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Illustration results for Enslaving

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Michael McCartney
 
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SAINT PATRICK

Historical Background of Patrick:

Patrick lived in the fifth century, a time of rapid change and transition. In many ways we might say that those times of turbulence and uncertainty were not unlike our own. The Roman Empire was beginning to break up, and Europe was about to enter the so-called Dark Ages. Rome fell to barbarian invaders in 410. Within ten years of that time, the Roman forces began to leave Britain to return to Rome to defend positions back home. Life, once so orderly and predictable under Roman domination, now became chaotic and uncertain. Patrick entered the world of that time (Joyce).

Partick’s biography is as follows: By Anita Mc Sorley

The uncontested, if somewhat unspecific, biographical facts about Patrick are as follows: Patrick was born Patricius somewhere in Roman Britain to a relatively wealthy family. He was not religious as a youth and, in fact, claims to have practically renounced the faith of his family. While in his teens, Patrick was kidnapped in a raid and transported to Ireland, where he was enslaved to a local warlord and worked as a shepherd until he escaped six years later. He returned home and eventually undertook studies for the priesthood with the intention of returning to Ireland as a missionary to his former captors. It is not clear when he actually made it back to Ireland, or for how long he ministered there, but it was definitely for a number of years. By the time he wrote the Confession and the "Letter to Coroticus," Patrick was recognized by both Irish natives and the Church hierarchy as the bishop of Ireland. By this time, also, he had clearly made a permanent commitment to Ireland and intended to die there. Scholars have no reason to doubt that he did. He died on March 17 the day we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

 
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THE LION AND THE DOG

D.L. Moody one time saw a man beat his dog at a zoo one time because he was mad at him. He had made a bet and boasted about him being so obedient and when he tried to get the dog to so something he wanted, it wouldn’t do it and he lost his bet. He got so mad at that dog and just beat him and beat him and beat him mercilessly.

Finally, after he was wounded and bleeding and whimpering, he threw him in the lion's cage so that the lion would eat him. And that poor whimpering, beaten, pitiful dog, standing shaking on his legs was in the presence of that great lion. And that lion came over to that dog and sniffed him and then he begin to lick that little dog and the dog laid down and the lion laid down there just keeping him warm and licking his wounds. And the man, after a little while felt sorry for the dog and told the man to let him have his dog back. And the person in charge of the lion cage who had seen him beat that dog said, "Fine, you can have your dog back. But you're going to have to go in there and get him yourself!"

And that's the way it is with me and you – we were…
--beaten
--bruised
--battered

By sins and sin, and now the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Jesus, has taken us in and has healed our wounds and now protects us from the enemy that once enslaved us!

(From a sermon by Ricky Nelms, The Power To Become, 7/22/2010)

 
Contributed By:
Michael Walther
 
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AT WAR WITH OUR VICES

On July 4, 1776 fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence. Citing numerous abuses of the law and the oppressive and unjust rule of the king of England, these men pledged their honor, their lives and their livelihood to the cause of justice and freedom. We have them and many others to thank for the freedoms we now enjoy in this country. The struggle for freedom didn't end with them. Evil is always present and always eager to enslave us. The Revolutionary War, and many others like it over the years, was just part of a much deeper and difficult struggle that has gone on in the lives of human beings since the beginning of the world.

Signer of the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Franklin referred to this struggle in one of his famous sayings: "Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbor, and let every new year find you a better man." The struggle for freedom, the struggle for good, the struggle for peace in this world is not just the matter of occasional wars or political debates. This struggle rests at the heart and core of every human being. It begins within each of us as Franklin said so well: "Be at war with your vices." This is also what God teaches us to do in an even more significant way as we heard in these words of Paul:

I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7.23-25

 
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Kenneth Squires
 
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The book “Will Daylight Come?” by Richard Hoefler, illustrates the truth, that forgiveness frees and unforgiveness enslaves.
A little boy visiting his grandparents was given his first slingshot. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit his target. As he came back to grandma’s back yard, he spied her pet duck. On an impulse he took aim and let it fly. The stone hit its target.
The boy panicked. Desperately he hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to look and see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch that day, Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally said, “Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn’t you, Johnny?” And she whispered to him, “Remember the duck!” So Johnny did the dishes.

Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing. Grandma said, “I’m sorry, but I need Sally to help make supper.” Sally smiled and said, “That’s all taken care of, Johnny wants to do it.” Again she whispered, “Remember the duck.” Johnny stayed while Sally went fishing.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, he could...

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ST. PATRICK: STONES SQUASHED IN THE MUD

As a young boy Patrick lived a comfortable life near an English coastal city where his father was a deacon in their church. But at the age of 16, all that came to an end. Irish pirates attacked his village, abducting Patrick and many of the household servants. After arriving in Ireland, Patrick was sold as a slave to a Druid tribal chieftain who forced Patrick to work with a herd of pigs.

In the midst of all that pig filth, God began to transform Patrick's heart. In his Confessions he wrote, "I was sixteen and knew not the true God, but in a strange land the Lord opened my unbelieving eyes, and I was converted." Patrick became convinced that the kidnapping and homesickness were actually opportunities to know Christ better. "Anything that happens to me," he wrote, "whether pleasant or distasteful, I ought to accept with [serenity] giving thanks to God ... who never disappoints."

After serving as a slave for six years, Patrick escaped, boarded a boat, and found his way back home. Finally, he was back on British soil, warmly embraced by his family and his community. In his own mind, Patrick was finished with Ireland for good. Patrick was adamant: "It is not in my nature to show divine mercy toward the very ones who once enslaved me."

But once again, God changed Patrick's heart. Partially through a dramatic dream, Patrick knew that God had called him to return to Ireland--not as a slave, but as a preacher of the gospel. His family and friends tried to stop him, telling him, "Why does this fellow waste himself among dangerous enemies who don't even know God?"

Despite their objections, Patrick used his own money to purchase a boat and sail back to Ireland in A.D. 432. Patrick then spent the rest of his life preaching the gospel in Ireland, seeing many people come to Christ. He also passionately defended the human rights of slaves, writing a letter of scathing protest to King Coroticus after his soldiers had raided a village, slaughtered the men and sold the women into slavery.

Patrick never got over what God had done for Him. In his Confessions he wrote, "I was a dumb stone lying squashed in the mud; the Mighty and Merciful God came, dug me out and set me on top of the wall. Therefore, I praise him and ought to render him something for his wonderful benefits to me both now and in eternity." (John W. Cowart, People Whose Faith Got Them into Trouble. InterVarsity Press, 1990, pp. 31-42)

Like Patrick, we too were dumb stones lying squashed in the mud, but our Mighty and Merciful God came, dug us out, and put us into his magnificent, holy temple so that together we could bring Him glory the rest of our lives.

(From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Living Stones, 5/19/2011)

 
Contributed By:
Julian Silva
 
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Out of those missionaries comes another name to mind, that of Jack Hetzel. Another name commonly heard throughout the Frankfurt area. Having a choice to remind in the States, or go abroad...Jack, being a man of vision, decided to go to Europe and there began a missionary ministry for our Service men and women, and also started a ministry for the German people in the area. Through his ministry, many have been saved, and brought to a complete knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Many from all denominations have gathered together to praise God for his mighty out-pouring in the Frankfurt area.
Once a mighty man of God said while returning from one of his crusades in Europe, "But I have been shocked to find that while I have been evangelizing the world - the pagan - the heathen. Atheistic forces have been enslaving the minds of my own people. Now, I come home to find a new generation of wonderful youth becoming educated pagans. Now, our own youth are saying, ’Where is God? If there is a God, prove it!’"
How many times this has been happening! Our missionaries abroad are giving their lifes to proclaim this wonderful gospel of Christ, while we, here at home, are forgetting Christ. We are becoming bored with the message!

 
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Peter Loughman
 
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REAL FAITH

The classic test an atheist will give to prove there is no God is this: "If there is a God, let him kill me right now". When nothing happens, they will confidently claim, "See there is no God, for I am still alive and well." Now if we were to ask the atheist, "What if someone came up to you at this very moment and shot you? Would that prove that there is a God?" "No, of course not", the atheist would respond, "God has to do it himself".

Oh, I see how it is.

We set the parameters of the possible results, we set the goals that must be achieved, we set the process to work out the results...so when events happen, or when events don't happen THEN we know our faith is real or not, THEN we know if something is real or not.

In the early days of the church, thousands of Christians were chased down, enslaved, imprisoned and murdered -- Was their faith not real, was their faith not strong enough, because things obviously didn't work out for them. Today in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Christians are enslaved, imprisoned and murdered -- Is their faith not real enough, is their faith not strong enough, because clearly, things are not working out for them either...

 
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Donnie  Martin
 
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George Sweeting, in his book The No-Guilt Guide for Witnessing, tells of a man by the name of John Currier who in 1949 was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Later he was transferred and paroled to work on a farm near Nashville, Tennessee.
In 1968, Currier’s sentence was terminated, and a letter bearing the good news was sent to him. But John never saw the letter, nor was he told anything about it. Life on that farm was hard and without promise for the future. Yet John kept doing what he was told even after the farmer for whom he worked had died.
Ten years went by. Then a state parole officer learned about Currier’s plight, found him, and told him that his sentence had been terminated. He was a free man.
Sweeting concluded that story by asking, “Would it matter to you if someone sent you an important message—the most important in your life—and year after y...

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Contributed By:
Ray Searan
 
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The prodigal son came to his father and said, "I want to be free. Give me what is mine." Then he wandered into the far country, saying, "I’m free! I’m free!" However, his freedom was brief. His friends left him when his money ran out, and he found himself enslaved to a Gentile taskmaster and to a group of hogs in the hog mire. It was not until he came home and submitted to the father that he really found freedom.

 
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Don Jones
 
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George Sweeting, in his book The No-Guilt Guide for Witnessing, tells of a man by the name of John Currier who in 1949 was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Later he was transferred and paroled to work on a farm near Nashville, Tennessee.

In 1968, Currier’s sentence was terminated, and a letter bearing the good news was sent to him. But John never saw the letter, nor was he told anything about it. Life on that farm was hard and without promise for the future. Yet John kept doing what he was told even after the farmer for whom he worked had died.

Ten years went by. Then a state parole officer learned about Currier’s plight, found him, and told him that his sentence had been terminated. He was a free man.

Sweeting concluded that story by asking, "Would it matter to you if someone sent you an important message -- the most important in your life -- and year after year the urgent message was never delivered?"

We who have heard the good news and experienced freedom through Christ are responsible to proclaim it to others still enslaved by sin. Are we doing all we can to make sure that people get the message?

 
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