Illustration results for Decay
Staff Picks of Free Sermons and PRO Church Media
Sermon Central Staff
VACANT HOMES, VACANT LIVES
TIFTON, GA — The most interesting thing about Tifton is an abandoned Victorian house filled with thousands of bats. Tift County declared the once-elegant house in the town’s historic district off limits after a bat specialist said that maybe 20,000 bats had moved in, apparently for good.
Now, teenagers call it the bat house. People talk about the smell, which is an unholy mix of animal urine and decaying wood. "In the summer, ooh, does that place reek," said Linda Turner, 69, a retired nurse and neighbor. "You ain’t smelled nothing until you come back here on a hot day."
Brothers and Sisters, I’m not going to visit that bat house. WHAT A SIGHT AND WHAT A STINK IT MUST BE! Vacant houses get infiltrated with all kinds of creatures and probably not just bats. And many of these creatures make a mess, create a big stink, and eventually ruin that dwelling.
But it doesn’t just happen with vacant houses, it also happens with vacant lives! If a person doesn’t fill their life with good stuff, the bad stuff and sometimes, the evil stuff will move in and take over.
What’s going on in your house? That is, the house you live in, the fleshly body you live in? Who has moved in? Who has taken over your residence and controlling your life? God wants us to stay clean in this world and that will only happen when we let Him move in, that is, when we fill our lives with worship, prayer and service.
Thy word have I hide in my heart that I might not sin against thee! Ps. 119:11. The Bible will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from the Bible!
(From a sermon by Steve Shepherd, Our Walk in This World, 4/4/2011)
Sermon Central Staff
A DYING CHURCH
An artist was once asked to put on canvas what he considered to be the picture best symbolizing a decaying and dying church. After several months, he returned and reported that he had finished the task. The hour finally arrived when the painting was to be unveiled. Several people standing around the easel had already given their description of what they thought the church would look like. Some had said it would be a rundown building in great need of repair and paint. Weeds would be growing in the church yard, and there would be some broken window panes. Everyone in the group seemed to have a similar picture in mind.
However, when the cloth was removed, a hush fell over the group. Everyone was stunned. Before their eyes was an absolutely beautiful church building. The grounds were well kept and the exterior of the building was in excellent condition. After a few minutes, one person stepped forward and said to the artist, "I thought we asked you to paint a dying church?"
The artist smiled and invited everyone to step closer to the painting. He pointed through the windows to the empty pews and to the collection plate on the table. There was nothing in the plate but cobwebs.
The church that has cobwebs in its collection plate is a church that is decaying and dying. Without the giver, there is no giving. Without the giving, ministries cannot be conducted by the church. Without ministries being conducted, the mission of the church cannot be carried out. If the mission of the church is not carried out, the church is purposeless and dead.
(From a sermon by Terry Blankenship, Igniting a Lifeless Church Service, 2/7/2011)
The great violinist, Niccolo Paganini willed his marvelous violin to city of Genoa on condition that it must never be played.
The wood of such an instrument, while used and handled, wears only slightly, but set aside, it begins to decay. Paganini’s lovely violin has today become worm-eaten and useless except as a relic.
A Christian’s unwillingness to serve may soon destroy his capacity for usefulness. J.K. Laney, Marching Orders, p. 34.
Have you ever wondered what makes the difference between a spotlight and a laser beam?
How can a medium-powered laser burn through steel in a matter of seconds, while the most powerful spotlight can only make it warm?
Both may have the same electrical power requirements.
The difference is unity.
A laser can be simply described as a medium of excited molecules with mirrors at each end.
Some of the excited molecules naturally decay into a less excited state.
In the decay process they release a photon, a particle of light.
It is here that the unique process of the laser begins.
The photon moves along and “tickles” another molecule, inviting another photon to join him on his journey.
Then these two photons “tickle” two more molecules and invite two more photons to join the parade.
Soon there is a huge army of photons marching in step with each other.
It is this unity that gives the laser its power.
A spotlight may have just as man...
The great violinist, Nicole Pagannini, willed his marvelous violin to Genoa, the city of his birth, only on the condition that it not be played. It is a peculiar wood in that as long as the violin is used and handled, it shows little wear. As soon as it is discarded, the wood begins to decay. The exquisite, mellow-toned violin has become worm-eaten in its beautiful case, valueless except as a relic. The moldering instrument is a reminder that life, withdrawn from all service to others, loses its meaning.
Jesus taught this in a dramatic and unforgettable way. He said, “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for Me and for the gospel will find it.” (Mk 10:45) If a life is to remain useful, it must be lived in service to others.
Easter is so much more than learning how to face death without fear, with courage and dignity. After all, even philosophers, poets, and scientists can do that. I remember the astronomer Carl Sagan mention in an interview that he was looking forward to death as “the last great adventure.” Walt Whitman, who wrote a beautiful poem upon the death of Lincoln entitled, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” wrestled with the thought of death in his verses. In the end, he decided that all we can do is embrace it like a friend: “Come, sweet, soothing death. Undulate around me, arriving, arriving..” His contemporary, the poet William Cullen Bryant wrote what some have called the most beautiful American poem, “Thanatopsis,” (which is Greek for “A View of Death”). And what was his view of death? In beautiful, flowing verse with elegant words, his bottom line was that the best we can hope for is that our body, placed in the earth, will by its decay help some other form of life spring forth. Our death helps produce life.
I’m sorry. No matter how elegant the language, that message is depressing. God has so much more planned for us that merely to be fertilizer for ferns. That doesn’t dignify human beings. Jesus, however, gives us the highest dignity; he rose from death as our REDEEMER TO GIVE YOU ETERNAL VICTORY.
A HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN
The Celtic festival of Samhain is probably the source of the present-day Halloween celebration. The Celts new year began on November first. A festival that began the previous evening honored Samhain, the Celtic lord of death. The celebration marked the beginning of the season of cold, darkness, and decay. It naturally became associated with human death. The Celts believed that Samhain allowed the souls of the dead to return to their earthly homes for this evening. On the evening of the festival, the Druids, who were the priests and teachers of the Celts, ordered the people to put out their fires. The Druids built a huge new year’s bonfire of oak branches, which they considered sacred. They burned animals, crops, and human beings as sacrifices. Then each family relit its fire from the new year’s fire. During the celebration, people sometimes wore costumes made of animal heads and skins. They told fortunes about the coming year by examining the remains of the animals that had been sacrificed.
All Saints Day: Many of the customs of the Celts survived even after the people became Christians. During the 800’s, the church established All Saints’ Day on November first. They made the old pagan customs part of this Christian holy day.
The Catholic Church later began to honor the dead on November second. This day became known as All Soul’s Day. The Catholics believed that you could pray the dead out of purgatory.
The Jack-o-Lantern originated with an Irishman named Jack who loved to play pranks on the Devil. Legend is that he was made to wander the world carrying a lantern to show him the way, going to neither heaven nor hell. Hollowed out pumpkins with candles lighted inside were supposed to scare evil spirits away.
The Irish initiated “Trick-or-treating” when farmers would go from house to house to collect food for the village.
Costumes went from children dressing up like martyrs in celebration of All Saints Day to the modern day costumes of witches, etc…
SOURCE: Encyclopedia Britanica and others.
Once at a meeting, some young people were discussing the text, “ye are the salt of the earth.” They were suggesting uses of salt, and the meaning. Salt gives flavor to food. It preserves food to keep it from decaying. Then one girl said, salt makes yo...
The great violinist, Niccolo Paganini willed his marvelous violin to city of Genoa on condition that it must never be played. The wood of such an instrument, while used and handled, wears only slightly, but set aside, it begins to decay. Paganini’s lovely violin has today become worm-eaten and useless except as a relic. A Christian’s unwillingness to serve may soon destroy his capacity for usefulness. I never have really understood the idea of collecting antiques. I know that there is a lot of money in that hobby, but I never have understood why someone would by something that is a classic and never use it. People will buy cars for thousands of dollars and they will never drive them. They may have a nice collectors item that everyone can “ewww” and “ahhhh” over, but they aren’t using it. There are many people that God has given great talents and abilities and either they are using it for the glory of God, they aren’t using it all, or they are using them for themselves with the wrong motives. God has given every Christian certain talents and abilities and his intent was that the church might be made stronger through everyone working together.
"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." --George Washington
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity and freedom of worship here." --Patrick Henry
"We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." --James Madison
"There is a striking parallel between the condition of the country and the church. As the Constitution means little to Americans today, so too the Bible means little to the average church member. Church members generally are as ignorant of the Bible as are Americans of the Constitution. Too many people within our borders are Americans in name but un-American in their hearts and anti-American in their conduct. The church has a corresponding ailment, Christians in name, but in reality are only once -born children of Adam. The American spirit is sadly eroded today by distrust, by corruption in high places, by moral decay. It won’t be restored merely by flag-wavings and drum-beatings and Fourth of July speeches. It may not be possible to raise a new crop of patriots in such shallow soil. It may take disaster to make us realize what we had. There is also a Christian spirit in the church that has that need. When in the nation and in the church we humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways, then God will hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land." --Vance Havner