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The Thirst for Water
Prop: (1) A bottle of water (2) an outline of the human body (3) a bottle of water to give to each child.
Hello everybody! Itís good to see you this week. Please pardon me while I set here and drink my water. Yum! This is good water! I sure wish you had some because it is sooooo good Ö and important too.
Did you know that you have to drink water if your want to live? If you do not drink enough water your body will go into a drought (we call it dehydration) and you will die.
Did you know you can live for weeks without food, but only days without water? Next to oxygen, water is the most important element that you can give your body.
Did you know that most of your body is made up of water? We think it is mostly skin or bone but its really water.
Look at this outline of the human body for a second. Did you know that when you were a baby in your motherís womb that you were almost 93% water!? That would be this much of your body.
And now you are still at least 80% water. That is at least this much of your body.
You see your body is mostly water. That is why you get thirsty very easily because you body does not want to quit working and it must have water to work right.
Yep, your body lets you know when you are about to go into a drought (dehydration) by asking your for something to drink (thirst).
The same is true spiritually too. If we are ever going to be spiritually healthy we need to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus calls himself ďthe water of life.Ē Listen to what he says:
John 7:37-39 (portions): "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.Ē
People all over the world are spiritually thirsty. They are trying all sorts of things to make them happy but the only thing that will really satisfy them is a friendship with Jesus. Jesus says whenever we are friends with Him he will satisfy that thirst in the heart. I hope you will ask Jesus to be your friend and to quench your spiritual thirst.
Before you leave I want to give you something Ė a bottle of water. You can drink it after church whenever your parents say its okay. But when you do I want you to think about how important it is to your body and how important Jesus is to you inner self. Okay? Letís pray.
This sermon is provided by Dr. Kenneth Pell
Potsdam (New York) Church of the Nazarene
Sermon Central Staff
A MOTHER'S MARRED HANDS
There was a teenager who didnít want to be seen in public with her mother, because her motherís arms were terribly disfigured. One day when her mother took her shopping and reached out her hand, a clerk looked horrified. Later, crying, the girl told her how embarrassed she was.
Understandably hurt, the mother waited an hour before going to her daughterís room to tell her, for the first time, what happened.
"When you were a baby, I woke up to a burning house. Your room was an inferno. Flames were everywhere. I could have gotten out the front door, but I decided Iíd rather die with you than leave you to die alone. I ran through the fire and wrapped my arms around you. Then I went back through the flames, my arms on fire. When I got outside on the lawn, the pain was agonizing but when I looked at you, all I could do was rejoice that the flames hadnít touched you."
Stunned, the girl looked at her mother through new eyes. Weeping in shame and gratitude, she kissed her motherís marred hands and arms.
(Source: Randy Alcorn. From a sermon by Billy Ricks, Suffering, 2/27/2011)
"Leslie Weatherhead tells of a little boy who was admitted to an orphanage after his parents were killed. One of the first items on the agenda was to find him a new set of clothes. He was given a new pair of pants, a new shirt, and a pair of shoes that shinned as he saw his face in its glow.
Lastly, he was offered a new hat. But he refused to take it. He hung on to his worse- for the-wearóhat. Finally the Sister was able to coax him into trying on the new cap. He tried it on, liked it, but then did something very funny. He reached inside his old cap and tore the lining out and placed it in his pocket.
Noticing the Sister had a puzzled look on her face, he said said, "The lining is a part of my motherís dress; itís all Iíve got left of her and somehow it seems to bring her back."
THE DEFINITION OF BARBECUING
Itís the only type of cooking a "real man" will do. When a man volunteers to do the íBBQí the following chain of events is put into motion:
1) The woman goes to the store.
2) The woman fixes the salad, vegetables, and dessert.
3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray
along with the necessary cooking utensils, and takes it to the
man, who is lounging beside the grill.
4) The man places the meat on the grill.
5) The woman goes inside to set the table and check the vegetables.
6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning.
7) The man takes the meat off the grill and hands it to the woman.
8) The woman prepares the plates and brings them to the table.
9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.
10) Everyone praises the man and thanks him for his...
"Most everyone knows of the newspaper comic strip called ďFamily CircusĒ. It pokes fun in a gentle way at the typical family life in a home with several very young children.
I remember one that started out with the mother giving the oldest boy, who appears to be about 6, something to take to the neighbor next door. Then the next frame is from a birdís-eye view, and there is a dotted line showing the route the boy took to get next door. The line takes him across the street, through a park, stops at a swing set and slide, moves on to a brick wall that he apparently scaled and walked like a tightrope, around several other houses, stopping to talk to little boys and girls in the neighborhood, and finally stops at the front door of the next door neighborís house with the item he was to deliver.
I think that sometimes our days are much like that, except that at the end we havenít delivered anything of value at all. I wonder how fruitful and prosperous, both for ourselves and the Kingdom of God, our lives would be if we prayed well into the night for the Fatherís direction for the coming day?" -c.e.t.
The Resurrection of the Dead
Avijah Powers felt moderately sure nobody would recognize him when he registered under an assumed name at the little inn. It was more than twenty years since he had left the town--a hard,
reckless boy, running away from a good father and a devoted mother because he hated goodness and loved lawlessness and his own way.
For years he had led the life of a vagabond. Then the spirit of adventure was aroused in him by the stories of the wealth of the Klondike. He joined one of the earliest parties, in that hazardous search for gold, and succeeded beyond his dreams. Now he had come back, with his old instincts, but with the wealth of a millionaire, and some strange compulsion led him to the village where he first drew breath.
He did not even know whether his parents were living or dead. It was altogether likely they were dead. With that conviction and without asking a question, he made his way in the August twilight to the graveyard, and to the spot where for three generations his ancestors had been laid.
Yes, there were new stones placed since he had been there. The sight moved him strangely. He bent to read the inscription on the first one. It was to the memory of his father, "Died, 1884. íBlessed are the dead who die in the Lord.í"
The date cut the man to the heart. His father had died a year after the only son had run away! And his mother had been left alone! But perhaps she had followed her husband mercifully soon. Again he bent to read, this time with tear-filled eyes, "Died, 1902. íAnd God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.í"
His mother had been alone for eighteen years! She was but just dead -- in poverty, perhaps; certainly in loneliness. He drew himself up as if to shake off a hideous dream.
But the other stone - whose grave could that mark? They had no relatives except some distant cousins. Perhaps some one of them had done for his mother what he ought to have done in her long, desolate years. Again he stooped to read - his own name. "Abijah Powers. Born 1870; died--. íThe only son of his mother, and she was a widow.í"
It was his own gravestone, set up by his mother when her hope of his return was dead. Out of the depth of his memory there flashed up the story of the widow of Nain, and the gracious presence which spoke the word of life to her dead son. How many times his mother must have read and re-read the page, and how frequently she must have prayed that her boy, bone of her bone, and flesh of her flesh, might be given back to her arms!
The thought was anguish to the graceless son, and it brought him to his knees beside his own empty grave. With his hand resting over his motherís head he wept as he had not wept since he was a child. They were gracious drops. Out of the motherís love, which had found its cold comfort in the words of scripture for the grave that was no grave, there came, indeed, the resurrection of the real, living soul.
The widowís son went out of the graveyard that night a new man. The world wondered what had happened to him. Money did not often make a man over from a devil to a saint; but that miracle seemed to have been worked in Abijah Powers. Nobody knew that the transformation did not come from the touch of Klondike gold, but from the power of love -- reaching from beyond the vale, and speaking from the cold marble of a gravestone.
While I was working in the V Corps Chaplainís office in Frankfurt, Germany; I came in contact with many wonderful Christian individuals. One of the most inspiring was a German by the name of Carl Scholz. In speaking to him one day, he related to me of how that during the Second World War he served as a Nazi soldier, but not believing fully in what they were doing, he tried to desert, but failing in his attempt, was captured and thrown into prison. He was accused as a deserter, and thus was sentenced to die before a firing squad along with another of his conrades.
When the day came they were both marched to the outskirts of the town, and the spot where they were supposted to be executed. Not hearing the change of orders, Carl didnít realize that all rifles were to be turned to his conrade instead, letting him live. Rifles fired, and in shock, he also fell to the ground. They picked him up and again was placed in prison. The months passed, and finally Carl was set free. The war had also ended, and not having any place to go to, he went from war-torn village to the next. One last hope was his only living relative, his mother...and by the time that he found her, he realized that she was entombed in the communist side of Berlin. Again lossing all hope, he made his dwellings in the bomb stricken buildings, drinking more and more with each passing day.
Finally receiving word that his mother had been killed while trying to escape the communist, he felt his last hope fly out of his body. He said to himself, "Now, whatís the use of living!" So, he went down to a near-by river hoping to drown his sorrows by throwing himself into the river. As he was about to jump he heard soft singing coming from a near-by wooden building. He could well remember the words...
"When Jesus comes the tempterís Powír is broken,
When Jesus comes, the tears are wiped away;
He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory,
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay."
Hearing such sweet words, he came closer to the building wanting to hear more about this Jesus. As he approached the door, he read those gentle words which have meant so much to millions of individuals throughout the ages...
"Gott Ist Liebe - God is Love;
Gott Ist Leben - God is Life!"
He went inside, and there for the first time he heard the wonderous love that God had for him. And how He send his only Begotten Son to die on the cross so that he could have life - and have it more abundantly! Eternal Life! Praise God! Carl found Christ at that moment! The young missionary said, "Christ says, íCome unto me all ye that are heavy laden, and I will give ye restí" Carl said to himself, "If there is anyone here burdened down itís me! I am tired of this life I am living." And that night, Carl went to the altar and said, "Lord, if itís true that you can change the worst sinner like this missionary says, change me! If itís true that you can give rest...give it to me! If itís true that you can straighten out the most twisted life...straighten out mine!" And that night the Christ that had saved Carl from the firing squad also broke the chains of bondage of sin that had his life captive, and he got up from that altar a new person. Christ had saved him...he had forgiven his many sins.
And now, Carl has been preaching and helping in the Berean Missionary Fellowship in Erzhausen, Germany, and bringing others to Christ with his wonderous testimony of salvation.
WHAT ARE WHALES WORTH?
During the 1988 presidential election, an unexpected shift of attention occurred. Instead of the evening news focusing on the candidates, all eyes were on three gray whales that were cut off from their migratory route by a frozen sea of ice. At first, only a few Eskimos with chain saws attempted to rescue them. But when the media brought the whalesí plight into our living rooms, volunteers flocked to the scene with heavy machinery and a determination to set those stranded whales free. But volunteersí ingenuity and energy were soon exhausted. Enter the National Guard. Their helicopters dropped a five-ton concrete basher to break up the ice. Then, in a cooperative effort with the United States, the Soviet Union dispatched two of their ice-breaking ships to facilitate the rescue. After three weeks and a expenditure of $1.5 million, the whales were freed. The heroic and noble rescue sparked a sense of compassion throughout the world. But it did something else too. By showing how willing we were to save a couple of ocean-going mammals, it underscored how hesitant we are to join hands in rescue efforts that involve mankind. How many people would have pitched in to help the home...
When my mother used to make jam, I would watch her pour wax over the top of the preserves until it was at the brim of the jar. She would then carefully wipe some wax around the rim itself, and place the rubber lined lid on tight. The wax and the vacuum caused by the cooling preserves would seal that jar so tight that it could have sat on a basement shelf for years, and the jam would have been good when finally opened. Sealed, preserved, protected.
In our house, the dust didnít have time to gather on those jars; but they could have lasted a long time if necessary.
Paul, under the inspiration of this same Holy Spirit of God, has written to us that after listening to the message of truth, the good news of our salvation - HAVING ALSO BELIEVED, we were sealed in Him (Christ) by the Holy Spirit of promiseĒ.
A seal of Godí ownership was placed over our lives, and unlike Pilateís seal, no power in Heaven or earth can break that seal...a seal that DOES mean a great deal to God. He shut us up tightly. We are set aside for His use...for His eternal fellowship. Preserved, protected until the day of the redemption of our bodies (or glorification).
Lifeís a little thing! Robert Browning once wrote. But a little thing can mean a life. Even two lives. How well I remember. Two years ago in downtown Denver my friend, Scott Reasoner, and I saw something tiny and insignificant change the world, but no one else even seemed to notice. It was one of those beautiful Denver days. Crystal clear, no humidity, not a cloud in the sky. We decided to walk the ten blocks to an outdoor restaurant rather than take the shuttle bus that runs up and down the Sixteenth Street Mall. The restaurant, in the shape of a baseball diamond, was called The Blake Street Baseball Club. The tables were set appropriately on the grass infield. Many colorful pennants and flags hung limply overhead. As we sat outside, the sun continued to beat down on us, and it became increasingly hot. There wasnít a hint of a breeze, and heat radiated up from the tabletop. Nothing moved, except the waiters, of course. And they didnít move very fast, either. After lunch Scott and I started to walk back up the mall. We both noticed a mother and her young daughter walking out of a card shop toward the street. She was holding her daughter by the hand while reading a greeting card. It was immediately apparent to us that she was so engrossed in the card that she did not notice a shuttle bus moving toward her at a good clip. She and her daughter were one step away from disaster when Scott started to yell. He hadnít even gotten a word out when a breeze blew the card out of her hand and over her shoulder. She spun around and grabbed at the card, nearly knocking her daughter over. By the time she picked up the card from the ground and turned back around to cross the street, the shuttle bus had whizzed by her. She never even knew what almost happened. To this day two things continue to perplex me about this event. Where did that one spurt of wind come from to blow the card out of that young motherís hand? There had not been a whisper of wind at lunch or during our long walk back up the mall. Secondly, if Scott had been able to get his words out, the young mother might have looked up at us as they continued to walk into the bus. It was the wind that made her turn back to the card - in the one direction that saved her life and that of her daughter. The passing bus did not create the wind. On the contrary, the wind came from the opposite direction. I have no doubt it was a breath from God protecting them both. But the awesomeness of this miracle is that she never knew. As we continued back to work, I wondered how God often acts in our lives without our being aware. The difference between life and death can very well be a little thing. Miracles often blow unseen through our lives.