Illustration results for Perseverance
1 Peter 1:13-1:25
1 Corinthians 2:1-2:16
A Nation of Bible Illiterates
George Barna wrote The State of the Church in 2002. Barna conducted a survey of self-pronounced Christians and here’s what he found about their knowledge of the Bible. These are Christians.
• 48% could not name the four Gospels.
• 52% cannot identify more than two or three of Jesus’ disciples.
• 60% of American Christians can’t name even five of the 10 Commandments.
• 61% of American Christians think the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham.
• 71% of American Christians think “God helps those who help themselves” is a Bible verse.
George Barna said, "Americans revere the Bible, but by and large they don’t know what it says. And because they don’t know it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates."
Just as the people in this Barna poll are woefully biblical illiterate, Christians are far too ignorant of the Word of God. No wonder 21st century Christians are failing to finish their marathon race. No wonder Christians by the thousands are falling prey to the false teachers of our day. They are being feed junk food and don’t feed themselves on the Word of God. They are desperately in need of a solid diet of good food, Scripture. We need to get into "spiritual shape"!
Sermon Central Staff
WALT DISNEY'S LEADERSHIP
Walt Disney was a remarkable man of vision. He never gave up. Early in his career a newspaper fired him because they thought he had "no good ideas". That just made Disney try harder. When he was starting out in Kansas City he couldn't sell his cartoons. Some hinted that he had no talent but Walt Disney had a dream so he set out to conquer his foes. He found a minister who paid him a small amount to draw advertising pictures for his church. Disney had no place to stay, so that the church let him sleep in the mouse-infested garage. One of those mice which Disney nicknamed Mickey, became famous -- as the world knows.
The early days were tough; but that remarkable, creative visionary refused to give up. Walt would occasionally present some unbelievable, extensive dream to his board about and idea he was entertaining. Almost without exception, the members of his board would gulp, blink, and stare back at him in disbelief, resisting even the thought of such a thing. But unless every member resisted the idea, Disney usually didn't pursue it. Yes, you heard me correctly. Unless everyone RESISTED the idea he would not take it. The challenge wasn't big enough to merit his time and creative energy unless they were unanimously in disagreement! Is it any wonder that Disneyland and Disney World are now realities? This type of faith is required for visionaries in business -- but also for us as Christians. Like Disney we need to dream big and trust in God for the impossible.
When Walt Disney World in Orlando ,FL. opened in 1974, Mrs. Disney was sitting beside Walter Cronkite. Walt Disney has passed away a few years earlier. Walter Cronkite wanted to say just the right thing to Mrs. Disney, so he leaned over to her and said, "Wouldn't it be great if Walt were here to see this today." Mrs. Disney wisely replied, "If Walt had not first seen this you would not be seeing it today."
(From a sermon by Stephen Sheane, Dry Bones, 8/18/2010)
The United States Women’s Softball team won the gold medal in Atlanta’s 1996 Olympic games. They lost only one game but from that loss came a remarkable story about perseverance. In the fifth inning against Australia, Danielle Tyler hit a home run over the center-field fence. The American third baseman floated around the bases with a rush of adrenaline. When she was greeted by a swarm of well-wishing teammates at home plate she let the excitement distract her focus and she did not touch the base. When all of the yelling subsided, the Australian team quietly appealed to the umpire who dramatically called Tyler out.
Rather than scoring a run, Tyler’s blast over the fence netted her team an out. As it ended up, had the lady slugger stepped on home plate, her team would have won 1-0. Instead, after seven innings of regulation play the game was tied at 0-0. In extra innings, Australia emerged with a 2-1 win and the U.S. team took their only loss of the Olympics. (Autoillustrator.com, PERSEVERANCE)
Miss Thompson taught Teddy Stallard in the fourth grade. He was a slow, unkempt student, a loner shunned by his classmates. The previous year his mother died, and what little motivation for school he may have once had was now gone. Miss Thompson didn’t particularly care for Teddy either, but at Christmas time he brought her a small present. Her desk was covered with well-wrapped presents from the other children, but Teddy’s came in a brown sack. When she opened it there was a gaudy rhinestone bracelet with half the stones missing and a bottle of cheap perfume. The children began to snicker but Miss Thompson saw the importance of the moment. She quickly splashed on some perfume and put on the bracelet, pretending Teddy had given her something special. At the end of the day Teddy worked up enough courage to softly say, "Miss Thompson, you smell just like my mother . . . and her bracelet looks real pretty on you too. I’m glad you like my presents." After Teddy left, Miss Thompson got down on her knees and prayed for God’s forgiveness. She prayed for God to use her as she sought to not only teach these children but to love them as well. She became a new teacher. She lovingly helped students like Teddy, and by the end of the year he had caught up with most of the students. Miss Thompson didn’t hear from Teddy for a long time. Then she received this note: "Dear Miss Thompson, I wanted you to be the first to know. I will be graduating second in my class. Love, Teddy Stallard." Four years later she got another note: "Dear Miss Thompson, They just told me I will be graduating first in my class. I wanted you to be the first to know. The university has not been easy, but I liked it. Love, Teddy Sta...
A little girl walking in a garden noticed a particularly beautiful flower. She admired its beauty and enjoyed its fragrance. “It’s so pretty!” she exclaimed. As she gazed on it, her eyes followed the stem down to the soil in which it grew. “This flower is too pretty to be planted in such dirt!” she cried. So she pulled it up by its roots and ran to the water faucet to wash away the soil. It wasn’t long until the flower wilted and died.
When the gardener saw what the little girl had done, he exclaimed, “You have destroyed my finest plant!”
“I’m sorry, but I didn’t like it in that dirt,” she said. The gardener replied, “I chose that spot and mixed the soil because I knew that only there could it grow to be a beautiful flower.”
Often we murmur because of the circumstances into which God has sovereignly placed us. We fail to realize that He is using our pressures, trials, and difficulties to bring us to a new degree of spiritual beauty. Contentment comes when we accept what God is doing and thank Him for it.
We’ve probably all heard the expression, “This separates the men from the boys!” What kinds of things separate the men from the boys? Things that involve danger and risk. Things that take courage and a willingness to sacrifice. Things that are grueling and gut-wrenching. Things that require maturity and perseverance, not just boyish enthusiasm and energy.
In a sense, that’s what this parable (the Good Samaritan) teaches about the Christian life. Jesus isn’t separating the men from the boys, He’s separating the real Christian from the merely religious.
A. Todd Coget
STAY THE COURSE
The 2000 movie, The Patriot starred Mel Gibson as Benjamin Martin, a reluctant Revolutionary War hero.
Martin has an 18-year-old son named Gabriel who is eager to join the conflict.
Gabriel’s sentiments for his country are revealed by one pastime: throughout the first half of the movie, Gabriel diligently repairs an American flag he found in the dirt.
Tragically, Gabriel becomes a casualty of the war, and, suffering deep loss, his father Benjamin Martin appears ready to quit the cause.
While Martin is grieving at the side of his dead son, Colonel Harry Burwell, a Continental officer, attempts to persuade Martin not to quit.
He recognizes Martin has great influence with the soldiers and his departure would demoralize the troops.
As the scene opens, the colonel says, "Stay the course, Martin. Stay the course."
Grief-stricken, Martin responds, "I’ve run the course."
Resigned to the outcome, the colonel informs the troops and they ride on, leaving Martin behind.
As Martin loads his son’s personal effects on his horse, though, he finds the American flag Gabriel had successfully restored.
As the dejected soldiers ride away, certain they have seen the last of Benjamin Martin, Martin appears in the distance, carrying the flag.
With determination in his posture, he rides upright in his saddle, face like flint, the Stars and Stripes whipping in the wind.
Martin has been a symbol of perseverance for the men, and there is a triumphant shout of both relief and excitement from the once-weary troops as they see the patriot crest the hill.
Whether leaders at home, school, work or church, we must never underestimate the power of our influence to demoralize or to rally others.
People are watching. Soldiers look to officers.
Children look to parents.
We must stay the course.
["The Patriot": Perseverance despite Heartbreak, Citation: The Patriot, rated R, Columbia Pictures, Centropolis Entertainment; Executive Producers, William Fay, Ute Emmerich, Roland Emmerich; submitted by David Slagle, Lawrenceville, Georgia]
(Elapsed time: 2:13:09 to 2:15:50; Content: The Patriot is rated R for graphic violence. There is no nudity. )
THE CHEERING CROWD
Picabo Street first joined the U.S. Ski Team when she was only 17. She went on to become the only American skier to ever win the World Cup downhill championship. In 1996 she tore a crucial ligament in her left knee. The 30 year-old Street went through extensive rehabilitation just to compete in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Street said this about her Olympic experience: "The last four years for me have been about that one moment coming into the finish when I heard the Americans roar and saw kids' faces painted red, white and blue. That's when I felt the pride of being an American in an American Olympics."
And You have a crowd cheering for you.
Picaboo Street did not win the gold, or the silver, or the bronze medal this year. She finished 16th in her downhill competition. But the crowd cheered for her just the same. The Americans screamed and cheered because one of their own had finished the race. And you have a crowd cheering for you. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great crowd of witnesses, let us throw off ev...
“...[The] only thing we have to fear is fear itself...,” said Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his "First Inaugural Address," 4 March 1933.
“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes our efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
President Roosevelt spoke these words of action to a nation whose economy and morale had been sapped by financial depression. The speech was given in Washington, D.C. as part of the presidential inauguration. (Source: http://douglass.speech.nwu.edu/roos_a76.htm).
John Williams III
FINDING REAL POWER
Someone has wisely said what it takes to find freedom in the power of the Holy Spirit.
"It costs much to obtain the power of the Spirit. It costs self-surrender and humiliation and the yielding up of the most precious things to God. It costs the perseverance of long waiting and the faith of strong trust.
But when we are really in that power we shall find this difference, that whereas before it was hard for us to do the easiest things, now it is easy for us to do the hardest things.
James Hervey, the friend of the Wesleys at Oxford, describes the change which took place in him through his anointing by the Spirit: that while his preaching was once like the firing of an arrow, all the speed and force thereof depending on the strength of his arm in the bending of the bow, now it was like the firing of a rifle ball, the whole force depending upon the powder back of the ball, and needing only a finger-touch to let it off".
SOURCE: A. J. Gordon as quoted by Walter B. Knight. Knight’s Master Book Of New Illustrations. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Company, 1986, p. 292.