“THE PILOT LIGHT!”
Andrew: A Life of Faithfulness
Pastor Robby Roberson
July 30, 2008
Illus. Dr. H. Leo Eddleman – the pilot light
Andrew is only mentioned 13 times in the New Testament. Many of these are lists of the names of the disciples.
The name Andrew means “manly” (The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 1, pg. 156). “Scripture never attaches any dishonor to Andrew’s actions when it mentions him by name” (John MacArthur, Jr., Twelve Ordinary Men, pg. 75).
Church tradition says that Andrew took the gospel north. Church traditions have him “being martyred at Patras by being bound to an X-shaped cross” (Zondervan, Ibid). “One account says that he led the wife of a provincial Roman governor to Christ, and that infuriated her husband. He demanded that his wife recant her devotion to Jesus Christ and she refused. So the governor had Andrew crucified. By the governor’s orders, those who crucified him lashed him to his cross instead of nailing him, in order to prolong his sufferings. By most accounts, he hung on the cross for two days, exhorting passersby to turn to Christ for salvation” (MacArthur, Ibid, pg. 88).
Andrew is the very picture or example of all those who labor quietly and faithfully in humble places without prominence.
1. THE FAITHFUL LIFE OF ANDREW WAS CHARACTERIZED BY A QUICK OBEDIENCE (Mt. 4:18-19; Mk. 1:16-18). THE FAITHFUL LIFE OF ANDREW WAS CHARACTERIZED BY A KINGDOM EXPECTANCY (Mk. 13:3).
2. THE FAITHFUL LIFE OF ANDREW WAS CHARACTERIZED BY A HIGH PRIORITY (Jn. 1:40-42).
3. THE FAITHFUL LIFE OF ANDREW WAS CHARACTERIZED BY A GREAT CONSTANCY.
· HE BROUGHT HIS REALITIES TO JESUS (Jn. 6:8). “Andrew apparently knew that Jesus would not issue a command to the disciples to feed the people without making it possible for them to obey. So, he did the best he could. He identified the one food source available and made Jesus aware of it. Something in him seemed to understand that no gift is insignificant in the hands of Jesus” (MacArthur, Ibid, pg. 85).
· HE BROUGHT THE NEEDS OF OTHERS TO JESUS (Jn. 12:22). He was always busy bringing others in touch with his Master.
· HE CONSTANTLY SOUGHT JESUS (Acts 1:13-14).
I “thank God for people like Andrew. They’re the quiet individuals, laboring faithfully but inconspicuously, giving insignificant, sacrificial gifts, who accomplish the most for the Lord. They don’t receive much recognition, but they don’t seek it. They only want to hear the Lord say, ‘Well, done’” (MacArthur, Ibid, pg. 88-89).
“In 1972, NASA launched the exploratory space probe Pioneer 10. According to Leon Jaroff in Time, the satellite’s primary mission was to reach Jupiter, photograph the planet and its moons, and beam data to earth about Jupiter’s magnetic field, radiation belts, and atmosphere. Scientists regarded this as a bold plan, for at that time no earth satellite had ever gone beyond Mars, and they feared the asteroid belt would destroy the satellite before it could reach its target.
But Pioneer 10 accomplished its mission and much, much more. Swinging past the giant planet in November 1973, Jupiter’s immense gravity hurled Pioneer 10 at a higher rate of speed toward the edge of the solar system. At one billion miles from the sun, Pioneer 10 passed Saturn. At some two billion miles, it hurtled past Uranus; Neptune at nearly three billion miles; Pluto at almost four billion miles. By 1997, twenty-five years after its launch, Pioneer 10 was more than six billion miles from the sun. And despite that immense distance, Pioneer 10 continued to beam back radio signals to scientists on Earth. ‘Perhaps most remarkable,’ writes Jaroff, ‘those signals emanate from an 8-watt transmitter, which radiates about as much power as a bedroom night light, and takes more than nine hours to reach Earth.
The Little Satellite That Could was not qualified to do what it did. Engineers designed Pioneer 10 with a useful life of just three years. But it kept going and going. By simple longevity, its tiny 8-watt transmitter radio accomplished more than anyone thought possible.
So it is when we offer ourselves to serve the Lord. God can work even through someone with 8-watt abilities. God cannot work, however, through someone who quits” (Craig Brian Larson, Sermon Central – the last contact with Pioneer was January 23, 2003 when it was 7.5 billion miles from Earth).