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There’s another beautiful picture of baptism given here: “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Did you catch it? Baptism clothes us with Christ. We’re wrapped up in Jesus and all of his goodness in baptism. We’re clothed with his work and his righteousness. Armani, Gucci, Abercrombie and Fitch – none of those designer labels can compare with the garments we have in Jesus’ name. God “clothes” us with forgiveness and salvation. In other words, he says that these things are ours. They’re real, just like a change of clothes. All who believe that these garments are theirs have what’s needed to be part of God’s family.
The Lord offers a wonderful wardrobe for his people. It’s his Son’s life, death, and resurrection. These are ours to “wear” spiritually. God does have a dress code for his family. This is what identifies the Christian as such. Let’s face it. People often wear the clothes they do because the want to be noticed. Quite often it’s the label or the name brand that supposedly makes a person a “somebody.” Well, you want to be labeled as a “somebody”, then be labeled as one who is wrapped up with Jesus. Be labeled with Christ. Be proud that you are a Christian. Don’t be ashamed of all the Christ has done for you! God has made you part of his family.
Some one has said, there are three kinds of givers -- the flint, the sponge and the honeycomb. To get anything out of a flint you must hammer it. And then you get only chips and sparks. To get water out of a sponge you must squeeze it, and the more you use pressure, the more you will get. But the honeycomb just overflows with its own sweetness. Which kind of giver are you?
A church that has passion is a church where "Discouraged folks cheer up, dishonest folks fees up, sour folks sweeten up, closed folk, open up, gossipers shut up, conflicted folks make up, sleeping folks wake up, lukewarm folk, fire up, dry bones shake up, and pew potatoes stand up! But most of all, Christ the Savior of the entire world is lifted up."
“Worship does not satisfy our hunger for God—it whets our appetite. Our need for God is not taken care of by engaging in worship—it deepens. It overflows th...
R. Darrel Davis
Richard Roney is Chief of Chaplain Services at the VA Medical Center in Marion, Illinois. He reminds pastors they aren’t the only ones who hear excuses about not attending church; as a hospital chaplain, he’s heard more than his share:
"It’s snowing outside. I never attend church in bad weather." (The chapel was on another floor in the same building!)
One lady commented, quite seriously, "I’m usually always sick on Sunday morning."
"The nurse doesn’t want me out of bed," one patient told a volunteer. But as the volunteer began to leave, the same patient asked, "If you’re going near the smoking room, could you give me a push?"
A favorite was the patient who said, "When I sing, I get nauseated.”
The pastor stood before the congregation and said "I have bad news, I have good
news, and I have more bad news." The congregation got quiet. "The bad news
is: the church needs a new roof!" the pastor said. The congregation groaned.
"The good news is: we have enough money for the new roof." A sigh of relief
was heard rippling through the gathered group.
"The bad new is: it’s still in your pockets"
Someone has estimated that the average member of the church has heard 6,000 sermons, 8,000 congregational songs and led zero people to Jesus Christ!
Here is the way the problem stacks up in a Church with 200 members:
20 are too old to work, that leaves 180 left to work,
but of the rest, 18 are too timid to accept much responsibility
that leaves 162 left to work,
but 12 are out of town or away for school,
so that leaves 150 left to work,
but 25 of those work long hours six or seven days a week,
so that leaves 125 left to work,
but 20 of those are tied down with children
that leaves 105 left to work,
but 20 of those are unable to work because of poor health,
that leaves 85 left to work,
but 55 are unfaithful, do not attend regularly, or don’t care...
that leaves 30 left to work,
but 20 of those will attend church...but they refuse to work...
that leaves 10 left to work,
8 of those are very tired of doing all the work and have asked to be relieved
That leaves 2 people, you and me...
But I’m too busy with other things, so you do the work.
Flip Wilson was a popular comedian several years ago, and one of his characters was a Preacher at the “What’s Happening Now Church.” Flip did a Skit where he told about this preacher. He’d shout out:
"IF THIS CHURCH IS GOING TO SERVE GOD IT’S GOT TO GET DOWN ON ITS KNEES AND CRAWL!!!"
And the audience yelled back "Make it crawl preacher, make it crawl!
"AND ONCE THIS CHURCH HAS LEARNED TO CRAWL, IT’S GOT TO GET UP
ON ITS FEET AND WALK!!!"
"Make it walk preacher, make it walk" the audience moaned.
AND ONCE THIS CHURCH HAS LEARNED TO WALK ITS GOT BEGIN TO LEARN TO RUN!!!"
"Make it run, preacher, make it run!"
A. Todd Coget
A young Christian went to his local church usually, but one weekend attended a small town church.
He came home and his wife asked him how it was.
"Well," said the young man, "It was good. They did something different however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs."
"Hymns," said his wife, "what are those?"
"Oh, they’re okay. They’re sort of like regular songs, only different," said the young man.
"Well, what’s the difference? Asked his wife.
The young man said, "Well it’s like this: If I were to say to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that would be a regular song. If, on the other hand, I were to say to you: ‘Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry. Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth. Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by, To the righteous, inimitable, glorious truth. For the way of the animals who can explain? There in their heads is no shadow of sense, Harkenest they in God’s sun or his rain Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced. Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebelious delight, Have broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed. Then goaded by minions of darkness and night They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn have chewed. So look to that bright shining day by and by, Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn. Where no vicious animal makes my soul cry, and I no longer see those foul cows in the corn. AMEN!
"Then, if I were to do only verses one, two, and four and do a key change on the last verse, well that would be a hymn."
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Henry Ward Beecher was one of the great preachers of the 19th Century. He was ill one Sunday, so a substitute pastor walked up to the pulpit as the worship service began. Seeing that Dr. Beecher would not be speaking that day, a number of people got up and headed for the door. The substitute preacher said, "All those who came to worship Dr. Beecher this morning may leave. All those who came to worship the Lord, may stay in their seats." Everyone sat back down.