Illustration results for 1 thessalonians 5
Sermon Central Staff
WHOSE HANDS ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?
"A Thanksgiving Day editorial in the newspaper told of a school teacher who asked her first graders to draw a picture of something they were thankful for. She thought of how little these children from pour neighborhoods actually had to be thankful for. But she knew that most of them would draw pictures of turkeys on tables with food. The teacher was taken aback with the picture Douglas handed in... a simple childishly drawn hand.
"But whose hand? This class was captivated by the abstract image. 'I think it must be the hand of God that brings us food,' said one child. 'A farmer,' said another, 'because he grows the turkeys.' Finally when the others were back at work the teacher bent over Douglas's desk and asked whose hand it was. 'It's your hand, Teacher,' he mumbled.
"She recalled that frequently at recess she had taken Douglas, a scrubby forlorn child, by the hand. She often did that with the children. But it meant so much to Douglas. 'Perhaps this is everyone's Thanksgiving, not for the material things given to us, but for the chance, in whatever small way, to give to others,' she thought"
(Author Unknown, Stories from the Heart (Multnomah Books: Sisters, Oregon, 1996), 52). From a sermon by Eric Lenhart, Helping Hands, 8/12/2010
Sermon Central Staff
Two golfers stepped up to the first tee on the St. Andrews course in New York. The older golfer was a kindly man who played a thoughtful, deliberate game. The younger golfer was full of pride and impatience.
On the first hole he sliced, lost his ball in the tall grass, hit another one, & had a score of 8 instead of 4 or 5. And the next hole was even worse.
Frustrated, he began hollering at the caddy: "Keep your eyes peeled. I'm not here to do your job for you!" Thereafter, every bad shot was the caddy's fault! At the end of the first 9 holes, the younger golfer was so upset that he discharged the caddy & carried his own bag. "That caddy made me nervous. He doesn't like me, & I blankety-blank sure don't like him! I say good riddance to him!"
After several more holes had been played without a word, the older golfer broke the silence: "Several years ago a little kid from Yonkers came up here & became a caddy. He was a sweet-natured boy; quick-witted, willing, & had a nose for golf. Everybody liked him. His name was William; he had a clubfoot. But that didn't affect his caddying. It was a pleasure to go out with him."
"A famous doctor, a member of the club, became interested in William & took him South that winter & operated on his foot. When William returned, he went back to caddying. The doctor, however, had to give up golf shortly after that because of his health. And it wasn't long after that when he died.
"Months later I was playing a round with William carrying my bag. It was Spring, & the fields & hedges were alive with blossoms. William stopped several times to gather flowers until he had quite a bouquet. 'Who's the girl, William?' I asked. 'I haven't any girl, sir,' he said. 'They're for my friend, the doctor--twice a week I take flowers to his grave.'
"Now that's a caddie worth having," the younger golfer said. "What ever happened to him?" The older man paused & then replied, "For 9 holes he was carrying your bag."
(From a sermon by Melvin Newland, Thanksgiving and Praise, 11/24/2010)
Sermon Central Staff
THE STOLEN BABY JESUS SYNDROME
A few years back, Wellington, FL had their baby Jesus stolen two years running. This was a wealthy community and their Jesus was worth around $1800. The third time around they put a GPS inside and traced the thief to her home.
But the baby Jesus doesn’t have to be expensive. In 2008, in Eureka Springs AK, the thieves not only stole a plastic baby Jesus; they also took the concrete block and chain meant to keep that from happening
It’s called the “Stolen Baby Jesus Syndrome.” Some take the babies as a joke. Others do so because they want to protest Christmas. When found, the babies are often defaced with profanity or Satanic symbols (AP Dec. 10, 2008)
But the thief doesn’t always have bad intentions. About 6 years ago, Chicago Police say an art student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago was arrested for stealing a figure of the baby Jesus from the Nativity Scene at the Daley Plaza. Two witnesses saw him pull the three-foot figure from the manger and just walk away with it. When questioned about the theft, the man said he took the figure because he saw it and wanted it.
(http://www.14wfie.com, Baby Jesus Stolen - Again, 12/6/04. From a sermon by Jeff Strite, A Reason to Party, 12/26/2010)
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’VE GOT TILL IT’S GONE
Our power is shut off, and suddenly we become thankful for electricity. Our garbage is not picked up, and suddenly we become thankful for the garbage collector’s weekly stop. A good friend dies, and suddenly we discover how much he meant to us. Our water becomes too polluted to drink and suddenly we appreciate having good water.
Why is it, Lord, that we take for granted the ...
1 Thessalonians 5:18-5:18
1 Kings 3:16-3:28
1 John 2:15-2:17
2 Corinthians 9:12-10:1
ILLUSTRATION… Discipleship Journal, 11-12/92
A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:
5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness
5. (Tie) Sexual lust
Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when…
they had neglected their time with God (81 percent)
and when they were physically tired (57 percent).
Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising
situations (76 percent), Bible study (66 percent), and being accountable to someone (52 percent).
In her book, THE HIDING PLACE, Corrie Ten Boom relates an incident that taught her to be thankful for things we normally would not be thankful for. She and her sister, Betsy, prisoners of the Nazis, had just been transferred to the worst prison camp they had seen yet, Ravensbruck. Upon entering the barracks, they found them extremely overcrowded and infested with fleas. Their Scripture reading from their smuggled Bible that morning in 1 Thessalonians had reminded them to rejoice always, pray constantly, and give thanks in all circumstances. Betsy told Corrie to stop and thank the Lord for every detail of their new living quarters. Corrie at first flatly refused to give thanks for the fleas, but Betsy persisted. Corrie finally agreed to somehow thank God for even the fleas.
During the months spent at that camp, they were surprised to find how openly they could hold Bible study and prayer meetings in their barrack without guard interference. Several months later they learned that the guards would not enter the barracks because of the fleas.
The first North American Thanksgiving is traced back to 1578 when the English navigator Martin Frobisher held a formal ceremony in what is now called Newfoundland. We don’t believe this is when the kissing-of-the-cod tradition began, but there was indeed a great party to give thanks for surviving the long journey across the Atlantic.
Forty years later, and also after crossing the ocean, French settlers led by Samuel de Champlain in Nova Scotia would hold huge feasts of thanks. They got a little more organized, formed "The Order of Good Cheer" and shared their food with Indian neighbours.
This would be around the same time as the American pilgrims gave thanks in 1621 for the bounty that ended a year of hardships and death. Of significance, it was at this time when the main course - the wild and not very handsome turkey -- made its succulent first appearance at the feast. Thanksgiving revellers have been arguing over the drumsticks ever sense.
For the next two centuries, people on both sides of the border would informally set aside a day in November to lift a glass and give cheers to the harvest. But the Americans beat us to the punch, so to speak, when in 1863 Abe Lincoln’s government officially declared that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November. It’s been celebrated on that day ever since.
We couldn’t make up minds that easily, it seems.
Our Canadian Thanksgiving bounced around the calendar quite a bit. It was first celebrated as a national holiday on November 6, 1879. Many different dates were used after that, the most popular being the 3rd Monday in October. The thinking was that this simply made sense because of our shorter growing season. After World War I it was moved back to the second week of November to coincide with Armistice Day. But finally, in 1957, Parliament said enough’s enough and formally proclaimed the 2nd Monday of October as "a day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed." Phew!
Personal note: I don’t know if it matters or not, but it’s still funny of how the specific Thanksgiving times were chosen. Canadians chose their date for Thanksgiving based on seasonal convenience, and Americans chose their date to ensure that there would be 4 full weeks of Christmas shopping.
A BRAZILIAN BOY SAYS THANKS
Max Lucado tells about living as an American in Brazil. One day, as he was walking along the street on his way to the University to teach a class, he felt a tug on his pants leg. Turning around, he saw a little boy about 5 or 6 years old with dark beady eyes and a dirty little face. The little boy looked up at the big American and said, "Bread, Sir."
He was a little beggar boy and Lucado said, "There are always little beggar boys in the streets of Brazil. Usually I turn away from them because there are so many and you can’t feed them all. But there was something so compelling about this little boy that I couldn’t turn away. So, taking his hand, I said, `Come with me’ and I took him into a coffee shop." Max told the owner, "I’ll have a cup of coffee and give the boy a piece of pastry…whatever he wants."
Since the coffee counter was at the other end of the store, Max walked on and got a cup of coffee, forgetting about the little boy because beggar boys usually get the bread and then run back out into the street and disappear.
But this one didn’t. After he got his pastry, he went over to the big American and just stood there until Lucado felt his staring eyes. Lucado said, "I turned and looked at him. Standing up, his eyes just about hit my belt buckle. Then slowly his eyes came up until they met m...
Some years ago the late Dr. Donald G. Barnhouse was traveling from Alabama to Florida. Feeling a tire going flat, he pulled to the side of the road and inwardly groaned at the thought of removing hundreds of books in the trunk, so as to reach his spare tire. Seeing a jeep coming over the hill, he hailed the driver and offered him money to fix the flat. The big, strapping fellow was soon hard at work. When he expressed curiosity about the books, Dr. Barnhouse told him he was a Preacher.
The man said, “My wife would be interested, but I am not interested in those things.” All the time the man worked his dog stood close to him, licking him every once in while. Now and again the man would stop and pat it. The man shared how the dog had once saved his life by pulling him out of quicksand and for that reason he was devoted to his dog. "It eats at my table and, though my wife doesn’t like it, he sleeps at the foot of my bed."
Looking into the man’s face, Dr. Barnhouse commented, “How strange! The dog has saved your life from quicksand and you are devoted to it. Yet Christ has done more than the dog and you are not interested in Christ. You are in a worse plight than quicksand, from which Christ came to save you. The dog did not die for you, but Christ did; yet you thank the dog, but are not thankful to Christ." How that story ought to make us thank the Savior every moment for saving us from an eternity in hell!
What if your science professor announces that your first experiment will involve studying the properties of acids. She places a 500 ML Pyrex beaker containing clear liquid on the lab table and says, "This is sulfuric acid." In response to her explanation, imagine your lab partner, Jim blurts out, "I don’t believe this is sulfuric acid. It looks like water to me." Jim, you discover, is so sincere about his belief that the Pyrex beaker contains water, that he decides to drink it. What will happen to Jim? Despite his sincerity, Jim’s belief that the beaker contained water did not change the nature of its contents. He may believe with all of his heart that the beaker only contains water but the acid will still kill him. One may be sincere and yet sincerly wrong.