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Sermon Central Staff
THE VACUUM SALESMAN
A vacuum salesman down in rural Tennessee. He had a his vacuum cleaner and all of this tools and everything, and he went out there and he told a lady, "I’ve got the most exciting vacuum cleaner you have ever seen. It will clean your house from top to bottom...you only have to pay so much down."
And the lady said, "It sounds real good."
He said, "You see that big pile of dirt right there on the floor with all those fur balls and bugs and things." He said, "My vacuum cleaner will just pick up all those things up just like that and if they don’t, I’ll eat it."
She said, "Well, you might as well get your knife and fork, because we do not have any electricity out here!"
Power is the one thing nations, politicians and businessman
covet. But the power that we need is not an earthly
power. God has promised believers Spiritual power.
Vance Havner once rightly said,"We are not going to move this world by criticism of it nor conformity to it, but by combustion within it of lives ignited by the Spirit of God."
(From a sermon by Donnie De Loney, Pentecostal Power, 5/22/2012)
A GUIDE TO KNOWING YOU ARE MIDDLE AGED:
By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he’s too old to go anywhere.
Middle age is when you have stopped growing at both ends and have begun to grow in the middle.
A man has reached middle age when he is cautioned to slow down by his doctor instead of by the police.
Middle age is having a choice of two temptations and choosing the one that will get you home earlier.
You know you’re into middle age when you realize that caution is the only thing you care to exercise.
Don’t worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
Growing old cannot be avoided – God has our life numbered, physical disciplines are good when they are done in moderation, but they will not force God into extending our life span. The gift of life is a gift from God to be used to for his purposes, for spiritual and heavenly reasons. Our concern should be to obey honor and praise and give glory to him, and let him care for us. Ps 90:12, Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
It was a dark and stormy night.
You could hear the thunder in the distance. Bats flapped their wings in the darkness of the night.
There the castle stood. The wolves were howling; the trees were swaying in the wind as it whistled.
And inside the castle, a faint light shown…from a laboratory.
This was the laboratory of the one and only, the maddest
scientist of them all…the laboratory of the infamous Dr. Emil Van-Gelical!
A rat ran across the granite floor as a daunting figure appeared in the light. It was Dr. Van Gelical himself with his white laboratory coat stained with the evidence of his notorious experiements.
His eyes were glowing with mad delight as he gazed upon the table in the middle of the room, covered with a white sheet.
Under the sheet lay a human-like form.
Suddenly, Dr. Evan Gelical shouted:
"Igor, come quickly! We have much to do!"
Irregular footsteps were heard coming down from the stairs.
In a moment appeared Igor, a hunchback with tattered clothes and a candelabrum in one hand and a big cardboard box in the other.
"Yes master…here is everything you ordered. All is ready!"
"Very good. Bring all the materials to the table Igor. Now we begin….the experiment!
Thunder was heard in the distance while Igor dragged the box towards the table.
"Tonight I will conduct the greatest experiment of my career. Tonight shall be my greatest triumph ever!"
Doctor Evan Gelical raised his fist towards the sky:
"I shall achieve what no man has achieved before. Tonight I create spiritual life! This shall be my greatest hour for I shall create….Christianstein!"
More thunder and lightning.
"They say that I am mad Igor. But Christianstein shall be the greatest specimen of spiritual life the world has ever seen! He shall everything Igor, EVERYTHING!"
"The moment has arrived. Igor, y gloves!."
"Give me the voice of a great evangelist Igor!"
"Yes master" and he handed him a jar from the box.
"The courage of Stephen!" Igor produced a disty vial.
"The patience of Job!" the doctor commanded and he was rewarded with an ancient-looking flask.
"Now the hypodermic and the serums I distilled!"
Igor’s hands trembled as he presented a long, steel syringe and bottles filled with different colored fluids.
"Double dosis of daily prayer and Bible reading,"
murmured Dr. Evan Gelical while he withdrew liquid from one of the bottles and injected it into the lifeless figure’s arm.
"Then faithful church attendance…generous giving…temperance…volunteer work…ability to resist temptation…witnessing…"
The doctor paused for a moment, then filled the syringe with fluid from the final container.
"And last-but not least-a triple injection of …orthodoxy!
The mad doctor consulted his list once more.
"Examine the box Igor. Have we forgoteen anything?"
"Oh no master…Everything must be in place!"
"Excellent! This is the moment the world has waited for. This is the moment for….Christianstein!"
The doctor dashed to the nearest wall where an electical control panel waited.
"A million volts of lightning will bring my creation to life. Now stand back Igor while I throw the power switch…and prepare to meet the perfect Christian…CHRISTIANSTEIN!"
Doctor Emil Van Gelical threw the massive switch as an avalanche of thunder shook the castle.
The figure began to tremble.
"Doctor! shouted Igor…it’s….moving!
"Yes, yes, my creation lives!
That thing called "CHRISTIANSTEIN" sat up slowly. Then, stiffly, it climbed from the table and stood to its full height.
"Oh, my creation…..Speak to me, speak to me!"
The figure looked down at the doctor and frowned. Finally it began to speak in a low and hostile growl:
"If I speak in the language of angels but have not love…"
"LOVE?" asked the doctor, examining in perplexity his list once again.
Slowly the creature lifted his hands towards the doctor who was still consulting his list.
"If I have the gift of prophecy and can understand all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have faith that can move mountains and have not love…."
"LOVE?" Igor, what is he talking about?"
"I, I don’t know master! answered Igor as he hid himself under the table.
"If I give all my possessions to the poor and give my body to the flames to be burned and have not love…" Suddenly the figure, growling, picked up the doctor by his coat off of his feet…."I gain nothing!"
"Nothing?" said the doctor.
"¡Aaarrggghhh!" the creature bellowed throwing the doctor to the ground and reaching for his throat.
"Igor you fool! I knew that we forgot something! And such a small thing!" while the doctor fled for his life with the creature CHRISTIANSTIEN in hot pursuit.
A few minutes passed before Igor finally had enough courage to come out from under the table. Finally, looking this way and that, he whispered:
"I, I think….we have created a monster!"
There were very few of these
Here’s a fun exercise for you to do when you have time. Use your concordance and find all of the scriptures from Acts to Revelation in which you find the word “together” and see what early Christians did “together.” Here’s a sampling: Meeting together. Praying together. Sharing material thi...
Brian La Croix
Some things aren’t necessarily meant to be tied in with the Bible lesson in Sunday School.
There are some people who try to tie absolutely everything to a spiritual lesson, and you know what? It drives people bonkers.
I remember one time in college when a bunch of us got together to watch a movie.
At the end of the movie, one of the guys said, “So who do you think was the ‘Christ figure’ in the movie?”
And I’m like, “Can’t you just watch a movie just to enjoy it? It’s a DISNEY movie for crying out loud!”
I can just imagine some parents driving through Texas or Florida and saying, “See that dead armadillo, kids? Even with all its outward protection, it was still no match for the pick-up that just ran over it. In the same way, we might think we’ve got things together outwardly, but you never know when the 4x4 of life will knock you dead and if you don’t have Jesus, then you’re just spiritual roadkill…”
Feel free to use real-life situations to point kids to Jesus, but think while you’re doing it, okay?
K. Edward "Ed" Skidmore
Consumed with Consumerism
We Americans are CONSUMED with the CONSUMER mentality! We’re used to choosing whatever gives us the most "perks and bennies" at any given time.
We look for a restaurant with the best price and menu and atmosphere and location. We go to the clothing store that carries our size, has our taste in clothes, and has the best sales. And if we can’t find that in town, we shop online! We want to get our groceries at the place that's close to home with the best prices, best selection and that's not crowded. (Good luck with that!)
A lot of people take that same mentality with them when it comes to choosing a church. In fact, we even call it "church shopping."
If we have little kids, we look for a church with a great kids program. If we don’t have kids, we find a church that doesn’t have a bunch of noisy kids disturbing us.
We look for a building that is simple but not shabby, comfortable but not ostentatious, colorful but subdued, cool in summer and warm in winter, and most of all, already paid for so we don’t have to give to a building fund! (By the way, our building IS paid for, praise the Lord! But don’t get too excited, I’m sure we’ll be starting a building fund soon.)
We want the music enthusiastic but not too loud, energetic but not too fast, contemporary but traditional, soothing but exciting.
We want the preacher to be youthful but not too young, relevant but not trendy, spiritual but down-to-earth, funny but full of gravitas...and most of all, able to give a life-changing message in 20 minutes or less!
And if anything stops meeting our expectations, then before you know it, we’re off "church shopping" again!
But the Church was never meant to serve the consumer mentality. The church is unique in that it is not about serving US, it's about us serving OTHERS. In the church, we are more focused on reaching the non-member than the member...the non-attender than the attender...the seeker rather than the already found-er...the newcomer rather than the insider, the desperately lost rather than the comfortably saved.
WHAT WILL THEY SAY?
A minister, a priest and a rabbi die and go to heaven for orientation. They are all asked, "When you are in your casket, and friends, family, and congregants are mourning over you, what would you like to hear them say?"
The minister says, "I would like to hear them say that I was a wonderful husband, a fine spiritual leader, and a great family man."
The priest says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful teacher and a servant of God who made a huge difference in people's lives."
The rabbi replies, "I would like to hear them say, 'Look, he's moving!'"
"BIGGER AND BETTER RATTLE SNAKES"
Mr. Jones called his pastor from the hospital one day and frantically said, "Oh, pastor come quickly, my son, John was just bitten by a rattle snake and is at the point of death." Of course the pastor hurried to the side of the worried father. "Pastor, pray for my son!", cried the father, " I have promised the Lord that if my son recovers, I will come back to church and bring my family and will again start living for the Lord."
Of course the pastor prayed. He said, "Dear Lord, we come to you now in behalf of Mr. Jones’ son. We pray that he might recover from this snake bite. We want to praise your name for sending this rattle snake to bite John! This one rattle snake has done what I or the church has been unable to do in the life of Mr. Jones now for over 5 years. During all this t...
Sermon Central Staff
WE CAN STILL BE CLUELESS
A recent advertisement by Cars.com tells the fictional story of a wonder child named Timothy Richman. From his earliest years, Timothy displayed an amazing level of confidence, and his confidence came from knowledge.
As a toddler in his high chair, he saw a pan of food cooking on the stove catch fire. Knowing somehow that baking soda puts out fires, Timothy calmly threw his rattle at a box of baking soda located on a shelf above the flaming pan, knocking over the box, which poured the soda into the pan and extinguished the flames.
As a boy about to learn to ride a bike, Timothy stands straddling the bike as his dad prepares to put on the training wheels. Timothy says, "Balance, momentum, and a low center of gravity," and with that knowledge fully absorbed, before Timothy's dad can get the training wheels on, Timothy pedals the bike away.
In junior high, Timothy confidently walks up to a teen on an Italian beach who has been stung on the leg by a jellyfish and acting on his knowledge of first aid he pours vinegar on the inflamed skin. He explains in perfect Italian that vinegar can neutralize jellyfish stings.
As a high school student on safari in Africa, he uses his knowledge of veterinary obstetrics to deliver a baby Bengal tiger that was breeched.
As an adult, Timothy gets out of his car on a highway as a tornado approaches a bus full of cheerleaders. Using his knowledge of storm cells and tornadoes, he explains to the cheerleaders that they will be safe if they exit the bus and lie in a low-lying depression beside the road. Just as the cheerleaders and Timothy jump safely into the ditch, the bus rises in the air and is carried away by the tornado.
The narrator explains, however, as Timothy stands with a scared look on his face in a new car lot, "When it came time to buy a new car, he was just as nervous as the rest of us."
Then Timothy sees a Cars.com sign and pulls out his cell phone. The narrator concludes, "So Timothy Richman got his knowledge at Cars.com, regained his confidence, and got the perfect car at the perfect price."
This commercial entertainingly illustrates the fact that no matter how much knowledge and confidence we have in many areas of life, we can still be clueless in another important area of living. The fact is, no matter how smart we are, apart from God's help we are clueless about important spiritual truths.
(From a sermon by Freddy Fritz, Boasting Only in the Lord, 1/29/2011)
I've been reading a book by a pastor named Erwin Rafael McManus. He tells about a conversation he had with his daughter, Mariah. He was explaining that Christians often face danger and even death. His daughter asked, "Has anyone ever tried to kill you, Daddy?" And he answered, "Sort of." She wanted to hear about it. Here's what he wrote:
"I told her there was an ex-convict who let me know while he was in prison that as soon as he was released, he was going to bring my life to a close. Instead of waiting for him when he hit the streets, I found him in the projects. Knowing I had Mariah captivated, I did everything I could to heighten the danger and mystery of the moment. I paused right after describing the dingy room in which only the two of us stood face to face --- William holding open the same blade with which he had slit another man's throat; me with nowhere to go.
Before I could go on, Mariah couldn't keep it in. With panic in her eyes, she blurted out, 'Did he ...