Illustration results for Doing The Impossible
Jesus took the deaf mute man aside, away from the crowd, stuck his fingers in the mans’ ears and spat on his tongue. What Jesus was doing here of course was touching the affected areas. He put his fingers in the man’s ears because this was the location of his disability. He spat and touched his tongue because it was here that the secondary effect of deafness was located- his inability to speak clearly. He wasn’t completely mute but his deafness had made it impossible for him to speak well.
These were invasive procedures, as healing cures often are. No one likes to go to the doctor and be prodded and probed but we submit to it because our health is at stake and we want to be well again. When I first met with an orthopaedic surgeon regarding my hip replacement I found him impersonal, gruff and downright unlikeable. I mentioned this to my GP who is quite the opposite kind of doctor and he said, ”Yes, surgeons; are often like that; They prefer their patients unconscious.”
Well Jesus is the perfect combination of GP and surgeon. He knows how to show understanding and compassion. He prefers his patients, not unconscious, but alive and well. At the same time he knows every medical procedure in the book, and he has all the specialist information to address whatever it is that ails you.
THE IMPORTANCE OF FOCUS
When the Alaskan Pipeline was being built, there were many Texans who went to Alaska and found work on the pipeline. The Texans could only work a few hours in the frigid weather, yet the Eskimos, the native Alaskans, could work indefinitely in the cold.
They decided to do a study to find out why the Eskimos could withstand the weather. After much study they found that there were no physiological differences between the Eskimos and the Texans. There was nothing in skin thickness, blood, or any other thing physically that would explain the differences in the ability to withstand the temperatures. The solution came when they did a psychological study. The difference was the Eskimo said, "He knows it was cold but there was a job to be done." In other words, his focus was on the job and obtaining results rather than on the weather. The Texan focused on the weather and this kept him from focusing on the job at hand. (Taken from the Movie 5th Quarter).
You and I will focus on one of two things this week. We will either focus on how bad things are, the trials, and temptations or we will focus on Christ and His Word. Godly faith can help us to face and overcome the world we live. Whatever our troubles are: with family, loneliness, things that seem impossible, dealing with death, sin or whatever it is.
One of my favorite columns by Erma Bombeck tells of God in the act of creating mothers. She says that on the day God created mothers He had already worked long overtime. And an angel said to Him, "Lord, you sure are spending a lot of time on this one."
The Lord turned & said, "Have you read the specs on this model? She is supposed to be completely washable, but not plastic. She is to have 180 moving parts, all of them replaceable. She is to have a kiss that will heal everything from a broken leg to a broken heart. She is to have a lap that will disappear whenever she stands up. She is to be able to function on black coffee & leftovers. And she is supposed to have six pairs of hands."
"Six pairs of hands," said the angel, "that’s impossible." "It’s not the six pairs of hands that bother me." said the Lord, "It’s the three pairs of eyes. She is supposed to have one pair that sees through closed doors so that whenever she says, `What are you kids doing in there?’ she already knows what they’re doing in there."
"She has another pair in the back of her head to see all the things she is not supposed to see but must see. And then she has one pair right in front that can look at a child that just goofed & communicate love & understanding without saying a word."
"That’s too much." said the angel, "You can’t put that much in one model. Why don’t you rest for a while & resume your creating tomorrow?"
"No, I can’t," said the Lord. "I’m close to creating someone very much like myself. I’ve already come up with a model who can heal herself when she is sick - who can feed a family of six with one pound of hamburger - & who can persuade a nine year old to take a shower."
Then the angel looked at the model of motherhood a little more closely & said, "She’s too soft." "Oh, but she is tough," said the Lord. "You’d be surprised at how much this mother can do."
"Can she think?" asked the angel. "Not only can she think," said the Lord, "but she can reason & compromise & persuade."
Then the angel reached over & touched her cheek. "This one has a leak," he said. "I told you that you couldn’t put that much in one model." "That’s not a leak," said the Lord. "That’s a tear."
"What’s a tear for?" asked the angel. "Well it’s for joy, for sadness, for sorrow, for disappointment, for pride." "You’re a genius," said the angel. And the Lord said, "Oh, but I didn’t put it there."
Dr. Frederic Loomis faced the most difficult decision a physician could ever make--whether to allow a deformed baby to live or die. He had only seconds to decide. Dr. Loomis had delivered hundreds of babies, but this one was different. The infant lay in a breech position, promising at best a difficult and dangerous birth. One of its feet stretched only to the knee of the other leg. Furthermore, it was missing a thigh. The mother, a frail person visiting the sterile delivery room for her first time, was not aware of the grossly deformed child struggling to survive.
Dr. Loomis closed his eyes; at his fingertips squirmed a pitiful creature yet unborn. Would not the most loving thing be to detain the birth long enough to cause the child to be stillborn? He agonized within himself. Will this kid not be considered a freak, a twisted burden to its delicate mother? How can I justify playing a part in such a cruel drama? Surely no one will ever know if I spare this family from inevitable pain. The doctor, through the baby’s cord, felt its heartbeat--dancing in rhythm to his own wildly racing heart. As Dr. Loomis continued to prevent the birth, he felt the normal foot pressing for passage into the world. Suddenly, he could no longer justify "playing God." Instead, he would trust God to care for this child against what seemed to be impossible odds. Dr. Loomis delivered the infant into the world, which, he sensed, would be very unkind.
In the years that followed. Dr. Loomis often second-guessed his decision. He watched the anguish of the family as desperate parents sought in vain to find some correction for their child’s deformity. Even after they moved away Dr. Loomis continued to lament the burden that he had saddled upon the family. The heartache, he often said to himself, was his fault.
In time, however, Dr. Loomis would find peace. It came at an unexpected time and place--the hospital Christmas party. Typically, it was during the holiday season when his pain seemed most severe. He could not shake the image of that unfortunate child from his mind. While the world celebrated the greatest birth ever known, Dr. Loomis obsessed over the saddest birth he had ever known.
At this particular party, the most heavenly music filled the room. The sadness seemed to dissipate as the rich tones of "Silent Night" washed Dr. Loomis’ anguished spirit. Following the concert, a woman approached him. "Doctor," she said excitedly. "You saw her."
Dr. Loomis studied the woman’s face, wanting to recognize her but unable to recall the memory. "I’m sorry. I should know you, but you may need to help me."
"Don’t you remember the little girl with only one good leg, 17 years ago?"
Remember. . . it was ...
Pioneers were making their way across one of the central states to a distant place that had been opened up for homesteading. They traveled in covered wagons drawn by oxen, and progress was necessarily slow. One day they were horrified to note a long line of smoke in the west, stretching for miles across the prairie, and soon it was evident that the dried grass was burning fiercely and coming toward them rapidly. They had crossed a river the day before but it would be impossible to go back to that before the flames would be upon them. One man only seemed to have understanding as to what could be done. He gave the command to set fire to the grass behind them. Then when a space was burned over, the whole company moved back upon it.
As the flames roared on toward them from the west, a little girl cried out in terror, "Are you sure we shall not all be burned up?" The leader replied, "My child, the flames cannot reach us here, for we are standing where the fire has been!"
What a picture of the believer, who is safe in Christ! The fires of God’s judgment burned themselves out on Him, and all who are in Christ are safe forever, for they are now standing where the fire has been.
Illustrations of Bible Truth by H. A. Ironside, Moody Press, 1945, pp. 34-35
Sermon Central Staff
GOD KNOWS WHERE WE ARE
Ken Gaub wrote about an experience he had back in the 1990s:
"Do you believe that God not only loves you, but knows where you are and what you’re doing every minute of the day? I certainly do after an amazing experience I had several years ago.
"At the time I was driving on 1-75 near Dayton, Ohio, with my wife and children. We turned off the highway for a rest and refreshment stop. My wife Barbara and children went into the restaurant. I suddenly felt the need to stretch my legs, so waved them off ahead saying I’d join them later.
"I bought a soft drink, and as I walked toward a Dairy Queen, feelings of self-pity enshrouded my mind. I loved the Lord and my ministry, but I felt drained, burdened. My cup was empty.
"Suddenly the impatient ringing of a telephone nearby jarred me out of my doldrums. It was coming from a phone booth at a service station on the corner. Wasn’t anyone going to answer the phone?
"Noise from the traffic flowing through the busy intersection must have drowned out the sound because the service station attendant continued looking after his customers, oblivious to the ringing. 'Why doesn’t somebody answer that phone?' I muttered.
"I began reasoning. It may be important. What if it’s an emergency? Curiosity overcame my indifference. I stepped inside the booth and picked up the phone. 'Hello?' I said casually and took a big sip of my drink.
"The operator said: 'Long distance call for Ken Gaub.'
"My eyes widened, and I almost choked on a chunk of ice. Swallowing hard, I said, 'You’re crazy!' Then realizing I shouldn’t speak to an operator like that, I added, 'This can’t be! I was walking down the road, not bothering anyone, and the phone was ringing... '
"'Is Ken Gaub there?' the operator interrupted, 'I have a long distance call for him.'
"It took a moment to gain control of my babbling, but I finally replied, 'Yes, he is here.' Searching for a possible explanation, I wondered if I could possibly be on Candid Camera!
"Still shaken, perplexed, I asked, 'How in the world did you reach me here? I was walking down the road, the pay phone started ringing, and I just answered it on chance. You can’t mean me.'
"'Well,' the operator asked, 'Is Mr. Gaub there or isn’t he?'
"Yes, I am Ken Gaub," I said, finally convinced by the tone of her voice that the call was real.
"Then I heard another voice say, 'Yes, that’s him, operator. That’s Ken Gaub.'
"I listened dumbfounded to a strange voice identify herself. 'I’m Millie from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. You don’t know me, Mr. Gaub, but I’m desperate. Please help me.'
"'What can I do for you?'
"She began weeping. Finally she regained control and continued. 'I was about to commit suicide and had just finished writing a note, when I began to pray and tell God I really didn’t want to do this. Then I suddenly remembered seeing you on television and thought if I could just talk to you, you could help me. I knew that was impossible because I didn’t know how to reach you, I didn’t know anyone who could help me find you. Then some numbers came to my mind, and I scribbled them down.'
"At this point she began weeping again, and I prayed silently for wisdom to help her. She continued, 'I looked at the numbers and thought, "Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I had a miracle from God, and He has given me Ken’s phone number?" I decided to try calling it. I can’t believe I’m talking to you. Are you in your office in California?'
"I replied, 'Lady, I don’t have an office in California. My office is in Yakima, Washington.'
"A little surprised, she asked, 'Oh really, then where are you?'
"'Don’t you know?' I responded. 'You made the call.'
"She explained, 'But I don’t even know what area I’m calling. I just dialed the number that I had on this paper.'
"'Ma’am, you won’t believe this, but I’m in a phone booth in Dayton, Ohio!'
"'Really?' she exclaimed. 'Well, what are you doing there?'
"I kidded her gently, 'Well, I’m answering the phone. It was ringing as I walked by, so I answered it.'
"Knowing this encounter could only have been arranged by God, I began to counsel the woman. As she told me of her despair and frustration, the presence of the Holy Spirit flooded the phone booth giving me words of wisdom beyond my ability. In a matter of moments, she prayed the sinner’s prayer and met the One who would lead her out of her situation into a new life. I walked away from that telephone booth with an electrifying sense of our Heavenly Father’s concern for each of His children.
"What were the astronomical odds of this happening? With all the millions of phones and innumerable combinations of numbers, only an all-knowing God could have caused that woman to call that number in that phone booth at that moment in time. Forgetting my drink and nearly bursting with exhilaration, I headed back to my family, wondering if they would believe my story. Maybe I better not tell this, I thought, but I couldn’t contain it.
"'Barb, you won’t believe this! God knows where I am!'"
(From a sermon by David Scudder, El Roi "The Strong One who Sees" Part 2, 3/27/2011)
Jeruselem 33 AD
Jesus Christ, 33, of Nazareth died Friday on Mount Calvary, also known as Golgotha, the place of the skull. Betrayed by Judas, Jesus was crucified by the Romans, by order of the Ruler Pontius Pilate. The causes of death were extreme exhaustion, severe torture, and loss of blood.
Jesus Christ, a descendant of Abraham was a member of the house of David. He was the Son of the late Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth, and Mary, His devoted Mother. Jesus was born in a stable in the city of Bethlehem, Judea. He is survived by His mother Mary, His faithful Apostles, numerous disciples, and many other followers.
Jesus was self educated and spent most of his adult life working as a Teacher. Jesus also occasionally worked as a Medical Doctor and it is reported that he healed many patients. Up until the time of His death, Jesus was teaching and sharing the Good News, healing the sick, touching the lonely, feeding the hungry and helping the poor.
Jesus was most noted for telling parables about His father’s Kingdom and performing miracles, such as feeding over 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish, and healing a man who was born blind. On the day before His death, He held a Last Supper celebrating the Passover Feast, at which He foretold His death.
The Body was quickly buried in a stone grave, which was donated by Joseph of Arimathea, a loyal friend of the family. By order of Pontius Pilate, a boulder was rolled in front of the tomb. Roman soldiers were put on guard.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that everyone try to live as Jesus did. Donations may be sent to anyone in need.
I had this illustration sent to me this week by several well-meaning church members. As I previewed the item, it hit me the number of inaccuracies listed in the illustration that most people over-looked. Let’s consider several of them.
First of all, "The causes of death were extreme exhaustion, severe torture, and loss of blood," is wrong. It was my sin and your sin which caused His death. He willing gave His life for us that we might have a relationship with Him.
Then, "He was the Son of the late Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth," is also incorrect! He was not the son of Joseph but is the Son of God. He is Immanuel, God with us!
Third, "He is survived...by His faithful Apostles," is just wrong! They all abandoned Him. They were anything BUT faithful! So much for Peter’s never forsaking Him!
Fourth, "On the day before His death, He held a Last Supper celebrating the Passover Feast, at which He foretold His death," is incorrect. He had been telling His disciples for a year that He would die by the hands of the religious Jews and secular Romans. He was telling them this long before the final Passover meal.
Fifth, "The Body was quickly buried in a stone grave, which was donated by Joseph of Arimathea, a loyal friend of the family. By order of Pontius Pilate, a boulder was rolled in front of the tomb. Roman soldiers were put on guard," gives the impression His life was over! That was it! Life was finished. So, where is the resurrection? This implies He was simply a man who left us a wonderful legacy!
Then we discover the phrase, "In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that everyone try to live as Jesus did," makes it appear that it is our good works which get us into heaven. Friends, it can’t be done! It is impossible because Jesus was holy, righteous and without sin. Can’t say the same about us!
But the one which is so obvious is, "OBITUARIES." There can never be an obituary for one who is still alive! Jesus died and rose again to give us real life in Him! He now sits at the right hand of the Father! Even if the obit had been written on the crucifixion day, the paper would have had to run a retraction on Monday!
De-evangelizing the neighbourhood
I was at a conference a few years ago where they told the story of a church that looked as though they were really thriving: they had about 500 people attending, and had many outreach ministries reaching their community, and many people were coming to Christ and to church through their ministry.
The problem was that the church was not growing in numbers – people were leaving as quickly as they were coming in. They began to do some research on the people who were leaving and they found that the majority who left were not attending another church, they just stopped going to church all together. They realized that although the church was great at evangelism, because of their inability to hold people, they were actually de-evangelizing their neighbourhood. Those who were leaving were almost impossible to bring back into any community of faith.
The senior pastor realized that something had to be done, so he called up that last 12 people to be baptized and invited them to supper at his house. These were all new Christians and very excited to be invited to the Pastor’s house. After supper he sat them down and asked if they wanted to know the future. They all said “yes!” So he said, statistically speaking in the next 2-3 years… two of your marriages will have broken up and the shame will cause you to leave the church, three of you will have a conflict with someone in the church and you will leave the church, one will have a tragedy and lose faith and leave, two will have a moral failing and leave, and two will lose interest and drift away. In two to three years, out of this group only two of you will be attending church, and only one of you at this church. There was dead silence in the room. All these wide eyed Christians were about to say “surely not I, Lord.” When one of them spoke up a...
Since the Bible and the Ten Commandments have been taken out of our schools in the last 40+ years, we now have epidemic problems with teen pregnancy and Sexual diseases; epidemic drug and alcoholic problems, and violence in our schools to such an extent that we have never seen in the history of our Nation. SOMETHING HAPPENED IN AMERICA IN 1962: a. When our Courts ruled completely opposite to the Religious Principles our nation had been founded upon in 1962, our society has went into a moral freefall. b. Before 1962 Unwed births to girls ages 10 to 14 were steady and relatively rare. After 1962, the graph shows an increase of 325% ..... c. Sexually-transmitted Diseases to High School students were relatively rare before 1962. Since then STD’s are at epidemic proportions in our kids. d. Violent Crime since 1962 has shot up 995% e. In 1950’s a survey of teachers showed the biggest problem in schools was chewing gum and shooting spit wads. Can you believe it? f. Peter Marshall stated the following about the condition of our nation: i. He sites other indicators which point to the spiritual and moral bankruptcy of Americans: 1. There are two million Americans in prison the largest ever. 2. There are forty five million with Genital Herpes in this country. 3. There are 900,000 cases of HIV Aids in this country. 4. In Americans 10 and older 30% are carrying a sexually transmitted disease. 5. But even these indicators are not as bad as the next one he shared. He noted that 50% of Born Again believers in America do not believe in Absolute truth or in absolute principles of right and wrong. g. The Divorce rate in America since 1962 has steadily risen 111% to where America is leading the World now in divorce. h. The SAT Test as a standard measurement of education achievement for our children was began in 1926 and later standardized in 1941 as the same test we have had up until recently when it had to be ’dumbed down’. The SAT rates were steady up until 1962. Since God and prayer were kicked out of our schools in 1962 and the children were taught they evolved from mud and slime, the SAT scores declined 18 years in a row Unprecedented For the first time in history, the student’s scores were 80 points less then the previous generation of their parents Just recently our ’Educators’ from the NEA had the SAT dumbed down the test because boys and girls in America were scoring so poorly 2. This little bit of analysis shows that taking God out of our lives will cause a moral free for all in society and in the end it will destroy America and its people. The founding fathers knew this and they warned us not to believe the lies of the enemy but to follow the truth a. Here are a series of quotes from the Founding Fathers warning us not to forsake the Bible and its teachings these quotes are form the same website above and from lectures by Peter Marshall on Restoring America: “The very men who WROTE the Constitution admit that this nation and its Judicial System was founded upon the Bible and the Ten Commandments. It was done intentionally to preserve this nation from collapse.” i. James Madison - (4th President of the United States and known as the ’Father of the Constitution’) "We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." ii. John Jay was the first Chief Justice of our Supreme Court and one of the 3 top men in the formation of our Constitution. He said Americans should ’select and prefer Christians as their rulers" When is the last time you heard a Supreme Court Judge say that? iii. To show that this nation was built on the Bible and Christian Principles, listen to what Patrick Henry, that patriot and Founding Father of our country said: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not be religionists but by Christians....not on religions but ton the Gospel of Jesus Christ." iv. Listen to what our first President, George Washington, said, "It is impossible to rightly govern....without God and the Bible." v. "Can the Liberties of a Nation be secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are the gift of God." - Thomas Jefferson vi. "The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time." - Thomas Jefferson vii. "Suppose a Nation is some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited....What a Utopia What a Paradise would this Nation be" - John Adams 3. 52 of the 55 Framers of the Constitution were members of the Orthodox Established Churches in the Colonies. A Secularized United States without any reference to God and the Bible whatsoever was the farthest thing from the minds of these men. 4. In New England - 1777 - Because of the War, Bibles from England were cut off. Patrick Allison, Chaplain of Congress, placed before the Body a petition praying for immediate relief. A special Congressional Committee ordered 20,000 Bibles which were imported from Holland, Scotland, or elsewhere, into the different parts of the States of the Union. a. These Bibles were to be given to students in school so they could learn using the Bible. 5. The University of Houston was commissioned to do a 10 year study on the Founding Fathers and their writings to see their intentions and if they intended America to be founded on Christian Principles and the Bible or complete separation from religion. They surveyed over 15,000 documents of the Founding Fathers during that 10 year period. They found 3,154 direct quotes from the Founding Fathers themselves. 34% of those direct quotes were from the Bible itself 60% were from men who were directly influenced by the Bible. One example was Blackstone, whose law books were considered the basis upon our Supreme Court and Judiciary System were built, and were the Law Books of Reference for about almost 120 years. Blackstone quoted so many Bible verses in his law books that a law student named FINNEY was saved and became a great evangelist......from reading Blackstone’s Law books So they found that 94 % of the quotes of the founding fathers were either directly or indirectly from the Bible
“Knowledge in Ignorance!” Luke 2: 1-5 Key verse(s): 2: “Some of the Pharisees asked, ‘Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?’”
The story is told of a preacher who lived along a river in a northern clime. Sunday after Sunday throughout the year he would climb into his old Tin Lizzy and slowly drive down the stony road that led to the church about a mile away. His timing was impeccable; always leaving home at the appropriate time just after finishing his toast and coffee and arriving at the little clapboard church in time to unlock the doors, practice his sermon and greet the parishioners as they filed into the narthex.
One wintry Saturday night, however, a fierce storm unlike any seen in years struck the coastline. The wind blew and the snow drifted. By morning the little dirt road was impassable and the preacher knew that getting to church by the old Model T would prove impossible. Shrugging his shoulders he thought to go back into the parsonage and call the elders. Perhaps there just wouldn’t be a service that morning. He could try snow-shoeing it but that would take hours. Looking around at the wind-swept scene the preacher suddenly saw something that attracted his eye. The wind, howling through the night, had swept the snow clean from the frozen river. Although the dirt road was impassable, this highway was not. Suddenly the preacher had a brilliant idea. Picking up his Bible, he put it into a sack which he hung securely over his back. Then, donning a pair of skates, he proceeding to glide his way in the direction of the church. Although his timing was somewhat affected since he was not able to skate as fast as his car could go, he did arrive at church in time to see two of the elders pull up in a sleigh. The preacher trudged up the river bank, skates over his shoulder, and proceeded to climb the church steps and unlock the door as the two men stared in disbelief. After the service a meeting was called by the elders who were horrified that their pastor had skated to church. When confronted the pastor replied, “Well, it was either skate or not get here at all!” To which one of the elders in thoughtful reflection replied. “Did you enjoy it?” “Not particularly!” The pastor returned. “Well then.” The board unanimously replied. “Then it must be all right!”