Mike Keahbone feels he has been saved from impending death, like a cat that falls in a toilet and is sure to die without intervention from someone bigger and stronger. Keahbone, minister to students at Southern Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, used levity and a personal "cat" story to capture the attention of Oklahoma Baptist University students during a chapel message Friday, Sept. 4.
Keahbone's message on single-minded obedience to God drew from the book "The Cost of Discipleship," by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The book is the foundation for the 2009-10 OBU chapel theme, "Costly Illumination: Counting Everything Loss in Light of the Surpassing Worth of Knowing Christ."
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Relating his personal experience with a cat, Keahbone told students how a veterinarian warned him to keep toilet lids closed in his household. The vet explained that cats who see their reflection in toilet water think another cat is there, and they can fall into the toilet while trying to interact with the "other" cat. Instead, they often get stuck and drown.
After following the advice for a few days, Keahbone said he and his wife, Jennifer, fell inattentive to the instruction - but were reminded one Saturday morning when they awoke to "swishing" sounds in their bathroom. He said Jennifer rushed to the rescue of the cat, pulling it to safety.
Keahbone related the story as an illustration of his life, depicting how God saw that he needed to be saved and provided supernatural intervention. In his life, he said God has called him to be a messenger, and that God gave him a message for the OBU students. He said prior to the chapel service, he prayed fervently that God would bring to their attention anything in their lives they needed to abandon in single-minded obedience to God.
"There are a lot of philosophies you will come across in this world, but there are some basic truths you have got to tie yourself to - that you've got to commit to - so you can stay the course of this life God has called you to," Keahbone said. "It is essential that you understand who God is, and what He has done for you, and what He expects.
"Here's the bottom line: God is real. God is true. He proves Himself through His Word. He proves Himself through science and history. When you take the time to seek, you will find He is legit and He checks out all the way through. And if He is real and He is true and He is legit, then we had better listen to Him, because He has something to say."
Keahbone said God's message is that a person can find salvation through Him, and that even followers of Christ sometimes forget the level of commitment they made to follow God. He said God expects a single-minded obedience that does not waver.
"The Bible says your life is like a vapor - it's here, then it's gone," he said. "Are you prepared to bank on what you believe to get you past that point when this life is over?"