Illustration results for selfless
In history, 160 years before the birth of Jesus, there is the story of the Maccabean revolt in Israel. Antiochus IV, King of Syria, had conquered Jerusalem, & he decided to destroy the Jewish religion & make the Jews deny their faith in God. Among the many things he did was to order the people to sacrifice pigs upon their altars built for the worship of God. Of course this was an abomination to the Jews.
History records the story of one Jewish mother with 7 sons. The soldiers came first to the oldest son & ordered him to offer a pig upon the altar. The son refused. So they cut out his tongue. Still he refused, so they scalped him. Since he still refused, they cut off his hands & feet & threw his mangled body into a pit of fire where it was consumed.
They went to the second son & ordered him to offer a pig upon the altar. When he refused, they fried him alive in a giant skillet. The third, the fourth, the fifth, & the sixth all refused & all died after a variety of horrible tortures.
Finally they came to the baby of the family, just a boy. Even the most hardened of the soldiers didn’t want to see him die. So they went to the mother & said, “If you’ll just ask him to place the pork to his lips, that will be enough, & we’ll spare his life.”
History records that the mother took her son, her youngest, & said to him, “Son, I carried you in my womb for 9 months. I nursed you for 3 years. I raised you for a moment like this. I encourage you to stand strong in your faith & follow in the steps of your brothers. And when you die, I will die to be with you.”
Charles Swindoll says, “To walk by faith does not mean that we stop thinking. To trust God does not imply becoming slovenly or lazy or apathetic. What a distortion of biblical faith! You and I need to trust God for our finances, but that is no license to spend foolishly. You and I ought to trust God for safety in the car, but we’re not wise to pass in a blind curve. We trust God for our health, but that doesn’t mean we can chain smoke, stay up half the night, and subsist on potato chips and Twinkies without consequences. …Faith and careful planning go hand-in-hand. They always have.”
[Charles Swindoll. Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication. (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1999) p. 27]
For more from Chuck, visit http://www.insight.org
Guys, Let me give you an example of selfless and sacrificial love in today’s terms. Are you ready? Give your wife the remote control…
Now ladies: Do not undervalue that action… It is a significant sacrifice for a guy! Several years ago my wife and vacationed in a time-share condo in Florida with my folks and hers. Susan was with us then. She adopted one room with the television it it. There were two other TV’s in the condo.
Now do the math... Two TV’s and three men. It was not a pretty site. There always seemed to be one man kind of wandering around not knowing what to do...
Now, that’s humorous – but it’s meant be a bit more.
The problem is that most of us fellows are into control. We want to be in charge. We want control. Love is not about being in control. Love is about giving up contorl. Guys, give your wife the remote control of your life…
OUR COMFORT, OUR HOPE-- COMMUNION MEDITATION
Recently I came across a true story that happened during the Holocaust of the Second World War.
Solomon Rosenberg, his wife and their 2 sons were arrested, together with Rosenburg's mother and father for the crime of being Jews. They were placed in a Nazi concentration camp.
It was a labour camp, and the rules were simple.
"As long as you can do your work, you are permitted to live. When you become too weak to do your work, then you will be exterminated."
Rosenberg watched as his mother and father were marched off to their deaths. He knew that the next would be his youngest son, David - because David had always been a frail child.
Every evening, Rosenberg came back into the barracks after each day of hard labour and searched for the faces of his family. When he found them they would huddle together, embrace one another and thank God for another day of life.
One day Rosenberg came back and didn’t see those familiar faces.
He finally discovered his oldest son, Joshua, in a corner, huddled, weeping and praying. He said, "Josh, tell me it’s not true."
Joshua turned and said, "It is true, Dad. Today David was not strong enough to do his work. So they came for him."
"But where is your mother?" asked Mr. Rosenberg.
"Oh Dad," he said, "When they came for David, he was afraid and he cried. So Mum said, 'There is nothing to be afraid of, David,' and she took his hand and went with him."
That illustrates a mother’s love-- a love so strong that it chooses to give up life so her child can be comforted.
This is also a picture of the sacrificial love Jes...
As I was growing up with a younger brother and sister, one of our favorite games to play was baseball. We had a plastic bat and ball, and we would team up with some of the neighborhood kids and play ball in the back yard.
On one particular occasion my mom took our bat away from us because we were arguing, like all brothers and sisters tend to do. But this did not deter us from playing our favorite game. Mom took the bat, but not the ball. So we took the metal brace from the swing set (the metal bar that is used to brace two legs together on each end) and started using it as a bat.
I was at bat when I swung at a pitch and felt two distinct points of contact; one was with the ball, and the second was with my sister’s head. I didn’t realize that she had walked up behind me, and on my follow through I clobbered her on the forehead with the end of the brace.
I turned around only to discover that my sister was screaming and bleeding profusely. In fact, not much of her face was really visible because she was covered in blood. I knew I was in trouble, so while my sister bled and cried, I pleaded with her not to tell momma. I figured that washing her down with the water hose to get rid of the blood would be enough to take care of the situation. Once the bleeding stopped, I would be in the clear. But in my panic to discover a way to keep from getting a good whipping, I couldn’t see that the greater need was for my sister to receive medical attention. She had to be taken to the emergency room where she received several stitches to bind up her wound.
The point of this story is this. When my mom came out to find out what was going on, she didn’t stop to dwell on how guilty I was for disobeying her, or to find out every detail about what had happened. As soon as she saw the blood, she swept my sister up in her arms, carried her into the house to put a bandage on her head, and drove her to the hospital so that she could get the medical attention she desperately needed. As a matter of fact, the whipping I deserved never came. My mom’s actions showed that her concern for my sister’s health and well-being was more important than trying to blame somebody for the accident that had caused her injuries, or for punishing the one who was responsible.
Pastors need to learn that lesson.
So many times we have been guilty of preaching on sin just so we can point a finger of blame at someone who has stumbled under the load of temptation that Satan brings to bear upon us. God forgive us for our arrogance and our shortsightedness. Forgive us for falling short of our God-given responsibility to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (Luke 4:18). Our obligation as pastors is not only to warn people of sin and the consequences it brings, but also to bind the wounds of our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been victimized by the enemy, and to tell those who have never known the washing of regeneration that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay their sin debt, that His blood can wash away all of your sins, and that He rose from the dead to prove that He has power over death, hell and the grave.
Christians need to learn that lesson.
How many of us have been guilty of shooting our wounded? How many have kicked a brother or sister when they were down, rather than bearing their burden, and helping to restore them back into the sweetness of full fellowship with our Lord? We ought to be ashamed, for the Church is to be our refuge, our safe haven, and our place of restoration. But all too often it becomes a place of torment and ridicule because of those who have forgotten to “consider themselves, lest they also be tempted.”
Some of you this morning have been through the ringer in your battle with sin this week. You’re battered and bloodied from the near lethal blows that Satan has inflicted upon you, and you desperately need medical attention, the kind of medical attention that only Jesus Christ can give. So I stand before you today, not with a pointed finger, but with outstretched hands, pleading with you to come this morning and be washed in the pure refreshing waters of God’s abundant grace and mercy. You need to be washed, to clean your feet. You’ve already been bathed in His loving grace and mercy. But you need to come to Jesus, confessing your sins and you will experience complete and total forgiveness and cleansing. Your fellowship will be restored, and your hope will be renewed. You’ve struggled with sin long enough. Now is the time to come back into the grace and mercy of the Lord.
Others of you may just simply be lost. You’ve washed your feet many times. You’ve turned over a new leaf only to find the same old dirty sin on the other side. You’ve attended church, and maybe even been baptized and joined the church. But you’ve never trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ to save you from your sins. Friend, let me tell you, because I love you, that if you don’t come to know Jesus Christ in the full pardon of sin, your eternal destination is hell. But if you come, you must come trusting in nothing but the shed blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse you all of your sins. You can’t do anything to earn His favor, and you can’t bring anything with you but a broken heart and a contrite spirit. You can’t get better to come to Him. You can only plead with Him to forgive you as you are, a worthless sinner begging for mercy and pardon. You can only come to Jesus Christ in absolute unworthiness to ask Him for His free gift of salvation.
True biblical worship so satisfies our total personality that we don’t have to shop around for man-made substitutes. William Temple made this clear in his masterful definition of worship:
For worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose -- and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.
Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991, p. 119.
I heard it powerfully illustrated through the gift of a little old lady. In an interview on PBS on May 30, 2002 Father Lindon Harris of St. Pauls Cathedral – that’s the church at what was the foot of the World Trade Center – George Washington worshipped there at one time – told a story of duty.
It seems that an Elderly Black woman heard a about a man who had hurt his leg searching for survivors and clearing rubble at ground zero. She walked from her apartment to the area and talked her way through the security, which was no easy task at that time, and came to the church. There she gave her cane and hobbled off without it.
They still have cane. It serves as a reminder of the selfless sacrifice that love and duty demands.
True biblical worship so satisfies our total personality that we don’t have to shop around for man-made substitutes. William Temple made this clear in his masterful definition of worship: “For worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose—and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the ...
J. B. Phillips, in his book, “Your God Is Too Small”, responds to an old children’s poem that says,
“Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as He.”
“This word ‘mild’ is apparently deliberately used to describe a man who did not hesitate to challenge and expose the hypocrisies of the religious people of His day; a man who had such ‘personality’ that He walked unscathed through a murderous crowd; a man so far from being a nonentity that He was regarded by the authorities as a public danger; a man who could be moved to violent anger by shameless exploitation or by smug complacent orthodoxy; a man of such courage that He deliberately walked to what He knew would mean death, despite the earnest pleas of well-meaning friends! Mild! What a word to use for a personality whose challenge and strange attractiveness nineteen centuries have by no means exhausted.
Jesus Christ might well be called ‘meek,’ in the sense of being selfless and humble and utterly devoted to what He considered right, whatever the personal cost; but ‘mild,’ never!” - J. B. Phillips “Your God Is Too Small” Macmillan paperbacks, 1960
SELFLESSNESS SPARKS A WHOLE CHURCH
When Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea was building its prayer mountain, they struggled in raising the funds for its construction. Pastor David Cho challenged the people again and again and still they could raise the funds they needed for the project. Then, an elderly woman went to Pastor Cho. She gave him her bowl and chopsticks, her only earthly possessions. She told him that he can sell those and give the money for the prayer mountain. That selfless act touched the entire church. Donations flooded in until the prayer mountain became a reality.
Now, that church is the biggest evangelical church in the whole world. Our selfless act of unwrapping and using our spiritual gifts to serve people can trigger such a powerful impact. Brothers and sisters, it is really great when the church is working right. We should rightly assess ourselves and we should responsibly access our gifts.
From Eyriche Cortez's Sermon "Empowered to Engage Part 7"