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Bishop Lalachan Abraham
NAPOLEON ON JESUS
The emperor and conqueror of nations, Napoleon Bonaparte, rightly recognized the absolute uniqueness of Jesus, & expressed it in these words: "I know men, and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the World there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius?--Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His Empire upon Love, and at this hour millions of men would die for Him."
The greatest command in the law is the secret to destroying racism and that is to love God with all your heart. Then love your neighbor to the same degree that you love yourself.
If a man is filled with anger, than anger controls his life.
If a man is filled with greed, then greed dominates his life.
If a man is filled with lust, then lust governs his life.
If a man is filled with love, then love influences all he does.
And if a man is filled with the Holy Spirit, he is controlled by the Spirit - it is, if you will, "control by consent."
Upon entering a little country store, a stranger noticed a sign reading, "Danger! Beware of Dog" posted on the glass door. Inside, he noticed a harmless old hound dog asleep on the floor besides the cash register. He asked the store manager, "Is that the dog folks are supposed to beware of?" "Yep, that’s him," he replied. The stranger couldn’t help but be amused. "That certainly doesn’t look like a dangerous dog to me. Why in the world would you post that sign?" "Because," the owner replied, "before I posted that sign, people kept tripping over him."
Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ tells this story of a famous oil field called Yates Pool:
During the depression this field was a sheep ranch owned by a man named Yates. Mr. Yates wasn’t able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay the principal and interest on the mortgage, so he was in danger of losing his ranch.
With little money for clothes or food, his family (like many others) had to live on government subsidy.
Day after day, as he grazed his sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills. Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease contract.
At 1,115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large. In fact, 30 years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day.
And Mr. Yates owned it all.
The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he’d been living on relief.
A multimillionaire living in poverty.
These shepherds were symbolic of Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd, who would also humbly follow God’s will. Their sheep represent us as believers, in several ways:
- Sheep cannot clean themselves. Some animals such as a cat can do that, but not sheep. Likewise, we as unbelievers were not able to clean ourselves from the filthiness of sin;
- Sheep cannot defend themselves from predators. Many animals have a defense system, such as skunks and blowfish, but sheep do not. We as believers are protected from the evil one, Satan, ultimately by the power of God, and as a local church congregation by our pastor-teacher;
- Sheep cannot find food and water for themselves. They depend upon the shepherd to lead them to water and green pastures, as stated in Psalm 23. We as believers depend upon the Lord for our spiritual food and water, as well as on our daily physical needs;
- Sheep are not intelligent. As believers, neither are we when it comes to the things of God. That’s why our salvation, eternal security, and rewards depend entirely upon the work of Our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. We have the Holy Spirit who makes spiritual things understandable to us (2 Cor. 2)
Years ago on a variety show, a guest appeared that was a body builder. As he entered the stage with his huge muscular body the crowd went crazy as the body builder began to flex his muscles and show his power. The first question asked of him was this: “What do you use all those muscles for?” Without answering, the body builder again stood up and began flexing his muscles while the crowd cheered wildly.
A second time, the question was asked, “What do you do with those muscles?”
Again, the body builder flexed his muscles and the crowd became almost ecstatic.
After asking three times, “What do you do with all those muscles?” the body builder just sat in silence and had no answers.
The man was all power but his power had no purpose other than to show off and bring attention to himself.
I read about a stay-at-home mom who went to a PTA meeting one night. While she was gone, her husband and oldest daughter decided they would clean the kitchen for mom and surprise her when she got home.
Well, they washed all the dishes, put away the pots and pans, cleaned the stove and countertops -- the kitchen was spotless...
Later than night, mom came home from the meeting... she walked in the kitchen and fixed herself something to drink and then went into the den to watch TV with her family... but she never said a word about the kitchen being cleaned...
Finally, her husband said, "Honey, did you notice the clean kitchen?"
"I did," she said
"Well, you're not going to say thank you or anything?"
She said, "Why should I? It's a thankless job, isn't it?"
SLOW AND STEADY
The power of the Holy Spirit is not just for salvation, but transformation, a process that might be slow and gradual. The difference might look like this:
You can take ten gallons of gasoline and release a tremendous amount of power and energy by just dropping a lighted match into it. It makes a dramatic onetime impact. But there is another way to release the energy in that gasoline. Place it in the fuel tank of a new Honda, designed to get 30 miles to the gallon. The high tech engine will use that ten gallons of gasoline to take a person 300 miles or more.
Explosions may be spectacular, but the sustained, controlled burn has staying power. You don’t want to be a flash in the pan, you want to make...
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Sermon Central Staff
HAVNER ON HOW TO MOVE THE WORLD
Vance Havner said, "We are not going to move this world by criticism of it nor conformity to it, but by the combustion within it of lives ignited by the Spirit of God."
(From a sermon by Guy McGraw, Don’t Leave Home Without Him)