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1 John 2:15-2:17
1 Kings 3:16-3:28
2 Corinthians 9:12-10:1
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ILLUSTRATION… Discipleship Journal, 11-12/92
A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:
5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness
5. (Tie) Sexual lust
Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when…
they had neglected their time with God (81 percent)
and when they were physically tired (57 percent).
Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising
situations (76 percent), Bible study (66 percent), and being accountable to someone (52 percent).
DESPAIR AND DEPRESSION--THE NEWS
Max Lucado, pastor and author describes the topic title best when he speaks of having "doubt storms". He said, "Sometimes the storm comes after the evening news. Some nights I wonder why I watch it. Some nights it's just too much. From the steps of the Supreme Court to the steppes of South Africa, the news is usually gloomy--thirty minutes of bite-sized tragedies. Story after story of homes that won't heal and hearts that won't melt. Always more hunger than food. More needs than money. More questions than answers. On Sundays I stand before a church with a three-point outline in my hand, thirty minutes on the clock, and a prayer on my lips. I do my best to say something that will convince a stranger that an unseen God still hears. And I sometimes wonder why so many hearts have to hurt."
From Dale Pilgrim's Sermon "When You Can't Get Up"
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There were 3 preachers in a Barnie’s Coffee shop were discussing the time when life began. They each gave their opinion of when life begins.
One preacher said "Life begins when the child takes his/her first breath."
The other said "NO," then he finished, "It begins when the child is conceived."
But the last preacher said "You both have the wrong answer! Life begins when the last child leaves home and the dog dies!"
WHEN DOES LIFE REALLY BEGIN?
I am glad to say that life begins when you give your sins to Jesus. And when you come to an altar of repentance and you say... I NEED THEE O LORD! I NEED THEE!
ON TOP OF THE FENCEPOST
Alex Haley, the author of "Roots," had an unusual picture hanging on his office wall. It was a picture of a turtle on top of a fence post. When asked, "Why is that there?" Alex Haley answered, "Every time I write something significant, every time I read my words & think that they are wonderful, & begin to feel proud of myself, I look at the turtle on top of the fence post & remember that he didn’t get there on his own. He had help."
That is the basis of thankfulness - to remember th...
We should be like little Johnny. After church, Johnny tells his parents he has to go and talk to the minister right away. They agree and the pastor greets the family.
"Pastor," Johnny says, "I heard you say today that our bodies came from the dust & when we die our bodies go back to dust.”
"Yes, I’m glad you were listening. Why do you ask?"
Johnny says, "Well you better come over to our house right away and look under my bed ’cause there’s someone either comin’ or goin’!"
I HEARD OF YOUNG MOTHER WHO WENT DOWN TO THE NURSERY AT A HOSPITAL AND FOUND HER YOUNG HUSBAND PEERING DOWN AT HIS NEWBORN BABY WHO WAS ASLEEP. THE MOTHER COULD TELL HE WAS CAPTIVATED BY THE SCENE AS HE STOOD THERE LOOKING AT THE SLEEPING INFANT. SHE WAS SO TOUCHED THAT FINALLY SHE TIPTOED UP BEHIND HIM AND SLIPPED HER ARM THROUGH HIS AND SAID, "HONEY, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT?" HE SAID, "I JUST CAN’T UNDERSTAND HOW THEY’RE ABLE TO MAKE A CRIB LIKE THIS FOR $89.95." FOR THE MOST PART FATHER’S ARE NOT AS SENTIMENTAL.
Jack Benny was rather shy when he was young. One day at work he saw a young lady that greatly attracted his attention. But he was too shy to speak to her. So he went to the florist & ordered one red rose to be sent to her without any card enclosed. And every day he repeated that order.
Well, after 4 days of receiving one red rose each day, the young lady went to the florist & asked who was sending them. The florist told her that it was some guy who worked where she did by the name of Jack Benny. “Yeah,” she said, “I think I know who he is.”
So she searched Jack out & asked him why he was sending her those roses. He told her that he wanted to ask her out, & she accepted his invitation. And other dates followed that first one. But still, every day, she continued to receive one red rose.
Then Jack & Mary got engaged, & Mary figured that the red roses would stop. But still they came. Finally, they were married, & even on the honeymoon she continued to receive one red rose each day. But once the honeymoon was over, she figured that the roses would stop.
But month after month, then year after year, all their married life, every day without fail she received a red rose. Finally, Jack Benny died. But the very next day, here came another red rose. Thinking that maybe the florist somehow hadn’t heard, she called to tell him of Jack’s death & that he could now stop sending the roses.
He answered, “But you don’t understand. Before he died, Jack made all the arrangements. You’ll receive one red rose every day for the rest of your life.”
Do you remember the story of Aron Ralston from last year? Aron Ralston loves the outdoors, hiking and trekking in the mountains. Last May he was hiking alone when a boulder fell and pinned him by the arm. For five days he waited for rescue. Then, facing dehydration and death, he took an incredible decision. He took a pocketknife and slowly amputated his own arm, freeing him and allowing him to hike out to safety.
What would it take to come to a decision like that? How desperate would you have to be to cut off a member of your own body? Would you turn to that solution quickly, or would you first explore every other possibility? Only when faced with death would a man do such a thing. So should be divorce. It is a desperate act, a self-mutiliation. It is the amputation of a part of our selves. We should resort to it only in extreme circumstances.
When you take a...
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Can you be kind when you put your mind to it?
December 26 is a legal holiday in both Canada and Great Britain. Come on America, join the crowd. Today is "Boxing Day" in some parts of the world. No, it’s not a day to honor George Foreman and his cronies. Rather, it’s a day to show kindness to those who provide valuable services to you. In the days when the holiday first began, people would share "gift boxes" with their milkman, postman, lamplighter, iceman and other service givers. Many of those occupations are extinct, but without a doubt, you can think of others whom you truly appreciate throughout the year. What about the clerks who handle your dry cleaning or service station needs? Well, you get the idea.
Your Creator will be impressed with your kindness as He inspired: "Be kind and compassionate to one another" (Eph. 4:32 NIV) However, if you are one of those people who need a little more incentive, here’s a proverb that God also inspired: "A kind man benefits himself" (Prov. 11:17 NIV). Showing kindness is one of those arenas in which you simply can’t lose. So get your heart in shape and begin "boxing."
Anyone can be the "heavyweight champ" of "boxing."