Illustration results for Abel
Blessed Are The Persecuted
Matthew 5:10-12 says, "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
We are not to be surprised if people in the world hate Christians. (1 John 3: 13) Matthew Henry wrote, "Whom Christ blesses the world curses. The heirs of heaven have never been the darlings of this world, since the old enmity was put between the seed of woman (Eve) and of the serpent (Devil). Why did Cain hate Abel? Because Abel's works were righteous."
Persecution is a great paradox and a part of Christianity. Therefore it is put last of the eight Beatitudes. Jesus gives mention of it twice in His opening statements in the Sermon on the Mount because persecution is certain. In fact, "...everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted..." (2 Timothy 3: 12)
Righteousness, proper living before God, is an offense to people who live for the flesh, the world and the Devil. True holy living by the children of God convicts those who live for themselves.
Persecution, which is seen by an all-knowing God, comes in many forms and is found in every nation. Christians have been fined, imprisoned, banished, stripped of their estates, scourged, tortured, falsely accused and killed. There is no evil so black and horrid as false accusations and the persecution of Christians who truly walk uprightly before God.
Today's text does not encourage Christians to seek persecution. But, neither does it permit retreating from it, sulking or retaliation.
Christians who are persecuted because of righteousness will have a great reward in heaven. They may not understand the purposes nor see the benefits of it down here on earth, but there will be a great reward in the future life. Persecuted Christians who are fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit, can be like Peter and the other apostles when they left the Sanhedrin "...rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name [of Christ]." (Acts 5: 14)
Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer were the two American Christian aide workers being held by the Taliban under threat of death during the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on America and the resulting U.S. attack on Afghanistan. They open their book, "Prisoners of Hope" with these words, "To the Afghan people whom we so dearly love." These words reflect the heart of Christians who are willing to risk persecution and perhaps death for the sake of taking the gospel to the lost, those who are without Christ as personal Savior and Lord. They also wrote; "To our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Your everlasting love healed our hearts and set us free. May we honor and love you with all that we are for all of our days."
Having the "Righteousness" of God is to have a surrendered heart to His will, regardless of the cost. Blessed are those who will undergo persecution for the sake of the righteousness of Christ.
They had behaved badly in class but they were equally disruptive in the detention room, swearing, acting tough and defying anything I said with a smart comment. Unacceptable behaviour. I have never really had a problem with anger, but the closest I came was in that classroom. Teaching in a highschool can be stressful at times, and I was being hooked into their GAME.
It was a game that is commonly played in a classroom and if you could give it a name it would be "Make me!" or "I don't care and there's nothing you can do about it!"
If these guys had been in the garden of Eden and told not to eat the fruit they would have said to God "You can't make me do anything! I'll do what I like and I don't care what you think!"
In Genesis 4 Cain reminds me of those guys, because he is playing a REBELLIOUS GAME with God, only things get way out of hand and he ends up killing his brother Abel. It hasn't taken very long for the first murder to be committed, only one generation away from Adam and Eve. Cold blooded, reckless, callous, uncaring and unacceptable.
Charles Finney, Abel Clary. Second Great Awakening.
It had been said about Rev. Charles Finney that his sermons were chain lightning, flashing conviction into the hearts of the stoutest skeptics. Simple as a child in his utterances, he sometimes startled his hearers by his unique prayers." He could thunder the judgments of God upon sin with great liberty and power and then offer the mercy of the gospel with tenderness and tears. Without question he was a prophetic voice to 19th century America.
His ministry consistently produced revivals, even in areas considered hardened and unreceptive to the gospel. Finney's autobiography is filled with accounts of powerful manifestations of the Spirit. On one occasion when Finney was preaching in a school house, "suddenly an awful solemnity fell upon the assembly and the congregation fell from their seats, crying for mercy." Finney said, "If I had had a sword in each hand I could not have cut them off as fast as they fell. I think the whole congregation was on their knees or prostrated in two minutes." The crying and weeping of the people was so loud that Finney's exhortation of Christ's mercy could not even be heard.
"Finney seemed so anointed with the Holy Spirit that people were often brought under conviction of sin just by looking at him. When holding meetings at Utica, New York, he visited a large factory. At the sight of him one of the workers, and then another, and then another broke down and wept under a sense of their sins, and finally so many were sobbing and weeping that the machinery had to be stopped while Finney pointed them to Christ."
Abel Clary a mighty partner in prayer
However, it was Abel Clary who laid the ground work for these mighty moves of God through prayer. "Abel Clary was converted about the same time as Finney, and was licensed to preach also, but he had such a burden of prayer that he could not preach much. Finney wrote, "Mr. Clary continued as long as I did and did not leave until after I had left. He never appeared in public, but gave himself wholly to prayer. His whole time and strength was given to prayer. He would writhe and groan in agony, unable to stand under the weight." "After Clary's death Finney discovered Clary's prayer journal. Finney found in the exact order of the burden laid upon Clary's heart was the order of blessing poured upon his ministry."
QUESTIONS FOR GOD
I came across some post-it notes that contain brief notes that kids wrote to God. Here are a few funny ones…
Dear God, I went to this wedding and they kissed in church. Is that OK?
Dear God, I think about you sometimes even when I’m not praying.
God, thank you for the baby brother but what I prayed for was a puppy.
If you watch in church on Sunday I will show you my new shoes.
Dear God, if you give me a genie lamp like Aladdin I will give you anything you want except my money or my chess set.
Dear God, please send Dennis Clark to a different camp next year.
Dear God, maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each ot...
Abel is included in the Faith chapter for one reason—generosity.
Years ago on Candid Camera, children were used in an experiment about generosity. The children were placed by themselves in a room with a plate of cookies. On the plate were at least two cookies, there may have been more, but one of the cookies was very large. The adult left the room and the kids were allowed to take a cookie. You know, they all took the big one. One boy was challenged as to why he took the biggest cookie. Alan Funt, the host, told the boy, “All you left me to eat was the little cookie. I would have eaten the little cookie and given you the biggest one.” Without a blink the boy responded, “Then you got the one you wanted.”
Faith’s Hall of Fame: Abel
Cooperstown, NY. Those of you who are baseball fans know that it is the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ten years ago, back in July of 1998, my son Joel and I visited Cooperstown. We had tickets to the Hall of Fame game at Doubleday Field. The Baltimore Orioles played the Toronto Blue Jays and beat them 7 to 1 in an exhibition game. The Orioles are my son’s favorite team so it was a special treat to see them play. Before the game, we visited the Hall of Fame. We had a great time looking at all the exhibits. The Hall of Fame includes …
· 35,000 bats, balls, uniforms, and gloves
· 130,000 baseball cards
· 500,000 photographs
At the Hall of Fame, you can view such treasures as …
· Jackie Robinson’s 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers jersey
· The bat Babe Ruth used to hit his record setting 60th home run back in 1927
· The most valuable baseball card in the world—the T206 Honus Wagner card—worth 2.8 million dollars
By the way, if you come across some old baseball cards in a trunk in your attic, you might want to find out what they’re worth before you sell them at a yard sale for 50 cents!
Well, the Hall of Fame contains many baseball treasures. But the centerpiece of the museum is a room called The Plaque Gallery. There the plaques of all 278 members of the Hall of Fame line the oak walls—including such Yankee greats at Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, and Mickey Mantle.
In Hebrews chapter 11, we walk into a gallery. But it’s not lined with the plaques of baseball’s greats. Rather, it’s lined with the plaques of Old Testament greats—men and women of faith.
In Cooperstown, we have Baseball’s Hall of Fame. In Hebrews 11, we have Faith’s Hall of Fame. And the first plaque that we come to bears the name of an Old Testament All-Star—a man by the name of Abel.
His plaque is engraved with these words in Hebrews 11:4: “By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.”
Jeremy Hinzman, a name is an embarrassment to his country. Perhaps you recognize the name. Let me fill in the gaps for those of you not familiar with him
In January 2001, Hinzman volunteered for military service in the US Army, and for months happily cashed his military paychecks. Shortly after 9/11 of that year, realizing he might have to fight after all, he claimed to be a pacifist, a conscientious objector. In spite of his objections, he was sent to Afghanistan, where he served with his unit. After coming back to the states, when he saw his unit was about to be deployed to Iraq, he declared his objections to the war in Iraq. Last year he deserted his unit, packed up his wife and infant son, and left for Canada.
Since that time, he has complained to all who will listen that Americans are guilty of war crimes and has done all he can to encourage our enemies and to undermine the soldiers who are, even at this moment, fighting to protect our nation.
Now I want you to know, there is no perfect army. We have made mistakes. There has never been a war where innocent people have not suffered. Innocent people have been hurt ever since Cain murdered Abel, but to fail to support the people who were his comrades, to undermine the very people he swore to protect is inexcusable.
But wait. Before you and I go throwing stones, and before we begin to look down our self-righteous noses at him, we had better take a close look at ourselves, for many of us have deserted the fight as well. Many of us have left the field of battle and instead of supporting our brothers and sisters in Christ, our fellow soldiers we too have joined the enemies’ ranks and attacked our own.
Last week we began looking at hindrances to revival. We said last week, that one of the hindrances to revival is a negative, cutting tongue. This morning I would like us to look at another hindrance to revival, the failure to use our tongue to encourage, for I believe one of the reasons we don’t see revival, is that we don’t help each other as we should.
Q. Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?
A. Noah. He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.
Q. Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible?
A. Pharaoh’s daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out A little prophet.
Q. What kind of man was Boaz before he got married?
Q. Who was the first drug addict in the Bible?
A. Nebuchadnezzar. He was on grass for seven years.
Q. What kind of motor vehicles are in the Bible?
A. Jehovah drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden in a Fury.
A. David’s Triumph was heard throughout the land.
A. Honda...because the apostles were all in one Accord.
A. 2 Cor. 48 describes going out in service in a Volkswagen Beetle: "We are pressed in every way, but not cramped beyond movement."
Q. Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
A. Samson. He brought the house down.
Q. Where is the first baseball game in the Bible?
A. In the big inning, Eve stole first, Adam stole second. Cain struck out Abel, and the Prodigal Son came home. The Giants and the Angels were rained out.
Q. What is one of the first things that Adam and Eve did after they were kicked out?
A. They really raised Cain.
Q. What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why he no longer lived in Eden?
A. Your mother ate us out of house a...
Abel Kantoma has successfully
started 24 churches in Nigeria by
modeling his efforts after the apostle
Paul. Now he trains other church
planters in Gongola State through a
dry season Branch Bible School. He
models the "Hows, what, whys, when,
and wheres" of planting and growing a
church through the 17 local
governments in Gongola. Many
students from Jos E.C.W.A. Seminary
are learning a great deal about church
planting by following the example of
an accomplished church planter. Once
there is a model to follow, much of
the hard work is completed.
“The 100% Solution!” John 14:25-27 Key verse(s) 27:“‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’”
Since the beginning of time, mankind has craved peace! When Adam and Eve came upon the body of their son Abel, slain by his brother Cain, they no doubt longed for peace. First there was the confrontation with Satan in the garden, then this. Can there be no peace? And so it has been ever since that time, peace has eluded man for the most part and bloodshed has been his lot ever since. The peculiar thing about peace is this; man has always longed for the time when peace was in his life––yet peace has so seldom reigned in the hearts of men, it is doubtful that what he longs for has ever really been there in the first place. That which he craves is so foreign to his existence that, perhaps, the longing is more of a whim than it is a dream.
A former president of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and historians from England, Egypt, Germany, and India have come up with some startling information: Since 3600 B.C. the world has known only 292 years of peace! During this period there have been 14,351 wars, large and small, in which 3.64 billion people have been killed. The value of the property destroyed would pay for a golden belt around the world 97.2 miles wide and 33 feet thick. Since 650 B.C. there have also been 1,656 arms races, only 16 of which have not ended in war. The remainder ended in the economic collapse of the countries involved. (Source Unknown.)
Sometimes the very thing that we are searching for is the very thing that we cover up in our search we are so zealous. Take, for example, the case of my murky aquarium. For years I have maintained a 30 gallon aquarium in which I have kept various exotic tropical fish. Although I am not an aquarium “nut” like some, I do enjoy the hobby and pretty faithfully take care of both fish and tank as best I can. About a year ago the water in the tank turned a pale shade of green, indicating there was an algae bloom in the water that needed to be stopped. I bought an algae reducer, a chemical added to the water that was supposed to eradicate the algae and give me back my clear water. Yet, the water did not clear. So, I decided finally to drain the tank completely, clean it thoroughly and start over with new water. I filled the tank back with fresh water and then added the requisite drops of “tank starter”, a bacterial agent that creates a coating on the fish which protects them from infection in “unseasoned” water. For a few days the water was clear. Then, within a week, the water turned green again. I discovered through trial and error that the culprit all along was not the algae but the bacterial...