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Richard Whately said it well when he wrote: “It is generally true that all that is required to make men unmindful of what they owe God for any blessing is that they should receive that blessing often and regularly.”
And that is so true. If we’re not careful, we can become like Oprah’s audience—like the children of Israel—complaining, grumbling, murmuring—ungrateful.
From Donald Minshew’s Sermon: A Gospel Proclaimed
CARTA DE SATÁNAS
Te vi ayer cuando comenzabas tus tareas diarias. Te levantaste sin ni siquiera orar a tu "Dios". En todo el día no hiciste nada de oración; de hecho, ni recordaste bendecir tus alimentos. Eres muy desagradecido con tu Dios, y eso me gusta de ti. También me agradaba la enorme flojera que demuestras siempre en lo que se refiere a tu crecimiento cristiano. Rara vez lees la Biblia y cuando lo haces estás cansado. Oras muy poco y muchas veces recitas palabras que no meditas.
Por cualquier pretexto llegas tarde o faltas a tus reuniones de formación. ¿qué decir de tus quejas?, al cooperar en la evangelización o diezmo. Todo eso es útil para mí. No puedo describirte como me alegra que en todo éste tiempo en que estás siguiendo a tu Dios, no hayas cambiado tu manera de comportarte.
Tantos años, y sigues como al principio, crees que no tienes nada que cambiar. Me encantas. Recuerda que tú y yo hemos pasado muchos años juntos, y aún te detesto. Es más, te odio porque odio a tu Padre. Solamente te estoy usando para molestarlo. Él me echa del Cielo y yo voy a utilizarte mientras pueda para vengarme de Él. Mira ignorante, tu eres tan idiota que me has cedido tu existencia y yo voy a hacer que vivas un verdadero infierno en vida.
Aún estaremos juntos doblemente, y esto realmente va a dolerle a tu Dios. Con tu cooperación voy a mostrar quien realmente es el que gobierna tu vida. Con todos los momentos rendidos que nos hemos pasado. Hemos disfrutado juntos muchas películas XXX, y ¿qué decir de las veces que hemos ido a los "espectáculos artísticos en vivo?" Aquel día de tu debilidad con aquella persona simpática, ¡que bien nos la pasamos!. Pero más me agrada que no te arrepientes, sino que reconoces que eres joven y tienes derecho a gozar la vida, piensas que solo eres cuerpo y no tienes un alma que guardar para la eternidad. No hay duda: eres de los míos.
Disfruto mucho los chistes colorados que dices, y que escuchas. Te ríes por lo gracioso de ellos, yo me río de ver a un hijo de Dios participando en eso. El hecho es que ambos la pasamos bien. La música, vulgar y de doble sentido que escuchas me encanta. ¿Cómo sabes cuales son los grupos que me gusta escuchar? También disfruto mucho cuando difamas y te revelas contra tu Dios. Me siento feliz cuando te veo bailando y haciendo ese tipo de movimientos que tanto fascinan, ¡cómo lo disfruto! Ciertamente cuando vas y te diviertes sanamente, me desilusionas, pero no hay problema, siempre habrá otra oportunidad.
Hay veces que me haces servicios increíbles cuando das malos ejemplos a los niños o cuando les permites que se desvíen de su inocencia, por medio de la televisión o cosas por el estilo. Son tan perceptivos que fácilmente imitan lo que ven. Te lo agradezco mucho. Lo que más me agrada es que rara vez tengo que tentarte, casi siempre caes por tu cuenta.
Buscas los momentos propicios, te expones a situaciones peligrosas; buscas mis ambientes. Si tuvieras algo de sesos cambiarías de ambiente y compañías; recurrirías a la Iglesia y entregarías realmente tu vida al que dices llamar "tu Dios", y aún vivir más el resto de tus años
bajo la guía del Espíritu Santo. No acostumbro enviar este tipo de mensajes, pero eres tan conformista espiritualmente que no creo que vayas a cambiar.
No mal entiendas, aún te odio y no me interesas en lo más mínimo. Si te busco es porque me agrada tu manera de comportarte y hace quedar en ridículo a Jesucristo.
Tu enemigo que te odia. Satanás, o como me quieras llamar.
LETTER FROM SATAN
I saw you yesterday when starting your daily tasks. You got up without even praying to your "God." All day you did not prayer, in fact, nor remember to bless your food. You are very ungrateful to your God, and I like you. I also liked the enormous laziness you always you show with respect to your Christian growth. You rarely read the Bible and when you do, you're tired.
For any pretext you are late or miss your training sessions. What about your complaints? To cooperate in evangelism and tithe. All that is useful for me. I can not describe how I am glad that all this time you are following your God, have not changed your way of behaving.
Many years and still as before, you think you have nothing to change. I love it. Remember that you and I have spent many years together, and you still hate it. Moreover, I hate you because I hate your father. I'm only used to bother him. He throws me out of Heaven and I'm going to use you as can to get back at him look ignorant, you are so stupid that you have given me your life and I'll make you live a living hell.
Still we'll be together twice, and this really going to hurt your God. With your cooperation I will show who really is the ruler of your life. With every moment that we have been rendered. We enjoyed together many XXX films, and what about the times we have gone to "live art shows?" That day of your weakness with that nice, that well we spent!. But I like that you do not repent, but recognize that you are young and have the right to enjoy life, think that only you body and you have a soul saved for eternity. Without a doubt, you are mine.
I enjoy the dirty jokes you say, and you listen. You laugh at them funny, I laugh to see a child of God participating in it. The fact is that both had a good time. The music, vulgar and double meaning that listeners love it. How do you know which are the bands I like to listen? I also enjoy when you reveal yourself against slander and your God. I feel happy when I see you dancing and doing that kind of movement that both fascinated, how I enjoy it! Certainly when you're healthy and have fun, I'm disappointed, but no problem, there is always another chance.
Sometimes you make me incredible service when you give bad examples to children or when they allow the diversion of his innocence, through television or the like. They are so perceptive that easily imitate what they see. Thank you very much. What I like is that rarely do I have to tempt almost always fall on your own.
Looking for the time was right, you are exposed to dangerous situations're my environments. If you had some brains change about the environment and companies, resort to the Church and hand over your life to really call you say "your God" and still live the rest of your years under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I do not usually send such messages, but you are so conformist spirit that do not think you're going to change.
Do not misunderstand, I hate you and do not even interest me in the slightest. If you seek is because I like the way you behave and make a fool of Jesus Christ.
Your enemy who hates you. Satan, or whatever you call me.
Back in 1988, a Polish railway worker named Jan Grzebski was hit by a train. He lived ... but only barely. For the next 19 years (until the year 2007), Grzebski was in a coma.
He awoke in 2007 to a whole new world. Nineteen years earlier, Poland was a communist state. Grzebski noted that back then meat was rationed and there were huge lines at nearly every gas station. And, "there was only tea and vinegar in the shops."
But 19 years later, he awoke to a free nation where he said there were "people on the streets with cell phones and there are so many goods in the shops it makes my head spin."
But something puzzled him. "What amazes me is all these people who walk around with their mobile phones and yet they never stop moaning."
These people had freedom, and food and wealth greater than Poland had had for decades ... and yet Grzebski woke from his coma to find that ALL they seemed to want to do was grumble!
If you don’t get into the habit of thanking God for what you DO have, you’ll soon become ungrateful because what you DON’T have.
A Religion Professor named Dr. Christianson taught a required survey of Christianity course at small college. Every freshman was required to take the course regardless of his or her major. Although he tried hard to communicate the gospel, students viewed the class as nothing more than a waste of time.
One particular year Dr. Christianson had a student named Steve. Steve was the Center for the college football team and also a strong Christian who intended on going to Seminary. One day Dr. Christianson had an idea and he asked Steve to stay after class. "How many push ups can you do?" He asked. Steve said, "I do 200 every night." The professor asked Steve if he could do 300. "I have never done 300 before" Steve said, "but I think I can do it." "Good," the professor said, and he proceeded to tell his plan to Steve.
Friday came and Steve got to class early. Dr. Christianson came in with a large box of fluffy, cream filled doughnuts. The class was excited, it was Friday the last class of the day, and they could start their weekend early. Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the row and asked, "Cynthia would you like a donut?" "Yes," she said. Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?" "Sure." Steve jumped down out of his desk and counted off ten push ups. Dr. Christianson laid the donut on Cynthia’s desk. Joe was next. He asked Joe the same question and Joe said "yes." Steve did 10 more pushups and the professor laid the doughnut on Joe’s desk. And so it went all the way down the first row and half way down the second until it came to Scott. He was a basketball player and friendly to female companionship. Scott replied to the professor’s question by saying, "I want the doughnut if I can do my own push ups." Dr. Christianson said, "No Steve has to do the pushups." Then Scott said, "Well I don’t want one if I can’t do my own." Dr. Christian turned around and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push ups so Scoot can have a donut he doesn’t want." Scott said, "hey! I said I didn’t want one!" Dr. Christianson said, "Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and these are my donuts, Just leave it on the desk if you don’t want it." And he put the donut on Scott’s desk.
Steve had begun to slow down a little and sweat had began to form on his cheeks. Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Students were beginning to get a little angry. Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?" Sternly, Jenny said, "NO!" Then Dr. Christianson asked, "Steve, would you do ten more push ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn’t want?" Steve did ten-Jenny got a doughnut.
By now a sense of uneasiness had filled the room. The students were all beginning to say "no." There were uneaten donuts on every desk. Steve was now putting forth a lot of extra effort to get the pushups done for each doughnut. A small pool of sweat was on the floor, his face was red, and you could see the sweat soaking through his shirt.
Dr. Christianson asked Robert, the most vocal unbeliever in class, to watch to make sure Steve did the full ten. Dr. Christianson started down the forth row. Students from other classes had came in and were sitting along the side of the room watching on. When the professor saw them he counted and saw that there were now 34 people in the room. He was worried about Steve, "Could he do that many push ups?" Jason, a recent transfer student, didn’t know what was going on and came in to see. The class yelled, "Go away! Don’t come in!" Steve picked up his head and said, "let him come in." Jason was asked and he said "yes." "Steve will you do ten push ups so Jason can have a donut?" Steve did ten pushups very slowly and with great struggle. Jason, confused, was handed a donut and he sat down. Dr. Christianson then finished the fourth row and began on the visitors. Steves arms were shaking uncontrolably with each push up. By this time sweat was pouring off of his face and arms. The very last two students were cheerleaders. "Linda, do you want a donut?" Linda cried and said, "no thank you." Professor turned to Steve, "Steve would you do ten push ups so Linda can have a donut she doesn’t want?" Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push ups for Linda. The last girl was Susan. "Susan would you like a donut?" Susan was full of tears and did n...
We live in an era of unkept promises. Nations sign important treaties and then break them at will. And many couples show little regard for their wedding vows. In this kind of society, we who are God¡¦s people should be known for keeping our promises.
The brilliant Christian scholar and writer C. S. Lewis took that truth seriously. He was determined to pay what he had vowed. His biography tells of the suffering he endured because he kept a promise he had made to a buddy during World War I. This friend was worried about the care of his wife and small daughter if he should be killed in battle, so Lewis assured him that if that were to happen he would look after them. As the war dragged on, the man was killed. True to his word, Lewis took care of his frie...
This past week, Josie received a rather interesting story via the e-mail that I would like to paraphrase for you this morning. Unfortunately, I do not know the name of the author. However, I do know that it was written by one of the students who witnessed this experiential sermon in a small Christian college, somewhere in the western United States. It happened during an introductory course in Christian theology. The professor who taught this course was named Dr. Christianson.
Every student was required to take this course his or her freshman year, regardless of their major. Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the Gospel to his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery. Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take the course, and subsequently, Christianity seriously.
There was, however, one special student in his class. Steve had entered college with the intent of later going on to seminary to study for the ordained ministry, and so he took this course seriously. Steve was also popular among the student body. He was not only well liked, he was an imposing physical specimen. Even as a freshman, he was the starting center on the school football team.
One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to remain after class in order to talk with him. Dr. Christianson then asked Steve, “How many push-ups can you do?”
Steve responded, “I do about 200 every night.”
“Well, that pretty good, Steve,” Dr. Christianson responded. Then he asked “Do you think you could do 300?”
“I don’t know,” Steve answered. “I’ve never done 300 at a time.”
“Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it,” the professor asked.
Steve said, “Well… I think I can… Yeah, I can do it.” Dr. Christianson said, “Good. I need you to do this on Friday. Let me explain what I have in mind.”
Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started the professor pulled out a huge box of donuts. Now, these weren’t the normal kind of donuts. They were the extra fancy, BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting. Everyone in the class became excited. It was Friday, the last class of the day, and it looked as though they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson’s class.
Dr. Christianson then went to the first girl in the first row and asked, “Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts?” “Yes,” she replied.
Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?”
“Sure,” Steve said, as he jumped down to the floor in front of his desk and did a quick ten. Then he returned to his seat. Dr. Christianson then put a donut on Cynthia’s desk, and went to the next person in the row and asked, “Joe, would you like a donut?”
Joe said “Yes.” And again, Dr. Christianson asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Joe can have a donut?” And again, Steve hit the
floor and did a quick ten. And so it went, down the first row of students. Steve did ten push-ups for every person before they got their donut.
Then Dr. Christianson started down the second row, and came to Scott. Scott was on the basketball team, and an athlete in his own right. When Scott was asked if he wanted a donut, he responded by saying, “Well, can I do my own push-ups?” Dr. Christianson responded, “No. Steve has to do them.” Scott then said, “Then I don’t want one.”
Dr. Christianson shrugged his shoulders, turned to Steve, and asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a donut that he doesn’t want?” And in obedience, Steve started to do ten push-ups. Scott then said, “Hey, I said I didn’t want one.”
Dr. Christianson retorted, “Look, this is my classroom, my class, and my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don’t want it.” And he put a donut on Scott’s desk.
By this time, Steve had begun to slow down. He just stayed on the floor between sets, because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see perspiration coming out around his brow. And as Dr. Christianson started down the third row, the students were beginning to get angry. “Jenny, do you want a donut?” he asked. And as sternly as she could, she said “No.” But again, Steve did ten for the donut that Jenny didn’t want.
By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students were all beginning to say “No,” and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get his push-ups done for each donut. A small pool of sweat formed on the floor from beneath his face. The class could clearly see that his arms and brow were red from the physical effort involved.
Dr. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some other students from other classes had wandered in and sat on the steps along the side wall of the classroom. When the professor realized this, he did a quick count, and realized that there were now 35 students in the room. He began to worry if Steve would be able to make it, because it was taking him much longer to complete each set.
When he came to the end of the last row, he asked Steve, “Do you think we should give a donut to these five, who are not members of our class? You realize that if we do, you will need to do ten push-ups for each one.
Steve picked up his head, his arms now visibly shaking from exhaustion, and said, “Give them a donut. But do I have to touch my nose to the floor on each push-up?” Dr. Christianson thought for a moment and said, “Well, they’re your push-ups. You are in charge...