Illustration results for exodus 20
In a technical sense, the Bible looks at prostitution as “sexual intercourse from which ensues no binding or enduring relationship. It is usually indiscriminate in nature.”
Laura Schlessinger, The Ten Commandments: The Significance of God’s Laws in Everyday Life (New York: HarperCollins, 1998), 217.
Sermon Central Staff
GIFT OF HONOR
Football practice was over, and Denny was sore from head to toe. Slowly he climbed the graffiti-laden stairway of the aging apartment building. Suddenly, his mother’s chilling screams pierced the cold, still air. He had heard the sound many times before. Still, a sickening knot formed in Denny’s stomach.
Denny had tried for years, without success, to quell his father’s drunken fits of anger and abuse. Today would be different. Something snapped inside him. With adrenaline pumping, Denny stormed through the apartment door and tore his dad away from his mother. Hardened by years of football training, he hammered his dad with two quick punches. Then, empowered by years of burning memories, he lifted his father from the floor and threw him through their second-story window.
Amazingly, his father sustained only minor injuries in the fall. But memories of what he’d done haunted Denny through two marriages and a string of friendships shattered by a fiery temper. Alcoholism, something he swore would never destroy his life as it had his father’s, slowly ate away at him as well. Little did Denny realize that if he had any chance at all for a worthwhile life, it would come by learning to honor his dad. Miraculously, even Denny discovered the freedom to be found in honoring his dad.
After six years Denny finally consented to attend church with an old high school team-mate and placed his faith in Jesus Christ. Soon he met and married a wonderful Christian widow. Prompted by his wife and several Christian friends, Denny placed three phone calls to his dad over the course of seven years. Each call began with, “Dad, I love you,” only to be abruptly cut off with a prompt “click” on the other end.
Finally, on the fourth attempt, Denny was able to convince his father to listen. In the ensuing moments, he explained how much his life had changed, and how he could forgive and honor his dad now because of all he had been forgiven.
Several months passed. One day his mother called him at the office with the shocking news that his father was near death. Before he could leave for the airport, his mother called again to report that his dad had disappeared. His father had checked into an alcoholic rehabilitation clinic in order to be able to talk with Denny about spiritual things, sober, before he died.
Denny did see his father again and had the incredible privilege of leading him to the Lord. Several months later, his dad died. Denny waits with great anticipation to see him again, eager to pick up where they left off. Having found the freedom in giving the gift of honor, Denny now moves through life unencumbered by the chains of hate that once paralyzed him. By choosing to bestow honor, even when it wasn’t deserved, he liberated himself and brought his dad to Christ. For Denny, and for many others, the gift of honor is the gift of life.
(Source: Gary Smalley. From a sermon by Terry Blankenship, Lighting the World, 2/21/2011)
In 1981 the movie, Chariots of Fire, won the Academy Award for Best Picture. This Hollywood film told the true story of a devout Christian, Eric Liddell, in a very positive way. I want to just show you a clip of the film. Eric has decided he must forfeit his chance to run in the 200 meter dash at the 1924 Paris Olympics because the qualifying meet will be held on Sunday. His coach, and some others, try to convince him to change his mind.......wow! It is great to see someone who is willing to hold to his convictions no matter what it costs. Yet, think about the stand that Eric is taking. He won’t participate in the race, simply because it is on Sunday. He believes that to run on Sunday violates the Biblical command, the 4th of the Ten Commandments...to keep the Sabbath day holy.
Many of us in this room probably would not agree with Eric’s position. We would have said, "Eric, lighten up a little. Is this really the mountain you want to die defending? It is just one race. There will be plenty of time to go to church before or after the meet. Your decision not to run may keep you from witnessing to others about Christ." Today most Christians see Sunday as just the day we happen to meet for church. Many feel there is really nothing special about the day and going to church on Saturday night or Wednesday evening is just as good. Who is right? Eric Liddell, and other Christians who have been zealous in their efforts to observe the Sabbath, or the many Christians today who have no qualms about playing, shopping, or working on Sunday? How important is the Sabbath?
In Bill Gates’ new book Business @ The Speed of Thought, he lays out 11 rules that students do not learn in high school or college, but should.
He argues that our feel-good, politically correct teachings have created a generation of kids with no concept of reality who are set up for failure in the real world.
RULE 1 - Life is not fair; get used to it.
RULE 2 - The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
RULE 3 - You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone, until you earn both a high school and college degree.
RULE 4 - If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure.
RULE 5- Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping, they called it opportunity.
RULE 6 - If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
RULE 7 - Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills; cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try "delousing"
the clothes in your own room.
RULE 8 - Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they wil...
J.I. Packer described the propensity to Other Gods:
"What other gods could we have besides the Lord? Plenty. For Israel there were the Canaanite Baals, those jolly nature gods whose worship was a rampage of gluttony, drunkenness, and ritual prostitution. For us there are still the great gods Sex, Shekels, and Stomach (an unholy trinity constituting one god: self), and the other enslaving trio, Pleasure, Possessions, and Position, whose worship is described as ’The lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life’ (1 John 2:16). Football, the Firm, and Family are also gods for some. Indeed the list of other gods is endless, for anything that anyone allows to run their life becomes thier god and the claimants for this prerogative are legion. In the matter of life’s basic loyalty, temptation is a many-headed monster."
Source: Your Father Loves You by J. I. Packer, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986. From a sermon by Matthew Kratz, "The Awfulness of Sin-Sexuality & Idolatry" 3/2/2009.
Sermon Central Staff
STEALING RAMPANT IN AMERICA
Many lives have been touched by theft in our society today. Millions of dollars are lost every year in this country over the theft of goods and services. One estimate says that 1 out of every 52 shopper’s carries something out of the supermarket for which they haven’t paid. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 4 million people are caught shoplifting every year. But for every 1 caught, 35 others get away with it. At least for now. This means that there are over 140 million incidents of shoplifting every year in American! What’s really tragic is that only 10% of all shoplifters come from low income backgrounds. 70% are middle class and 205 are classified as wealthy. These facts are astounding! America appears to be a country of thieves. I suppose that if everyone who was guilty of theft was arrested, there would be no jails to hold them, nor arresting officers to lock them up! One new hotel reported that in their 10 months of operation, they lost 38,000 spoons, 18,000 towels, 355 silver coffee pots, 1,500 silver finger bowls and 100 Bibles to thieves.
Regardless of the reason, stealing is wrong! God, in these verses condemns it and declares it to be a sin. Today, I would like for us to take some time to look at the 8th Commandment, which reads, "Thou Shall Not Steal," and consider what stealing really is, as we think together on this thought.
(From a sermon by Carl Allen, Thou Shalt Not Steal, 10/27/2009)
GOD IS A JEALOUS GOD
A few years ago, I was working in Qatar installing a newsroom set for Al-Jazeera TV. I’d been there for nearly a month and was ready to go home. I can’t describe for you how badly I missed my family.
We were nearly finished with the set, and the last thing to be done was to snake a long strip of plexiglass into the large central news desk. We encountered some problems, but my friend Dean, one of the best and most innovative carpenters I’ve ever known, came up with a new plan. Before trying it, I prayed silently to God: "Please Lord, please help this to work. I am so ready to get out of here and go home. Please help us."
We embarked on Dean’s plan and successfully snaked the plexiglass through. I said aloud, "Dean, you are the man!"
Suddenly, they found a problem. The plexiglass wasn’t in right and would have to be taken out. There was a strong possibility that it might be damaged. It was the only piece we had on hand, so if anything went wrong finishing the project would be delayed.
Then it hit me, "You gave glory to Dean and not to God." I asked for forgiveness and then proceeded to tell all the carpenters that I was praying and God could help us finish. We tried it again and got it right. I publicly gave glory to God, packed my tools, and went home.
(From a sermon by Joel Smith, "Caution! God’s Favor...Handle with Care" 2/23/2009)
“Backing Out of Life’s Garage!” Exodus 20:18-21 Key verse(s): 20:“Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning’.”
Graduating from a reel mower to a power mower, was a very big step in my life. I began cutting lawn with my father when I was a pre-teen. In those days it was common for every family to have a good, sturdy reel mower that worked solely on “boy” power. I can still remember ours. It was a Sears mower with green hub caps and bright red blades. I had watched my dad push this many times and felt quite privileged when he asked me to help him. When I was about eight or nine my dad purchased our first power mower. It was a reel mower as well but with this exception, it had an engine and it was self propelled. My dad still let me use the push mower to trim. But now, since he was able to cut the entire lawn in far less time and with far less effort, my duties became somewhat limited.
The day came, however, several years later when my dad decided it was time for me to graduate to the power mower. Since it was self-propelled he thought that an eleven-year-old ought to be able to control it. Although he was a bit concerned about my ability to turn it around after reaching the end of a row, he decided to let me try. But, before he was willing to turn control over to me, he embarked on a safety lesson I shall never forget. Strategically placing me in front of the mower but a safe distance away, he wedged a poplar stick about the size of a young boy’s finger between the blades. “Now watch this!” he summoned. As he turned the engine over and power reached those blades, they strained for but an instant and then snapped the twig with a crack. At that moment I could feel a sympathetic crack in my own index finger. And, of course, that is exactly what my dad had in mind. Needless to say, I developed a very healthy but real fear of that power mower. And, I must admit, it was with some trepidation that I first put my grip on those handle bars, vibrating with the power of those blades as they churned through the grass.
I feared the mower but I loved to mow the grass. That marriage of fear and love served me well throughout my lawn mowing days. The fear kept me from doing foolish things and the love enabled me to serve my father by cutting the grass. Finding a balance between the two is the critical iss...
"Wit, by itself, is of little account. It becomes of moment only when grounded in wisdom."
I SEE YOU, AND JESUS SEES YOU
A burglar the neighborhood watching for homes left unguarded by people leaving for vacation. He watched as a family loaded their suitcases into their car and departed. He waited until dark and then approached the front door and rang the bell. There was no answer. The burglar neatly picked the lock and let himself in. He called into the darkness, "Is anybody home?" He was stunned when he heard a voice in reply, "I see you, and Jesus sees you."
Terrified, the burglar called out, "Who's there?" Again the voice came back, "I see you, and Jesus sees you."
The burglar switched on his flashlight and aimed it in the direction of the voice. He was instantly relieved when his light revealed a caged parrot reciting the refrain, "I see you, and Jesus sees you."
The burglar laughed out loud and switched on the lights. The...