Illustration results for 1 corinthians 1
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Church conflicts happen for pretty unusual reasons. In the 1890s there was a small Baptist church in Mayfield County, Kentucky. The church had just two deacons, and those two men seemed to be constantly arguing and bickering with each other. On a particular Sunday, one deacon put up a small wooden peg in the back wall so the pastor could hang up his hat. When the other deacon discovered the peg, he was outraged. "How dare someone put a peg in the wall without first consulting me!" The people in the church took sides and the congregation eventually split. Over a hundred years later, residents of Mayfield County still refer to the two churches as Peg Baptist and Anti-Peg Baptist.
Illus.: “When Blind Eyes Were Opened”
D.L. Moody, the famed evangelist, told this story at one of his meetings: One evening just before Christmas, a man was walking through the streets of an Eastern city. The store windows were all beautifully decorated, and he observed three little girls intensely interested in one of them. He discovered that the girl in the center was blind, and the others were trying to describe the beautiful things in the window. “Why,” they said, “can’t you see that Teddy bear and that doll? Just look at that pretty pink bow!”
But the poor little girl stood with a blank expression on her face and could not appreciate the beautiful things before her. “Now,” said Moody, “this is an illustration of the effort we Christians are making to arouse the unconverted to an interest and delight in spiritual things. The reason we can’t do so is because the sinner is spiritually blind.” Moody had scarcely concluded when a reporter was on the platform asking him where he had heard that story. “Oh,” said Moody, “I read it in one of those daily papers. I have forgotten which one.” Then the reporter said, “I’m the one who wrote the story because I was there and saw the whole thing. I see now that I’m just like that little girl, spiritually blind.” That man was converted then and there.
Steven Simala Grant
I don’t know why we carry our sin along with us. I do it too – instead of quickly running to Jesus, instead of running to the cross where I find forgiveness, sometimes I carry my sin around. I feel badly about it, but probably because of shame I don’t take it to Jesus right away. I’m ashamed to admit that, yes, I did it again. You know what this is like? It’s like getting all dressed up for an important party. And then as we walk out the door we see a big mud pile, and for whatever reason end up falling (jumping?) into it. But then instead of running back inside and getting cleaned up, we sit there feeling bad. Feeling sorry for ourselves. Feeling too ashamed. But while we sit there, we are missing the party. The festival is going on without us! My friends, let us hurry back and get cleaned off. Let us come quickly to the cross when we have sinned, and confess it and ask for forgiveness. Our Lord promised through John that “If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jn 1:9).
POWER IN THE CROSS-COMMUNION MEDITATION
There is power in the cross. It's undeniable. Even unbelievers seem to squirm when considering its potential.
David Brooks, of the Weekly Standard, reports "of the conniption being thrown by the American Atheist, the group founded by the late Madalyn Murray O'Hair (may God have mercy upon her soul). It seems that when the World Trade Center collapsed, the force of the fall, or some supernatural force, fused two steel beams into a 20-foot-high cross, which has been kept on the edge of the site. The atheists want the cross removed, of course, but in their passion to do that, they are actually revealing their faith in the power of the cross. If it didn't have power, why get so upset?"
There is power in the cross. It's undeniable. As we come around the Lord's Table, we consider the potential of the cross--it's potential to reconcile al...
A person who calls himself frank and candid can very easily find himself becoming tactless and cruel.
A person who prides himself on being tactful can find eventually that he has become evasive and deceitful.
A person with firm convictions can become pigheaded.
A person who is inclined to be temperate and judicious can sometimes turn into someone with weak convictions and banked
fires of resolution . . .
Loyalty can lead to fanaticism.
Caution can become timidity.
Freedom can become license.
Confidence can become arrogance.
Humility can become servility.
All these are ways in which strength can become weakness.
Dore Schary, Bits & Pieces, December 9, 1993, pp. 3-4.
Sermon Central Staff
THE NOBODIES OF THE CHURCH
Janet Reno, Attorney General of the United States during the Clinton administration, was interviewed on "60 Minutes" on June 26, 1999. She seems to hold this ancient opinion of Christians. Here is how she defined a cultist:
"A cultist is one who has a strong belief in the Bible and the Second Coming of Christ; who frequently attends Bible studies; who have a high level of financial giving to a Christian cause; who home schools their children; who has accumulated survival foods and has a strong belief in the Second Amendment; and who distrusts big government. Any of these may qualify a person as a cultist but certainly more than one of these would cause us to look at this person as a threat and his family as being in a risk that qualifies for government interference."
Let me put it another way, we are the last ones picked to be on the team on the school playground or we are still sitting on the sideline while everyone else has been picked to dance. Let me just take a chance, has anyone here received a personal call from one of the Presidential candidates inviting you to a fundraiser BBQ? Nobody here is on the A list?
When the world wants to make changes they go after the rich, the wise, and celebrities. The world goes after people with a following. But for all its wealth and intelligence and influence, the world doesn't come near accomplishing the good that the nobodies of the church get done. This brings glory to God.
(From a sermon by Ed Sasnett, Nothing to Add, 6/2/2010)
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HAWKING GIVEN A RESEARCH POSITION
Stephen Hawking, the world’s most famous atheist, was welcomed last Sunday to a new research position in Waterloo by the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. "You could say he is drawing a picture of God," said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in his introduction of Prof. Hawking. He compared him to Newton and Galileo as people who radically moved our understanding of the universe, and to Thomas More as "a man for all seasons." Another individual described Prof. Hawking as an "entrepreneur" in the tradition of Einstein, whose research unleashed a flood of "value creation." "We are at the point where new ideas are needed if we are to secure our future," he said.
(Joseph Brean, National Post • Monday, Jun. 21, 2010. From a sermon by Matthew Kratz, The Wisdom of God, 6/25/2010)
Four-year-old Little Johnny asked, "Mummy, where do babies come from?
"The stork, dear." replied Johnny’s Mom.
"Mummy, who keeps bad people from robbing our house?" Asked Little Johnny.
Johnny’s mother answer, "The police, dear."
"Mummy, if our house was on fire, who would save us?"
"The fire department, dear."
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A university physics professor testified that he came to the university believing he had all the answers. “An avowed evolutionist, I knew all about cause and effect. I could begin with the present and work back. Behind every natural effect I found a natural cause.
“One day I was studying a specimen under a microscope. Suddenly I noticed a particle of dust on the lens. I asked whence came that dust. That dust was an effect for which I could find no natural cause. I had to admit that behind the dust was not a cause but the Cause. A speck of dust led me to God!”
(Hobbs, H. H. (1990). My favorite illustrations (118–119). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press. From a sermon by Matthew Kratz, The Wisdom of God, 6/25/2010)
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One of my favorite stories is about this theologian named MacLeod. Now this man lived in Ireland back in the 1600s in a monastery. He worked part of his time as wood carver. MacLeod writes that very often he would awaken in the morning and wonder if God really existed. Finally one day he decided he needed a reminder. So he carved this huge sign to place at the foot of his bed. And for the rest of his life, he would awaken in his bedchamber and there on the wall hung a plaque that said, "God exists." To him it made all the difference in the world. He said that upon seeing that sign each morning he would go throughout each day remembering who God was and what had been done by God just for him.
(From a sermon by Tim Shepard, God’s Silence, 10/30/2010)