Illustration results for Examples Of Faith
70 FUNERALS IN ONE DAY
During a forty-year ministry, I would guess that many pastors do seventy or more burials. But this wasn't over the full span of his ministry. In fact, it wasn't even a full year. In one day, Pastor Rinkart did burial rites for up to seventy people and did the same the next day and the next.
The year was 1637. He was the only pastor left in Eilenburg, Germany. This was the height of the Thirty-Years War that had start in 1618. By 1637 one army after another had pillaged the fields of Germany for nearly twenty years. Refugees fled to walled cities such as Eilenburg. Famine and plague ran rampant. In 1637 Pastor Rinkart buried nearly 4,500 people including many of his coworkers and his own dear wife.
Yet during this war that would bring such devastation, this same Pastor, Martin Rinkart, in the year 1630 wrote the words: "Nun danket alle Gott Mit Herzen, Mund und HĂ¤nden." What an example of the Apostle's words, "[W]e also rejoice in our sufferings" (Romans 5:3 NIV).
Now granted, the worst of the war came after he wrote those words, and I don't now how often he would have sung them during that dreadful year of 1637. And yet his faithful service throughout that year and onward certainly confesses a faith that was able to rejoice in suffering. How can we imitate that faith as we put into practice the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 5?
In his book, Just As I Am, Billy Graham writes of the following event.
"One summer while in New Jersey, I was having lunch at a roadside diner when I was greeted by a big, smiling man whose eyes grew large as he studied me. “Hallelujah!” he shouted, grabbing and pumping my hand. “What an answer to prayer! I was just sitting here praying that I might meet Billy Graham, and in you walk! I didn’t even know you were on the East Coast.” He introduced himself as Dr. Theodore Elsner, a preacher from Philadelphia. “I have a great burden on my heart,” he said. “It’s a message that I believe is from the Lord. Billy, you must go on national radio. You know Dr. Maier the great Lutheran theologian and radio preacher from St. Louis is dead, and you’re the man God could use to touch America through radio.” I did not know what to think. Dr. Elsner urged me to contact Fred Dienert, his son-in-law, and Walter Bennett, a Christian who was also a radio agent. Impressed though I was by this abrupt meeting, I did not look up either Mr. Dienert or Mr. Bennett; indeed, I pretty much forgot the whole idea. I was so busy that I could not imagine adding anything else to my plate. A few weeks later I was speaking at a conference in Michigan. Two well-dressed strangers approached me and introduced themselves as Fred Dienert and Water Bennett. I did not know whether Dr. Elsner had spoken with them since he had met me, but their mission was to interest me in a national radio program. I was still president of Northwestern schools, still active with Youth For
Christ, and spinning in a whirlwind of national interest in our evangelistic Crusades. I told Fred and Walter that I appreciated their interest but simply could not do a radio program at the time. My closet advisers - Cliff, Bev, and Grady- concurred; it was out of the question. Later, in Portland, these two extremely persistent men repeatedly lay in ambush to catch me. All they wanted, they claimed, was five minutes of my time. I got so irritated with their pestering that sometimes I took a back elevator to avoid them. I finally told Grady to let them know I was not interested in their scheme to get me into broadcasting. Leave me alone was my message.
"As I came out of the hotel one night, continues Billy Graham, there they were. “We want to say good-bye,” one of them said. “We’re leaving tonight for Chicago.” “All right, fellows,” I said laughingly, “if before midnight tonight I should get $25,000 for the purpose of a radio broadcast, I’ll take that as an answer to prayer and be willing to do a national broadcast.” The thought was so incredible to them that they laughed along with me before heading for the airport.
More than 17,000 people were at the meeting that night. Just before introducing my friend Bob Pierce for a brief report on his travels in the Far East, I told them about the burden Walter and Fred had for broadcasting the Gospel, and the $25,000 condition I had laid down. The audience joined in my laugh. After Bob spoke, I preached and then extended the Invitation to receive Christ. Afterward, in the little room set aside for me in the tabernacle, a number of people dropped by to greet me. Several of them said they believed God had spoken to them during the service about helping us go on national radio. They began to leave cash, checks, and pledges. I couldn’t believe it.!
“Billy,” said Frank Phillips when everybody had left, “people have given us $24,000 tonight for radio!” Their confidence and generosity were enough to make me weep. But how could this be God’s answer? It was $1000 short. I told Grady, Cliff, Ruth, and Frank that maybe the Devil could give us that much to mislead us. We agreed to say nothing to anyone else about the funds and went out to eat, which was our custom after the service. We got back to the hotel about eleven-thirty.
“There are two letters here for you, Mr. Graham,” said the desk clerk. Postmarked two days earlier, they were from people I hardly knew- businessmen Howard Butt and Bill Mead. Both said they believed we should go on radio and that they wanted to be the first to contribute. And each enclosed a $500 check! Stunned, I bowed my head and said a silent prayer. Emotion so overcame me that I could not think straight. Clearly, the funds had come form God.
Then, when I turned to go to the elevator, who should be standing in the lobby but Walter and Fred! They had been at the airport, they said, but something had told them not to get on the plane. I put my hands on a shoulder of each man. “Sign us up for radio for at least thirteen weeks,” I told them. “God has answered prayer. We have the $25,000. We’ll take this as a step of faith.”
That radio show, that was begun with $25,000 that Billy Graham never expected to see was The Hour of Decision. And it was enough.
How Much Does Prayer Weigh?
Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food. John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store.
Visualizing the family needs, she said: ’Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can."
John told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.
Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocerman that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.
The grocerman said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?
Louise replied "Yes sir"
"O.K." he said, put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries."
Louise, hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed. The eyes of the grocerman and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down.
The grocerman staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can’t believe it." The customer smiled and the grocerman started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more. The grocerman stood there in utter disgust.
Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement. It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer which said: "Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands."
The grocerman gave her the groceries that he had gathered and placed on the scales and stood in stunned silence. Louise thanked him and left the store. The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to John as he said, "It was worth every penny of it."
It was sometime later that John Longhouse discovered the scales were broken; therefore, only God knows how much a prayer weighs.
There was a man who got lost in the desert. After wandering around for a long time his throat became very dry, about that time he saw a little shack in the distance.
He made his way over to the shack and found a water pump with a small jug of water and a note.
The note read: "pour all the water into the top of the pump to prime it, if you do this you will get all the water you need". Now the man had a choice to make, if he trusted the note and poured the water in and it worked he would have all the water he needed. If it didn’t work he would still be thirsty and he might die. Or he could choose to drink the water in the jug and get immediate satisfaction, but it might not be enough and he still might die. After thinking about it the man decided to risk it. He poured the entire jug into the pump and began to work the handle, at first nothing happened and he got a little scared but he kept going and water started coming out. So much water came out he drank all he wanted, took a shower, and filled all the containers he could find. Because he was willing to give up momentary satisfaction, he got all the water he needed. Now the note also said: after you have finished, please refill the jug for the next traveller.” The man refilled the jug and added to the note: “ Please prime the pump, believe me it works”!
We have the same choice to make...
During the 1970’s when the San Diego Chargers had Dan Fouts as quarterback, in 1 particular game, both Fouts and the team were having a bad day. With 2 minutes remaining in the game, San Diego was down 14-0. Frustrations were high so the coach pulled the star Fouts and put in the backup quarterback, Bobby Douglas. As Douglas strapped on his helmet with anticipation, he bolted onto the field, heading for the huddle. Suddenly, he stopped in his tracks, turned to the coach and yelled, “Coach, do you want me to win the game, or just tie it?” What a great statement! Do we have that kind of confidence in Jesus Christ? Do we trust Him to just get by or to heal totally?
R. Kent Hughes, in his book, James—Faith That Works, shares this story.
"It is said that Napoleon, while looking at some papers, let slip the bridle of his horse, which reared so that the Emperor was in danger. A corporal of the grenadiers leaped forward and caught the bridle, bringing the horse under control. Napoleon saluted the corporal and said, “Thank you, Captain.” “Of what company, Sire?” asked the corporal. “Of my guards,” replied Napoleon. The young corporal picked up his musket, hurled it aside, and walked across the field toward the emperor’s staff, tearing of his corporal stripes as he went. When he took his place among the officers, they asked him what he was doing. He replied that he was a captain of the guards. “By whose order?” queried one of them. “The Emperor’s order,” he replied. A man of less faith might have picked up his musket, stepped back into the ranks, and boasted for the rest of his life that Napoleon had called him a captain. This describes the difference between mental assent and true faith, which takes God at His word and acts upon it"(Hughes, p. 120).
Truett Cathy, founder or Chick-fil-A shows he know what Jesus Would Do. Since 1948 he has lost millions of dollars because he will not have the restaurants open on Sunday. He has cared for children by developing the foster home system called WinShape Homes. His favorite truisms is "It’s easier to build boys and girls than to mend men and women." He is a man with a purpose to serve God. Woody Faulk, an orphan who Mr Cathy put to work, and is now a vice president of the firm says everyone knows that Mr Cathy personifices James 1:22 "Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."
Story: At a comparative religions conference, the wise and the scholarly were in a spirited debate about what is unique about Christianity.
Someone suggested what set Christianity apart from other religions was the concept of incarnation, the idea that God took human form in Jesus. But someone quickly said, “Well, actually, other faiths believe that God appears in human form.”
Another suggestion was offered: what about resurrection? The belief that death is not the final word. That the tomb was found empty. Someone slowly shook his head. Other religions have accounts of people returning from the dead.
Then, as the story is told, C.S. Lewis walked into the room, tweed jacket, pipe, arm full of papers, a little early for his presentation. He sat down and took in the conversation, which had by now evolved into a fierce debate. Finally during a lull, he spoke saying, “what’s all this rumpus about?”
Everyone turned in his direction. Trying to explain themselves they said, “We’re debating what’s unique about Christianity.”
“Oh, that’s easy,” answered Lewis. “It’s grace.”
The room fell silent.
Lewis continued that Christianity uniquely claims God’s love comes free of charge, no strings attached. No other religion makes that claim.
After a moment someone commented that Lewis had a point, Buddhists, for example, follow an eight-fold path to enlightenment. It’s not a free ride.
Hindus believe in karma, that your actions continually affect the way the world will treat you; that there is nothing that comes to you not set in motion by your actions.
Someone else observed the Jewish code of the law implies God has requ...
The importance of really living the Christian life is illustrated in the life of the famous author Mark Twain. Church leaders were largely to blame for his becoming hostile to the Bible and the Christian faith. As he grew up, he knew elders and deacons who owned slaves and abused them. He heard men using foul language and saw them practice dishonesty during the week after speaking piously in church on Sunday. He listened to ministers use the Bible to justify slavery. Although he saw genuine love for the Lord Jesus in some people, including his mother and his wife, he was so disturbed by the bad teaching and poor example of church leaders, that he became bitter toward the things of God.
The town was being overcome with drought. The crops were dying, the livestock was thinning out, fresh water supplies were severely diminished. The town decided to gather at the church house and pray for rain. That night as the preached entered the church building he was pleased to see so many gathered for this event, yet he was overjoyed as he went to the front, for there in the front row was a little girl, and she had her umbrella with her.