have been made in so many designs it would make your head spin. But at the post office they have a big
book that lists all the stamps ever made. And I want you to know that in heaven there’s a big book of records...is your name written there? The postmark lists the time and date of the
letter’s deposit...so, when was your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? Jesus said, rejoice because your name is written in heaven!
- Because of the full collection being put together. The post office keeps their catalog not only for the sake of weeding out the counterfeits, but also for
the benefit of the collectors. You see, the stamp collector can sit down w/ his collection and compare it to the catalog and make sure there aren’t any that are missing that are supposed to be
there. The stamps in the book came first from a roll, and when the book someday is opened and the roll is called I’ll be there! When John the Revelator received his vision of heaven
he said there was some of every kind there...what a collection! This means the clock may stop ticking once we get the gospel out to everywhere.
- Because they work internationally. One stamp today can actually carry a message all the way around the world. And every stamp mailed overseas is an
ambassador that represents its homeland from where it came. It’s a representative of a foreign land. Thank God for missionaries who go out to represent us, and to represent their homeland
of heaven. You know, what you think of an ambassador from another country is what you think of that country, and the people who live there, and their king. We need to represent
- Because they are unique. There’s lots of other kinds of stamps out there that aren’t postage stamps, and they cannot carry the mail. Remember green
stamps? My mom collected so many of those and made me help put them in the books. I want you to know I can’t taste some foods to this day! Then there’s Columbia House stamps,
Christmas stamps or Easter Seals. None of them can carry the mail. And there’s only one way to heaven, it’s thru Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life! Put a fake stamp on
a letter and today’s technology will filter it out and return to sender, right back where it came from. But true postage stamps go where they are sent!
- Because they stay put. They stick to their place. They don’t slide over or slide back. Go where God sticks you and stay put, and let God use you
to carry His mail!
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Postage stamps are little things, but they do a big job. Postage stamps don’t give up when they get licked! Matter of fact, when they get licked they
are actually getting ready to deliver the mail, and get on their way. Most stamps today are self adhesive, and clean cut, even edges. But the ones that get licked are the ones w/ rough
edges, that take a little work to tear out and fasten in place. Well, God didn’t promise us smooth sailing, but a safe arrival on the other side. Really, the stamp has nothing to do with
guiding the mail to the final destination, it takes a higher power to do that. It’s out of the stamp’s hands. Are you in the Master’s hand? He’s the One Who will create you to be a
stamp, pay for you, and He’s the One Who will guide you home. Until then, stay put wherever He sticks you, and just be faithful to deliver God’s mail!
[based on idea from Bro. Donnie Farmer]