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Bishop Lalachan Abraham
BILLY GRAHAM: CHOICES
Billy Graham said, "The strongest principle of life and blessings lies in our choice. Our life is the sum result of all the choices we make, both consciously and unconsciously. If we can control the process of choosing, we can take control of all aspects of our life. We can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of our life. So start with what is right rather than what is acceptable.
"If you don’t make a decision, then time will make it for you, and time will always side against you."
Sermon Central Staff
AUSSIE COMMON SENSE
Common sense is taking into consideration all the realities you see in front of you and coming to a right conclusion.
After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, British scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 200 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 150 years ago.
Not to be outdone by the British, in the weeks that followed, an American archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and shortly after, a story was published in the New York Times: "American archaeologists, finding traces of 250-year-old copper wire and they concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network 100 years earlier than the British."
One week later, the state’s Dept of Minerals and Energy in Western Australia, reported the following: "After digging as deep as 30 feet in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, Jack Lucknow, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Jack has therefore concluded that 250 years ago, Australia had already gone wireless."
(From a sermon by John Perry, The unusual gift of common sense, 1/22/2011)
I remember when I saw a program showing how they used to film Gunsmoke, one of my favorite TV shows as a kid. I learned that Dodge City was really just a place in the middle of nowhere not even close to the real one. There was no Longbranch Saloon, no stores or jail, it was all front with nothing behind it — a facade, a wooden structure that only made it look like a city on television. If you looked through the door you would only see more of the prairie. Kittie, Doc Adams, Chester, Festus and Marshal Dillon were sitting on a set somewhere, not the Longbranch where you thought they were. The Gunsmoke set is like many people. They only have a front with nothing behind it. They are all facade. That is why they cannot afford to be transparent — people would see right through them.
But an important part of the Christian life is the development of something behind the facade. It is the growth of character, and a spiritual life that supports who we are. Only when we really come to Christ and have a relationship with God do we begin to have substance. We are not just keeping up appearances, we are developing a quality of character. Being a Christian means being real.
“Wisdom is the God-given ability to perceive the true nature of a matter and implement the will of God in th...
In 1971 Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland starred together in a movie named “Klute”. It was about a small town detective who had come to the big city in search of a killer, who coincidentally was stalking Jane Fonda’s character. At one point in the movie Donald Sutherland’s character, Detective Klute, was hot on the trail of this mad killer and chased him to a spot where there was an open cellar door.
The music, lighting, and the chase all served to build suspense to a chest-constricting level. As Klute approached the cellar door, revolver drawn, and looked down into the darkness, I think everyone in the theater was holding their breath. That is, until my friend, sitting next to me, said out loud, “If he goes down there he deserves what he gets”.
The theatre audience burst out laughing and the tension was released, at least momentarily.
The Apostle Paul is continuing his theme of light vs. darkness in our text verses today. He is warning against entering into; participating in deeds of darkness, for they are unfruitful, disgraceful, and we are rather to expose them.
Those who are of the world and still in darkness cannot help themselves. But based on what I see the Apostle telling us in this chapter, the Christian is light and therefore if he enters deliberately into the darkness for the sake of participation, he deserves what he gets.
This may be an urban myth, but it’s good anyway...
The US standard railroad gauge – that’s the distance between rails – is 4 feet, 8-1/2 inches. Why such an odd number? Because that’s the way they built them in England, and American railroads were built by British expatriates – that is, people who used to live in Britain.
Well, why did the English use that particular gauge? Because the people who built the pre-railroad tramways used that gauge.
They in turn were locked into that gauge because the people who built tramways used the same standards and tools they had used for building wagons, which were on a gauge of 4 ft, 8-1/2 inches.
Why were wagons to that scale? Because with any other size, the wheels did not match the old wheel ruts on the roads.
So who built these old rutted roads?
The first long distance highways in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the benefit of their legions. The roads have been used ever since. The ruts were first made by Roman war chariots. Four feet, 8-1/2 inches was the width a chariot needed to be to accommodate the two rear ends of war horses.
Maybe “that’s the way it’s always been” isn’t the good reason some people believe it is. (Clark Cothern, “Leadership”, Winter 1998)
Wisdom is the power to see and the inclination to choose the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it.
J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p. 80.
A small storeowner was being pressured to sell his store to the owners of a large department store who had bought every building on the block, except his. Frustrated by the man’s refusal to sell, they eventually opened their huge store on either side of the small one, with a big banner running from one side to the other, proclaiming in huge letters "GRAND OPENING."
Feeling equally frustrated, the small storeowner did finally outsmart the large ...
Sir Isaac Newton, after his sublime discoveries in science, said, "I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem only like a boy playing upon the seashore and diverting myself by now and then finding a pebble, or a prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lies undiscovered before me." Akin to this is a true Christian experience.
If we want God to guide us, our attitude needs to be right. Here are some guidelines as to how we can play our part in arriving at right decisions.
First, we must be willing to think. It is false piety, super-supernaturalism of an unhealthy pernicious sort that demands inward impressions with no rational base, and declines to heed the constant biblical summons to consider. God made us thinking beings, and he guides our minds as we think things out in his presence.
Second, we must be willing to think ahead and weigh the long-term consequences of alternative courses of action. Often we can only see what is wise and right, and what is foolish and wrong, as we dwell on the long-term issues.
Third, we must be willing to take advice. It is a sign of conceit and immaturity to dispense with taking advice in major decisions. There are always people who know the Bible, human nature, and our own gifts and limitations better than we do, and even if we cannot finally accept their advice, nothing but good will come to us from carefully weighing what they say.
Fourth, we must be willing to be ruthlessly honest with ourselves. We must suspect ourselves: ask ourselves why we feel a particular course of action will be right and make ourselves give reasons.
Fifth, we must be willing to wait. "Wait on the Lord" is a constant refrain in the Psalms and it is a necessary word, for the Lord often keeps us waiting. When in doubt, do nothing, but continue to wait on God.
James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986, Page 13.