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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).
"Rules of Male-Female Relationships"
1. The Female always makes the Rules.
2. The Rules are subject to change at any time without prior notification.
3. No Male can possibly know all the Rules.
4. If the Female suspects the Male knows all the Rules, she must immediately change some or all of the Rules.
5. The Female is never wrong.
6. If the Female is wrong, it is because of a flagrant Misunderstanding, which was a direct result of something the Male did or said wrong.
7. If Rule 6 applies, the Male must apologize IMMEDIATELY for causing the Misunderstanding.
8. The Female can change her mind at any given point in time.
9. The Male must never change his mind without express written consent from the Female.
10. The Female has every right to be angry or upset at any time.
11. The Male must remain calm at all times, unless the Female wants him to be angry or upset.
12. The Female must under no circumstances let the Male know whether or not she wants him to be angry or upset.
13. Any attempt to document these Rules could result in bodily harm to the Male.
Sermon Central Staff
NOTHING IS HIDDEN FROM GOD
R.C. Sproul: "There are many things in my life that I do not want to put under the gaze of Christ. Yet I know there is nothing hidden from Him. He knows me better than my wife knows me. And yet He loves me. This is the most amazing thing of all about Godís grace. It would be one thing for Him to love us if we could fool Him into thinking that we were better than we actually are. But He knows better. He knows all there is to know about us, including those things that could destroy our reputation. He is minutely and acutely aware of every skeleton in every closet. And He loves us."
(From a sermon by David Scudder, El Roi "The Strong One who Sees" Part 2, 3/27/2011)
The preacher stood on the street corner preaching to anyone who would listen. A man approached him who looked like he had lived on the street forever. "Can I help you" asked the preacher. "I think you can" said the bum. "Would you like me to tell you about Jesus?" "No." "Would you like me to pray for you?" "No." "If you donít want me to tell you about Jesus, and you donít want me to pray with you, how can I help you?" "You can give me your Bible." "Why would you want my Bible if you have no interest in knowing more about Jesus?" "I noticed that the pages of your Bible are very thin; I can use the pages to wrap a cigarette (or a joint)." Wisdom came suddenly to the preacher, who said, "Iíll give you the Bible, if you will agree to read a page (of the Bible) before you smoke it." The bum agreed, took his new Bible, and left. The preacher thought he had seen the last of the bum, but he could get another Bible. Several months passed, and the preacher was on the street corner once again. A man came up to him dressed in a three piece suit....
Sermon Central Staff
AND IT CAME TO PASS...
"The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me." -- Martin Luther
During a Sunday class the question was asked, "In your time of discouragement, what is your favourite Scripture?"
A young man said, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want" Psalm 23:1. A middle age woman said, "God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" Psalm 46:1. Another woman said, "In this world you shall have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome this world" John 16:33-35.
Then old Mr. John who was 80 years old, with head of white hair and dark black skin, stood up and said with as much strength as he could muster, "It says, 'And it came to pass...' 85 times in the Bible." The class started to laugh a little, thinking that old Mr. John's lack of memory was getting the best of him.
When the snickering stopped, he said, "At 30, I lost my job with six hungry mouths and a wife to feed. I didn't know how I would make it. At 40, my eldest son was killed overseas in the war. It knocked me down. At 50, my house burned to the ground. Nothing was saved out of the house. At 60, my wife of 40 years got cancer. It slowly ate away at her. We cried together many a night on our knees in prayer. At 65, she died. I still miss her today.
"The agony I went through in each of these situations was unbelievable. I wondered where was God. But each time I looked in the bible I saw one of those 85 verses that said, 'And it came to pass' I felt that God was telling me, my pain and my circumstances were also going to pass and that God would get me through it."
(From a sermon by Stephen Sheane, The Table of Shewbread, 5/25/2011)
26 Christians were executed at Nizhizaka Hill in Nagasaki, Japan on 15 February 1597.
Amongst them was a young seventeen year old boy, Thomas Kosaki, who was to die for his Christian witness along with his father.
He wrote a letter to his mother the evening before his crucifixion.
Let me read a translation of it to you
"Mother, we are supposed to be crucified tomorrow in Nagaski. Please do not worry about anything because we will be waiting for you to come to heaven.
Everything in the world vanishes like a dream. Be sure that you never lose the happiness of heaven. Be patient and show love to many people.
Most of all, about my little brothers Mansho and Philipo, please see to it that they are not delivered into the hands of the Gentiles.
Mother, I commit you to the Lord"
These werenít the words of some ivory towered professor at Oxford or Cambridge. This was a young man condemned to death Ė and a horrible death at that for his faith.
"Marathoner Loses by a Mustache." So read the headline of a recent Associated Press story. It appeared that Abbes Tehami of Algeria was an easy winner of the Brussels Marathon--until someone wondered where his mustache had gone! Checking eyewitness accounts, it quickly became evident that the mustache belonged to Tehamiís coach, Bensalem Hamiani. Hamiani had run the first seven-and-a-half miles of the race for Tehami, then dropped out of the pack and disappeared into the woods to pass race number 62 on to his pupil. "They looked about the same," race organizers said. "Only one had a mustache." Itís expected that the two will never again be allowed to run in Belgium.
Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute, Jan, 1992.
It was a cold, winter day. A carcass, on an ice floe, floated slowly down the Niagra River. An Eagle, flying overhead, spied the easy prey below, and descended upon it. He began to eat. As he did, the water of the river began slowly pushing the flow toward the falls. But could not the eagle, stretch forth his great wings and fly? Could he not, at the very brink of the falls, leap the safety of the air? Had he not done so a thousand times before? So slowly, he continued to eat. As he waited, the water of the river began pushing the floe faster and faster and closer and closer to the falls, until the roar of the falls began to echo throughout the canyon. He waited until the very mists of the falls began rising above his head. Finally, he stretched forth his great wings to fly.
Unknown to him, his talents, sunk in the frozen flesh of his prey, a...
Members of (the UK) Parliament hold surgeries with their constituents (an opportunity to talk), but the reality is that relatively few people actually have a conversation with their MP. Godís surgery, Godís prayer line of conversation, Godís throne of grace is available through Jesus Christ. The question is whether we actually go there. Do we go there often? Do we go there daily?
BOLD, NOT PRESUMPTUOUS
The worst example I recall of praying presumptuously and acting like it was blessed boldness is the college student I mentioned in an earlier key. I donít remember what we were praying about, but I remember his prayer. "Lord, in your word it says that if we ask anything according to your will that you hear us. In your word it says if two or three agree as touching anything, that it will be done. We know that this is your will. You know that we are more than two or three and we are in agreement. Now, by the authority of your word, we COMMAND you to..."
Have you ever heard anything more arrogant than presuming to command God while praying?
I think this is the worst example of arrogant prayer I ever heard. But does God think this is any worse than my own presumptuous prayers? I have, sadly more than once, taught a Bible study or even preached a sermon when I had not adequately prepared. I then prayed, "God, bless this Bible study or this sermon beyond my inadequate preparation." That is not a bad prayer. It is a good pray...