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"One word stands out from all others as the key to knowing God, to having His peace and assurance in your life--it is obedience." (Eric Liddell)
Elisabeth Elliot tells the story of when she and her brother Tom were small children. Their mother would let Tom play with paper bags that she had saved as long as he put them away afterwards. One day she walked into the kitchen to find them strewn all over the floor.
Tom was in another room at the piano with his father singing hymns. When their mother called him to the kitchen to tidy up, he protested, "But Mum, I want to sing Jesus loves me this I know."
His father, seated next to him, backed up the boys' mother by saying: "It's no good singing God's praise if you're disobedient. To obey is better than sacrifice."
(From a sermon by Gordon Curley, In his father's footsteps, 11/18/2010)
Sermon Central Staff
J. OSWALD SANDERS ON LONELINESS
J. Oswald Sanders once pointed out: "The round of pleasure or the amassing of wealth are [often] but vain attempts to escape from the persistent ache. The millionaire is usually a lonely man and the comedian is often more unhappy than his audience."
In his book, "Facing Loneliness," Sanders goes on to emphasize that being successful often fails to produce satisfaction. Then he refers to Henry Martyn, a distinguished scholar, as an example of what he is talking about. Martyn, a Cambridge University student, was honored at only 20 years of age for his achievements in mathematics. In fact, he was given the highest recognition possible in that field. And yet he felt an emptiness inside. He said that instead of finding fulfillment in his achievements, he had "only grasped a shadow."
After evaluating his life's goals, Martyn sailed to India as a missionary at the age of 24. When he arrived, he prayed, "Lord, let me burn out for You!" In the next 7 years that preceded his death, he translated the New Testament into three difficult Eastern languages!" He died at age 31!
(From a sermon by Davon Huss, Understanding the Law, 5/9/2011)
Story: A Korean Pastor told me this story some years ago, when he came to Switzerland.
In the 4th century AD in Korea a man had two sons. The elder rose to become Chief Justice in the land and the younger became an infamous bandit.
The elder brother loved his younger brother but was unable to persuade him to change his ways.
Eventually the younger son was caught and brought before his brother, the Chief Justice. Everyone in the courtroom thought the younger brother would get off because it was well known that the Chief Justice loved his brother
But at then end of the trial, the Chief Justice sentenced his brother to death.
On the day of the execution, the elder brother came to the prison and said to his brother ďLetís swap placesĒ. The younger brother agreed thinking that once they realised that it was the elder brother, the execution would not go forward.
On he went up on the hill to watch proceedings. His brother was brought out at dawn and to his horror executed.
Filled with remorse, he ran down the hill and told the guard his name and that he was the criminal who should be executed. The guards said to him.
ďThere is no sentence outstanding on anyone with that nameĒ
In the same way, Christ has died for our sins so there is no sentence outstanding. All we have to do is to accept his death in our place.
One Sunday morning an old cowboy entered a church just before services were to begin. Although the old man and his clothes were spotlessly clean, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were very worn and ragged. In his hand he carried a worn out old hat and an equally worn out bible.
The church he entered was in a very upscale and exclusive part of the city. It was the largest and most beautiful church the old cowboy had ever seen. The people of the congregation were all dressed with expensive clothes and accessories. As the cowboy took a seat, the others settled down in areas away from him. No one greeted, spoke to, or welcomed him. They were all dismayed at his appearance and did not attempt to hide it.
The preacher gave a long sermon about Hellfire and brimstone and a stern lecture on how people ought to be finding more people to win to Jesus because baptisms were down. As the old cowboy was leaving the church, the preacher approached him and asked the cowboy to do him a favor. "Before you return next time, maybe have a talk with God and ask him what He thinks would be appropriate attire for worship. You might find that would help you fit in a little better and feel more at home with us."
The old cowboy assured the preacher he would. The next Sunday, he showed back up for the services wearing the same ragged jeans, shirt, boots, and hat. Once again he was completely shunned and ignored.
The preacher approached the man and said, "I thought I asked you to speak to God about your attire and get his input on the m...
Sermon Central Staff
DOES YOUR GOD BLEED?
A little boy went up to a missionary Sunday School leader in a pagan country. The boy said, "I like what you say about the God of the Bible but I canít see him. But if I go to the temple I can see my God."
The missionary said to the little boy, "Listen, does your God bleed?"
The boy said, "I donít know."
The missionary gave him a pin and said, "Next time you go to the temple, when no one else is watching, prick him and see what happens."
The following week the boy returned to his Sunday School class. He said to the missionary, "I did it, I did it, I pricked the idol."
The missionary said, "And what happened?"
The boy replied, "Nothing, my god doesnít bleed."
Straight away the missionary said, "But my God did! He bled for me and he bled for you!"
(From a sermon by Gordon Curley, Glorifying God, 1/23/2011)
After the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, no person in all of East Germany was more despised than the former Communist dictator Erich Honecher. He had been stripped of all his offices. Even the Communist Party rejected him. Kicked out of his villa, the new government refused him and his wife new housing. The Honechers were homeless and destitute.
Enter pastor Uwe Holmer, director of a Christian help center north of Berlin. Made aware of the Honechersí straits, Pastor Holmer felt it would be wrong to give them a room meant for even needier people. So the pastor and his family decided to take the former dictator into their own home!
Erich Honecherís wife, Margot, had ruled the East German educational system for twenty-six years. Eight of Pastor Holmerís ten children had been turned down for higher education due to Mrs. Honecherís policies, which discriminated against Christians. Now the Holmers were caring for their personal enemyóthe most hated man in Germany. This was so unnatural, so unconventional, so Christlike.
By the grace of God, the Holmers loved their enemies, did them good, blessed them, and prayed for them. They turned the other cheek. They gave their enemies their coat (their own home).
They did to the Honechers what they would have wished the Honechers would do to them. (Reported by George Cowan to Campus Crusade at the U.S. Division Meeting Devotions, Thursday, March 22, 1990.)
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Tony Campolo says that his wife is a brilliant woman. She has a PHD & is capable of pursuing a very profitable career. But she elected to stay home with her children when they were young. Her decision didn’t bother her at all except when other women would ask, “What do you do?” She would answer, “I’m a homemaker. I stay home & take care of my children & my husband.” They would usually respond with “Oh” & then ignore her from then on.
So Mrs. Campolo came up with this response when she was asked what she did: “I’m socializing two Homo-sapiens in Judeo-Christian values so they’ll appropriate the eschatological values of utopia. What do you do?” They would often blurt out “I’m a doctor” or “I’m a lawyer” & then wander off with a dazed look in their eyes.
"Evangelism is not a professional job for a few trained men, but is instead the unrelenting responsibility of every person who belongs to t...
1 Peter 2:2-2:10
1 Peter 2:11-2:12
1 Peter 3:3-3:5
1 Peter 3:1-5:15
1 Peter 3:17-4:4
1 Peter 5:1-5:13
1 Peter 2:5-2:10
1 Peter 2:18-2:25
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THEY DIED IN THE SERVICE
One Sunday morning the pastor noticed little Alex was staring up at the large plaque that hung in the foyer of the church. The plaque was covered with names, and small American flags were mounted on either side of it.
The seven-year-old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the boy, and said quietly, "Good morning Alex."
"Good morning pastor," replied the young man, still focused on the
plaque. "Pastor McGhee, what is this?"
"Well, son, itís a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service."
Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque. Little Alexís voice was barely audible when he asked, "Which service, the 9:00 or the 11:00?"
Guys, youíd better understand this. Thereís a points system at work and the ladies are keeping score. Hereís a small sample just for your information:
You make the bed +1
You make the bed, but forget to add the decorative pillows -1
You throw the bed spread over the rumpled sheets -1
You leave the toilet seat up -5
You replace the toilet paper roll when itís empty 0
You check out a suspicious noise at night 0
You check out a suspicious noise at night and itís nothing 0
You check out a suspicious noise at night and itís something +5
You pummel it with a six iron +10
It turns out to be her father -10
A Night Out
You take her to a movie +2
You take her to a movie she likes +4
You take her to a movie you hate +6
You take her to a movie you like -2
Itís called Death Cop 3 -3
Which features sexy cyborgs -9
You lied and said it was a foreign film about orphans -15
You develop a noticeable potbelly -15
You develop a noticeable potbelly and exercise to get rid of it +10
You develop a noticeable potbelly & resort to loose jeans and baggy Hawaiian shirts -30
You say, "I donít care because you have one too" -800
The Big Question
She asks, "Do I look fat?" -5 (Sensitive questions always start with a deficit)
You hesitate in responding -10
You reply, "Compared to what?" -35
When she wants to talk about a problem, you listen, displaying what looks like a concerned expression 0
When she talks you listen for over 30 minutes +5
You listen for more than 30 minutes without looking at the TV +15
Adapted from "The Points System," c. 2000 John Boy and Billy Inc., http://thebigshow.com