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Staff Picks of Free Sermons and PRO Church Media
BLACKABY: WHAT DOES A CALLING LOOK LIKE?
Henry Blackaby shares from his book "The Power of the Call" pages 10-14 a clear picture of what one looks like who is called by God into pastoral ministry:
1. The pastor is chosen
2. He is chosen by God
3. He is chosen by God to be His servant
4. He is chosen by God to shepherd His people
5. He recognizes that God’s people are His inheritance, that they are God’s “special treasure” (Exodus 19:5-6).
6. He has integrity of heart.
7. He recognizes that his assignment will require “skillfulness of his hands” (hard work, consistent with his heart).
8. God calls his servants to be stewards (Acts 20:28-31)
9. God calls his servants to be spiritual leaders
a. You cannot do Kingdom work with the world’s methods.
10. The people are your ministry not the means you use to fulfill your ministry.
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, it’s a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service."
Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque. Little Alex’s voice was barely audible when he asked, "Which service, the 9:00 or the 11:00?"
The Touch of the Masters Hand.
It was battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while,
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile.
"What am I did for this old violin?
You will start the bidding for me?
A dollar, a dollar, who’ll make it two?
Two dollars, and who will make it three?
"Three dollars, once; three dollars twice,
Going for three," But no;
From the back of the room a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow.
Then wiping the dist from the old violin,
And tightening up all the strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
As sweet as the angels sing.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low
Said, "What am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars, and who will make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice;
And going and gone," said he.
The people cheered, but some of them said,
"We do not quite understand,
What changed its worth?" Came the reply,
"The touch of a masters hand."
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A "mess of potage," a glass of wine;
A game, and he shuffles along.
He’s going once, and he’s going twice,
He’s going and almost gone.
But the master comes, and the thoughtless crowd
Never quite understands
The worth of a soul, and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.
-Myra Brooks Welch
What is it to serve God and to do His will? Nothing else than to show mercy to our neighbor. For it is our neighbor who needs our service; God in heave...
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)
“The Cast of Your Misfortune!” 1 Peter 5: 1-10 Key verse(s): 9: “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kin do sufferings.”
One of the loneliest times in anyone’s life is when suffering strikes and it puts you into a category of one. That’s the peculiar thing about suffering. Not only is there the pain and handicap to bear, but there is also the propensity for those who suffer to turn inward, away from the help of others. This is a natural tendency among sinful men since we are by nature corrupted and able to think only about ourselves. That’s why when suffering knocks on our door and we open our lives to it, we find it convenient, even comfortable to withdraw into the one thing we know that brings at least some relief, ourselves.
But, where does God want us to be when we are afflicted? Is He content to allow us to retreat into ourselves in hopes that our self-pity will eventually embolden us to face the world again? Or, does God have a different plan for those who suffer; one that involves others, others who may be suffering as well?
Somerset Maugham, the English writer, once wrote a story about a janitor at St Peter’s Church in London. One day a young vicar discovered that the janitor was illiterate and fired him. Without the ability to read or write, the future looked pretty bleak. Jobless, the man decided to invest his meager savings in a tiny tobacco shop. He was good at what he did and in but a short period of time he began to prosper. In that prosperity he decided that it would be a sound investment to purchase another tobacco store. So he did. Prosperity continued to rain down upon the man and in time he purchased a third store, then a fourth. Eventually he owned an entire chair of tobacco stores worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. In a few short years he had become quite prosperous and wealthy. He had, nonetheless, never learned to read or write.
One day the man’s banker said, “You’ve done well for an illiterate, but where would you be if you could read and write?” “Well,” replied the man, “I’d be janitor of St. Peter’s Church in Neville Square.” (Bits and Pieces, June 24, 1993, p. 23.)
Steve Atkerson states this about Water Baptism: The OT is replete with examples of ceremonial cleansings accomplished through the use of water (Nu 19:11-21; 31:21-24). Thus, the Jews were not surprised that John the Baptist used water graphically to portray repentance and forgiveness of sins (Mk 1:4). Further, water is nature’s detergent, a cleansing agent well suited to the symbolism of purification. Notice how Ananias told
Paul to "be baptized and wash your sins away" (Ac 22:16), and that Peter associated baptism with forgiveness in Ac 2:38.
I am a 52 year old adoptee. I was born on February 1, 1951 in a Lynchburg, VA hospital. My first two years of life must have been traumatic as my birth mother gave me up when it became apparent that she could not take care of me. She was unmarried at the time and the birth father was a married man. I was taken to an orphanage in Roanoke, VA and adopted by a young couple who then lived in Big Stone Gap, VA. They raised me in the Methodist tradition and I was saved in this church and answered the call to preach in the
United Methodist Church.
I could have easily been aborted had I been born in a different era of time but God had a purpose for my birth and blessed me with a family who raised me in the church that sewed the seeds of my future conversion and call to the ministry.
In early September of 2001 via of the internet I made contact with my birth family. I had known my birth name and went searching for them on a geneological search page. In the process I discovered that my birth mom had passed away just a little over a year before. A few weeks later I had a call from a half sister by birth I had
never met and she said, "Mama loved you very much but could not afford to take care of you. She gave you up and prayed
for you every day of her life. With all the problems she had her favorite gospel hymn was ’Count Your Blessings,’ and she sang that every day of her life until she was so weak she could no longer...
Sermon Central Staff
ELISHA HOFFMAN: A BURDEN TOO BIG TO BEAR
Many New Testament promises have corresponding verses in the Old Testament that reinforce their power. When Peter, for example, said, ". . . casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you" (1 Peter 5:7), he was but restating David’s words in Psalm 55:22: "Cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."
Elisha A. Hoffman loved those verses. He was born May 7, 1839, in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania. His father was a minister, and Elisha was introduced to Christ at a young age. He attended Philadelphia public schools, studied science, then pursued the classics at Union Seminary of the Evangelical Association. He worked for eleven years with the Association’s publishing house in Cleveland, Ohio. Then, following the death of his young wife, he returned to Pennsylvania and devoted thirty-three years to pastoring Benton Harbour Presbyterian Church.
Hoffman’s pastime was writing hymns, many of which were inspired by pastoral incidents.
Hoffman lived to be ninety, preaching the Gospel, telling Jesus his burdens, and giving the church such hymns as It was down at the feet of Jesus, Down at the Cross where my Saviour died, Are You Washed in the Blood?, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, and a thousand more.
Do you have a burden too big to bear? Why not take a few moments to tell Jesus about it. Take your burden to the Lord, then leave it there by faith, casting all your concerns on Him, for He cares for you. After all, He is still God, even in the valley!
(From a sermon by Darren Rogers, 08 The Valley of Reoccurrence, 1028/2009)
Sermon Central Staff
DO WHATEVER THE CHAMPION DOES
In 1976, Finland’s Lasse Viren made Olympic history when he became the first man to win both the 5,000 and 10,000 meter races in successive Olympiads. After his victory, his coach decided to take on the record of the legendary Emil Zatopek. Earlier in the century at the Helsinki games, Zatopek had won the 5,000 the 10,000 and the marathon. There was only one problem. Viren had never run a marathon before.
The Olympics are not exactly the place to take on a new event. But on the last day of the Montreal Olympics, Viren lined up to run the 26 mile race--and stood directly behind Frank Shorter, the American who had won the marathon gold medal four years earlier in Munich. As they took off, Shorter found out that he had a shadow. Lasse Viren’s coach’s strategy was to stay with Shorter through the whole race. Viren tried, but couldn’t maintain the pace and finished fifth in his first marathon. But the lesson was simple--do whatever the champion had done, fast slow, hills, curves...whatever he saw Frank Shorter do, Lasse Viren imitated him. That’s leading by example.
(From a sermon by Larry Wise, Who is the Church Boss?, 7/18/2010)