Illustration results for boasting
I recently read an insightful story that would serve as a good reminder for us both as we prepare to part ways. The story is about a group of climbers who set out to scale a large mountain in Europe. The view boasted a breathtaking peak of snowcapped rocks. On clear days the crested point reigned as king on the horizon. Its white tip jutted into the blue sky inviting admiration and offering inspiration.
On days like this the hikers made the greatest progress. The peak stood above them like a compelling goal. Eyes were called upward. The walk was brisk. The cooperation was unselfish. Though many, they climbed as one, all looking to the same summit.
Yet on some days the peak of the mountain was hidden from view. The cloud covering would eclipse the crisp blueness with a drab, gray ceiling and block the vision of the mountaintop. On these days the climb became arduous. Eyes were downward and thoughts inward. The goal was forgotten. Tempers were short. Weariness was an uninvited companion. Complaints stung like thorns on the trail.
We’re like that, aren’t we? As long as we can see our dream, as long as our goal is within eyesight, there is no mountain we can’t climb or summit we can’t scale. But take away our vision, block our view of the trail’s end, and the result is as discouraging as the journey.
Lucado, M. (1987). God came near : Chronicles of the Christ (189–190). Portland, Or.: Multnomah Press.
Sermon Central Staff
Busyness is no sign of spirituality or any kind of a full life. In fact, it’s more likely the sign of an empty life.
Tim Kreider, in an article he wrote for The New York Times called The Busy Trap put it this way: “If you live in America in the 21st century, you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: ‘Busy!’ ‘So busy.’ ‘Crazy busy.’ It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: ‘That’s a good problem to have,’ or ‘Better than the opposite.’”
Then Kreider goes on to say, Busyness serves as a kind of ... hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day …. [We’re] busy because of [our] own ambition or drive or anxiety, because [we’re] addicted to busyness and dread what [we] might have to face in its absence."
(Tim Kreider, "The Busy Trap," The New York Times, 6-30-12. From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Cure For Weariness, 8/17/2012)
Business destroys relationships. It substitutes shallow frenzy for deep friendship. It feeds the ego but starves the inner man. It fills a calendar but fractures a family. It cultivates a program that plows under priorities. Many a church boasts about its active program: "Something for every night of the week for everybody." What a shame! With good intentions the local assembly can create the very atmosphere it was designed to curb.
Dr. Charles Swindoll.
For more from Chuck, visit http://www.insight.org
EVERYTHING I NEED
“I have everything I need for joy!” Robert Reed said.
His hands are twisted and his feet are useless. He can’t bathe himself. He can’t feed himself. He can’t brush his teeth, comb his hair, or put on his underwear. Strips of Velcro hold his shirts together. His speech drags like a worn out audiocassette.
Robert has cerebral palsy.
The disease keeps him from driving a car, riding a bike, and going for a walk. But it didn’t keep him from graduating from high school or attending Abilene Christian University, from which he graduate with a degree in Latin. Having cerebral palsy didn’t keep him from teaching at St. Louis Junior College or from venturing overseas on five mission trips.
And Robert’s disease didn’t prevent him from becoming a missionary in Portugal.
He moved to Lisbon, alone, in 1972. There he rented a hotel room and began studying Portuguese. He found a restaurant owner who would feed him after the rush hour and a tutor who would instruct him in the language.
Then he stationed himself daily in a park, where he distributed brochures about Christ. Within six years he led seventy people to the Lord, one of whom became his wife, Rosa.
I heard Robert speak recently. I watched other men carry him in his wheelchair onto the platform. I watched them lay a Bible in his lap. I watched h...
C. Cs. Lewis "The Chronicles of Narnia"
"Are you not thirsty?" said the lion. "I’m dying of thirst," said Jill. "Then drink," said the lion. "May I- could I- would you mind going away while I do?" said Jill. The lion answered this only by a look and very low growl. As Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic. "Will you promise not to- do anything to me, if I do come?" said Jill. "I make no such promise," said the lion. Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer the lion. "Do you eat girls?" she said. "I have swallowed up, consumed girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms," said the lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it. "I daren’t come and drink," said Jill. "Then you will die of thirst," said the Lion. "Oh dear!" said Jill, coming another step nearer. "I suppose I must go and look for another stream then." The lion said, "There is no other stream."
This old world is full of those who are thirsty. Yes, if we go to the stream we will be devoured, consumed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, but I would rather be on fire now, consumed now, than forever on fire and never burned out.
AUGUSTINE AND THE FOUR STATES OF MAN
In the 5th century AD, St. Augustine wrote about the "4 States of Man":
* The first state of man (the haec sunt prima) is "living according to the flesh -- with reason making no resistance." This can be seen in so many ancient cultures and religions (and unfortunately more than a few in our own time) with their human sacrifices, their idols, their pagan ceremonies, and even cannibalism. Human life -- without power -- was lightly regarded. Animals, especially domesticated animals, were often valued more highly than human life. Reason often vanishes when weighed against lust and self-gratification. Even today, this seems to be coming full circle.
* The second state of man is "recognition of sin through the Law . . . but sinning knowingly." It was so important for Satan to remove the Ten Commandments from our classrooms and courtrooms. It was critical for him to "separate church and state." So long as people knew the Law, it would not be so easy to ignore the Law. Without the reminders of the Law, we easily return to the first state of man. Does any of this sound familiar?
* The third state of man is "faith in the help of God -- but he perseveres in seeking to please God." Man has begun to be moved by the Spirit of God. We are already standing with one foot in the hell which we have created, but in the "third state", man knows it. So he still struggles against his own sinful nature because he has not yet been fully healed.
* The fourth state of man is "the full and perfect peace in God." This we find in harmony with Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the person of Jesus Christ, we see how far we have departed from God.
Augustine adds, "The will of man is always free, even and particularly when it can no longer will to do evil." But Adam and Eve were not gods, "and their 'free will' would not have sufficed, even in paradise, to merit immortality. Divine assistance was needed. Their immortality could only continue by their continued relationship with the Divine. So how much more do we need God's help since our fall?"
Augustine continues, "Even the good merits and qualities which people may display toward one another are gifts from God. Every good quality comes from His grace. God's mercy is the ground of salvation. Therefore, let no man boast. Out of faith spring hope and love. We hope only in God -- not in men and not in ourselves." ("The History of Doctrines", Reinhold Seeberg, p. 366)
Dorothy Sayers wrote, "If men will not understand the meaning of judgment, they will never come to understand the meaning of grace."
Capitan Gerardo Balmori
A boy got his first job. As he was boasting about the amount of work he did, he said, "I get up at 5 a.m. and have my breakfast." He was asked, "Does anyone else get up too?" He replied, "Oh yes, mother gets up and fixes my breakfast and then fixes dad’s breakfast."
"And what about your dinner?" The boy said, "Oh, mother, fixes that too."
"Does your mother have the afternoon to herself?" The boy replied, "No, mama cleans the house, looks after the other children, and then gets supper for me and dad when we come home. Then we watch TV before we go to bed."
"What about your mother? What does she do?" The boy replied, "Mama washes some clothes and irons the rest of the evening."
"Do you get paid?" "Of course, Dad and I get paid."
"And what about your mother, does she get paid too?"
The boy replied, "MOTHER, GET PAID?! MOTHER DON’T GET PAID. SHE DON’T DO NO WORK."
Meekness = humility – Dr. Samuel Brengle (Salvation Army) said “The axe cannot boast of the trees it has cut down. IT could do nothing but for the woodsman. He made it, he sharpened it, he used it. The moment he throws it a...
Sermon Central Staff
THE LION AND THE DOG
D.L. Moody one time saw a man beat his dog at a zoo one time because he was mad at him. He had made a bet and boasted about him being so obedient and when he tried to get the dog to so something he wanted, it wouldn’t do it and he lost his bet. He got so mad at that dog and just beat him and beat him and beat him mercilessly.
Finally, after he was wounded and bleeding and whimpering, he threw him in the lion's cage so that the lion would eat him. And that poor whimpering, beaten, pitiful dog, standing shaking on his legs was in the presence of that great lion. And that lion came over to that dog and sniffed him and then he begin to lick that little dog and the dog laid down and the lion laid down there just keeping him warm and licking his wounds. And the man, after a little while felt sorry for the dog and told the man to let him have his dog back. And the person in charge of the lion cage who had seen him beat that dog said, "Fine, you can have your dog back. But you're going to have to go in there and get him yourself!"
And that's the way it is with me and you – we were…
By sins and sin, and now the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Jesus, has taken us in and has healed our wounds and now protects us from the enemy that once enslaved us!
(From a sermon by Ricky Nelms, The Power To Become, 7/22/2010)
The Son sets us free by becoming a curse for us and thereby removing the curse from us, by taking all our guilt on Himself thereby clearing us of guilt, and by "binding the Strongman" through His death, thereby setting us free from Satan's kingdom. Oh, what a cross!
Alexander Whyte "It is the picture of violence, yet the key to peace. It is a picture of suffering, yet the key to healing. It is a picture of utter weakness, yet the key to power. It is a picture of capital punishment, yet the key to mercy and forgiveness. It is a picture of supreme shame, yet the Christian's supreme boast. It is a picture of death, yet the key to life. It is a picture of vicious hatred, yet the key to love." What irresistible love.
(From Mike Cleveland's Sermon "Jesus Frees Us")