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Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this podcast I will answer that question burning in everyone’s mind, what did Yahweh hot dogs and Dorcas have that King Jehoram didn’t have?
I recently watched a testimony by a man named Jeff, broadcast on a church website in our community.
I loved it.
Jeff has been a Christian for nearly two years. He came out of a rough background and was caught up in drug and alcohol addiction and abuse.
Jeff was an angry man and he blamed God for all the bad things that had happened in his life.
But he became a believer and decided he wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.
Now Jeff’s story was a stark contrast to King Jehoram who ruled Judah between 853 BC and 841 BC.
Jehoram was the son of King Jehoshaphat, a decent king who served God.
But the person writing the book of 2 Chronicles made this every odd statement about Jehoram:
When Jehoram passed away, no one regretted his death.
Unlike Jeff, Jehoram grew up in a life of privilege. He had wealth, servants and because he was the son of a King, he inherited that powerful position of authority.
Jehoram had the power and influence to make the lives of thousands of people better. He had a tremendous opportunity to make a difference.
But Jehoram’s life was cut short by a painful bowel disease and nobody, not a single person, regretted his passing because he didn’t take advantage of his great opportunity.
Then there was Jeff with his rough background. After he became a Christian and started attending church, he realized he needed to forgive those who had mistreated him over the years. As he forgave, this process began to transform Jeff’s life.
He had only been a Christian for about six months, when God spoke to Jeff, because God had a call, a plan and a purpose for Jeff’s life.
It all started as he was listening to a man preaching at church.
As Jeff listened, God dropped a thought into Jeff’s mind that he needed to start a hot dog ministry and he couldn’t shake it.
God told Jeff that he needed to start giving free hotdogs to people and telling them how God had helped Jeff break free from his alcohol and drug addiction.
Now Jeff and Jehoram had one thing in common. Both of them were uniquely positioned to make a difference in people’s lives.
As the son of royalty, Jehoram had the power, authority and finances to make a big difference.
Jeff’s advantage was that he was a child of the King of Kings, and he lived on a major thoroughfare bordering one of the poorest and roughest neighborhoods in the city where he lived.
Because of where he lived, people were constantly walking down the back alley behind his home – the down trodden, the poor, drug addicts and prostitutes.
God told Jeff to start offering free hot dogs to these people, so Jeff set up Yahweh Hot Dog Ministry in his garage that opened to the back alley.
Jeff painted Bible verses on the door of the garage and along the fence that bordered the back alley, and as well added a sign broadcasting Yahweh free hot dog ministry
And Jeff opened up once a week on Saturday, offering free hot dogs to everyone who wanted one.
And then Jeff shared his testimony with anyone who was interested in hearing how God transformed his life.
Since he opened his garage door in the spring of 2019, he has had as many as 151 people drop by in a single day for a free hot dog and averaged about a hundred a day over the summer. Though that number has dropped off in winter because of the extremely cold weather, on the upside people are staying longer giving Jeff better opportunity to share and pray with them.
He is providing a free hotdog to people who in some instances hadn’t eaten for a couple of days.
And God has provided for Jeff as well.
Jeff started out in this ministry by himself and quickly realized he needed help and the day before his grand opening he ran into a friend from church and Jeff asked if he would be willing to help. The man readily agreed because he had been praying that God would provide him an opportunity for ministry.
Now, Jeff is not a Bible school graduate.
Jeff is also a new believer.
Jeff is not perfect, but God had a purpose and plan for Jeff’s life and Jeff just did it.
As I mentioned Jehoram had the incredible potential to impact thousands of people’s life, but the writer of Chronicles said no one regretted his passing.
In fact, the writer noted Jehoram wasn’t even buried in the tombs of the Kings, that involved a series of tombs carved into the rocks south east of Jerusalem that was reserved for Royalty. Jehoram didn’t even deserve that.
Jehoram was also a dramatic contrast to Dorcas, also known as Tabitha. She was a disciple of the early church who lived in Joppa, a town along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
She had no position of authority.
But Dorcas chose to make a difference in her realm of influence as she sewed clothing for the widows in her church and community.
When she died of a sudden illness, Luke describes what happened next:
When Dorcas died, people immediately sent for the Apostle Peter to come and pray for her. The Greek word for urge, “parakaleo,” includes the idea of begging. They were pleading for Peter to come.
When Peter arrived at Joppa, the widows clamoured around the apostle showing all the items that Dorcas had made for them.
In utter contrast to King Jehoram, people very much regretted Dorcas’s passing.
Peter sent everyone out of the room and prayed for Dorcas and raised her from the dead.
Now here is an important fact, Dorcas was one of only nine people recorded in the Bible as being raised from the dead. She is in very select company.
Meanwhile, they couldn’t even be bothered to bury Jehoram in the tombs reserved for the kings.
Dorcas was not in a position to make a difference like Jehoram, but she chose to make a difference in whatever way she could. She chose to be a person of influence, in her realm of influence.
It is very important we understand what was happening here in Joppa. This was not a one off. Dorcas didn’t just make one piece of clothing for a widow in her church, she had developed a bona fide ministry that was impacting several people.
This didn’t happen in a vacuum. There are probably several important ingredients that led to Dorcas’s ministry:
Number one: making clothes was Dorcas’s passion. She enjoyed doing it. She enjoyed the creativity.
Secondly: Not only was it a passion, she was good at it. It was her gift. She took what she was good at and simply turned it into a ministry.
Thirdly: She developed skills. Being good at something means you take the time to get better. You learn new techniques.
Fourthly: Through this she understood that God wanted to use her gifts and passion. God had a purpose and call for her life.
Fifthly: Dorcas took the initiative. She just started doing it. She didn’t wait for an angelic visitation. She didn’t wait for someone to tell her to do it. She just did it.
The biggest obstacle to initiating any ministry is conquering our fear. What if I am wrong? What if I didn’t hear God? What if no one comes? What if I fail? What if people think it is a crazy idea?
And when Jeff started his hot dog ministry, he even asked God to confirm that God was in it by having 12 people drop by for a hot dog, instead God sent 71.
And finally, God took Dorcas’s ability and passion and turned it into a ministry that would impact millions world-wide.
But it didn’t start out that way. She wasn’t focused on that. She was just focused on her first small step. Sometimes when it comes to starting a ministry we focus on the end first and because of this it seems like an impossible task. Yes, God has a vision and plan for you, but God is not concerned about the end result, God is most concerned about the first step.
It is called inertia. It takes more energy to start something moving than it does to keep it moving. The most difficult step is the start.
The prophet Zechariah addressed this very issue when he wrote:
Zerubbabel was the man assigned to rebuild the temple of God in Jerusalem after the Jews returned from their captivity in Babylon.
And I believe God was as excited by the start of construction, as He was by the ending.
I believe God and the angels rejoiced when they saw the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand as the work was about to start.
Because nothing will happen without someone being willing to take that first step. That first step is absolutely critical.
Don’t worry about what your ministry is going to look like in the end. Focus on the first step. God rejoices when the first, small step is taken.
God and the angels in heaven were rejoicing when Jeff started painting his signs. God and the angels in heaven where rejoicing as Dorcas picked out her first piece of cloth to make that first robe.
I said earlier that Dorcas’s ministry had a world-wide impact. You probably are wondering how I know this. Well, it’s because her story was included in the Bible and has literally been read by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
You don’t know where God will take your ministry, but don’t worry about where it will end, just take the very important first small step and start.
Even Jeff’s hotdog ministry is taking an unexpected step that he never anticipated. He will soon be starting a Bible study because it was something people visiting his garage were asking for.
So don’t let your station in life be the deciding factor on whether you are a person of influence.
As soon as you became a Christian, you became a Holy Spirit empowered person of influence.
No matter who you are or what you do, you can make a difference in people’s lives.
You have an area of influence:
- It could be a nation, like Jehoram.
- It could be state or province.
- It could be a city.
- It could be your neighborhood.
- It could be your street.
God has a purpose and call for you.
So what did Jeff and Dorcas have that King Jehoram didn’t have? Jeff and Dorcas have no regrets.