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A Native American and a white man were deeply moved by the same sermon. That very night the Native American received Jesus as his Savior, but for days the white man refused to accept Christ. At last he, too, repented and enjoyed the sweet peace of having his sins forgiven. Later he asked his Native American friend, “Why did it take me so long, while you responded right away?”
“My brother,” he replied, “I can best explain it by this little story: At one time a rich prince wished to give each of us a new coat. You shook your head and replied, ‘I don’t think so; mine looks good enough.’ When he made the same offer to me, I looked at my old blanket and said, ‘This is good for nothing,’ and gratefully accepted the beautiful garment. You wouldn’t give up your own righteousness. But knowing I had no goodness of my own, I immediately received the Lord Jesus Christ and His righteousness.”
Joy of Christ Forgiveness: A member of a major non-Christian religion said to a missionary to India, "Tell me one thing your religion can offer the people of India that mine can’t." The missionary thought for a moment and replied, "Forgiveness! Forgiveness!"
Unlike the followers of all other world religions, those who put their hope in Christ have full assurance that their sins are forgiven.
British Bible teacher David Pawson says, "I have talked to devout Muslims who pray five times a day, have journeyed to Mecca, have fasted during Ramadan, and are more devout than many Christians. But when I ask, ’Do you know if your sins are forgiven?’ they’ve said, ’We don’t. We just have to hope for the best.’
The Christian who daily enjoys the reality of God’s presence in his life is one who daily subjects himself to examination whereby he might make sure that his walk before the Lord is blameless.
(From Dave McFadden’s Sermon: “Persisting in His Presence”)
There are two kinds of magnets, steel magnets and soft iron magnets. The steel magnet receives its magnetism from the load stone, and has it permanently; it can get along very well alone in a small way; it can pick up needles and do many other little things to amuse children. There is another kind of magnet, which is made of soft iron, with a coil of copper wire round it. When the battery is all ready, and the cups are filled with the mercury, and the connection is made with the wires, this magnet is twenty times as strong as the steel magnet. Break the circuit, and its power is all gone instantly.
We are soft iron magnets; our whole power must come from the Lord Jesus Christ, but faith makes the connection. Good works flow from a connected relationship with God by faith. Works and faith do not go hand-in-hand, as though they are two rails of a train track. No, works flow naturally from a life of faith; works are the product, not the partner, of genuine lasting and purely biblical faith.
(From a sermon by Chris Surber "Sola Fide" 12/23/2008)
WHO SHAPES WHO?
Written by Irenaeus from the 2nd Century. From God’s Hands:
"It is not you who shape God; it is God that shapes you. If then you are the work of God, await the hand of the Artist who does all things in due season. Offer the Potter your heart, soft and tractable, and keep the form in which the Artist has fashioned you. Let your clay be moist, lest...
THE POWER OF SHAME
I remember how troubled I was after attending the funeral of an old lady who used to be my visitation partner for many years in a two-person team at a former church. Her brother and sister-in-law were deacons at the church. When I heard she had cancer some years after I left, I visited her at the nursing home, talking about old times and her grandkids, her favorite topic. Her physical condition was not what it was previously, but her energy level was still fantastic.
The family was surprised at my attendance at the funeral, and asked me to say the closing prayer, which brought tears to my eyes. After the funeral was over and well-wishes were said, the deceased’s daughter-in-law came up to me and told me her mother-in-law had actually saw me on another occasion in a restaurant when her condition was deteriorating, but she avoided meeting me and did not want me to see her in her worsening health and appearance at that time. What saddened me was that she was fine with entering a restaurant full of strangers but not entertaining an old friend.
That’s the power of shame. It deflates, chokes and kills one’s sense of self, relationships with others and, possibly, perception of God.
(From a sermon by Victor Yap, "Face up to Life and Death" 1/24/2009)
THEY DON’T BUT YOU DO
Consider the story of Oswald Golter. After ten years service as a missionary in China, Oswald Golter was on His way home.
His ship stopped in India, and while waiting for the connecting boat home he found a group of refugees living in a warehouse on the pier. They were unwanted, so they were stranded. Golter went to visit them.
As it was Christmas time he wished them a merry Christmas and asked them what they would like for Christmas. "We’re not Christians," they said. "We don’t believe in Christmas."
"I know," said the missionary, "but what do you want for Christmas?"
They described some German pastries they were particularly fond of. So Oswald Golter cashed in his ticket home, used the money to buy baskets and baskets of the pastries, took them to the refugees, and wished them a merry Christmas.
When he later told the story, a student said, "But sir, why d...