In our text (16:9), Paul has a vision of a man in Macedonia crying for help. The "man of Macedonia" represents all mankind without Christ.
A cry for help is…
I. A HAUNTING CRY.
Clyde Box tell the story of visiting a dying man in the hospital. He was in a semi-conscious state. Brother Box leaned close to the man’s ear and called his name, "Jerry. Jerry. Can you hear me. This is Clyde Box." The man’s eyes twitched and faintly whispered, "Help me… help me." Then he went unconscious again. A few hours later he died. All that day, that faint cry rang in Brother Box’s ears, "Help me… help me." He could not escape it. Finally that evening, he prayed, "God, give me some rest. Take that cry from my mind." Then God impressed upon his heart… This was not just the cry of a dying man—THIS WAS THE CRY OF A DYING WORLD!!
II. A HURTING CRY.
A. Financially hurting. Lost job; Set-backs; Illnesses
B. Physically hurting. Incapacitated; disabled.
C. Emotionally hurting. Bitter; Sorrow, Discouraged, depressed.
D. Socially hurting. Lonely; Rejected.
E. Spiritually hurting. Unsaved; backsliden.
III. A HUMBLE CRY. Pride never asks for help. Humility admits
The Bible records many encounters with cries for help. Each represents a class of society today:
A. "Help my family"— Jesus encounter with the father and his demon possessed son (Mk 9:22). "And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us."
B. "Help me believe"—The boy’s father had doubts (Mk. 9:24)— "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."
C. "Help me be clean"— Jesus encounter with the leper after His sermon on the mount (Mt. 8:2). "…there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean."
(Clean of habits; drugs; alcohol; pornography)
D. "Help me to see; help me out of the darkness"—At Jericho, the cry of Bartimaeus (Mk. 10:47-51).
E. "Help me to understand" —The Holy Spirit leads Philip to the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-35).
F. "Help me to heaven"—The dying thief (Luke 23:42).
* God uses a cry of help to direct us in His will.
HOW TO HELP… Ways you can help.
1. Pray. First, pray for God to make you sensitive
to the cry for help. Next, pray for wisdom on how you can help. Third,
Pray for the one in need of help.
2. Make yourself available. Does God want you to GO? GIVE?
3. Offer specific ways you can help. Don’t ask, "Can I help?" Ask, "How can I help!"
4. Take action.
The cries for help are everywhere? Do you hear them? Sometimes they are very faint. You must listen for them. You must TUNE IN to it!