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i. Barton states, “Ultimately, any exercise in extravagant stewardship involves risk. In the Parable of the Talents, the bottom line for the wicked and unfaithful steward was that he was risk averse. This steward let his flesh, feelings, and unhealthy fears immobilize him (Matthew 25:24-25). Multiplying resources requires letting go.
Numbers of the Bible”
The number one is for God. We must begin with number one or we cannot have number two or any other number. Mathematically speaking we cannot get anywhere without the number one. We must begin with God.
The number two is for man. Man as an individual. God made man and Christ is “called the second man.”
Three is the number for the Trinity. God is a triune God; Father, Son and Spirit. The atmosphere, which we live in, is a trinity of oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen. The tabernacle was a trinity with its court, holy place, and Holiest of Holies.
The first chapter of Revelation is full of trinities of Truth.
V. 2 – The Word of God, The testimony of Jesus, All things that He saw.
V. 3 – Read, Hear and Keep.
V. 4 – Which is, Which was, and Which is to come.
V. 5 – The Faithful Witness, The First begotten of the dead, The Prince of the kings of the earth.
V.5, 6 – Loved us, Washed us, Made us kings and priests.
V. 7 – Every eye shall see him, They also which pierced him, All kindreds of the earth.
V. 9 – Tribulation, Kingdom, Patience
V. 18 – I am He that liveth, Was dead, Alive for evermore.
V. 19 – Things seen (Past), Things which are (Present), Things which shall be (Future).
Who would dare to contradict the trinity as these Ten appear in one chapter alone, chapter one of Revelation. Certainly no Spirit filled believer or student of scripture would not affirm its validity.
Four is the number of humanity as a whole. There were four men in the Ark, four men in the fiery furnace, four on the mount of Transfiguration. The four points of the compass comprise the whole of humanity in all the earth.
Five is the number for grace – grace accepted or grace rejected. There are five wise and foolish virgins.
The number six is the number for evil. A man with six toes and six fingers is called a wicked man in the Bible. Nebuchadnezzra’s image was sixty feet high and six feet in circumference and six musical instruments called the people to worship. The number for the Anti-Christ is six hundred sixty-six. This is set forth the trinity of evil, the climax of wickedness, and the culmination of iniquity. There can not be anything worse than 666.
Seven is the number for perfection. This number is frequently mentioned in scripture: seven churches, seven stars, seven heads, seven horns, seven eyes, seven Spirits of god, the seven branches of the candlestick.
In Judges, the seventh book of the Bible, there are seven departures from God; seven times the people repented and seven times Jehovah delivered his people from their enemies.
Eight is the number for that which is New. There are eight beatitudes which set forth something entirely new. Everything good in this sinful world owes its presence and existence to the Word of God. The resurrection of Christ and of many of the saints took place on the eighth day. Here indeed and in truth was something new.
Ten is the number of completeness. Jacob’s wages were changed ten times, which sets forth complete disappointment outside the will of God and his Promised Land. Eliezer, the servant, took ten camels with him when he started from home in order to obtain a bride for Isaac. God gave his people Ten Commandments. Daniel and his three friends were proved ten days and at the end of the test were ten times better than the others. Christ gave the parable of the ten pounds and ten talents. Christ healed ten lepers. The dragon of Daniel and Revelation had ten horns, which represent ten kings. The tenth or the tithe is the Lord’s.
The world famous Polish piano maestro, Ignace Paderewski, had been invited to appear at one of the great music centers of New York. It was a very formal evening with everyone wearing tuxedos and evening gowns. In the audience was a lady who brought her little boy along for the concert. She thought that if he could hear Paderewski play the piano, the experience might spur him on to practice piano a little more each day after school.
As they were waiting for the performance to begin, the mother turned to talk to some friends, and the little boy managed to wiggle out of his seat and headed down the aisle. He quietly made his way up the steps and across the stage to the piano stool. He climbed up on the bench and began to play "chopsticks."
The well-starched audience was horrified. As they heard the simple tune, the crowd responded first with stone-cold silence, then murmuring, and finally a few shouts.
"Whose kid is that?" "What’s the meaning of this?" "I didn’t buy a ticket to hear this noise!" "Doesn’t that child have parents?"
The tinkling notes and the commotion reached the ears of Paderewski backstage. When he figured out what was happening, he made his way onto the stage. Paying no mind to the crowd, he moved behind the boy, reached around him and placed his own two hands onto the keys together with the child’s.
While the boy continued to play, the master built a rich, accompanying melody to embellish the simple tune. All the while, he stooped down to whisper, "Don’t stop now son. Keep it up. That’s it. Keep playing. You can do it."
Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute, Jan., 1992, p. 8.
Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shad...
Sermon Central Staff
A PARABLE OF PARABLES
The content of belief is important: Jonathan Whitfield was preaching to coal miners in England. He asked one man, "What do you believe?"
"Well, I believe the same as the church."
"And what does the church believe?"
"Well, they believe the same as me." Seeing he was getting nowhere, Whitfield said, "And what is it that you both believe?"
"Well, I suppose the same thing."
Theological belief is sometimes a murky matter. A candidate for ordination as a minister was asked, "What part of the Bible do you like best?"
He said: "I like the New Testament best."
Then he was asked, "What Book in the New Testament is your favorite?"
He answered, "The Book of the Parables, Sir."
They then asked him to relate one of the parables to the committee. And a bit uncertain, he began...
"Once upon a time a man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves; and the thorns grew up and choked the man. And he went on and met the Queen of Sheba, and she gave that man, Sir, a thousand talents of silver, and a hundred changes of raiment.
"And he got in his chariot and drove furiously and, as he was driving along under a big tree, his hair got caught in a limb and left him hanging here! And he hung there many days and many nights. The ravens brought him food to eat and water to drink.
"And one night while he was hanging there asleep, his wife Delilah came along and cut off his hair, and he fell on stony ground. And it began to rain, and rained forty days and forty nights. And he hid himself in a cave.
"Later he went on and met a man who said, 'Come in and take supper with me.' But he said, 'I can't come in, for I have married a wife.' And the man went out into the highways and hedges and compelled him to come in!
He then came to Jerusalem, and saw Queen Jezebel sitting high and lifted up in a window of the wall. When she saw him she laughed, and he said, 'Throw her down out of there,' and they threw her down. And he said 'Throw her down again,' and they threw her down seventy-times-seven. And the fragments which they picked up filled twelve baskets full! NOW, whose wife will she be in the day of the Judgment?"
The story didn't say what the committee decided, but I have hope.
(From a sermon by Bobby Scobey, If the Church Became Unchristian # 4 - Behavior More Important Than Belief, 6/22/2010)
In a concert in Chicago, Harry Lauder, Scottish singer and songwriter, sang to an overflowing audience. At the conclusion, the audience stood en masse, and applauded uproariously. After the applause subsided, the audience said in unison, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” Showing splendid humility, Lauder replied, “Don’t thank me! Thank the good God who put the songs in my heart!”
It is like the parable I read recently by Paul Kooistra, where he said, “I remember that one fateful day when Coach took me aside. I knew what was coming. ‘You don’t have to tell me,’ I said. ‘I’m off the team, aren’t I?’ ‘Well,’ said Coach, ‘you never were really ON the team. You made that uniform you’re wearing out of rags and towels, and your helmet is a toy space helmet. You show up at practice and then either steal the ball and make us chase you to get it back, or you try to tackle people at inappropriate times.’” Then he writes, “It was all true what he was saying. And yet, I thought something is brewing inside the head of this Coach. He sees something in me, some kind of raw talent that he can mold.” The potential is there, the question is whether we will get in the game. Will we be the transformed who transform our culture, or will we be transformed by the culture? Stanley Hauerwas, professor at Duke, says, “It’s hard to remember that Jesus did not come to make us safe, but rather to make us disciples, citizens of God’s new age, a kingdom of surprise.”
26 year old Kyle MacDonald had a red paper clip and a dream: Could he use the community power of the Internet to barter that paper clip for something better, and trade that thing for something else — and so on and so on until he had a house?
He advertised the paperclip on craigslist.com and two women swapped a fish-shaped pen for it.
Later that same day, MacDonald was able to trade the pen for a small ceramic doorknob with a smiley face on it.
He traded the doorknob for a Coleman camping stove.
Next, a US navy Marine swapped a generator in return for the stove.
Then a guy from New York swapped "instant party package" (a beer keg and a neon Budweiser sign) for the generator.
The beer package went to a DJ in Montreal, in exchange for a snowmobile.
By this time Macdonald was starting to attract attention and he was invited onto Canadian TV to tell his story.
As a result, he was able to trade the snowmobile for an all expenses paid trip to an obscure little town in Canada called “Yahk.”
He then traded the trip for a 1995 delivery van.
He gave the van to a muso wanting to haul her gear around in exchange for a recording contract, with studio time and a promise to pitch the finished CD to music executives.
He swapped the recording contract with a singer who gave him a year’s accommodation in a house in Phoenix Arizona.
He excchanged the accomodation in Arizona for a day with Alice Cooper. And the day with Alice Cooper he swapped for a snow globe of the band KISS! Now if you thought that was a weird swap get this. The KISS snow globe was swapped for an acting part in a movie! Aparently the actor Corbin Berinson is an avid snow globe collector and was particularly interested in the KISS snowglobe, so he swapped his part in the movie for the snowglobe!
Finally,a local municipality in Saskatchewan Canada, handed over the title deeds for a house for the movie role.
That is the amazing story of how Kyle MacDonald tyrned a red paper clip into a house! Macdonald says he has offers from Hollywood studios to turn his story into a fil...
THE STORY OF THE NOBEL PRIZE
Quiz time, folks--who invented dynamite? Do I hear the answer: Alfred Nobel! In fact in 1867, Nobel received U.S. patent number 78317 for his dynamic invention. That this explosive instead of being used peacefully for blasting the rocks during mining operations (as was originally nobly intended by Nobel) ending up as a destructive weapon used for destroying properties, limb and life was not this brilliant scientist’s fault at all. Yet all-too-surreal story behind the origin of Nobel prize would have us believe so!
BOOM...in 1888, Alfred had a dubious distinction of reading his own unflattering obituary! When Alfred's brother Ludvig died, a French newspaper mistakenly ran an obituary for Alfred, which called him the "merchant of death." It went on to say, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday." This horrified Alfred. Not wanting to go down in history with such a horrible epitaph, Nobel created a will that soon shocked his relatives and led to establishment of the now famous Nobel Norwegian Committee which awards Nobel Prize "to all during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind."
Nobel's last will left approximately 94 percent of his worth to the establishment of five prizes in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace. The fact that Nobel prize has been awarded for several outstanding achievements which have made this strife-torn, ailments-infested World "a better place to live in" and also the fact that it continues to inspire several to put their best foot forward in various worthy pursuits stands as a shining testimony to a man who aspired to "live nobly even after his death" by recognizing and rewarding the noble deeds of his fellowmen.
What is time? Who can easily and briefly explain this? Who can comprehend this, even in thought, so as to express it in a word? Yet what do we discuss more familiarly and knowingly in conversation than time? Surely, we understand it when we talk about it, and also understand it when we hear others talk about it. What, then, is time? If no one asks me, I know...