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A lady joined her Navy husband on his tour of duty in Japan. To supplement their income, she got a job as a secretary for the Commanding Officer at the base. She was certain her office skills had gotten her the position. A few weeks later, her boss called her into his office and told her she was much too quiet. He said, The reason I hired you was your Texas accent. I’m homesick for someone who can talk right.
God knew the only talk we would understand would be a living, walking, loving picture – so Jesus came.
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!"
Quote: "If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else." - Yogi Berra
Text: Romans 10:1-4
Prop: a new US $20 bill (or adapt for local currency)
Summary: Some people try to get to heaven on their own by being a good person. The only righteousness that is real is what the Lord Jesus gives us.
Look at this new $20 bill (US currency). We pay for things with money. The color of money used to be green, but this has some red and blue in it now. The moneymakers put some things in this bill so you would know it was genuine. [Show each security feature.] One is this magnetic strip, another is the watermark of the person’s face, and another is this two-tone ink on the number twenty. It is green at this angle, and gold at another angle. If you present this as payment, anyone who receives it can tell it is real. Some people try to cheat and make fake money. The money they make on their own is called a counterfeit. That reminds me of something the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans.
[Read Romans 10:1-4]
Paul wanted his own people, the Israelites, to be saved from their sins. He said they were eager to please God but they did not understand what God wanted. The Israelites thought if they kept following all of God’s laws and commands that it would be enough to please God. They thought if they were good and did nice things that would be all that was necessary to get to heaven. That was the wrong kind of righteousness. It was a fake. The only righteousness that is real is what the Lord Jesus gives us. Paul made it clear that we need God’s righteousness. That means we must be willing to accept God’s goodness, not try to be good on our own.
How can we do that? We can accept what Jesus did for us on the cross. Jesus completed the work of the law there. That is the real, genuine thing that God accepts. Jesus died as a sacrifice for all the bad things we have done. As an old hymn says, Jesus paid it all! We gave God our sin, and God gave us forgiveness and His goodness. That does not seem like a fair trade, but God loves us so much he was willing to do that.
[Read John 3:16] Whosoever includes you. Whosoever includes me. God is so good to us. God wants us to be good, but He does not want us to try to get to heaven by trusting our own goodness to save us. He has provided the way: His Son Jesus.
Let us pray. Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for paying the price for my sins. Amen.
There was a time when I told the Lord that I would do whatever He wanted me to do EXCEPT CAST OUT DEMONS and do weird stuff like that with the occult. I now realise that Jesus' power and authority far exceeds that of demons. Oh yes, I believe that demons exist! You don't want to talk about it? Well, that's how I felt too, but it's no use trying to bury your head in the sand. We are, as many Christians say, involved in a Spiritual Battle. If all we are battling is having a bad day, and a headache, then hello? We have missed the point! That's not a Spiritual Battle! Today, I fought off spiritual forces of darkness who tried to thwart my every step as I battled to get a panadol! Get a life!
On the other hand, on one occasion I found myself praying that demons would stop oppressing a friend who had been male witch and had become a Christian. He knew the reality of demons. Am I to do that everyday? I hope not. That was a battle!
I was at Borders the other day (which reminds me that I must visit Koorong bookstore soon) and I noticed that most of the young adult best selling books had occult themes ranging from mythological warewolves to ghosts. And of course I can't not mention other demonically associated characters like vampires who fall in love with humans ("New Moon", etc and yes, no matter how much ...
Construction workers attempt to use God to take what is Caesars. (Matt 22:15-21)
In the late 1970’s large numbers of skilled construction workers, commonly referred to as “Boomers”, traveled the country looking for work on electric power plant maintenance projects. These were short-term (4-8 weeks), high-overtime (60-70 hours a week) projects.
The Boomers loved the overtime, but hated to pay taxes. So they came up with a scheme. Suddenly, our payroll department noticed something unusual about the W-4’s many of the Boomers were filling out at time of hire. As you know for most people the normal number of tax exemptions is 2, 3, 4 or so depending on family size. The higher the number of exemptions, the less tax is withheld from the weekly paycheck. These Boomers were filing W-4’s with 99 exemptions, which had the effect of eliminating any tax withholding from their paycheck.
Needless to say, the IRS took exception to this practice and required these workers to justify their claim of exemption from withholding taxes.
The Boomers were ready for the IRS. Each promptly produced a letter/certificate from a so-called School of Theology in Illinois which declared the Boomer to be an ordained minister. The Boomer’s letter was on stationary from the Church of This or the Church of That in Illinois, professing that he/she was the pastor of that church and that all labor was rendered in the name of God and all earnings belonged to the Church and were therefore tax exempt.
Well, the IRS didn’t buy that either and the scheme was squashed.
The Boomers were not unlike the Pharisees. They wanted to use God to deny Caesar what is Caesars. The boomers were just greedy. The Pharisees were greedy too, but mostly wanted to trap Jesus. BIG MISTAKE!! Jesus set them all straight and sets us straight by commanding us to “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s”. We, like Jesus, are not OF this world, but we are IN this world. Thus we are called be both good citizens and good Christians.
Romans 6:11 "So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus."
Something that’s dead is unresponsive. I’ve brought one of my daughter’s stuffed animals today, a large dog. When she was little she called him James T. Bone. It’s not really dead because it was never alive but it helps make a point.
The point is we should be as responsive to temptation to sin – to the voice of the devil – as this dog is to my voice. Watch this.
“Sit!” Good boy. At least he got that one right.
You see what God wants from us. Respond to the devil’s temptations like the stuffed dog responded to my commands.
But we respond just the opposite to God’s voice. We’re alive, that is responsive to Him and obey.
A Fellow was sitting at a stop light. The lady in front of him was going through papers on the seat of her car, and when the light changed to green she did not obey its command - a green light is a commandment - NOT a suggestion. When the light turned to red, and she had still not moved, He began (with his windows up) screaming and beating on his steering wheel. His expressions of distress were interrupted by a policeman, gun drawn, tapping on his window. Against his protestations of, "You can’t arrest me for hollering in my car," the officer ordered him into the back seat of his patrol car. After about two hours in a holding cell, the arresting officer advised him he was free to go. He said, "I knew you couldn’t arrest me for what I was yelling in my own car. You haven’t heard the last of this." The officer replied, "I didn’t arrest you for shouting in your car. I was directly behind you at the light. I saw you screaming...
There is a priest in Dublin, Ireland named Father Foster
He tells about the day
he parked his car on a rather steep slope
close to his church.
His little terrier was lying on the back seat
and could not be seen by anyone outside the vehicle.
Father Foster got out of the car,
turned to lock the door,
and gave his usual parting command to his dog.
"Stay!" he ordered loudly.
An elderly man was watching the performance with amused interest.
Grinning, he suggested,
"Why don’t you just try putting on the emergency brake?"
Today Jesus reflects on the power of prayer.
To one who doesn’t believe in the power of prayer
watching someone pray
is the equal to watching someone say, "Stay," to...