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To again quote Charles Spurgeon:
"It is joy to all nations that Christ is born, the Prince of Peace, the King who rules in righteousness...Beloved, the greatest joy is to those who know Christ as a Saviour...The further you submit yourself to Christ the Lord, the more completely you know Him, the fuller will your happiness become. Surface joy is to those who live where the Saviour is preached; but the great deeps, the great fathomless deeps of solemn joy which glisten and sparkle with delight, are for such as know the Saviour, obey the Anointed One, and have communion with the Lord Himself...you will never know the fullness of the joy which Jesus brings to the soul, unless under the power of the Holy Spirit you take the Lord your Master to be your All in all, and make Him the fountain of your intensest delight."
(From a sermon by Todd Leupold "Joy To The World" 12/21/2008)
It is not what men eat, but what they digest that makes them strong
Not what we gain, but what we save that makes us rich
Not what we read, but what we remember that makes us learned
Not what we preach or pray, but what we practice and believe that makes us Christians – Francis Bacon
SPURGEON was once invited by a wealthy man to come down and preach in a country church in order to help them raise funds to pay a debt. The man told Spurgeon he was free to use his country house, his town house, or his seaside home. Spurgeon wrote back and
declined coming and said, ‘Sell one of your homes and pay the debt yourself’.
ALL THE DIFFERENCE
All but four of the major world religions are based on mere philosophical propositions. Of the four that are based on personalities rather than philosophies, only Christianity claims an empty tomb for its founder.
In 1900 B.C. Judaism’s Father Abraham died. In 483 B.C. Buddhist writings say Buddha died “with that utter passing away in which nothing whatever remains behind.” June 6, 632 A.D. Mohammed died. .
In 33 A.D. Jesus died but came back to life appearing to 500 people over a period of 40 days.
“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is you...
Carlyle Fielding Ste, How Long Will You Limp?: "Too many churches today are devoid of the Spirit of Pentecost because they are dry and stale, where people are in a stupor; where worship services are wooden and so scripted that they are hollow; where the preaching is dull and flat; where the singing is Geritol-tired and without the vim and vigor which speaks of a crucified, died and risen Lord; where if anyone taps his foot and says, "Amen", he is stared into silence, and if anyone shouts, "Thank you, Jesus" the people call the EMS or 911! Too many churches have become mausoleums for the dead rather than coliseums of praise for a living God. They have lost the spirit of Pentecost! They have lost their enthusiasm. They have lost their joy for Jesus and find themselves suffering from what William Willimon calls "Institutional and Spiritual Dry Rot." If the Church is to survive the next millennium it must recapture some of the praise and enthusiasm it had two millennia ago."
"If our greatest need was for information,
God would have sent an educator."
"If our greatest need was for technology,
God would have sent a scientist."
"If our greatest need was for pleasure,
God would have sent an entertainer."
"If our greatest need was for money
God would have sent an economist."
BUT SINCE OUR GREATEST NEED IS FOR FORGIVENESS,
GOD SENT A SAVIOR.
(Dynamic Preaching Disk, Winter 1992 "A"--What Do We Need For Christmas? Rev. Eric Ritz)
In Preaching Today, Leith Anderson wrote the following.
“My family and I have lived in the same house for seventeen years. We’ve lived there more than twice as long as I have lived at any other address in my entire life. I’ll sometimes refer to it as ‘our house,’ but more often I refer to it as ‘home.’ What makes it our home isn’t the address or the lot or the garage or the architecture. What makes it home is the people.”
“You may live in a bigger or newer or better house than we live in, but as nice as your house may be, I would never refer to your house as home because the people who are most important to me don’t live there. So what makes home home is the people in the relationships.”
“And what makes heaven heaven is not streets made out of gold, great fountains, lots of fun, and no smog. That all may be well. Actually I think heaven is far greater than our wildest imagination. The same God who designed the best of everything in this world, also designed heaven, only he took it to a far greater extent than anything we’ve ever seen. Yet that’s still not what makes heaven heaven. What makes heaven heaven is God. It is being there with Him” (as quoted in Larson, p. 120).
A. Todd Coget
[America’s Sin of Self-Sufficiency, Citation: Richard Halverson, "The Question Facing Us," Preaching Today, Tape 46.]
In 1863 President Lincoln designated April 30th as a day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer. Let me read a portion of his proclamation on that occasion:
"It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, who owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by a history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. The awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as ...
Vance Havner says, “God is faithful, and He expects His people to be faithful. God’s Word
speaks of faithful servants, faithful in a few things, faithful in the least, faithful in the Lord, faithful
ministers. And all points up that day when He will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
“What terrible times we have in our churches trying to keep people faithful in attendance and
loyalty! How we reward and picnic and coax and tantalize church members into doing things they don’t
want to do but which they would do if they loved God! The only service that counts is faithful service..
“True faith shows up in faithfulness. Not everyone can sing or preach, but all can be faithful.”
In the recent book, Speechless, Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman and his pastor, Scotty Smith, say this: “In the Gospel we discover we are far worse off than we thought and far more loved than we ever dreamed.” (As heard in the intro of tape #206 from Preaching Today)