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Staff Picks of Free Sermons and PRO Church Media
A striking Christmas card was once published with the title "If Christ Had Not Come". It was founded upon our Savior’s words "If I had not come." The card represented a pastor’s falling into a short sleep in his study on Christmas morning and dreaming of a world into which Jesus had never come. In his dream he found himself looking through his home, but there were no little stockings in the chimney corner, no Christmas bells or wreaths of holly, and no Christ to comfort, gladden and save. He walked out to the street, but there was no church with its spire pointing to Heaven. He came back and sat down in his library, but every book about the Savior had disappeared. The doorbell rang and a messenger asked the preacher to visit his poor, dying mother. He hastened with the weeping child, and as he reached the home he sat down and said, "I have something here that will comfort you." He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise, but it ended with Malachi. There was no Gospel and no promise of hope and salvation, and he could only bow his head and weep with her in bitter despair. Two days later he stood beside her coffin and conducted the funeral service. There was no message of consolation, no hope of heaven. What a terrible dream What a terrifying nightmare How much worse are those who know Christ came yet live as though he did not.
SOWING AND REAPING
There is a famous (and doubtless apocryphal) story about Horatio Bottomley, the politician and convicted fraudster, who was stitching mailbags in prison when a chaplain caught sight of him.
"Sewing, Bottomley?" said the priest.
"No," he replied. "Reaping."
So too all of us, sooner or later.
("The Times", London)
The only monument in the world built in the shape of
a bug, to honor a bug is located in Fort Rucker,
Alabama. In 1915 the Mexican boll weevil invaded
Southeast Alabama and destroyed 60% of the cotton crop. In
desperation, the farmers turned to planting
peanuts. By 1917 the peanut industry had become so
profitable that the county harvested more peanuts
than any other county in the nation. In gratitude,
the people of the town erected a statue and
inscribed these words,
"In profound appreciation of the boll weevil, and what it has done as the
herald of prosperity." The instrument of their suffering had become the
means of their blessing.
Give me a stout heart to bear my own burdens. Give me a willing heart to bear the burdens of others. Give me a believing heart to cast all burdens upon T...
Girolamo Savonarola was one of the great preachers of the fifteenth century. He preached in the great cathedral of Florence, Italy, which contained a magnificent marble statue of the blessed virgin Mary. When Savonarola started preaching at this great cathedral, he noticed one day an elderly woman praying before this statue of Mary. He then began to notice that it was her habit to come every day and pray before the statue.
Savonarola remarked one day to an elderly priest who had been serving in the cathedral for many years, "Look how devoted and earnest this woman is. Every day she comes and offers prayers to the blessed Mother of Jesus. What a marvelous act of faith." But the elderly priest replied, "Do not be deceived by what you see. Many years ago when the sculptor needed a model to pose for this statue of the blessed Mother, he hired a beautiful young woman to sit for him. This devout worshiper you see here everyday is that young woman. She is worshiping who she used to be."
Brett Blair, e-sermons, 2001
WAITING ON THE INTEREST
A girl had a nice little piggy bank. Her father wanted to teach her about saving, so he talked to her about putting her money into a savings account at their bank. He very carefully explained to her that when she put money into her account, the bank would pay her interest on her money and that her money would grow that way.
The big day came. They went to the bank. She gave her piggy bank to the woman opening her account. Then she just stood there and stared at the woman. "Is there something else I can do for you?" the woman asked.
The little girl answered, "No, I’m just waiting on my interest!"
The girl didn’t understand that there was a delay between sowing her money in that account and reaping the harvest of her interest. That’s the way it is in life. Since that is the case, you need to understand a couple of very important facts about today:
1. The things happening in your life today are the results of what you have sown in the past. You are reaping the harvest of what you sowed a week ago, a month ago, a year ago.
2. What will happen in the future will be determined by what you sow into your life today. If you want to change your future, then you need to change what you are sowing today.
(From a sermon by Tim Huie, "King David and the Law of the Harvest" 1/23/2009)
Sermon Central Staff
EXAMPLES OF GENEROUS PEOPLE
In a country where getting and having more seems so normal, people who choose to live with a lot less so they can help others seem, to put it mildly, less than sane. Zell Kravinsky is one of those people.
Kravinsky got rich in the real estate business, and then gave away just about all of his fortune -- $45 million -- to charity. "A lot of people seem to feel I’m crazy," he said. Or could it be that he’s just generous?!
Here’s another story. Karen Pittelman also gave away her fortune to help others. She created the Chahara Foundation to help low-income women and girls with her $3 million trust fund.
At first, she said, it was difficult for her family to understand her decision. "It was hard for them because they put that money aside for my security. They did out of love, and so I think it was hard for them to understand why I wouldn’t want it," she said. Pittelman’s explanation was surprisingly simple: "I didn’t need that much," she told "20/20."
"I would never judge or say how much any one person needs. But I knew for myself, in my life, that I didn’t need this $3 million," she said. So, she gave her money to groups that help low-income workers and the disenfranchised, particularly women.
Richard Semmler shares Pittelman’s feeling that he doesn’t need a lot to live well. For three decades, Semmler has been donating over half of his annual salary to support his favorite charities. "The total gift giving is at about $770,000 and it may be close to $800,000 by the end of this year," Semmler said.
His goal is to give away $1 million in his lifetime. A college professor who teaches algebra and calculus, Semmler has no trouble doing the math on how that commitment to charitable giving affects his lifestyle.
"There are a few personal sacrifices. It means a fairly small apartment. I am driving a fairly old car. That’s a choice I have made. The choice not to have a large house. The choice not to have a pool. The choice not to have a boat on the Potomac River. The choice not to have a new car every two or three years. This way, I can use 55 [percent] to 60 percent of my income to support the charities," he said.
Semmler gives his time as well as his money to charity, serving meals once a week at the Central Union Mission and helping to build houses for Habitat for Humanity. Wow! What a guy! What a giver!
Obviously, you and I don’t have to do $3 million or $45 million dollars’ worth of good or even a million, but we do need to do all the good we can toward others. And if that includes giving some money, then we should do it.
(From a sermon by Steve Shepherd, Remind the People, 11/1/2011)
At three years old, Mike Mays was accidentally blinded by a chemical explosion when he and his 4-year-old sister were playing in the garage. He lived his entire life until he was well into his forties before having his eyesight was restored by a pioneering ophthalmologist. But despite the fact that he was blinded at a young age, it seemed that his whole life was spent overcoming the obstacles that were presented by his blindness.
He learned to ride a bike, skate on a skateboard, play soccer, become an engineer, marry and have a family. He was so adept at walking by using an incredible sense of hearing that worked with echoes and how his brain interpreted those echoes. As a matter of fact most people were not even aware that he was blind until they would get close enough to him to see his eyes.
Robert Kurson tells the story in a book entitled Crashing Through. The title came about when Mike begin to describe his childhood and that when he would play on the playground or in pickup games of football with his neighborhood buddies that he was always having to “crash through” some obstacle or hindrance that prevented him from accomplishing what he wanted to do.
So it was with many scrapes, bruises, aches, and pains that Mike accomplished what he did with his life. But even then after he had the corrective surgery huge discouraging obstacles had to be endured. It was almost as if Mike’s brain did not know how to figure out spatial and peripheral visual fields that...
The Exxon Valdez is an oil tanker that was on its way to Long Beach, California. Instead, it crashed into a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The crash resulted in the second largest oil spill in US History. Between 25-32 million gallons of oil spilled into the Ocean. Over 250,000 members of God’s creation died as a result. Bird life and marine life died. The quality of human lives was compromised by the spill. The primary reason for the tragedy was the fatigue of the crew. In fact, the captain of the ship was asleep when the ship crashed. Because of crew fatigue, its cargo, meant to support life, ended up sabotaging life.
You and I are carrying precious cargo! But to make our delivery we have to avoid soul fatigue. We can support life, not sabotage life, if we don’t give way to moral exhaustion.
Sermon Central Staff
YEAGER AND THE SOUND BARRIER
Chuck Yeager was the first man to ever break the sound barrier in an aircraft. Planes like the British Meteor jets that approached the speed of sound (760MPH at sea level, 660 MPH at 40,000 feet) had encountered severe buffeting of the controls. At that time, no one knew for sure whether an airplane could exceed "Mach 1", the speed of sound. The U.S. Army was determined to find out first.
The Army had developed a small, bullet-shaped aircraft, the Bell X-1, to challenge the sound barrier. A civilian pilot, Slick Goodlin, had taken the Bell X-1 to .7 Mach, when Yeager started to fly it. He pushed the small plane up to .8, .85, and then to .9 Mach, but backed off when the plane began to shake uncontrollably. The date of Oct. 14, 1947 was set for the attempt to do Mach 1.
As he approached Mach 1, that plane began to shake and rattle and be buffeted from side to side, so much so that he was not sure that he would not explode in mid-air.
But on this day Chuck said, “I refuse to turn back now! If I die, I die trying but I am not going to back down! I’ve been close before, but no matter what happens today, I am going for it!”
And with that he shoved the controls forward and headed for the sonic wall!
In the account of this momentous event recorded in the book “The Right Stuff” the author records: The X-1 went through "the sonic wall" without so much as a bump. As the speed topped out at Mach 1.05, Yeager had the sensation of shooting straight through the top of the sky. The sky turned a deep purple and all at once the stars and the moon came out - the sun shone at the same time. ... He was simply looking out into space. ... He was master of the sky. His was a king.
(From a sermon by Richard Cook, The Battle Before The Breakthrough, 7/30/2010)