Illustration results for 1 kings 19
John Williams III
There are times when we get in Godís way when He is trying to tend to the business of His kingdom here on earth. "A man was struggling with a large box at the back edge of his truck. A passing neighbor saw his plight and came over to help him. He put his shoulder to the box. After a few tiring moments the neighbor exclaimed, "Whatís in that box anyway? I donít think we will ever get it on the truck." "Get on!" the exasperated man shouted, "Iím trying to get it off!" Ö Well-meaning Christians can be Godís worst enemies. When we judge and condemn others, when we set up our own standards of what it means to be saved, when we claim absolute knowledge of Godís will and of his Scriptures, we take over Godís role and attempt to run his business" (Hoefler, p. 47). That is the very reason that we sometimes fail to see that we are trying to put the box on the truck when God wants the box off the truck.
PASSING THE TORCH
On August the 13th, the Summer Olympics begin 16 jam pack days of competition at the site of the original Olympic Games, Athens, Greece. This month we have watched American athletes compete for a spot on the team in track and field and swimming and if their times carry over to Athens, we are in for a record setting month of August.
How many of you watched the swimming competition? In Athens eyes will be on the swimming venue to see if 19-year-old Michael Phelps can beat Mark Spitz record of 7 gold medals. He has qualified for an unprecedented 5 individual events and has the possibility of swimming in 4 relays, which provide him with an opportunity for 9 gold medals if the United States wins all the events.
What does it take to compete like Mike? Phelps said ďI started swimming when I was 6-years-old. I swim everyday for about two to two-and-a-half hours. I do doubles on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the school year and then Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday in the summer.Ē
After winning his 3 gold medals in the USA Olympic trials, the 200-meter butterfly, Mark Spitz presents Phelps with the medal. Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times said, ďAll that was missing was the flaming torch being passed and a rainbow over the harbor.Ē
Today, I want to talk about passing the torch. As I watched Spitz place the gold around Phelps neck, raising his hand in victory, my thoughts went on to the task of passing to the next generations what we have gained in ours. I am doing a series on going for the gold, as we get ready for Olympics in Athens. One might think the logical conclusion of the series would be passing the baton but it is not.
When we have the baton in our hand, we need to already be thinking of our hand off, we need to be making the plans for the next person who will carry the torch. To wait until the end of the run, the end of the swimming lane, the end of the journey to begin to look around for someone to carry the torch is too late. You need to be bringing that person along with you.
This will not be Michael Phelps first Olympics; he competed 4 years ago, the youngest male to compete in the Olympics since 1932. Four years ago he was in training, he didnít medal, his age was his only call to fame on that day for he finished 5th in the 200 meter butterfly and event four years later he has no equal. In four years, following the advice of coaches and continuing the discipline he established for himself beginning at age 6, he has come from the apprentice to the master and one day from the torchbearer to the torch passer.
This should be the task of every believer in Jesus Christ, to move from trainee to trainer, from novice to master, torchbearer to torch passer. If it is not happening right now in your life, then you need to begin the implementation of these skills today.
SOURCE: Bob Briggs in "Passing the Torch" on www.sermoncentral.com.
Sermon Central Staff
LOOKING AT THE LIGHT
A pastor told a story of a man in his congregation who had lost literally hundreds of thousands of dollars. He owed everybody. One day the pastor asked him, "How in the world are you even surviving? How can you smile? How can you be enthusiastic about Jesus and about life when you are just going through all kinds of problems?
He said, "Next time you come to my house, I will show you how."
The pastor said that he was curious, so not long after that he went to his house. He said, "I told you I would show you the thing that gives me strength." They went into his den and there was a painting. It was a simple painting of a Bible experience we call "Daniel in the Lion's Den." It was a beautiful painting. There was Daniel standing there among ferocious looking lions. These were not sleeping, slumbering lions. These were lions whose teeth were bared and whose claws were exposed. You could tell that they were threatening to hurt Daniel! There was a shaft of light that seemed to be falling down from the roof of that cave in which Daniel and those lions were being kept. The man said to his pastor, "Look at Daniel's eyes!" the pastor looked closely at the eyes of Daniel and Daniel was looking up at the light.
The man said to him, "The thing that gives me strength in the midst of my troubles is this. Daniel is not looking at the lions. He is looking at the light!" So when you get surrounded with a lot of adversity; when you get surrounded by a lot of problems, don't focus on the lions focus on the light and that's God's prescription for depression.
Scripture Reference: 1 Kings 19:1-21
(From a sermon by Fred Markes, Mt. Horeb, 8-30-2011)
Life Examples: Elijah: Responding to Stress (1 Kings 19:3)
Stressful situations can drive us to inappropriate responses. The prophet Elijah illustrates the importance of viewing circumstances from Godís perspective.
God sent the prophet to rescue Israel from its moral and spiritual decline. Elijah confronted and defeated the prophets of Baal, but the wicked Queen Jezebel immediately threatened to kill him for executing her false prophets.
Instead of holding fast to Godís faithfulness, Elijah panicked, ran, and hid (1 Kings 19:3). Only when he recalled Godís past faithfulness did he realize it was sufficient for his present circumstances. If God could protect and provide for seven thousand others in Israel, He could sustain Elijah. So after a rest, the prophet ...
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
and you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twist and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
the silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
and you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to...