Illustration results for consequences
Staff Picks of the Week:
Memorial Day 2013
Memorial Day 2013 Preaching Bundle »
Greater Love Video Illustration » Everlasting God Worship Music Video »
Sabbath Sabbath Preaching Bundle »
1 Outta 7 Video Illustration » Before The Throne… Worship Music Video »
Sermon Central Staff
USING THE RESOURCES YOU HAVE
At 12:55 pm the mayday call crackled through the speakers at the Flight Service Station on Alaskaís Kenai Peninsula. The desperate pilot of a Piper A22, a small single-engine plane, was reporting that he had run out of fuel and was preparing to ditch the aircraft in the waters of Cook Inlet.
On board were four people, two adults and two young girls, ages 11 and 12. They had departed two hours earlier from Port Alsworth, a small community on the south shore of Lake Clark, bound for Soldotna, a distance of about 150 miles. Under normal conditions it would been a routine flight; however, the combination of fierce headwinds and a failure to top off the fuel tank had created a lethal situation.
Upon hearing the planeís tail number, the air traffic controller realized that his own daughter was one of the young passengers aboard the plane. In desperation himself, he did everything possible to assist the pilot; but suddenly the transmission was cut off. The plane had crashed into the icy waters. Four helicopters operating nearby began searching the area within minutes of the emergency call, but they found no evidence of the plane and no survivors. The aircraft had been traveling without water survival gear, leaving its four passengers with even less of a chance to make it through the ordeal. Fiercely cold Cook Inlet, with its unpredictable glacial currents, is considered among the most dangerous waters in the world. It can claim a life in minutes, and that day it claimed four.
Kirk adds these thoughts to the story: For reasons we will never know, the pilot of that doomed aircraft chose not to use the resources that were at his disposal. He did not have enough fuel. He did not have the proper survival equipment. Perhaps he had not taken the time to get the dayís weather report. Whatever the case, he did not use the resources that were available; and in this instance the consequences were fatal.
I wonder how many other people have died needlessly like these four people did? Why, because someone did not manage and or use the resources they had at their disposal. Ė I also wonder how many have died without Jesus -- spiritually speaking from others being poor stewards of the resources God has placed them in charge of.
Nowery states, "The stewardship of resources is a serious business; and Godís will is that we give it serious attention. This demands that we have the right perspective on our resources, and that is possible only if we have the right focus on our source."
(Story from Kirk Nowery: ďThe Stewardship of Life,Ē Page 118. From a sermon by Michael McCartney, 12 dollars a changed life, 6/20/2012)
It was an unusually cold day for the month of May. Spring had arrived and everything was alive with color. But a cold front from the north had brought winterís chill back to Indiana. I sat with two friends in the picture window of a quaint restaurant just off the corner of the town squire. The food and the company were both especially good that day. As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across the street. There,
walking into town, was a man who appeared to be caring all his worldly goods on his back. He was carrying, a well-worn sign that read "Iíll work for food." My heart sank. I brought him to the attention of my friends and noticed that others around us had stopped eating to focus on him.
Heads moved in a mixture of sadness and disbelief. We continued with our meal, but his image lingered in my mind. We finished our meal and went our separate ways. I had errands to do and quickly set to accomplish them. I glanced toward the town square, looking somewhat halfheartedly for the strange visitor. I was fearful, knowing that seeing him again would call some response. I drove through town and saw nothing of him. I made some purchases at a store and got back into my car. Deep within me, the spirit of God kept speaking to me: "donít go back to the office until youíve at least driven once more around the square." And so with some hesitancy, I headed back into town. As I turned the squareís third corner, I saw him. He was standing on the steps of the storefront church, going through his sack. I stopped and looked, feeling both compelled to speak to him, yet wanting to drive on. The empty parking space on the corner seemed to be a sign from god: an invitation to park. I pulled in, got out and approached the townís visitor. Looking for the pastor? I asked. Not really, he replied, just resting. Have you eaten today? Oh, I ate something early this morning. Would you like to have lunch with me? Do you have some work I could do for you? No work, I replied. I commute here to work from the city, but I would like to! Take you to lunch. Sure he replied with a smile. As he began to gather his things, I asked him some surface questions. Where you headed? St. Louis. Where you from? Oh, all over; mostly Florida. I knew I had met someone unusual. We sat across from each other in the same restaurant I had left earlier. His face was weathered slightly beyond his 38 years. His eyes were dark and clear, and he spoke with an eloquence and articulation that was startling. He removed his jacket to reveal a bright red T-shirt that said, "Jesus is the never ending story." Then Danielís story began to unfold. He had seen rough times earl in life. Heíd made some wrong choices and reaped the consequences. Fourteen years earlier, while backpacking across the country, he had stopped on the beach in Daytona. He tried to hire on with some men who were putting up a big tent and some equipment. A concert, he thought. He was hired, but the tent would not house a concert but revival services, and in those services he saw life more clearly. He gave his life over to God. Nothingís been the same since, he said, I felt the lord telling me to keep walking, and so I did, some 14 years now. Ever think of stopping? I asked. Oh, once in a while, when it seems to get the best of me. But god has given me this calling. I give out bibles. Thatís whatís in my sack. I work to buy food and bibles, and I give them out when the spirit leads. I sat amazed. My homeless friend was not homeless. He was on a mission and lived this way by choice. The question burned inside for a minute and then I asked: whatís it like? What? To walk into town carrying all your things on your back and to show you a sign? Oh, it was humiliating at first. People would stare and make comments. Once someone tossed a piece of half-eaten bread and made a gesture that certainly didnít make me feel welcome. But then it became humbling to realize that God was using me to touch lives and change peopleís concepts of other folks like me. My concept was changing, too. We finished our dessert and gathered his things. Just outside the door, he paused. He turned and said," come ye blessed of my father and inherit the kingdom Iíve prepared for you. For when I was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, a stranger and you took me in." I felt as if we were on holy ground. Could you use another bible? I asked.
Pornography Addiction has a deadly progression says Tom Buford a converted porn addict, ďOur thanks to Morality In Media for the use of the following information from Healing Sexual and Pornography Addictions by Dr. Victor Cline.Ē
1. FIRST STEP - ADDICTION - "The first change that happened was an addiction-effect. The porn-consumers got hooked. Once involved in pornographic materials, they kept coming back for more and still more... The pornography provided very exciting and powerful imagery which they frequently recalled to mind and elaborated on in their fantasies."
a. "Once addicted, they could not throw off their dependence on the material by themselves, despite many negative consequences such as divorce, loss of family, and problems with the law (such as sexual assault, harassment or abuse of fellow employees)."
b. "... many of my most intelligent male patients appeared to be most vulnerableóperhaps because they had a greater capacity to fantasize, which heightened the intensity of the experience and made them more susceptible to being conditioned into an addiction."
c. "... It is difficult for non-addicts to comprehend the totally driven nature of a sex addict. When the "wave" hits them, nothing can stand in the way of getting what they want, whether that be pornography accompanied by masturbation, sex from a prostitute, molesting a child, or raping a woman. These men are consumed by their appetite, regardless of the cost or consequences. Their addiction virtually rules their lives."
2. SECOND STEP Ė ESCALATION- "The second phase was an escalation-effect. With the passage of time, the addicted person required rougher, more explicit, more deviant... sexual material to get their "highs" and "sexual turn-ons." It was reminiscent of individuals afflicted with drug addictions. Over time there is nearly always an increasing need for more of the stimulant to get the same initial effect."
a. "... Their addiction and escalation were mainly due to the powerful sexual imagery in their minds, implanted there by the exposure to pornography."
3. THIRD PHASE Ė DESENSITIZATION - "The third phase was desensitization. Material (in books, magazines, or films/videos) which was originally perceived as shocking, taboo-breaking, illegal, repulsive, or immoral, in time came to be seen as acceptable and commonplace. The sexual activity depicted in the pornography (no matter how anti-social or deviant) became legitimized. There was an increasing sense that "everybody does it" and this gave them permission to also do it, even though the activity was possibly illegal and contrary to their previous moral beliefs and personal standards."
4. FOURTH PHASE - ACTING OUT SEXUALLY - "The fourth phase was an increasing tendency to act out sexually the behaviors viewed in the pornography, including compulsive promiscuity, exhibitionism, group sex, voyeurism, frequenting massage parlors, having sex with minor children, rape, and inflicting pain on themselves or a partner during sex. This behavior frequently grew into a sexual addiction which they found themselves locked into and unable to change or reverseóno matter what the negative consequences were in their life."
CHANGING THE PRICE TAGS
One year, my best friend and I devised what we thought was a brilliant and creative plan for mischief. We decided to break into the basement of the local five-and-dime store. We did not plan to rob the place (Sunday School boys would never do that sort of the thing); instead, we planned to do something that, as far as the owner of the store was concerned, would have been far worse. Our plan was to get into that five-and-dime store and change the price tags on things.
We imagined what it would be like the next morning when people came into the store and discovered that radios were selling for a quarter and bobby pins were priced at five dollars each. With diabolical glee, we wondered what it would be like in that store when nobody could figure out what the prices of things really should be.
Sometimes I think that Satan has played the same kind of trick on all of us. Sometimes I think that he has broken into our lives and changed the price tags on things. Too often, under the influences of his malicious ploy, we treat what deserves to be treated with loving care as though it were of little worth. On the other hand, we find ourselves tempted to ma...
On 11 May 2000 a lady found a new e-mail message on her computer, which simply said, "I love you". It looked innocent enough, perhaps even romantic. Like most of us would, she clicked to open the message, and the so-called "Love Bug" was born. With lightning speed it raced around the world, bringing politics and business to a halt. It was a deadly computer virus that caused millions of computer software programmes to crash. One virus, but so much contamination. But itís not the first time that a single virus has caused so much grief to mankind. In fact, itís a kind of replay of a deadlier virus that hit Planet Earth more than six thousand years ago polluting the first human couple, Adam and Eve. Despite Godís warning not to click on to Satanís message, they did so with appalling consequences for them, and through them to all mankind. That virus is called "Sin".
Chuck Swindoll, in his book, "Living Above the Level of Mediocrity," tells about a church in the Soviet Union a few years ago that was forced to meet secretly because the holding of house church services was illegal.
They tried to be as inconspicuous as possible as they gathered on Sunday to worship the Lord, so they came at different times & casually walked into the house until they had all arrived. Then they would close the doors, pull the curtains, & quietly worship the Lord.
But one Lordís Day, right in the midst of their worship service, two soldiers broke into the room, & at gunpoint lined the Christians up against the wall. One shouted, "If you wish to renounce your faith in Jesus Christ, leave now!"
Two or three quickly left, then another, & then two more. Again the soldier spoke, "This is your last chance. Either leave now & renounce your faith in Christ, or stay & suffer the consequences." Another left, & then another, almost hiding their faces in shame as they went out.
But the rest stood their ground, children standing beside their parents, trembling, some even crying as their parents stood with their hands in the air, fully expecting to be gunned down or imprisoned.
After all had left who chose to flee, the other soldier closed the doors, looked back at those who stood against the wall & said, "Keep your hands up - but this time in praise to our Lord Jesus Christ. We, too, are Christians."
The two soldiers explained that some time earlier they had been sent to another house church to arrest the Christians there. But in the process, they had heard the gospel & had accepted Jesus as their Lord & Savior, too. But they explained, "We have learned that unless people are willing to die for their faith, they cannot be fully trusted."
For more from Chuck, visit http://www.insight.org
Iím Sarah, Iím sixteen;
Last night I failed.
I prayed for more strength,
So why did I yield?
He said he loved me,
Brought me flowers and all;
Then he took me upstairs
And caused me to fall.
I feel so ashamed,
So dirty inside.
Heís taken my heart;
Now I want to go hide.
I let down my parents,
And they trusted me so.
Can God forgive me?
I need to know.
If I had it to do
All over again,
I think I would run
To a close, loving friend.
The pain hurts so bad;
I want you to know,
So you wonít give in.
Youíll know when to go!
Yes, God can forgive!
It says it right here;
Jesus died for my sins,
So I never need fear.
My past is all cleansed;
Iím whiter than snow.
Yet my sin is still sin;
Consequences donít go.
Today I start over,
My purity new!
Iím Godís little girl,
Straight through and through!
Abstain - yes, I must!
By Godís grace and power,
Iíll stay close to Him,
Hour by hour.
Hiding His Word
Deep in my heart;
When faced with temptation,
Next time Iíll be smart.
I know from now on
Iím determined to wait;
God has a man
Designed as my mate.
When that time comes,
And I know heís the one;
The day Iíll be married -
Now thatíll be fun!
But until then,
To the Lord will I cling;
At just the right time,
My husband, Heíll bring.
Iím trusting Him now
With all of my soul.
The Lord holds my future;
Thatís all I must know!
# John Stafford tells about an old well that stood outside the front door of their family farm house in New Hampshire. The water from the well was remarkably pure and cold. No matter how hot the summer or how severe the drought, the well was always a source of refreshment and joy. The faithful old well was a big part of his memories of summer vacations at the farmhouse.
The years passed and eventually the farmhouse was modernized. Wiring brought electric lights, and indoor plumbing brought hot and cold running water. The old well was no longer needed, so it was sealed for use in possible future emergencies.
One summer day, years later, John Stafford had a desire for cold, pure water. He unsealed the well and lowered a bucket for a nostalgic taste of the delightful refreshment he remembered. He was shocked to discover that the well that once had survived the severest droughts was bone dry! He asked local residents why their well had gone dry. He learned that wells of that sort were fed by hundreds of tiny underground rivulets which seep a steady flow of water. As long as the water is drawn out of the well, new water will flow in through the rivulets, keeping them open for more...
The fact that God forgives us and blesses us when we donít deserve it, and of course, we never really deserve it, is what makes grace such a risky thing.
Author Philip Yancey, in his book Whatís So Amazing About Grace, calls these things loopholes. We all understand loopholes. Websterís defines a loophole as a means of evading something unpleasant - a hole that provides a means of escape.
Yancey notes that in his book he provides what he calls "a one-sided picture of grace - portraying God as a lovesick father eager to forgive, and grace as a force potent enough to break the chains that bind us. He writes: "depicting grace in such sweeping terms makes people nervous, and I concede that I have skated to the very edge of danger. I have done so because I believe the New Testament does, too."
He then proceeds to tell the story of a friend of his he called Daniel. Daniel was about to leave his wife of 15 years for another woman, someone younger and prettier. He knew the personal and moral consequences of what he was about to do. But he had a larger concern - and he asked his friend "Do you think God can forgive something as awful as I am about to do?"
What a question, huh?
Yancey pondered, "How can I dissuade my friend from committing a terrible mistake if he knows forgiveness lies just around the corner?"
C.S. Lewis quoted Augustine, who said, "God gives where he finds empty hands." Then Lewis noted that a man whose hands are full of parcels canít receive a gift. Then Yancey wrote: "Grace must be received. Lewis explains that what I have termed grace abuse stems from a confusion of condoning and forgiving. To condone an evil is simply to ignore it, to treat it as if it were good. But forgiveness needs to be accepted, as well as offered, if it is to be completeÖand a man who admits no guilt can accept no forgiveness." Ultimately, Yancey told his friend that, yes, of course, God could forgive him. ut he also challenged him with these thoughts:
What we have to go through to commit sin distances us from God. We change in the very act of rebellion, and there is no guarantee we will ever come back. He said to his friend, "You ask me about forgiveness now, but will you even want it later, especially if it involves repentance?"
Consider what a tremendous risk God took by announcing forgiveness in advance. Yancey says that the scandal of grace involves a transfer of that risk to us.
- drawn from "Whatís so amazing about grace" by Philip Yancey
How many of you have seen the modern-day Christmas classic, “A Christmas Story?” It’s a great movie about one family’s Christmas season and a little boy’s mission to receive the Cadillac of BB guns as a present. The Miano family watches this movie every year. Whenever I see the scene of Ralphie being forced to try on the bunny pajamas, I think of the purple turtleneck sweaters my grandmother would get me every year. I hated those sweaters—and I had to wear them whenever grandma came over.
The movie is filled with scenes that will take you back to the nostalgia of your childhood. Another such scene is one in which the tongue plays a prominent role. The scene involves Ralphie, whose adult counterpart narrates the entire movie, and Ralphie’s friends, Flick and Schwartz.
We find the three boys, along with a bunch of other kids, huddled around the school flagpole. It is a cold and snowy day, and everyone is bundled up like Eskimos. The scene begins with Schwartz trying to convince Flick that his tongue would stick to the flagpole. Flick told Schwartz he was “full of it.” Schwartz responds by issuing a “double-dog dare” to Flick. The camera pans to Ralphie and the group of kids who all gasp at the challenge.
Flick is momentarily taken aback by the challenge, but quickly smiles and says that it would be stupid for him to put his tongue on the flagpole. The narrator returns and explains the etiquette of the dare. He explains that proper form would be to follow his “double-dog dare” with a “triple-dare-you.” If this challenge was not met, then, and only then, should Schwartz go to the worst of the worst—“the triple-dog dare.”
But Schwartz, determined to see his friend’s tongue stuck to the flagpole, goes for the jugular and, with the authority of a nine-year-old, issues a “triple-dog dare.” You can see the panic on Flick’s face as he realizes that he has no choice but to place his tongue on the flagpole. To do otherwise, to refuse a “triple-dog dare” challenge, would be tantamount to playground cowardice.
So with some false bravado, and a lot of uncertainty, Flick sticks out his tongue and touches it to the flagpole. Any guesses as to what happened? Yep. It stuck like a bug on flypaper. Of course, Flick panicked and started to squeal like a little girl (no offense ladies). The school bell rang, which made it convenient for Flick’s good friends, Ralphie and Schwartz, along with all of the other kids, to scramble back to class, leaving Flick alone in his moment of shame and pain.
Pride got in the way of Flick making a wise decision. Pride caused Flick to say and do things he should not have done. The moral of the story is that the pride of the tongue, the pride of speech, if you will, can stick us with some very serious consequences. And this is what James addresses in verse one and the first half of verse two, in chapter three.