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Bishop Lalachan Abraham
QUOTATIONS ON TRUTH
Where I found truth, there found I my God, who is the truth itself (Augustine).
Genuine spiritual knowledge lies not in wonderful and mysterious thoughts but in actual spiritual experience through union of the believer's life with truth. When a truth is unfolded by God it most naturally becomes a power in man, who then finds himself able to believe (Watchman Nee).
Saints not only desire to love and speak truth with their lips, but they seek to be true within; they will not lie even in the closet of their hearts, for God is there to listen; they scorn double meanings, evasions, equivocations, white lies, flatteries, and deceptions(Charles Spurgeon).
Sermon Central Staff
AN UNUSUAL BAPTISM ON THE MISSION FIELD
Some time back, a retired missionary dropped by our church. She had served faithfully in Africa, and one day, she happened upon a small baptismal service. A fellow missionary took three new converts to the center of a shallow river, and dug a hole in the sand so there would be enough water for the baptism. Even then, the new believers were forced to sit in the sand so there would be enough water to cover them for the important ceremony.
The missionary telling the story saw what she'd expected. A few friends and family members gathered to watch, and the missionary in the river raised his hand, repeating familiar scriptures before baptizing the converts. When the first convert came up out of the water, he began an excited and joyful time of shouting. The quiet service was silent no more! The second convert did the same. The final convert also came up from the shallow water shouting for joy.
Afterwards, the missionary watching the process asked about the unusual tradition. Why all the shouting?
"I haven't been able to completely communicate in this tribe's language," said the younger missionary. "They heard the scripture I gave them, but they didn't understand the symbolic nature of it. When I told them that they would be "buried with him through baptism into death ... and raised to walk in the newness of life" (Romans 6:4) they actually thought baptism would kill them! We chuckled as we heard the story, until the missionary froze us with her gaze. "Let me ask you a question," she said. "If you thought baptism would kill you, would you be willing to get in the river?"
Following Jesus means we recognize the royal nature of the one we serve. Yes, he has saved us. Yes, he loves us and wants us in his royal family. But yes, he is King of Kings, and we owe him our very lives. There is no other appropriate response.
(From a sermon by Fred Markes, Fix Your Eyes Upon Jesus, He is King of Kings, 8/30/2011)
SOMETHING BETTER DOWN THE ROAD
A football game was being played in Badger Stadium in 1982 in Madison, Wisconsin with more than 60,000 fans in attendance. The home team was losing. But out of the blue during time outs, when play was a at stop, the fans would jump up and roar with excitement. Why?
Many of those in the stadiums were listening to a game being broadcast on the radio from 70 miles down the road. What they were listening to was the Milwaukee Brewers beating the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the 1982 World Series. Their team on the field was losing, but they were turned into something better down the road.
The Christian life is like that for us today. Our circumstances are bad at times but we must be tuned into something better down the road. We must place our hopes not in this world but in heaven.
(From a sermon by Tommy Burrus, "Dealing with Discouragement" 7/1/2009)
Steven Simala Grant
Steven Simala Grant tells this story:
I remember Christmas, 1980, when I was 9. My mom, who was a secretary in a small 3-person company, got a Christmas bonus Ė a trip for her and my brother and me to Disneyland. Plane and hotel, all covered Ė and even some cash. Her boss was not a Christian, but wow did they have a spirit of generosity.
We got off the plane in Los Angeles, and immediately felt scared, overwhelmed, and more than a little lost. A single mom on her first trip outside Canada, second time on a plane, a 9yr old and a 12yr oldÖ And there, right where we came through customs, was a man holding a sign that said, ďGrants.Ē My mom joked as she walked past him, ďThatís my name but Iím sure you arenít looking for a mom and two kids.Ē ďWendy?Ē He asked. ďYup, itís you Iím looking for. Iím here to guide you through the airport, help you find your motel, and make sure you have everything you need.Ē
Sermon Central Staff
A MOTHER'S MARRED HANDS
There was a teenager who didnít want to be seen in public with her mother, because her motherís arms were terribly disfigured. One day when her mother took her shopping and reached out her hand, a clerk looked horrified. Later, crying, the girl told her how embarrassed she was.
Understandably hurt, the mother waited an hour before going to her daughterís room to tell her, for the first time, what happened.
"When you were a baby, I woke up to a burning house. Your room was an inferno. Flames were everywhere. I could have gotten out the front door, but I decided Iíd rather die with you than leave you to die alone. I ran through the fire and wrapped my arms around you. Then I went back through the flames, my arms on fire. When I got outside on the lawn, the pain was agonizing but when I looked at you, all I could do was rejoice that the flames hadnít touched you."
Stunned, the girl looked at her mother through new eyes. Weeping in shame and gratitude, she kissed her motherís marred hands and arms.
(Source: Randy Alcorn. From a sermon by Billy Ricks, Suffering, 2/27/2011)
Sermon Central Staff
OSWALD CHAMBERS ON CONVICTION OF SIN
Oswald Chambers: "Conviction of sin is one of the rarest things that ever strikes a man. It is the threshold of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict of sin, and when the Holy Spirit rouses the conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not his relationship with men that bothers him, but his relationship with God."
Conviction of sin is the unbearable burden of all of your sin and filthiness before a holy and righteous God. The word in the Greek carries the idea of exposing your sin. When the Spirit of God brings this type of conviction it reveals your total bankruptcy before God. The burden of that sin can only be overcome by realizing Godís blessing of salvation. The verses tell us that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment. When does salvation take place when we stop disagreeing with the truth of our rebellion against God. At this point we no longer have the pride or arrogance to say "I'm good."
(From a sermon by Billy Ricks, The ministry of the Holy Spirit, 1/22/2011)
A man who died in 1997 has received a telephone bill from Sprint at his current abode -- the Hillside Cemetery in Auburn, Mass. "Our clients here donít usually get mail," said superintendent Wayne Bloomquist. "I wondered if maybe we should start putting mailboxes on the monuments." The bill included a 10-cent call placed on Feb.16 this year.
David Livingstone went to darkest Africa as a lone missionary. After some time his missions committee wrote to him saying, "Some people would like to join you. Whatís the easiest road to get where you are?" He replied, "If theyíre looking for the easiest road, tell them to stay in England. I want people who will come, even if thereís no road at all!" Sometimes...
ANTIVIRUS: HOLY SPIRIT
Jesus said in verse 7 of John 16, "For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."
Jesus was God in the flesh, of course. He could have spoken this world out of existence at any given time, but, I would like to use an illustration of the Holy Spirit to those who use the computer and realize what a great tool it is for the cause of Christ.
Before you accept Christ as your Saviour, you are full of sin without any hope of living the life that Jesus calls more abundant. You have been given a death sentence. While you are here on this Earth, you learn and fill your memory full of things--even good things--that will get you nowhere with God. Itís like a computer with no protection and full of viruses and things that are not useful and headed for self destruction.
Satan, the extreme virus that invades your mind. (Hard drive) When you accept Jesus as your Saviour, there are a few things that happen when you do:
First of all, God sends the Holy Spirit to live inside you. Jesus said He comes: he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. The Greek word for "reprove" is elegchŰ which means "to convict."
Number 1. He convicts us of our sin. (He scans us and calls for removal)
Number 2. He was raised from the dead that you and I could not only have our sins subtracted, but so we could have His righteousness. added. (Sin is deleted and the antivirus takes over)
Number 3. He convicts of judgment: Itís not the judgment that is to come. This world has already been judged, and itís guilty of sin. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. We are guilty, and the Holy Spirit speaks to us and shows us that we are only filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) in the sight of God, but because of Jesus, we are accepted and forgiven by His grace and mercy. (We see the need for a antivirus because we are vulnerable to all)
Once you ask Jesus into your heart, itís as if you would download a file in your computer for an antivirus program, except this is a living holy being called the Holy Spirit and the subscription will last forever.
Itís the third of the trinity, Father (God), Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit (indwells the believer) We need the Holy Spirit as our computers need an antivirus. There are many brand names of the program, but there is only one that works. There is only one that never needs updating, always the same yesterday, today and forever. Best of all its free for the asking. Romans 10: 9-10
The only way truth and life, Jesus Christ our Lord.
HELL FREEZES OVER
A rough and gruff man from Massachusetts who didn’t live a very good life died and went to hell. The devil really wanted to punish him, so he put him to work breaking up rocks with a sledgehammer. To make it worse he cranked up the temperature and the humidity.
After a couple of days the Devil checked in on the man to see if he was suffering adequately. The Devil was aghast as he looked at the man from Massachusetts happily swinging his hammer and whistling a happy tune.
The Devil walked up to him and said, “I don’t understand this. I’ve turned the heat way up, it’s humid, you’re crushing rocks and sweating. Why are you so happy?” The man smiled, looked at the Devil and said, “This is great, it reminds me of the hot humid August days back in Massachusetts. This is fantastic! It’s just like home”
The Devil decided to change things a bit. He dropped the temperature, sent down driving rain and torrential wind. Soon, hell was a wet, muddy mess. The man from Massachusetts was happily slogging through the mud pushing a wheelbarrow full of crushed rocks.
Again, the Devil asked how this man could be so happy in such conditions. The man replied, “This is great. Just like April back in Massachusetts. It reminds me of working out in the fields doing the spring planting!
The Devil was completely baffled. In desperation, he tried one last ditch effort. He made the temperature plummet. Hell was blanketed in snow and ice. Confident that this has done it, the Devil checked in on the man. He couldn’t believe his eyes as he saw the man dancing, singing, and twirling his sledgehammer in glee. “How can you be so happy. Don’t you realize its 40 below zero!?” screamed the Devil.
“Hell’s frozen over!” replied the man from Massachusetts, “The Patriots have won the Superbowl!”