Illustration results for acts 5
1 Peter 1:13-1:25
1 Corinthians 2:1-2:16
2 Corinthians 4:7-4:9
A Nation of Bible Illiterates
George Barna wrote The State of the Church in 2002. Barna conducted a survey of self-pronounced Christians and here’s what he found about their knowledge of the Bible. These are Christians.
• 48% could not name the four Gospels.
• 52% cannot identify more than two or three of Jesus’ disciples.
• 60% of American Christians can’t name even five of the 10 Commandments.
• 61% of American Christians think the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham.
• 71% of American Christians think “God helps those who help themselves” is a Bible verse.
George Barna said, "Americans revere the Bible, but by and large they don’t know what it says. And because they don’t know it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates."
Just as the people in this Barna poll are woefully biblical illiterate, Christians are far too ignorant of the Word of God. No wonder 21st century Christians are failing to finish their marathon race. No wonder Christians by the thousands are falling prey to the false teachers of our day. They are being feed junk food and don’t feed themselves on the Word of God. They are desperately in need of a solid diet of good food, Scripture. We need to get into "spiritual shape"!
Keeping a spending log - What does it say about you?
Try this exercise sometime. Look at the entries
in your checkbook or computer budget program.
Factor out bills like utilities, and compare
how much money you spend on certain categories
each week. How much money do you spend eating
out or getting coffee from 7-11 or snacks from
vending machines? How much money do you spend
on hobbies - like racing, cable TV, cycling,
camping, bowling, or movies? And then look
at how much you give as an offering to God.
What does the way you spend your money say about you?
TURN A BLIND EYE
We must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29)
Have you turned a blind eye to God’s Word?
Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase "turn a blind eye," which means to ignore undesirable information. The saying comes from a 19th century British naval battle. On April 2, 1801, during the Battle of Copenhagen, the British fleet was attacking the combined navies of Denmark and Norway. Three British ships ran aground, so the admiral, Hyde Parker, decided that the fire of battle was "too hot to oppose." So Admiral Parker sent an order, through signal flags, that the younger admiral Horatio Nelson should "Discontinue Action" and withdraw.
When Nelson heard his own signalman relay the order, he pretended not to hear him. Mesmerized by the thrill of battle, Nelson had no intention of obeying the order. He turned to his captain and said, "This day may be the last for us at any moment," even as a Danish cannonball struck his ship’s mainmast, scattering splinters all around him. This was typical of Nelson’s stubborn and aggressive approach to war. In fact, he’d already lost sight in his right eye in a previous battle. So, when pressed again to respond to Parker’s order, Nelson told his flag captain Thomas Foley, "You know, Foley, I only have one eye—I have the right to be blind sometimes," and then Nelson held up his telescope to his good eye and said, "I really do not see the signal!"
Sometimes we are all like Nelson, with one good eye and one blind eye, and when an order comes through from God, we cover the good eye. As a result, we willfully ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit.
(Source: Christopher Hibbert, Nelson: A Personal History (Basic Books, 1994), pp. 260-261)
STAYING WARM TOGETHER
In what the news called "The Miracle at Quecreek," nine miners trapped for three days 240 feet underground in a water-filled mine shaft "decided early on they were either going to live or die as a group."
The 55 degree (Fahrenheit) water threatened to kill them slowly by hypothermia, so according to one news report "When one would get cold, the other eight would huddle around the person and warm that person, and when another person got cold, the favor was returned."
"Everybody had strong moments," miner Harry B. Mayhugh told reporters after being released from Somerset Hospital in Somerset. "But any certain time maybe one guy got down, and then the rest pulled together. And then that guy would get back up, and maybe someone else would feel a little weaker, but it was a team effort. That’s the only way it could have been."
They faced incredibly hostile conditions together—an...
Reuben Gonzales was in the final match of a pro racquetball tournament. In the 4th and final game, at match point, Gonzales made a super kill shot into the front wall to win the game. The referee called it good. Two linesman affirmed that the shot was in. But Gonzales, after a moments hesitation, turned around, shook his opponents hand, and declared that his shot had hit the floor first. As a result, he lost the match and walked off the court. Everybody was stunned. They couldn't believe that a player with everything officially in his favor, with victory at hand, disqualified himself at match point and lost!
When asked why he did it, Reuben said, "It was the only thing that I could do to maintain my integrity. I could always win another match, but I could never regain my lost integrity."
Dr. Larry Petton
THE WEALTHY, UNHEALTHY CHURCH
Many writers have told the traditional story of the thirteenth century Catholic theologian, Thomas Aquinas, who visited the Vatican in Rome. He was escorted through the fine buildings housing the vast Papal treasury. The Pope, referring to himself as Peter’s successor, also referred to the instance in the Book of Acts of the lame man who was healed at the Temple gate.
The Pope gestured to the incredible display of gold, wealth and precious jewels and said to Aquinas, "Peter can longer say, ’Silver and gold have I none."
Aquinas, upon hearing that statement, turned and said to the Pope, "And neither can he say, "Rise up and walk in the Name of Jesus!’"
Daniel L. Crocker, 39, turned himself in. As a Christian, he said, it was the right thing to do. Mr. Crocker lived with his wife of 11 years, Nicolette, 36, and their two children in a quiet community near Dulles Airport in Virginia. He was a warehouse manager and his wife was a stay-at-home mom, home schooling Isaac, 9, and Analiese, 8. They had come to the area from California seven years earlier. They were active in Fairfax Assembly of God church. But Mr. Crocker was living with a terrible secret. When he was 19 and on drugs in Kansas City, Kansas he sexually assaulted and killed 19 year-old Tracy Fresquez. He told his wife before they were married, blaming it on the drug influence. Over the years, they struggled with how to reconcile the slaying with their faith. He had asked God’s forgiveness, but the burden seemed to get heavier as time passed by. The showdown came when Mr. Crocker began ministering to an inmate as part of his church’s prison outreach. “How can you go and visit this man and tell him all about God, and you know in your heart that you should be there too?” Mrs. Crocker asked him after one of the visits. For the next several weeks Mr. Crocker deliberated over how he should turn himself in. Then, with the help of a Prison Fellowship official, Kansas authorities were contacted and Crocker surrendered. He quit his job and explained to his children what had happened. The family prayed together and read from the Bible. The children cried and begged their daddy, “Don’t do...
THEY NEED A FATHER
... “almost 75 percent of American children living in fatherless households will experience poverty before the age of eleven, compared to only 20 percent of those raised by two parents. Children living in homes where fathers are absent are far more likely to be expelled from or drop out of school, develop emotional or behavioral problems, commit suicide, and fall victim to child abuse or neglect. The males are also far more likely to become violent criminals. As a matter of fact, men who grew up without dads currently represent 70 perce...