Illustration results for righteousness
Quote: "If you donít 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 personís 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 Godís 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 Godís righteousness. That means we must be willing to accept Godís 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.
Ah, what an easy job is his,
The man whoís in the preaching biz!
He has but little work to do,
For all he does the whole week through
Is just to call upon the flock
As regularly as the clock;
To cheer the sick who groan in bed,
To preach a sermon for the dead;
To teach the sinner righteousness,
And succor famine and distress;
To marry lovers, fond and true,
And christen little babies, too;
Preside at socials for the boys and men;
Look in upon the Ladiesí Aid;
See that the janitor is paid;
Hold Prayer meetings on Wednesday night,
Smooth over bickering and strife;
Keep all his actions free from smirch,
Avoid dissensions in the chruch;
Give all parishoners advice,
And always preach on Sabbath twice.
Yes, kindly is the parsonís fate,
The work is light, the pay is great,-
A guide, philosopher and seer,
At seven hundred bucks a year.
C. Scott Ghan
Reminds me of the time I was asked to speak at some Cemetery by some Civil War group in Arkansas. I was still fresh out of California and about 25. I donít know if I wasnít paying attention or what. I had prepared a very stirring speech with lots of quotes, mostly from Abe Lincoln and other notable Yankees. After the service was over I discovered it was a Confederate Memorial Day service sponsored by the Sons of the Confederacy. At that point in my life had never heard of this organization. I guess my attempt to make an excuse didnít really smooth things over neither. "Sonís of the Confederacy"? I thought you were all dead!"
--This isnít the sort of praying God really wants to hear.
Others have prejudices, but we have convictions.
Others are conceited, but in me itís self-respect.
Others are social-climbing snobs, but with me itís just trying to get ahead.
If you are unyielding about your views of Scripture, thatís just plain stubbornness; but in me, itís contending for the faith.
When you spend time on your personal appearance, itís vanity; in me, itís just making the most of my God-given assets.
In you, itís impatience; while in me, itís "have you noticed how annoying everyone is?"
In you, itís touchiness; but in me, itís sensitivity.
In you, itís self-righteousness; while in me itís amply justified, because I really am right.
In you, itís worry; in me, concern.
Blessed Are Those Who Hunger
A family had the habit of treating their children for ice cream after the church service. One Sunday the father decided to break the habit. The children were not happy about it. They started whining. The father decided use spirituality to deal with the situation. He asked, "Where in the Bible is it said that we should eat immediately after the service?"
The children turne...
Difficult People Are Like Tools
Some difficult people are like the tools in your tool shed:
A. Measuring tape: These people always let us know that we donít quite measure up. These perfectionists feel compelled to set the standards for everyone else. In short, they judge by their own standards of righteousness.
B. The hammer: These people are as subtle as a freight train. They push their agendas on others and force their will. Everyone walks on eggshells around a hammer, because we never know when the hammerís going to come down! They are stubbornly committed to use force in whatever way that it works for them to get their way.
C. Skill saw: Know just the thing to say that will hurt the most. These people have a great ability to cut to the quick and leave others bleeding on the floor. Skill saws win verbal arguments every time- not because theyíre right, but because they know where to cut to weaken others.
D. Vise grips: People who get a grip and donít know when to let go. They are extra needy and usually squeeze the life out of us. These people have no clue when it comes to social and relational boundaries. They bounce from one crisis to the next, needing constant support and encouragement. They donít care about other relationships in our lives; our attention must be focused on them.
E. Grinders: people with explosive...