Illustration results for stubbornness
MUFFET AND THE YOKE
Ron Hutchcraft comments, "Once upon a time, there was a heifer named Muffet. She lived on a little dairy farm in the Ozarks. So did my wife - who wasn't my wife then. She was the farmer's young daughter then, and she tells me that Muffet had a harder life than some of the other heifers, but it was her own fault.
See, Muffet was a stubborn heifer. Would she stay inside the fence that was there for her protection? Oh no! She found ways to crawl through that fence. Which meant Muffet got a yoke attached to her head - a sturdy Y-shaped branch that made it impossible for her to get her head outside that fence. Now, it was a nuisance; a nuisance made necessary by Muffet's stubbornness."
In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy waters below. News of the disaster was further darkened when an investigation revealed the cause of the accident. It wasn’t a technology problem like radar malfunction—or even thick fog. The cause was human stubbornness. Each captain was aware of the other ship’s presence nearby. Both could have steered clear, but according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other. Each was too proud to yield first. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late.
Closer Walk, December, 1991
Sermon Central Staff
HOW TO GET TO HEAVEN
In 1997 there was survey taken by U. S. News and World Report, "Who do you think is mostly likely to get into heaven?" Mother Teresa had a 79%, Oprah Winfrey 66%, Michael Jordon 65%, Colin Powell 61%, Dennis Rodman 28% and O. J. Simpson 19%. The person completing the survey said there was one person who had better chance than all of these and it was him. It causes me to wonder how they rated the chances. I know there is only one way to heaven and that is by the blood of Jesus Christ.
I read a story of a man who was on his way to the airport to catch a plane. He came to an intersection where his wife had told him he needed to turn left to get to the airport. It was a narrow little road and he was on a board road that also would let I see some of nature’s beauty. He decided to take the more scenic route. There is a way that seems right to man the Bible says. The time was getting away and little voice kept saying turn around and take the narrow road. He reasoned "I feel like an idiot." Pride and stubbornness kept him going on the scenic road. He got to the airport and raced to the where he was to board the plane only to hear, "The gate has been shut. The doors are locked. The plane is leaving. You have been left behind." He was to late because he made the wrong choice. The plane would not be coming back for him.
(From a sermon by Dennis Selfridge, What we have in Jesus. 10/17/2009)
Rach and I have a friend who is a source of grief for us. It is not that he has done anything to us – he is quite dear to us actually. Rather it is what he has done to himself, what he has chosen to believe. About ten years ago, this friend began absenting himself from church. He was getting into diving and started to buy into one of the more heinous lies to come out of the pits of hell. He would excuse his absence by saying that he worshipped God by getting out into nature and appreciating the beauty and glory of creation. He would go diving instead of gathering with God’s people in corporate worship.
Now, why do I say that the idea of getting out into nature and worshipping God by appreciating the beauty and glory of creation is a lie of the devil? Don’t we believe that the glory of God is revealed in nature? Quite frankly, as people who believe that the Scriptures are the only true rule of life and faith, we have to believe that the glory of God is revealed in nature. Psalm 19 tells us that “the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” And there are numerous other Scriptures that point out God’s glory reflected in creation, Romans 1:18-25 for instance.
And if it is true, as Pastor Bob said last week, that all of life is worship – or at least should be – why can’t my friend justly say that he worships God as he marvels at the fishes and the crabs? Surely, even under the sea, when bone and sinew work harmoniously together to propel the human body through the water and the eye delights to the variety and wonder of creation, one worships God. In some innate, primordial way such physical effort reveals the glory of God’s workmanship, doesn’t it? Isn’t that worship?
It can be, but for my friend it was an idol. It became a snare that ripped him away from the protective embrace of the church. It led to a depleted spirit, because he was receiving no nourishment to feed his soul. Then, to a mulish stubbornness that refused all correction, that wallowed in self-deception believing all was well and communion with God could be done on ones own terms. Finally, it has led to a ship-wrecked life – a life that has accepted what he once believed unhealthy and wrong. He spiraled into a life of sin willingly, not even attempting to fight the downward pull.
How does that happen? How did this brother in Christ make such a mess of his life? To answer, let me return to something I just said. My friend began to believe that he c...
Twenty years ago, I visited the city of Calcutta on work. I was looking forward to the visit because it was the city my father grew up in, and being a typical Bengali, he was very proud of his city. But I was also looking forward to the trip because there was a little old lady in Calcutta that I had never met, my grandmother, my dad’s mother. I was hoping to visit her. When my father had become a Christian as a student in university, his family had cut off all ties with him and so I had never met my grandmother. I called to tell them I was in town. My grandfather was dead and my dad’s oldest brother now ran the joint family. What he said went for everybody. How would he respond to my call? Would I finally get to meet my grandmother? I had heard she had always been very keen to patch things up with my dad but the men in her life, her husband, her oldest son, always said no.
Then the answer came: “Your father is nobody to us and so you too are not welcome.” Later I had the chance to meet my dad’s sister and she told me my grandmother really, really wanted to meet me. But she could not go against the man in the family, my dad’s older brother.
Often in broken relationships, there is a thread that is common: hard-heartedness and stubbornness on the part of one or both sides of the broken relationship.
Robert Robinson had been saved out of a tempestuous life of sin through George Whitfield’s ministry in England. Shortly after that, at the age of twenty-three, Robinson wrote the hymn Come, Thou Fount. Come, Thou Fount of ev’ry blessing, Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise. Sadly, Robinson wandered far from those streams and, like the Prodigal Son, journeyed into the distant country of carnality. Until one day—he was traveling by stagecoach and sitting beside a young woman engrossed in her book. She ran across a verse she thought was beautiful and asked him what he thought of it. Prone to wander— Lord, I feel it— Prone to leave the God I love. Bursting into tears, Robinson said, "Madam, I am the poor unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago, and I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then." Although greatly surprised, she reassured him that the "streams of mercy" mentioned in his song still flowed. Mr. Robinson was deeply touched. Turning his "wandering heart" to the Lord, he was restored to full fellowship. —Kenneth W. Osbeck, 101 Hymn Stories, p. 52 Contributed by: Ted Sutherland
(feel free to interject your own experience into this pattern)
One Christmas on a road trip with the my wife and kids to my parent’s home I decided to take them on a "scenic loop" through the Mississippi Delta. Its where I was born and raised and my parents still live there. To me, it is the Motherland, God’s country. It is the place where I passed my formative years hunting, fishing, and playing with friends in its field, bayous, ditches, and swamps.
Now, I was having a grand old time as the official tour guide pointing out the various landmarks and places of personal significance. Then I came to a stark realization. I had missed a turn. I was apparently having too grand a time. I knew where it was supposed to be, maybe they moved it?
At first, I reasoned. It had been awhile since I had been through there. Maybe I had not got to it yet? Lets just go to that next stand of trees and see if anything looks familiar. Okay, lets go to that next farm house. This approach, of course, took me even further from the correct road.
Next, I schemed. I thought of the roads ahead and tried to calculate a way to turn around without my family realizing I had turned around? All I needed was two lefts... or two rights... or a right and three lefts. That was fruitless so I tried to remember if there was a road ahead that would take us back to the Highway we should be on without anyone knowing it wasn’t deliberate? No such luck.
Finally, I negotiated. I knew where the road we were on would take us and it would add at least an hour to our trip. Was an extra hour in the car worth not having to admit that I had made a mistake and turning around and covering ground we had already travelled?
Everyone comes to the realization in life, at some point, that they have taken a wrong road. And we all find ourselves wanting to correct our direction without having to admit that we made a mistake. Its just the "scenic route". Life gets very busy and complicated when we try to return to the path we lost without turning around.
I have heard some millenials express the opinion that, since Jesus forgives, they can do anything they want as long as they remember to ask for forgiveness. Yes, Jesus forgives but that forgiveness also hinges on our repentance, to admit that what we did was wrong and we had learned our lesson. We can ask forgiveness over and over but, at some point, we also have to turn around for the Savior to set us on the right path. Asking Him to put us on the right road while also rewarding our stubbornness just isn’t going to happen.
There was a blacksmith who had a young son that was very strong-willed and discontent. He always wanted to do more than his father would allow. One morning when the blacksmith was forging new horseshoes, the boy came to take a look at his dad’s work. “That’s close enough!”, the blacksmith told to the boy. “Those are still hot.” After a few minutes the young boy inched closer to the shoes that were lying on the bench cooling. “Son, those are too hot to handle, don’t touch them!”, the man scolded. Finally when the man wasn’t looking, the boy inched up to the finished horseshoes, grabbed one up and dropped it immediately, shak...
Attributes of a Servant…
In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy waters below. News of the disaster was further darkened when an investigation revealed the cause of the accident. It wasn’t a technology problem like radar malfunction--or even thick fog. The cause was human stubbornness. Each captain was aware of the other ship’s presence nearby. Both could have steered clear, but according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other. Each was too proud to yield first. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late.
Many people do not like the idea of being a servant to others becaus...