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Sermon Central Staff
MAN HAS YET TO CONQUER HIMSELF
Ravi Zacharias put it well when he said, "In an attempt to be reasonable, man has become irrational. In an attempt to deify himself, he has defaced himself. In an attempt to be free, he has made himself a slave. And like Alexander the Great, he has conquered the world around him but has not yet conquered himself." (Bible Illustrator #2139, 12/1997.1255)
(From a sermon by C. Philip Green, The Fatherís Gift, 12/16/2010)
Sermon Central Staff
TAKE MY HAND
The story is told of a man and his boy who was with him, when a little fellow, in Scotland, and for the first time he possessed what in that country is known as a top-coat. They were walking out one cold day, and the way was slippery. The little fellow's hands were deep down in his pockets. His father said to him: "My son, you had better let me take your hand," but he said you never could persuade a boy with a new top-coat to take his hands from his pockets.
They reached a slippery place and the boy had a hard fall. Then his pride began to depart and he said: "I will take your hand." and he reached up and clasped his father's hand the best he could. When a second slippery place was reached, the clasp was broken and the second fall was harder than the first.
Then all his pride was gone, and raising his little hand he said: "You may take it now," and his father said, "I clasped it roundabout with my great hand and we continued our walk; and when we reached the slippery places," said he, "the little feet would start to go and I would hold him up."
This is a picture for the Christian. I am saved not so much because I have hold of God as because God has hold of me, and He not only gives me shoes with which I may walk and which never wear out, but Christ holds my hand in His and I shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck me out of His hand.
(J. Wilbur Chapman, Heartwarming Illustrations, accessed: QuickVerse. From a sermon by Chris Surber, The Holy One Among Us, 7/30/2010)
ADMITTING YOUR WEAKNESSES
When I got out of college I went to many interviews but I didnít get a ministry! I was talking to one of my professors about this, and I admitted that I did not do well at interviews. He said just admit this at your next interview!
I did at the next one! As soon as I admitted that I was not good at interviews, an elder jumped all over me. He said, "You have been to college. The first rule of interviewing is to emphasize your strengths and not your weaknesses!"
I said, "Well, I thought I would be honest with you. We could start this over and I could lie to you and try to be someone I am not. Is that what you want?"
When it was all said and done, I got the ministry position!
POWER OF THE FLESH
A certain man was in very big trouble. He was sacked from five jobs. When he could not feed his family again, his wife ran away, leaving him with three daughters. To worsen his sorrow, his first daughter became pregnant while in form three. When he tried to beat her, she said, "Daddy, all the time I did not ask you for bus fare to school. Where do you think the money I was using came from?"
The man was very sad, so he cried unto the Lord in prayers. He really cried to God, and you know God never rejects the cry from the heart. The Lord Jesus appeared to him while he was praying. The man was very happy. He wanted the Lord Jesus to sympathize with him. He wanted the Lord to promote him and give him deliverance from all his troubles. He wanted comfort, fairness and divine justice.
But to his amazement, the Lord pointed at him and said, "Your problem is rooted in you and not in the enemy." The Lord told him that that was the hardest part of his Christian life. "You have not even agreed that you are your own problem. You are only deceiving yourself by blaming the devil. I am the Almighty. I am not struggling with the devil. I desire that your flesh must submit to me. I want to dethrone you from the centre of your life and be your Lord, but you have not...
Healing, God's Way
Healing takes time, patience and determination to persevere through the long process of healing. Itís not easy, but it is the reality of the healing process.
Personal Illustration: My own experience with the healing process of my right knee. About two years ago I had a total right knee replacement. When my knee started acting up and hindering my walking I wanted my knee to be better right now -not tomorrow. I wanted a microwave healing. I wanted an immediate result from my first surgery. I wanted it fixed now because I had things to do and I was tired of waiting for it to heal! I did not want to have to walk with crutches for six weeks. I wanted to be able to drive and transport myself around without relying on the girls. I did not want to be dependent on others. I did not want to have to ask people to get things for me. I did not want to have to wait for others to do things for me. I did not want people to have to get my food and my coffee because I could not carry it.
But it did not work that way. God had a plan to teach me some spiritual life lessons through this process. You see, I was very independent and I felt that I should always be able to take care of myself. I prided myself on being independent and not in need of anyone elseís help. But I learned through this experience that God wanted me to become interdependent on others and not independent.
Being independent does not make God proud of us! What He wants is the willingness for us to care for one another and to be dependent on one another. He is not pleased with independent self-centered spirits! God wants us to be united, not independent contractors.
I used to know a young lady who said about herself, "Iím not conceited; Iím convinced!"
BUT CAN HE SWIM?
A man and his dog were walking the beach when they came upon another visitor to the beach. The owner of the dog was proud of his dog's newly mastered feat, so he said to the visitor, "Watch this!" whereupon he tossed a piece of driftwood far out into the sea and the dog immediately ran on top of the ocean, fetched the wood, and ran back. The visitor just shook his head in disbelief, whereupon the owner repeated the procedure twice. Finally he asked the visitor, "Did you notice anything unusual?"
The visitor responded, "Your dog can't swim, can he?"
A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as youíre looking down, you canít see ...
GUNNY SACK DRESSES
A lady looked all over a dress shop in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, for something that she liked and could wear. Her final selection startled the proprietor and gave her a new idea. The customer purchased a gunny sack that was covering one of the mannequins during the period between seasons! The dress shop began offering the gunny sack dresses to other hard-to-please customers as well. And it became a fad in the early 1970s.ó Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations
C.S. LEWIS ON PRIDE
"A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and of course, as long as you're looking down, you can't see something that's above you."