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One way fans try to follow Jesus without denying themselves is by compartmentalizing the areas of their lives they donít want him to have access to. They try to negotiate the terms of the deal. Iíll follow Jesus, but Iím not going to sell my possessions. Donít ask me to forgive the people who hurt me; they donít deserve that. Donít ask me to save sex for marriage; I canít help my desires. Donít ask me to give a percentage of my money; I worked hard for that cash. And instead of following Jesus with their financial life, they follow Money magazine. In their relationships, instead of Jesus they follow Oprah. In their sex lives, instead of following Jesus, they follow Cosmo. They follow Jesus, just not with every area of their lives.
Kyle Idleman, "Not a Fan" (p. 146)
LOOKING THROUGH CLEAN WINDOWS
A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.
'That laundry is not very clean', she said. 'She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap'
Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Everytime her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.
About one month later, the woman was surprised to see nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: 'Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?'
The husband said, 'I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.'
And so it is with life. What we see when watching others, depends on the purity of the window through which we look.
If you watch the game today I want you to remember this story about Jerry Rice.
He was the longtime star for the San Francisco 49ers, considered one of the greatest receivers in the history of football; he played for the 49ers for 15 years, 1985 to 2000. Tonight he will be playing for the Raiders. A great star and you think he must have come from some legendary college team but he didnít. He played for Mississippi Valley State University, in Itta Bena, Mississippi, a virtual unknown.
He was once asked, "Why did you attend a small, obscure university like Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Mississippi?" Rice responded, "Out of all the big-time schools (such as UCLA) to recruit me, MVSU was the only school to come to my house and give me a personal visit."
Source: Brett Blair, www.eSermons.com. Illustrations for Jan 26, 2003
Barna research shows:
That divorce in the church is just as commonas outside the church. In the church 33%, outside the church 34%.
Also, the south is second in the nation in divorce. The south has a divorce rate of 35%, just behind the west (38%), and leading the Midwest (32%) and Northeast (28%).
Another striking percentage for us as Baptists is that we lead the nationís major denominations in divorce rates at 29%. Protestant churches overall is at 25%.
The divorce rate amongst the generations is also a bit of surprise:
Seniors (73+) = 18%
Builders (53-72) = 37%
Boomers = 34%
Busters = 7% (Most of these are not old enough to
What does this say about marriage in America? Is it old fashioned. One scholar said that long term marriage commitment isnít good for mode...
Jackie Chan movie. This man is very innovative in the way that he makes fight scenes. Instead of just using normal karate chops and the like, he will use common every day items and create unbelievable fight scenes with them. In one scene, he fights off dozens of men with a common every day step ladder. I suppose some would be unimpressed with his action scenes. But when I saw that, I couldn’t believe how he orchestrated the action. In a sense, that’s what’s so amazing about God! But a hundred times more! He creates salvation through the birth of a boy - something that we see every day. He decides to save the world and bring life - through all things - an instrument of death - a cross! You would expect God - a powerful God - to use power to save the world. You would expect God to try and impress us with powerful miracles to convert us. But instead, He uses weakness! He uses the staff of His Word! With this simple tool - words - God converts us! He gets us to put our hands over our mouths - crawl on our knees before Him - and turn in fear to HIM for forgiveness. When we see God take us out of this sinful world and plant us into HIS kingdom - it brings us out of our dens of self righteousness and into the light of his SON! That’s exciting! If that doesn’t at least bring some joy to your heart - you’d best pinch yourself - because you must be dead!
#1 [MERCY] A mother once approached Napoleon seeking a pardon for her son. The emperor replied that the young man had committed a certain offense twice and justice demanded death.
"But I donít ask for justice," the mother explained. "I plead for mercy."
"But your son does not deserve mercy," Napoleon replied.
"Sir," the woman cried, "it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask for."
"Well, then," the emperor said, "I will have mercy." And he spared the womanís son.
Luis Palau, Experiencing Godís Forgiveness, Multnomah Press, 1984.
RICHARD EYRE ON DIVORCE
"We now have over 40 years worth of very conclusive statistics that show that children from two parent homes (a mother and a father) are at substantially less risk for drug abuse, teen pregnancy, school dropout, suicide, and a whole host of other problems. Statistically they have a better chance of being good students, of feeling well adjusted socially, and of being happy. Too many divorces are justified with the old line about not wanting children to have to continue to be exposed to the tension of a bad relationship. We forget that what children really need to be exposed to is parents trying and working hard to save something that is deeply important. Nothing manifests a parent's love for a child more than struggling to keep that child's family together. The old cliche is true: 'The best thing a father or mother can do for a child is to love that child's mother or father.'"
Do you remember the story of Aron Ralston from last year? Aron Ralston loves the outdoors, hiking and trekking in the mountains. Last May he was hiking alone when a boulder fell and pinned him by the arm. For five days he waited for rescue. Then, facing dehydration and death, he took an incredible decision. He took a pocketknife and slowly amputated his own arm, freeing him and allowing him to hike out to safety.
What would it take to come to a decision like that? How desperate would you have to be to cut off a member of your own body? Would you turn to that solution quickly, or would you first explore every other possibility? Only when faced with death would a man do such a thing. So should be divorce. It is a desperate act, a self-mutiliation. It is the amputation of a part of our selves. We should resort to it only in extreme circumstances.
When you take a...
HE WILL DEMAND EVERYTHING
Breezy, self-confident Christians tell us how wonderful it is to accept Christ and then have a good time all the rest of your life; the Lord wonít demand anything of you. Yes, He will, my friend! The Lord will demand everything of you. And when you give it all up to Him, He may bless it and hand it back, but on the other hand He may not....
Sermon Central Staff
WE DON'T KNOW HER STORY
They called her their troubled one, or their feisty one. She had wild flyaway hair much like that of a punk rocker, but jet-black. And she was only, at the oldest, a couple of weeks old. So small, she looked as if she could fit in one hand. The ICU nurses all took turns trying to comfort her. You could tell they all loved her, even in their complaints about her. Our son Tito, her bunkmate, was recovering from his seven-hour brain surgery. The nurses also loved him. This is what the ICU nurses at Seattle Childrenís Hospital do, they love the kids. For the first few days, her parents were not to be seen, and the nurses protected her privacy, as they should. So we didnít know her story. Lace and I added her to our prayers.
We still donít know her story. What I remember most, though, is how she loved the sunlight and the care the nurses gave to her. I understood that no matter her story, she was in a community of love for the days we would know her, as was our son. The room they shared was full of windows that let a lot of light in, even in Seattle. A day before Tito was to be moved out of critical care, her parents, with several of her brothers and sister, did show up. They had to take a long bus trip and they seemed beaten down by life. We prayed for them too. We never knew the end of their story. They were strangers, but still we prayed for them. That is what Christians do.
(From a sermon by Ernesto Tinajero, What is the Kingdom of God? 6/29/2011)