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Some years ago I was on a flight from one city to another in the company of my senior Pastor. It was an evengelistic trip and also my first flight ever. I was hungry before we boarded the flight but I had no time to get anything to bite for two reasons--one, I did not have any money on me and preferred not to ask my pastor. Two, there was no time since we had to rush to board immediately we got to the airport.
Just few minutes into the flight a flight attendant approached my seat with some delicious snacks. She asked which one was my preference. Looking up with a gentlemanís smile I waived her off indicating that I was not interested in any. She passed me by. I looked behind me to see my Pastor picking some with a cold drink to "flush" it down!! I was furious. Alighting from the flight I asked him why he didnít order the snack for me knowing well that I didnít have money on me and was hungry. He was shocked but realizing my ignorance, he laughed and said, "Bro. Dave, the snack is free on board. Our air fare included both the transportation and the refreshment"
I nearly went back into the plane! From that day forward, especially that I also know that you can ask for "extra", I go for my right on every flight except when I am fasting!!
Have you ever received a gift that you wanted for a long that had great sentimental value to it? What did you do with this gift once you had it? You probably utilized it for whatever uses it was for, until it was unusable of course.
God gives every believer the gift of the Holy Spirit the moment you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. This is a gift that is to be utilized to its fullest extent. This gift will never be unusable! When Christians get to the point where they think they are either too old, too intelligent, or already have all the experience they need to learn more, this is a dangerous stand. We are telling God that the gift of the Holy Spirit cannot be used by us. We are saying that His gift is unusable.
Here are ten ways that the gift of the Holy Spirit reminds, teaches, speaks, reveals, instructs, exposes, convicts, rebukes, corrects, and works to help us grow in more wisdom and live pleasing to God.
1.) A Circle-K convenience store was patronized by man requesting change for a twenty dollar bill. As soon as the register drawer was opened, the man pulled a gun and demanded it contents. He fled with all dollars of it, but left his original twenty lying on the counter.
2.) A guy walked into a little corner store with a shotgun and demanded all the cash from the cash drawer. After the cashier put the cash in a bag, the robber saw a bottle of scotch that he wanted behind the counter on the shelf. He told the cashier to put it in the bag as well, but he refused and said "Because I donít believe you are over 21." The robber said he was, but the clerk still refused to give it to him because he didnít believe him. At this point the robber took his drivers license out of his wallet and gave it to the clerk. The clerk looked it over, and agreed that the man was in fact over 21 and he put the scotch in the bag. The robber then ran from the store with his loot. The cashier promptly called the police and gave the name and address of the robber that he got off the license.
They arrested the robber two hours later.
3.) The television news one night told the story of a would-be holdup man who tried to disguise himself with a bag over his head. A bag!
4.) Police in Oakland, California spent two hours attempting to subdue a gunman who had barricaded himself inside his home. After firing ten tear-gas canisters, officers discovered that the man was standing beside them, shouting pleas to come out and give himself up.
The Valuable Bible
A story was told of a man who loved old books. He met an acquaintance who had just thrown away a Bible that had been stored in the attic of his ancestral home for generations.
ďI couldnít read it,Ē the friend explained. ďSomebody named Guten-something had printed it.Ē
ďNot Gutenberg!Ē the book lover exclaimed in horror. ďThat Bible was one of the first books ever printed. Why, a copy just sold for over two million do...
HIGHER STANDARD OF GOD
Paul very much emphasized that we are responsible to others. Not responsible for them but to them. We are held to a high standard (at least we should be) by our own conscience, by others, and by God.
Too often we make excuses such as not knowing that something was happening. "I donít if my clothes have been made by children in foreign countries making pennies a day so that I can enjoy inexpensive clothing."
"I donít what the policies are of Folgerís coffee."
"I donít know what KFCís policies are in regard to purchasing chickens that have been inhumanely treated."
We claim that we donít know often because we look the other way. We donít want to know. We donít want to have a higher standard. Ignorance is bliss. Donít ask. Donít tell. I canít possibly be held accountable for something that I didnít know about.
Yes and no. Here is a matter of conscience and freedom. We have so many opportunities and resources to find out information even when companies donít want us to know and want us to remain ignorant. I believe that we each will be held accountable for much more sin than the church has in the last century really told us about. If we have looked the other way. If we have not even made the effort to get the real story. When we refuse to investigate, I believe we sin. We fail in our witness. We fail to uphold Godís standards of justice and mercy. Will Jesus say to us, "I never knew you." "But Lord, we preached salvation in your name. We prayed for people. We worshipped you. We sang your songs." "But I never knew you."
Sermon Central Staff
A widow, shortly after her husbandís death, was going through his papers. She found a couple of old certificates, yellowed with age and crumbling into dust. They had been made out to her husband more than fifty years ago, and seemed to be some kind of promissory notes. Some sort of company had written out these certificates and they seemed to indicate that her husband had invested five thousand dollars with these people, way back before they married.
Well, she read them over a couple of times, didnít really understand all the legal gobbledygook, took another look at their age, thought about the fact that they were buried at the bottom of his desk drawer and that he had never said anything about them. She decided that they were worthless. Just worthless paper, and she threw them into the garbage.
A couple of weeks later she had a call from her lawyer, asking her if there were any other assets to be dealt with in the estate. The lawyer asked, "Did your husband have any investments? Did he lend any money to anyone?" She told the lawyer about the papers. Guess what?! With accumulated interest over fifty years, she had pitched into the trash well over $30,000! Finders keepers, losers weepers, because when you donít know the value of something and you destroy it, sooner or later you are going to discover how valuable it was. You are going to regret having destroyed it, because it is your loss.
(From a sermon by Joseph Smith, Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers, 10/17/2009)
DRIVING THE WRONG WAY
An older gentleman was driving home from work when his cell phone rang. His wife was on the line in a panic and said, "Honey, be careful driving. I just saw on the TV that some maniac is driving the wrong way on the interstate!"
The old man replies, "One? There's hundreds of them!"
Do Not Be Ignorant
Paul opens Chapter 10 by telling the Corinthian Christians to not be ignorant to not be ag-no-eh-o which means the following:
The Greek word for "ignorant" - ἀ„ŪÔέý, agnoeō, ag-no-eh'-o. Not to know (through lack of information or intelligence); by implication to ignore (through disinclination)--(be) ignorant (-ly), not know, not understand, unknown (From Strong's Greek and Hebrew definitions).
The Message reads this way in verses 1-5:
Remember our history, friends, and be warned. All our ancestors were led by the providential Cloud and taken miraculously through the Sea. They went through the waters, in a baptism like ours, as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life. They all ate and drank identical food and drink, meals provided daily by God. They drank f...
First noticed in the late 19th century, the concept of the cargo cult came to prominence in the years immediately following WWII. As the Japanese and American armies began to island hop their way to victory and defeat across the Pacific, they literally took over these small territories from people who had little or no contact with the Western world.
In the midst of this war, there was a collision of cultures that was taking place. In areas such as Vanauatu, across Melanesia, from New Guinea to the Solomon Islands to Tanna's archipelago, the New Hebrides, dozens of unconnected communities, thousands of miles apart and speaking unrelated languages, seemed spontaneously to generate the same set of bizarre beliefs.
The classic account was by the Australian anthropologist Peter Lawrence, who went out to the Madang district of New Guinea in 1949 to conduct field research into the traditional social relations of people who, despite colonial rule, were still living much as they had in the recent Stone Age. Lawrence gradually discovered that his presence in Madang had become woven into an extraordinary complex of beliefs. Persistent rumours abounded that a cargo ship was about to arrive in the harbour with huge consignments of goods for him, and the local people asked him to help them supervise the clearing of an airstrip. When he asked what the airstrip was for, he was told that cargo planes were about to arrive bringing tinned meat, rice, tools, tobacco and a machine for making electric light. And when he asked who was sending this cargo, they replied 'God in Heaven.'
Cargo cult activity in the Pacific region increased significantly during and immediately after World War II, when large amounts of manpower and materials were brought in by the Japanese and American combatants, and this was observed by the residents of these regions. When the war ended, the military bases were closed and the flow of goods and materials ceased. In an attempt to attract further deliveries of goods, followers of the cults engaged in ritualistic practices such as building crude imitation landing strips, aircraft and radio equipment, and mimicking the behaviour that they had observed of the military personnel operating them.
Notable examples of cargo cult activity include the setting up of mock airstrips, airports, offices, and dining rooms, as well as the fetishization and attempted construction of Western goods, such as radios made of coconuts and straw. Believers may stage "drills" and "marches" with sticks for rifles and use military-style insignia and national insignia painted on their bodies to make them look like soldiers, thereby treating the activities of Western military personnel as rituals to be performed for the purpose of attracting the cargo. Cult behaviors usually involved mimicking the day to day activities and dress styles of U.S. soldiers, such as performing parade ground drills with wooden or salvaged rifles. They carved headphones from wood and wore them while sitting in fabricated control towers. They waved the landing signals while standing on the runways. They lit signal fires and torches to light up runways and lighthouses. In a form of sympathetic magic, many built life-size replicas of airplanes out of straw and created new military-style landing strips, hoping to attract more airplanes. The cult members thought that the foreigners had some special connection to the deities and ancestors of the natives, who were the only beings powerful enough to produce such riches. Interestingly, there are no reports of villagers mimicking the Japanese army. It was quickly understood by villagers that the white (U.S.) tribe had won the conflict.
Based on this definition, the term "cargo cult" also is used in business and science to refer to a particular type of fallacy whereby ill-considered effort and ceremony take place but go unrewarded due to flawed models of causation, as described above.
All over, islanders were downing tools, clearing airstrips in the jungle, building imitation radio masts out of bamboo, scouring their bibles for hidden messages, even sitting around politely drinking afternoon tea. If it worked for the white man, so the theory went, it would work for them. They're doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn't work. No airplanes land.
Anthropologists note that the common point among all of the cargo cults that existed throughout the years is a desire for "stuff." Their imitation of what they have observed is the means to get the stuff. Their failures are blamed on the stronger magic that others have, but they continue to see themselves as the rightful recipients of the cargo, as they are the only people who matter, and therefore the planes are coming from heaven, from their ancestors.
USHERING IN A CLEAN WORLD
There was a man named Dave who was blind. For a period of time we were working with him, bringing him to church and helping him out. Dave began to come along regularly; more than anything I think he liked the fact that people in our church cared about him. One day some of the ladies in our church went over to help clean his apartment for him. When they set to work, they encountered filthiness they never would have imagined. His kitchen cupboards were covered in the evidence of cockroach visitors and cockroaches that had decided that Daveís place was a good place to die. His bathroom defied description, his entire home was filthy. But the amazing thing is that Dave had no idea he was living in such uncleanness!
It was the masterful touch of the women who volunteered their time and efforts that ushered Dave into a world of cleanliness heíd not known.