Illustration results for mark 8:34
There was a man who was on his death bed and he called the three men that he trusted the most to come and see him. He called his minister, his doctor and his lawyer to him and said, “When I die, I my savings account of $90,000 divided three ways and when you walk by my casket, I want each of you to put your $30,000 into my casket to be buried with me.” They didn’t understand why the man wanted to be buried with the money, but they oblidged him. A week later, the man died. At the funeral, each man placed their portion into the casket as they walked by to pay their last respects. As they were eating dinner together afterward, the minister said, “Guys, I have something to confess to you. I kept out some of the money. We’re in the middle of the building project, so I kept out $10,000.” Then the doctor spoke up. He said, “Well, if were going to confess things to each other, I guess I’d better confess too. We’re adding a new maternity ward onto the hospital and I kept out 20,000 of my portion to help defray the cost.” The lawyer had a disgusted look on his face as he shook his head and said, “You guys ought to be ashamed of yourselves. I hope you know that my $30,000 will always be with him in the ground. I wrote a personal check for the full amount!”
The German spiritual writer Thomas ŕ Kempis (1380-1471) said this: "Jesus now has many lovers of his heavenly kingdom, but few bearers of his cross."
Sermon Central Staff
FOLLOWING GARIBALDI AND FOLLOWING JESUS
Garibaldi, the great Italian military hero from the 19th century, raised an incredibly committed volunteer army. His appeal for recruits was rather unique as he offered only these terms: "I offer neither pay, nor quarters, nor provisions; I offer hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles and death. Let him who loves his country with his heart and not with his lips only, follow me!"
Garibaldi is NOT the first make such an offer! The Son of God came to earth, to bring salvation and train up disciples to carry the Gospel of Salvation to the world. Jesus invites you to be His disciple, but His invitation is for YOU to join HIM! It is NOT a request by Him to join you where you are... Jesus lets us know up front that there is a disciplined commitment that is going to cost you everything. The road walking with Jesus IS not going to be easy. To paraphrase Garibaldi, "Let him who loves the Lord with his heart and not with his lips only, be Jesus' disciple!"
(From a sermon by Bobby Stults, Followship - The Essence of TRUE Fellowship, 11/6/2010)
A LIGHT NAMED AL
On the morning of September 11, Jeannie Braca switched on the television to check the weather report, only to hear that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center.
Jeannie’s husband, Al, worked as a corporate bond trader for Cantor Fitzgerald. His office was on the 105th floor of Tower One.
Al had survived the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and had even helped a woman with asthma escape from the building.
Jeannie knew that Al would do the same thing this time, “I knew he would stop to help and minister to people,” she said, “but I never thought for a minute that he wouldn’t be coming home!”
A week later, like so many others who were in that building, Al’s body was found in the rubble. Al’s wife, Jeannie, and his son Christopher were devastated!
Then the reports began to trickle in from friends and acquaintances. Some people on the 105th floor had made a last call or sent a final e-mail to loved ones saying that a man was leading people in prayer.
A few referred to Al by name.
Al’s family learned that Al had indeed been ministering to people during the attack! When Al realized that they were all trapped in the building and would not be able to escape, Al shared the gospel with a group of 50 co-workers and led them in prayer.
This news came as no surprise to Al’s wife, Jeannie.
For years, she and Al had been praying for the salvation of these men and women. According to Jeannie, Al hated his job and couldn’t stand the environment. It was a world so out of touch with his Christian values, but he wouldn’t quit.
Al was convinced that God wanted him to stay there, to be a light in the darkness, and although Al would not have put it this way, to be a hero!
Al was not ashamed of Christ and Christ’s words…and he paid the price of taking up his cross daily. Al shared his faith with his co-workers….many of whom sarcastically nicknamed him “The Rev.”
And on that fateful day…on September 11, in the midst of the chaos, Al’s co-workers looked to him—-and...
Sermon Central Staff
GOD VS. VOODOO
Pastor Mike Breaux tells the story below when his daughter Jodie answered God's call to go into missions work:
During her junior year of high school, Jodie struggled to find a faith of her own. She wanted to know in her heart that all of what she'd been taught to believe was true and that Jesus Christ was real. Honestly, she was headed down a dark road. But God pursued her down that road. She eventually found a faith of her own, and when she graduated from high school, she said, "I don't think God wants me to go to college right now. I want to take a year to go to Haiti, and I want to serve people in a medical mission down there."
I said, "Are you sure you want to do this? Jodie, it's 3,000 miles away from home. It's AIDS-infested and the poorest country in the western hemisphere. And do you know it's controlled by the voodoo religion?"
"I know all that," she said. "But I feel like God wants me to go and help those people."
I said, "Okay. If that's what you want to do, we'll make it happen."
One of the hardest days of my life was putting my little girl on an airplane and watching it lift off, not knowing whether I'd ever communicate with her again.
One night I got an e-mail from Jodie. She wrote: "Dad, tonight has been the most remarkable night of my life. I got called out to this hut to deliver a baby. Dad, I've only delivered one, and that was with somebody. I'd never done this by myself, but I was the only one around. They called me, and I get to this hut, and there's this naked, screaming lady on the dirt floor. I got a flashlight, and I'm thinking, Here I am, 18 years old, and I'm in a hut in a third-world country with a naked, screaming, pregnant lady. I have a flashlight, and I don't know what I'm doing--but I'm here.
"To make matters worse, this lady from the voodoo religion walked into the hut, dressed in her red and blue voodoo garb, and began to chant some voodoo incantation in Creole. She put some kind of oil on the lady's head, and when she started to walk away from me and the woman, she stopped at the woman's belly, put some other kind of salve there, and walked the opposite direction--all while chanting this Creole spell. I didn't know what to do. She stood at the head of this woman and stared a hole through me. When I was getting ready to deliver this baby, I just looked back at her, and I started singing. I knew she didn't understand English, but I just started singing: 'Our God is an awesome God, he reigns from heaven above, with wisdom, power, and love, our God is an awesome God.'"
Jodie said that the voodoo lady became completely unglued. She grabbed all of her stuff and ran out of the hut. Jodie wrote, "That night I knew that that baby was going to be born with the blessing of God and not the curse of Satan."
As I read Jodie's e-mail, my fatherly side thought, You get on a plane tomorrow! What are you doing in a hut with a voodoo woman in the first place? But then my heart beat so fast for her as her brother in Christ. I thought, Way to go, Jodie! Way to make a difference with your life! Way to stop floating around accidental-like! Way to put your life in the hands of the destiny-maker! Way to make a splash! Who knows who that little baby she delivered that night is going to grow up to touch and who that person is going to touch--all because of one courageous girl who said, "Okay, God, I want to put my life in your hands; I want to make a difference."
In Mark 8:35 Jesus said if you insist on saving your life--if you insist on the comfort of playing it safe--you're going to lose your opportunity for life! Only those who give away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it really means to really, really live.
(From a sermon by Terry Blankenship, The Way to Life, 5/16/2011)
Sermon Central Staff
HOW TO BE LIKED BY YOUR PEERS
ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2010) — People who pursue happiness through material possessions are liked less by their peers than people who pursue happiness through life experiences, according to a new study...The "take home" message in his most recent study, which appears in this month’s edition of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, is that not only will investing in material possessions make us less happy than investing in life experiences, but that it often makes us less popular among our peers as well.
(University of Colorado at Boulder psychology Professor Leaf Van Boven. From a sermon by Mark Jones, What Does It Profit?, 8/21/2011)
Have you heard people use the phrase: "This is my cross to bear"? They’ll say, "I’ve got an unsaved husband, it’s my cross to bear." Or, "My kids are rebellious, it’s my cross to bear." Or, "My arthritis acts up on me; it’s my cross to bear." A tombstone in a cemetery in Ribbesford, Scotland contains the following epitaph: The children of Israel wanted bread And the Lord sent them manna. Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife, And the devil sent him Anna. I guess Mr. Wallace thought his late wife was his cross to bear. That’s not what Jesus meant. He’s not talking about a circumstance, he’s talking about an attitude.
COME AND DIE
In The Cost of Discipleship Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote:
“The cross is laid on every Christian. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death–we give over our lives to death. The cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion ...
A young man was at the end of his rope. Seeing no way out he dropped to his knees in prayer. "Lord, I can’t go on," he said. "I have too heavy a cross to bear."
The Lord replied, "My son, if you can’t bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then open that other door and pick out any cross you wish." The young man was filled with relief.
"Thank you Lord," he sighed, and he did what he was told. Upon entering the other door, he saw many other crosses, some so large the tops weren’t even visible. Then he spotted a tiny cross leaning against the far wall. "...