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Staff Picks of Free Sermons and PRO Church Media
16. Our Thinking vs. Godís Promises.
a. We say- Itís impossible. God says- All things are possible with Me.
b. We- I canít do it. God- You can do all things through Christ.
c. We- Iím too tired. God- Come to Me, I will give you rest.
d. We- Iím always worried and frustrated. God- Cast all your cares on Me.
e. We- I canít go on. God- My grace is sufficient for you.
f. We- I canít figure things out. God- I will direct your steps.
g. We- Iím not able. God- I am able.
h. We- Itís not worth it. God- It will be worth it.
i. We- I canít manage. God- I will supply all your needs.
j. We- Iím afraid. God- I have not given you a spirit of fear.
k. WE- I donít have enough faith. God- Iíve given everyone a measure of faith.
l. WE- Iím not smart enough. God- I give you wisdom.
m. We- I feel all alone. God- I will never leave you or forsake you.
Jesus was crucified, not in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves. - George F. MacLeod
The cross cannot be defeated, for it is defeat. - Gilbert K. Chesterton
There are no crown-wearers in heaven who were not cross-bearers here below. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
We need men of the cross, with the message of the cross, bearing the marks of the cross. - Vance Havner
Christís cross is such a burden as sails are to a ship or wings to a bird. - Samuel Rutherford
He came to pay a debt He didnít owe because we owed a debt we couldnít pay. - Anonymous
The old cross slew men; the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it. A.W. Tozer
All heaven is interested in the cross of Christ, all hell is terribly afraid of it, while men are the only beings who more or less ignore its meaning. - Oswald Chambers
The cross: Godís way of uniting suffering with love. - Georgia Harkness
The figure of the Crucified invalidates all thought which takes success for its standard. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The cross is the lightning rod of grace that short-circuits Godís wrath to Christ so that only the light of His love remains for believers.
A. W. Tozer in ďThe Old Cross and the New.Ē
Sermon Central Staff
FEAR AND THE DECEITS OF THE HEART
I think Edward Welch chose brilliantly the title for his book on overcoming the fear of man: When People are Big and God is Small. Maybe you can relate to his personal awakening to this problem when he was a high-school senior:
"I had always been shy and self-conscious, controlled by what my peers thought (or might have thought), but I never considered it seriously until the day of the awards assembly. I was up for an award, and I was scared to death I would get it!
"The auditorium bulged with over two thousand high-school juniors and seniors. From the back, where I like to sit, it seemed a good mile or two up to the platform. All I could think of was what my classmates would think of me while I walked to the front. Would I walk funny? Would I trip going up the stairs? Would one person -- I prayed it would not be a girl I liked -- think I was a jerk? What about those who were also nominated or who thought they were deserving? What would they think of me if I won instead of them? What would I ever say for a brief acceptance speech? 'God, please don't let me get this!' I prayed.
"After a number of lesser awards were announced, the vice principal went to the podium to introduce the winner. He began with a short, somewhat cryptic biographical sketch. It did not sound exactly like me, but it was generic enough to fit. I was starting to sweat, but I sat motionless for fear that someone would think I was getting interested. Finally the announcement came: 'And the winner of this year's senior award is...Rick Wilson.
"Rick Wilson! I could not believe it! Of all people. No one even thought he was a candidate!
"You can imagine my reaction. Relief? No way. I felt like a total failure. Now what would people think of me? They knew I was up for the award, and someone else was chosen. What a loser I was.
"Immediately my mind began spinning out justifications. If I had worked at all this year, I would have won. I certainly had the potential, I just didn't want to win. I'm a late bloomer; when I get to college, I will show them. I was ashamed to go back to class. Pitiful, isn't it?"
Dr. Welch describes well the deceit of the heart. Many fear success, for it would put us on display; yet we also fear failure, for then we are shown to be less wonderful than we had hoped. The Bible mentions often this heart-struggle. Almost 600 verses contain the word, "fear" and related synonyms. One of the profound comments comes through the prophet Isaiah: "And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. [So God promises to restore and revive his people, to protect and deliver them. Then he says,] 'I, I am he who comforts you; who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is made like grass, and have forgotten the LORD, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth?'" (Isaiah 51.11-13).
(From a sermon by Glenn Durham, How Fear Controls People, 5/31/2010)
STRONG WOMAN VERSUS A WOMAN OF STRENGTH
A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape ... but a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape...
A strong woman isnít afraid of anything ... but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear...
A strong woman wonít let anyone get the best of her ... but a woman of strength gives the best of herself to everyone...
A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future... a woman of strength realizes lifeís mistakes can also be Godís blessings and capitalizes on them...
A strong woman walks sure footedly... but a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls...
A strong woman wears the l...
Gen. Douglas MacArthur wrote this prayer for his son. He prayed: "Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, & brave enough to face himself when he is afraid. One who will be proud & unbending in honest defeat, & humble & gentle in victory.
"Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds - a son who will know Thee, who is the foundation stone of knowledge. Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease & comfort, but under the stress & spur of difficulties & challenge.
"Here let him learn to stand up to the storm. Here let him learn compassion for those who fail. Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high, a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men, one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
"And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor so that he may always be serious but never take himself too seriously. Give him humility so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, & an open mind of true wisdom, & the meekness of true strength.
"Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, `I have not lived in vain.’"
Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are afraid. – Eddie Rickenbacker
Amy Alt is well aware of these studies, and they frighten her. Amy was featured in
the Los Angeles Times article from 1996 where I found the other statistics I’ve used today.
Her husband, Steve, decided he was unhappy and didn’t want to be married anymore.
He left her. She tried to reconcile but to no avail. He claimed he made a mistake marrying
her and he never loved her. He couldn’t stay with her because he didn’t want to be
Amy is afraid of the affects this divorce is having on her sons.
The article says, "Already, she can see changes in her boys. Tony, the 6-year-old, is angry. Andy, the 4-year-old, has wondered aloud if the divorce is his fault. "Maybe if we’re really good," he said not long ago, "we can get dad to come back."
One third grade child that I talked to wrote a note to one of his classmates in school. The note said, "Please be my friend, everybody else is leaving me."
Luther on Fear
Martin Luther made this interesting observation in his Table Talk. God and the devil take opposite tactics in regard to fear. The Lord first allows us to become afraid, that he might relieve our fears and comfort us. The devil, on the other hand, first makes us feel secure in our pride and sins, that we might later be overwhelmed with fear and despair.
"Resolved, to live with all my might while I do live. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time, to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can. Resolved, never to do anything which I should despite or think meanly of in another. Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge. Resolved, never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life."
Sermon Central Staff
WEAR THE PANTS
Levi-Strauss recently ran an ad campaign that targeted men for a line of Dockers pants (June 2011). Maybe you've seen some of the ads. One of them was called a "MAN-ifesto," and the script went like this:
"Once upon a time, men wore the pants, and wore them well. Women rarely had to open doors, and little old ladies never had to cross the street alone. Men took charge because that's what they did. But somewhere along the way the world decided it no longer needed men. Disco by disco, latte by foamy non-fat latte, men were stripped of their khakis and left stranded on the road between boyhood and androgyny.
"But today there are questions our genderless society has no answers for. The world sits idly by as cities crumble, children misbehave, and those little old ladies remain on one side of the street. For the first time since bad guys, we need heroes. We need grownups. We need men to put down the plastic fork, step away from the salad bar, and untie the world from the tracks of complacency. It's time to get your hands dirty. It's time to answer the call of manhood. It's time to wear the pants."
Now, more than ever, the church and our world needs these kind of leaders--leaders who are not afraid to get their hands dirty, leaders who are no longer content to remain on the sidelines, leaders who will take the initiative and take responsibility.
(From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Leading Under Fire, 8/5/2011)