Illustration results for luke 18
1 Thessalonians 5:18-5:18
1 Kings 3:16-3:28
1 John 2:15-2:17
2 Corinthians 9:12-10:1
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).
Sermon Central Staff
"In an article in Campus Life a young nurse writes of her pilgrimage in learning to see in a patient the image of God beneath a very 'distressing disguise.'
"Eileen was one of her first patients, a person who was totally helpless. 'A cerebral aneurysm (broken blood vessels in the brain) had left her with no conscious control over her body,' the nurse writes. As near as the doctors could tell Eileen was totally unconscious, unable to feel pain and unaware of anything going on around her. It was the job of the hospital staff to turn her every hour to prevent bedsores and to feed her twice a day 'what looked like a thin mush through a stomach tube.' Caring for her was a thankless task. 'When it's this bad,' an older student nurse told her, 'you have to detach yourself emotionally from the whole situation...' As a result, more and more she came to be treated as a thing, a vegetable...
"But the young student nurse decided that she could not treat this person like the others had treated her. She talked to Eileen, sang to her, encouraged her, and even brought her little gifts. One day when things were especially difficult and it would have been easy for the young nurse to take out her frustrations on the patient, she was especially kind. It was Thanksgiving Day and the nurse said to the patient, 'I was in a cruddy mood this morning, Eileen, because it was supposed to be my day off. But now that I'm here, I'm glad. I wouldn't have wanted to miss seeing you on Thanksgiving. Do you know this is Thanksgiving?'
"Just then the telephone rang, and as the nurse turned to answer it, she looked quickly back at Eileen. 'Suddenly,' she writes, Eileen was 'looking at me... crying. Big damp circles stained her pillow, and she was shaking all over.
"That was the only human emotion that Eileen ever showed any of them, but it was enough to change the whole attitude of the hospital staff toward her. Not long afterward, Eileen died. The young nurse closes her story, saying, 'I keep thinking about her... It occurred to me that I owe her an awful lot. Except for Eileen, I might never have known what it's like to give my self to someone who can't give back'" (Rebecca Manley Pippert, Stories from the Heart (Multnomah Books: Sisters, Oregon, 1996), 31-32).
What have you been confronted with that seems impossible to overcome? How are you allowing God to use you to meet the needs of others through the divine resources he has?
(From a sermon by Eric Lenhart, Are We Manufacturers or Distributors? 8/12/2010)
Recently one of the testimonies at a Missions conference was so powerful it seemed to take the breath away from the people attending. It was the story of a blind woman by the name of Pani. She was listening to the Jesus film in her village as those with their sight were watching. Pani was greatly moved when, she heard on the film, Jesus restored the sight of the blind man. When Pani heard these words she cried out, “I want to receive my sight too.” At the conclusion of the film a miracle took place. Pani could see! Jesus restored her sight! As the mission conference attendees heard this wonderful story they began to show emotion for such a miracle. They were stopped of their emotional exuberance by the missionary as he gave them a reminder. The restoration of Pani’s sight was not the greatest miracle that evening.
A greater miracle took place than the restoration of her sight. Pani received forgiveness of her sins that night by trusting Jesus as her Savior! She heard Jesus speak the sweetest words of all, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Bill Hybels tells about an interesting experience after a baptism service in their church. He writes: “I bumped into a woman in the stairwell who was crying. I thought this was a little odd, since the service was so joyful. I asked her if she was all right. She said, ‘No, I’m struggling.’ She said, ‘My mom was baptized today. I prayed for her every day for almost 20 years. The reason I’m crying is because I came this close to giving up on her. At the 5-year mark I said, “Who needs this? God isn’t listening.” At the 10-year mark I said, “Why am I wasting my breath?” At the 15-year mark I said, “This is absurd.” At the 19-year mark I said, “I’m just a fool.” But I just kept trying, kept praying. Even with weak faith I kept praying. Then she gave here life to Christ, and she was baptized today. I will never doubt the power of prayer again.”
Sometimes when we pray and pray we feel like we are experiencing the law of diminished returns — so we stop praying. We correspon...
BURYING KARLA FAYE TUCKER
In February 1998, the State of Texas prepared to execute Karla Faye Tucker, for her participation in the murder of Jerry Lynn Dean and Deborah Thornton with a pick ax in 1983.
What brought this story to the News agencies was Karla’s request for a stay from execution. She claimed to have become a born-again Christian while in prison. She wasn’t asking for freedom, simply mercy from the State of Texas in order to spend the rest of her life in prison working her very special ministry to inmates.
What brought this news to National attention was the fact that people from Pope John Paul to Rev. Pat Roberts had also had asked for mercy, at least a month-long stay of execution and a clemency hearing. Un-persuaded by her conversion the prison authorities put Ms. Tucker to death at Huntsville, Texas, prison on Feb. 3, 1983 by means of lethal injection.
What bothers me the most about this story, is that they put the wrong women to death. Now Karla Faye Tucker did commit those murders, she never denied that. What bothers me is that they executed the wrong Karla Faye Tucker, for the young women that had committed those horrendous murders had already died years before when she prayed to Christ to forgive her-- a forgiveness that made itself evident in her transformed life--a transformed life that convinced others to plead for mercy on her behalf. But in Texas there was no mercy.
Unconvinced? -- Then let me conclude with this, when they laid Karla Faye to rest on Thursday afternoon, February 5, 1998, about 40 relatives and friends attended the service. Those in attendance included her husband Dana Brown, the prison chaplain she married while in prison; Ronald Carlson, the brother of murder victim Deborah Thornton; and J.C. Mosier, the detective who helped crack the case 15 years before.
They were there because they knew the need to forgive. Was it easy, No! Jesus never said it would be easy. But it is vital, both for the offender and the offended. Because you see, we are all one. And we forgive because God has forgiven us.
SOURCE: Gregory Dawson
THE QUITTERS CLUB
One of the largest organizations in America is the Quitters Club. The reason you’ve never heard of the Quitters Club is because they never meet–the members quit coming. There are no dues–the members quit paying them.
The Quitters Club is comprised of people who faced a tough job, a tough marriage, a tough sickness, or a tough failure–and they quit. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. But the going gets tough, the quitters get going...away. What we need in America and in the church are people who will exhibit good, old-fashioned “sticktoitiveness.” That’s probably not even a word, but it needs to be!
SOURCE: Dr. David O. Dykes in "P.U.S.H. – Pray Until Something Happens!" on www.sermoncentral.com.
THE STATS ON PRAYER
A Newsweek poll several years ago titled "Is God Listening?" indicated that 54% of those the magazine surveyed prayed on a daily basis - 25% said they pray to God once a day and 29% more than once a day.
87% believed that God answers their prayers at least some of the time. Even so, unanswered prayers did not deter them from praying. 85% insisted that they could accept God's failure to grant their prayers. Only 13 percent declared they have lost faith because their prayers went unanswered. 82% don't turn away from God even when their prayers go unanswered. 54% say that when God doesn't answer their prayers, it means it wasn't God's will to answer.
The things people pray for include health, safety, jobs, and even success, valid or not. 82% said they ask for health or success for a child or family member when they pray. 82% believed that God does not play favorites in answering prayers. 79% said God answers prayer for healing someone with an incurable disease. 75% asked for strength to overcome personal weakness. 73% answered that prayers for help in finding a job are answered. On the lighter side, 51% agreed that God doesn't answer prayers to win sporting events. 36% never prayed for financial or career success.
SOURCE: Victor Yap in "The Cry of My Heart" on www.sermoncentral.com. Citation: "Is God Listening?" Newsweek Magazine, 3/31/97.
One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"
"It was great, Dad."
"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.
"Oh yeah," said the son.
"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father. The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls aro...
“I Love My Dentist?” Luke 1:26-37 Key verse(s): 31:“You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.”
I love my dentist? Do you love yours? Unfortunately dentists have really gotten a bad rap over time. Many see them as the evil pain-giver, the one who without a shrug or a wince are able to inflict pain in an almost methodically fashion. Myself, on the other hand, have always had a gentler, kinder opinion of my dentist. He is no less the pain-given since I have been through extraction to root canals with him. Methodical, there is nothing more demanding of method than dealing with a stubborn root that has grown in jagged fashion in the depths of my jaw. Stubbornly refusing to be moved or removed, it was all about method that saved the day.
I had come to my dentist in a panic over pain. My jaw hurt so bad I had not been able to eat properly for days. My cracked molar has slowly become a broken, jagged thing that defied tooth brushing as well. Anything that came in touch with it caused pain. It had finally gotten so bad that it was keeping me up at night as my tongue, in automatic fashion, continually searched for the fissure almost like a dog attracted to a rotting carcass. It simply had to push and shove it just to see what it would do. What it did was hurt.
Finally even my business and hectic schedule could not keep me from taken the time necessary to get this thing fixed. I called my dentist to make an emergency appointment. I was genuinely hoping that he would be able to remove the broken piece and cap the tooth and make it whole again. As I put down the receiver, appointment in place for the early afternoon, I could already imagine the luscious steak that I was going to dig into with my “new” refurbished tooth. Let me tell you, I was looking forward to that appointment. As I settled into the chair just hours later, bib in place and anticipating the stinging jab of that anesthetizing needle, I knew that relief was only a couple of hours away. I lived on that thought throughout the afternoon. First the needle needed to be applied not once but twice. Then a decision was made to do a root canal in preparation for the crown. After that, finding that the roots were in poor shape and that not enough of the base tooth was left to cap, the decision was made to pull the tooth altogether and work toward a bridge. The process did not take the hour or so I had anticipated. Rather, it took all afternoon. When it was over, the offending piece of enamel was eliminated. Although I could not eat on that side for days, there was no longer a flopping target of pain for my tongue to menace. The source of the pain had been eliminated; methodically, with strength and a whole lot of pain to get me there. As I look back at the experience I am grateful for the pain. For, without the intense temporary pain, the permanent relief would not have been possible. Even though he caused me great pain, I can only say of my dentist this: “I love you. Thanks for the pain. It was worth it.”
We often long dreamily for days without difficulty, but God knows better. The easier our life, the weaker our spiritual fiber, for strength of any kind grows only by exertion. (Craig Brian Larson)
God promised Mary that she would be “blessed among women.” Yet, in order to attain the blessing, she had to endure the pain of childbirth and the ultimate pain of watching her son die. Just the fact that God’s favor rests upon you does not insulate you from pain and suffering. These are inevitable. In fact, these are in fact the source of the blessings in your life. For, as God is about His work shaping, bending and molding you into shape, there may be much pain to endure. Submit to His workmanship as you would to the dentist. Do not despise his methodical, even painful movements in your life. Ultimately, when you measure this pain against all other gain you might have achieved in life, the comparison is quite weak. That which we receive in pain, is always better than the gain.
We think that God wants us to try something on our own first, and then come to him in prayer for help only after we’ve worked at it and can’t figure it out. We hear the saying, “God helps those who help themselves” and think it’s true. Many people even believe it’s in the Bible. It’s not. It actually comes from Greek mythology.
A man is pushing his cart along a dirt road and it gets stuck in the mud. He sits down on the ground next to the cart and asks the gods to free his cart. Hercules appears say, “Get up, man, and put your shoulder to the wheel. The gods help them that help themselves.”
This focus on doing things ourselves without asking for God’s help leads us to believe we actually did them without God’s help, which in turn grows to our believing we don’t need God’s help.
And if we believe don’t need God’s help, we can easily believe that we don’t need him or his rules. We start doing our will instead of God’s, and the more we do it the more prideful we become. Our pride causes us to focus on our will which in turn makes us even more proud of ourselves. It’s like a self-licking ice-cream cone.