Illustration results for galatians 5
Staff Picks of Free Sermons and PRO Church Media
The famous preacher, Charles Swindoll once said, "Kindness is a language that deaf people can hear and that blind people can see."
For more from Chuck, visit http://www.insight.org
"Leslie Weatherhead tells of a little boy who was admitted to an orphanage after his parents were killed. One of the first items on the agenda was to find him a new set of clothes. He was given a new pair of pants, a new shirt, and a pair of shoes that shinned as he saw his face in its glow.
Lastly, he was offered a new hat. But he refused to take it. He hung on to his worse- for the-wear—hat. Finally the Sister was able to coax him into trying on the new cap. He tried it on, liked it, but then did something very funny. He reached inside his old cap and tore the lining out and placed it in his pocket.
Noticing the Sister had a puzzled look on her face, he said said, "The lining is a part of my mother’s dress; it’s all I’ve got left of her and somehow it seems to bring her back."
I read a recent magazine article about a pastor and his encounter with some unbelievers while having breakfast. Here is how he tells the story: “My wife and I were vacationing in Estes Park, Colorado, and had breakfast in a coffee shop. It was empty except for four men at another table. One was mocking Christianity; in particular, the resurrection of Christ. He went on and on about what a stupid teaching that was. I could feel the Lord asking me: ‘Are you going to let this go unchallenged?’ However I was thinking, But I don’t even know these guys. He’s bigger than me. He’s got cowboy boots on and looks tough. I was agitated and frightened about doing anything. But I knew I had to stand for Jesus. Finally, I told Susan to pray. I took my last drink of water and went over and challenged him. With probably a squeaky voice, I said, ‘I’ve been listening to you, and you don’t know what you’re talking about ’ I did my best to give him a flying rundown of the proofs for the resurrection. He was speechless, and I was half dead. I must have shaken for an hour after that. But I had to take a stand. We cannot remain anonymous in our faith forever. God has a way of flushing us out of our quiet little places, and when he does we must be ready to speak for him.”
Now I admire this pastor’s courage and his determination to be a witness, regardless of how difficult it was. A lot of Christians would have just sat there in fear or fumed, thinking about how terrible the things were that these men were saying. I realize that I have the opportunity of looking back with hindsight on the situation, but I wonder if there wasn’t another possible approach that may have been more positive, and perhaps had more impact, than rattling off a list of rational arguments for the resurrection. It seems to me that he missed the most important and impressive proof of the resurrection — his own life. I wonder if it would not have been more effective to walk over to the men at the table and say something like this: “You know, I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation, and found it very interesting. If you don’t mind, I would like to pay for all of your breakfasts. The reason I want to do this is that, because of the resurrection, Jesus Christ has changed my life and lives in me, and wants to communicate his tremendous love for you.”
Rational arguments do not change people, changed lives do. Changed lives change the lives of others, and thereby change the world. It is how we challenge the unbelief of a skeptical world. But not only would it possibly have been a stronger witness, it would have been an excellent use of money to buy their breakfasts. I think the point in what Jesus was saying in our Scripture reading this morning was that people are always the priority. Helping people, whether physically or spiritually, is to be given priority over serving ourselves — especially when it comes to money. But money is usually our last holdout in our walk with God. It is what we surrender last. As you grow in the Christian life you realize that it is not your money anyway. Everything you own already belongs to God. It is a gift, a loan from him.
And, of course, my favorite given to me some time ago by my elder, married daughter, Jennifer:
I pray for -
Wisdom - to understand my man;
Love - to forgive him;
Patience - for his moods;
Sermon Central Staff
THE FIRST SENTENCE
Paul Harvey once told about a group of scientists who were determined to teach a chimpanzee to write. For fourteen years, the scientists labored diligently and patiently with this chimpanzee, providing things in its cage to enable it to form certain syllables. Finally the day arrived when it seemed that the chimpanzee was actually going to construct a sentence from the symbols it had been learning. Word went out, and other scientists crowded into the room and gathered around the cage. The scientists could hardly contain themselves as they pressed around the cage to read the history-making sentence. This is what the chimpanzee wrote: "Let me out!"
(From a sermon by Jimmy Haile, Called to Liberty! 6/30/2011)
In 1993 Gerald Sittser, a professor at Whitworth College was driving home from a family outing. In the car was his mother, wife of 20 years and four children. A drunk driver swerved across the center line and hit them head on. In an instant he lost his wife, his two year old daughter and his mother. In his book, A Grace Disguised, Sittser shares some insights from his painful journey:
"The accident itself bewilders me today as much as it did three years ago. Much good has come out of it, but all the good in the world will never make the accident itself good. It remains a horrible, tragic and evil event to me. Yet the grief I feet is sweet as well as bitter. I still have a sorrowful soul; yet I wake up each morning joyful, eager for what the new day will bring. Never have I felt as much pain as I have in the last three years; yet never have I experienced as much pleasure in simply being alive ... never have I felt so broken; yet never have I felt so whole . . . Never have I been so aware of my weaknesses and vulnerability; yet never have I been so content and felt so strong ... Above all, I have become aware of the power of God’s grace and my need for it. My soul has grown because it has been awakened to the goodness and love of God. God has been present in my life these past three years. God will continue to be present to the end of my life and through all eternity. God is growing my soul, making it bigger and filling it with himself. My life is being transformed."
This single fruit of the Spirit is quite dynamic. It has many dimensions to it: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It’s as if this single fruit has multiple flavors. I’m reminded of the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. There was a piece of candy called, “The Never Ending Gobstopper.” What was amazing is that it was a single piece of candy with endless sorts of flavors. The fruit of the Spirit is one specific item with several, continuous qualities. The point is that all of these “flavors” remind us of our Savior’s love for us. The Spirit’s work ties us to Jesus and leads us to see we have true satisfaction in him alone.
THE MOST IMPORTANT FREEDOM
Patrick Henry was a famous statesman and orator of colonial Virginia. In 1764 he was elected to the House of Burgesses where he became a champion of the frontier people, supporting their rights against the arrogant exercise of power by the aristocracy.
In 1774 he was a delegate to the First Continental Congress. In 1775, before the Virginia Provincial Convention, which was deeply divided between those who supported England and those who desired freedom, he uttered his most famous words, "Give me liberty or give me death!"
During the Revolutionary War he became commander-in-chief of Virginia’s military forces, a member of the Second Continental Congress, helped draw up the first constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and was largely responsible for drawing up the ammendments to our Constitution known as the Bill of Rights.
He became Virginia’s first governor, and was re-elected four times. Then he retired from public life, but despite his strong objections the people went ahead and re-elected him Governor for the 5th time. But he meant what he said, so he refused to take the office.
He was offered a seat in the U.S. Senate, and posts as ambassador to Spain and to France. President George Washington asked him to join his cabinet and become Secretary of State, and later wanted to appoint him the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. But he refused all such honors and recognitions.
Listen to these words from him: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians - not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Chris...
Remember change and change for the better are often two different things.
True story happened Friday in Montreal
- A hospital patient who insisted on lighting a cigarette while hooked to an oxygen supply caused a small explosion, according to a hospital spokesperson.
The 73-year-old, who suffered minor burns in the blast, had been told not to light up but she ignored the warnings, said Luc Perreault of LaSalle Hospital Centre.
``She’s lucid and independent,’’ Perreault said yesterday. ``She’d been told. She read the directives about not smoking.’’
Flames were doused quickly after the blast occurred Thursday night and damage was minor.
One hospital worker suffered hand burns. Several patients were moved to another area of the hospital. The smoker was put in intensive care, minus her cigarettes and lighter.
Perreault said that under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the hospital did not have the right to remove the patient’s lighter before the accident occurred.
``We can’t take away personal belongings,’’ Perreault said.
``It’s not a prison.’’
The 73-year-old’s name was not disclosed.
Leadership of the hospital, those in charge told 73 year not to light up, but did it anyway. What happens? Kaboom!