Illustration results for deacons
Sermon Central Staff
WHAT A CONTAGIOUS CHRISTIAN LOOKS LIKE
Bill Hybels, Becoming a Contagious Christian: "Recently, I saw a letter written by a relatively new Christian to the person whose life had influenced hers so greatly. She actually lists about a dozen qualities she found contagious in the life of this older Christian. Listen to some of what she wrote:
'You know when we met; I began to discover a new vulnerability, a warmth, and a lack of pretence that impressed me. I saw in you a thriving spirit--no signs of internal stagnation anywhere. I could tell you were a growing person and I liked that. I saw you had strong self-esteem, not based on the fluff of self-help books, but on something a whole lot deeper. I saw that you lived by convictions and priorities and not just by convenience, selfish pleasure, and financial gain. And I had never met anyone like that before. I felt a depth of love and concern as you listened to me and didnít judge me. You tried to understand me, you sympathized and you celebrated with me, you demonstrated kindness and generosity--and not just to me, but to other people, as well. And you stood for something. You were willing to go against the grain of society and follow what you believed to be true, no matter what people said, and no matter how much it cost you. And for those reasons and a whole host of others, I found myself really wanting what you had. Now that Iíve become a Christian, I wanted to write to tell you Iím grateful beyond words for how you lived out your Christian life in front of me.'"
(From a sermon by Michael Luke, Discussing the Deacons, 5/5/2011)
A rather pompous-looking deacon was endeavoring to impress upon a class of boys the importance of living the Christian life. "Why do people call me a Christian?" the man asked. After a moment’s pause, one youngster said, "Maybe it’s because they don’t know you."
ďíServantí in our English New Testament usually represents the Greek doulos (bondslave). Sometimes it means diakonos (deacon or minister); this is strictly accurate, for doulos and diakonos are synonyms. Both words denote a man who is not at his own disposal, but is his masterís purchased property. Bought to serve his masterís needs, to be at his beck and call every moment, the slaveís sole business is to do as he is told. Christian service therefore means, first and foremost, living out a slave relationship to oneís Savior (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20).
James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.
His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of
college. He is intelligent. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright.
He became a Christian while attending college. Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. They want to develop a ministry to the students, but are not sure how to go about it.
One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair.
The service has already started, so Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat. The church is completely packed and he canít find a seat. By now people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer to the pulpit, and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, this had never happened in this church before!)
By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.
About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and
a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this young man, everyone is saying to themselves that you canít blame him for what heís going to do.
How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some
college kid on the floor?
It takes a long time for the deacon to reach the young man...
Sooner or later, it seems that at least once in their life with God, every Christian gets infected with the virus of "false maturity." It's a weird virus in that it's symptoms are often easily seen and felt by others, but invisible and unfelt by the infected one!
Once infected, the poor soul suddenly experiences a profound shift in the perception of reality in which he/she believes that full maturity is automatically attained by said individual simply being a Christian "x" years, going to church or listening to messages of various preachers "x" times a week, proven accomplishment in their career, an ability to find a Scripture reference in under 30 seconds, exceeding a certain number of marks & highlights in their personal Bible, and/or simply by obviously not being as immature or sinful as that person next to them.
As I mentioned before, I was saved my sophomore year in college. Somewhere, sometime in the few months after I graduated I picked up this virus. At first, I thought it was a special gift from God. Eventually, I learned it was a curse from my old nature. By the time I had been a truly-saved Christian less than two years, I had become a leader in campus ministry, led other students to the Lord, taught Bible Studies, was used as a special speaker, invited to debates, co-hosted a Christian radio program with a loyal following of saved & unsaved, etc.
When God first called me to vocational ministry, I had to be dragged into it as I felt I was too young in the faith. But then I went to a specialized training for youth ministry and found myself being praised for being bolder, understanding theology, giving good counsel much more so than most others -- most of whom had been Christians since children and raised in Bible churches. Then I took my first position as an Associate Pastor -- Youth.
My first week I got baptized & became a church member for the first time anywhere. It was a small, troubled church in a very small, very dysfunctional and very rural community in MN. The Sr. Pastor was clinically depressed and about as energetic & inspiring as Eeyore. He was also a good & godly man, but few ever realized it. Within six months I was told that I should be the Sr. Pastor. Within 14 mos. I got 'infected' & started to believe it might be so -- blind to my own faults & sin.
Before my two-year Anniversary, the Holy Spirit cured me & showed me that I really was still just a juvenile who had MUCH to learn. The next day I resigned. Many of the deacons & congregates tried to get me to stay. But God had already made it clear I had much I needed to learn from Him & others before I could further fulfill my call.
What is your story? Who are you allowing to be your spiritual teachers?
Sermon Central Staff
ATHANASIUS CONTENDS FOR THE DEITY OF CHRIST
If Jesus is something less than God, he has no right and no power to forgive our sins. If Jesus canít forgive our sins, we have no hope.
Yes, the doctrine of the deity of Christ is worth contending for. And there is nobody God used more to contend for this biblical truth than Athanasius.
Athanasius was born in the year 298AD in Egypt. In his early twenties he was a deacon in the church in Alexandria (North Africa). During that time, the doctrine of the deity of Christ came under attack by a highly influential pastor named Arius. Arius taught that Jesus was a created being, that he had a beginning, and there was a time when Jesus was not. Therefore, according to Arius, Jesus is the son of God, but not God the son. His heresy was later known as the Arian heresy (named after Arius). It sparked a flame throughout the empire, that would dominate the church for 60 years. It was a 20 year old young man by the name of Athanasius, 40 years younger than Arius, that God would use to contend for the doctrine of the deity of Christ (good word to 20 year olds here today, you donít need to wait to have a huge impact in the kingdom. God can use you now).
Athanasius would endure decades of persecution, banished from the church, sent into exile five times, framed for murder, threatened with death, slandered by emperors and bishops, all for standing firm to the doctrine of the deity of Christ. In the end he prevailed, truth was preserved, and the church has stood on his shoulders ever since.
(From a sermon by Mark Connelly, The Deity of Christ, 8/24/2011)
A little boy just got saved and sat on a bench next to old man who looked upset. The little boy said to the man, "Sir, do you need to get saved?"
The man startled said abruptly, "I’ll tell you I’ve been a Deacon in this church for over 30 years and Chairman of Deacons for 15 years."
The little boy responded, "Sir , it don’t matter what you done, Jesus loves you and He’ll still save you!"
A rather pompous-looking deacon was endeavoring to impress upon a class of boys the importance of living the Christian life. "Why do people call me a Christian?" the man asked. After a momentís pa...
A pastor was called to a new church. The first Sunday the pastor was there, his message was taken from John 3:16. The message was entitled, "How to Be Born Again." The
message was well received, but no decisions were made. The second Sunday, the pastor’s message was taken from John 3:16 and was entitled "How to Be Born Again." Again, no decisions were made. The third Sunday, the pastor’s sermon was taken from John 3:16 and
was entitled "How to Be Born Again." Again, no decisions were made. By this time, the deacons were worried about what was happening—he just kept preaching the same sermon over and over and over again. So, they called a special meeting with the pastor to discuss his choice of sermons. One deacon said, "Don’t you have any more sermons?" The new pastor responded, "Yes, I have plenty of sermons. However, I am going to keep preaching this sermon until you get it right. Then, I will move on to something else."
A pastor and his wife decide to have the church deacons and their wives over for dinner. It was quite an undertaking, but the pastor and his wife want to be "Salt and Light" for the leaders of their church. When it comes time for dinner, everyone is seated and the pastor's wife asks her little four year old daughter if she will say grace. (As a note to new parents: Don't do this!)
The girl says "I don't know what to say."
Her mom tells her, "Just say what I say honey."
Everyone bows their head and the little girl says, "O dear Lord, why am I having all these people over for dinner! Amen!"