Illustration results for mark 13
Staff Picks of the Week:
Memorial Day 2013
Memorial Day 2013 Preaching Bundle »
Greater Love Video Illustration » Everlasting God Worship Music Video »
Sabbath Sabbath Preaching Bundle »
1 Outta 7 Video Illustration » Before The Throne… Worship Music Video »
1 John 2:15-2:17
1 Kings 3:16-3:28
2 Corinthians 9:12-10:1
(Suggest a Keyword)
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).
(Suggest a Keyword)
A man who was conducting a survey knocked on a front door. A little boy opened the door and stared at him. The man asked the boy how many people lived in the house. The boy replied, "There is Jimmy & Mary & Sophie & Bobby..."
The man impatiently said to the boy, "Just give me the numbers."
The boy replied, "There are no numbers in this house, they are all names to me!"
Sermon Central Staff
(Suggest a Keyword)
AFGHAN SPIRITUAL HARVEST
In his book What Good Is God?, Philip Yancey writes:
"This is a true story from Afghanistan that took place in the early 1970s, before the Russian occupation or the Taliban regime. At the time, the government allowed a small Christian church to service internationals who worked there, though no Afghans could attend. A friend of mine named Len organized a musical team of young people to tour countries in the Middle East. With some trepidation, he also accepted an invitation to extend the trip to Afghanistan for a concert in downtown Kabul. Len made the teenagers write out exactly what they would say, subject to his approval.
"This is a strict Muslim government," he warned them. "If you say the wrong thing, you could end up in prison and at the same time jeopardize every Christian who lives in this country. Memorize these words and don’t dare stray from them when you perform." The teenagers listened wide-eyed as he described the ominous consequence of a slight misstep...
The night of the official concert in Kabul, almost a thousand Afghans filled the hall and spilled outside the open doors to listen. All went well until one teenager on the team put down his guitar and started improvising: "I’d like to tell you about my best friend, a man named Jesus, and the difference he has made in my life." From the side of the stage, Len motioned wildly for him to stop, drawing his finger across his neck. Ignoring him, the teenager proceeded to give a detailed account of how God had transformed his life.
"I was practically beside myself," Len told me. "I knew the consequences, and I sat with my head in my hands waiting for the sword to drop. Instead, the most amazing thing happened. The Minister of Cultural Affairs for Afghanistan stood and walked to the stage to respond.
"'We have seen many American young people come through this country,' he said. 'Most of them come for drugs, and most look like hippies. We have not seen nor heard from young people like you. God’s love is a message my country needs. How thrilled I am to hear you! You are a prototype for the youth of Afghanistan to follow in the future. I would like to invite you to expand your tour so that you visit every college and faculty and also give this same message on Kabul Radio. I will make it happen.'"
Len was dumbfounded. That night he gathered the musical group together. "Did you hear what the man said? We’re changing our tickets, of course, to lengthen our visit. And he wants you to give this same message--you’d better not change a word!"
Over the next few days, the musical team held other performances. After each event Afghan young people crowded around with questions. Tell me more about this Jesus--we know of him through the Qur’an. You speak of a personal relationship with God. Can you describe it? How does your faith change you? Some asked to pray with the teenagers. Nothing like it had ever happened in Afghanistan.
On the last day, after a triumphant tour, the teenagers met J. Christy Wilson, a revered figure in Afghanistan. Born of missionary parents in Iran, he … [had] spent 22 years in Afghanistan, serving as principal of a government high school and teaching English to the Crown Prince and Afghan diplomats. He also led the Community Christian Church and founded the School for the Blind in Kabul.
Wilson drove the teenagers to an unusual tourist site, the only cemetery in Afghanistan where "infidels" could be buried. He walked to the first, ancient gravestone, pitted with age. "This man worked here 30 years and translated the Bible into the Afghan language," he said. "Not a single convert. And in this grave next to him lies the man who replaced him, along with his children who died here. He toiled for 25 years and baptized the first Afghan Christian." As they strolled among the gravestones, he recounted the stories of early missionaries and their fates. At the end of the row he stopped, turned, and looked the teenagers straight in the eye. "For 30 years, one man moved rocks. That’s all he did, move rocks. Then came his replacement, who did nothing but dig furrows. There came another who planted seeds, and another who watered. And now you kids--you kids--are bringing in the harvest."
"It was one of the great moments of my life," Len recalls. "I watched their faces as it suddenly dawned on these exuberant American teenagers that the amazing spiritual awakening they had witnessed was but the last step in a long line of faithful service stretching back over many decades."
(From What Good Is God?: In Search of a Faith that Matters. By Philip Yancey, pp. 219-222. Reprinted by permission of FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group, New York, NY. All rights reserved. From a sermon by Michael McCartney, Experience the Spirit in Service, 4/14/2011.)
My wife and I recently saw a television show on The History Channel titled, “The Man Who Predicted 911.” We were both moved by this hour presentation and its focus on one man by the name of Rick Rescorla. Long before September 11th, Rick Rescorla, the 62-year-old head of security at the Morgan Stanley Bank, developed an evacuation plan for the bank. The bank’s offices were situated high up in the South Tower at the World Trade Center. Rescorla was convinced that Osama Bin Laden would use jet planes to try and destroy the World Trade Center. The plan and its preparation were hugely unpopular with the Morgan Stanley staff, many of whom thought Rescorla was mad.
On September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 hit World Trade Center Tower 1 at 8:46 am. Rick Rescorla ignored building officials’ advice to stay put and began the orderly evacuation of Morgan Stanley’s 2,800 employees on 20 floors of World Trade Center Tower 2, and 1,000 employees in WTC 5. Rescorla reminded everyone to "be proud to be an American ... everyone will be talking about you tomorrow", and sang God Bless America and other songs over his bullhorn to help evacuees stay calm as they left the building. Rescorla had most of Morgan Stanley’s 2800 employees as well as people working on other floors of WTC 2 safely out of the buildings by the time United Airlines Flight 175 hit WTC 2 at 9:07 a.m.
After having reached safety, Rescorla returned to the building to rescue others still inside. He was last seen heading up the stairs of the tenth floor of the collapsing WTC 2. His remains were not recovered. As a result of Rescorla’s actions, only 6 of Morgan Stanley’s 2800 WTC employees were killed on September 11th, 2001, including Rick and three of his deputies who followed him back into the building.
The remainder of this very moving broadcast focused on Morgan Stanley Bank employees who now in tears were praising and acknowledging Rick Rescorla for saving their lives from total destruction that day. Many felt so guilty and apologetic they had thought Rick foolish to keep preaching and standing for what he believed would happen if they were not ready. Those interviewed said they would never forget Rick Rescorla. He was their hero.
Mr. Rescorla left behind a widow, Susan Rescorla, and two children that day. Since 911, a memorial stone was erected in Rick’s hometown of Hayle, Cornwall, to commemorate his life and the sacrifice he made to save others.
James 5:19-20 says, “My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” As sinners saved by grace, we must have a “Rick Rescorla Attitude.” He was convinced people entrusted to his care would perish if his plan of escape were ignored. Rick Rescorla stayed the course even when unpopular and ridiculed because he believed what he was doing would save lives.
Sadly, many Christians today have a “Cain Attitude” when it comes to rescuing the perishing and having a consistent witness. Unlike Rick Rescorla, they say by their actions: “I am not my brother’s keeper.” How this must grieve the heart of Almighty God who has left us here as His Beloved Children to sh...
Mr. President? (07.13.05--Tomorrow--Mark 13:33-34)
We spend so much time preparing for some things. Whether it’s a birthday, a wedding, a family reunion or simply an evening dinner with the family, if there’s people involved, there’s always a goodly amount of preparation that precedes the event.
When faced with a future event, we will usually put our backs into it and give it all the attention that we can. Since our reputation as entertainer, host or simply a good chef is on the line, being prepared is usually on the top of the list. Would it not seem logical then, when faced with what might be called the last, great “event” of our lives, we ought to feel as or even more inclined to put forth our best efforts?
Billy Graham would often tell this story about the need to be prepared for that unexpected “meeting” with our Maker. It was about a little boy named Paul Haley. The little six-year-old Denver boy was dying from cancer. His story had hit the newspapers along with his fondest wish. The little boy wanted to meet the President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. One day, quite unexpectedly, Eisenhower announced to his aides that he was going to see Paul Haley. Hopping in the presidential limousine, they drove to Denver and pulled up outside of the Haley home, flags flying from the limo’s fenders. Eisenhower simply strode up the little walk leading to the Haley front door and rang the doorbell. Donald Haley, the little boy’s father, answered the door. When faced with the neatly-dressed stranger he simply asked, “Can I help you?” Suddenly, a little boy appeared between his father’s legs, peering up at the stranger’s face. “Yes, I’m Dwight Eisenhower and I’d like to meet your son.” The little boy scampered out to the limo and the president showed him the car and allowed him to sit in it. They parted with a handshake and a hug. All the while Donald Haley stood in the doorway awestruck. His neighbors are still talking about it to this day. (Adapted, Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes)
Donald Haley often talked about how unprepared he was to meet the president of the United States. He was standing there i...
“On The Other Hand?” Mark 13:9-13 Key verse(s) 13:“‘All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.’”
Often times what determines whether or not we are standing tall in this life is measured by the depth of our convictions. There was a time not so long ago when a man was measured by his conviction. Was he willing to stand up for what he believed in no matter what? Could he follow through on the basic tenets that govern life and his relationships with others? Or, was he inclined to waver, even crack at the slightest challenge to what he believed?
Men and women who live by conviction are rapidly becoming a rare commodity in today’s society, a society that often paints the convicted as zealots, even bigots for not accepting the viewpoints of others despite the fact that these viewpoints conflict with the principles they hold dear. We are rapidly becoming a society governed by preference as opposed to conviction. Standing tall is fine as long as you don’t cast a shadow on another man’s space.
Its fine to hold a preference. That society can tolerate. A preference is something that governs one’s life and may be the cause of one giving one’s entire life and fortune to it. We teach them to our children and over time they become very strong beliefs. But, importantly, a preference is something that can be changed under the right circumstances. Whether that be peer or family pressure, lawsuits, the threat of jail or death, a preference is never absolute. Unlike a preference, however, a conviction is something that cannot change since it is not “founded in a sense of fairness” or dependent upon circumstance. Convictions are purposed in the heart and cannot be changed (cf. Daniel 1, 2-3). Should they be assailed and lost, sin is apparent, not choice.
We live in a society that is captivated with the idea of choices. While preferences are fine since they are nothing more than what we might believe at the moment, convictions are often seen as a bias since they will not conform to change as do simple beliefs. Having convictions in a society that has elevated choice and change to a godhead, is seen as backward, even antagonistic to the very fabric of that which weaves a society together––fairness and tolerance.
Tevye, the Jewish dairy farmer in the musical Fiddler on the Roof, lives with his wife and five daughters in czarist Russia. Change is taking place all around him and the new patterns are nowhere more obvious to Tevye than in the relationship between the sexes. First, one of his daughters announces that she and a young tailor have pledged themselves to each other, even though Tevye had already promised her to the village butcher, a widower. Initially Tevye will not hear of his daughter’s plans, but he finally has an argument with himself and decides to give in to the young lovers’ wishes. A second daughter also chooses the man she wants to marry: An idealist revolutionary. Tevye is rather fond of him, and, after another argument with himself, he again concedes to the changing times.
A while later, Tevye’s third daughter wishes to marry. She has fallen in love with a young Gentile. This violates Tevye’s deepest religious convictions: It is unthinkable that one of his daughters would marry outside the faith. Once again, he has an argument with himself. He knows that his daughter is deeply in love, and he does not want her to be unhappy. Still, he cannot deny his convictions. “How can I turn my back on my faith, my people?” he asks himself. “If I try and bend that far, I’ll break!” Tevye pauses and begins a...