6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: 1- We were once slaves to sin but now we are saved 2- We were once lacking mercy but now we are recipients 3- We were once ignorant of grace but now we are heirs

INTRO. - At one time we were foolish. We all have a past. And sometimes our past is not the best. Haven’t we all done some foolish things?

ILL.- The running of the bulls. Did you ever want to run with the bulls in PAMPLONA, Spain? Thousands of daredevils dashed through the narrow streets of Pamplona on July 6, 2010 for a goring-free first bull run of this year’s San Fermin fiesta.

The thrillseekers raced to keep ahead of six fighting bulls and six bell-tinkling steers tasked with trying to keep the beasts together along the 930-yard course from a holding pen to the northern town’s bull ring.

Several of the runners were knocked to the ground and some were trampled on by the animals but there were no gorings.

NOW THAT’S FOOLISH! As far as I am concerned, it is foolish. It is asking for trouble or even death. Now what about you? Do you remember doing anything foolish in days gone by? We all did and some it is called sin!

ILL.- John Newton was a rough, dirty sailor with a foul mouth and an appetite for rotten living. He hated life and life hated him. He was captain of a slaveship. Then someone placed in the hands of this derelict a copy of Thomas À Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ. He also had the gift of a good mother who told him about the Saviour when he was young. And he finally accepted Jesus as His Savior. Then he went all over England sharing his faith.

Well past his “retirement” age, he had to have an assistant stand in the pulpit with him on Sundays. He was nearly blind and spoke in whispers, but nothing could keep him from preaching while he still had breath. (I like his spirit of keeping on!)

One Sunday, while delivering his message he repeated the sentence: “Jesus Christ is precious.” His helper whispered to him: “But you have already said that twice.” Newton turned to his helper and said loudly, “Yes, I’ve said it twice, and I’m going to say it again.”

The stones in the ancient sanctuary nearly shook as the grand old preacher said again: “Jesus Christ is precious!”

At one time we all were foolish but now we consider Jesus to be precious...our precious Lord and Savior. Amen.

PROP.- Paul talks about what we once were but what we are now.

1- We were once slaves to sin but now we are saved

2- We were once lacking mercy but now we are recipients

3- We were once ignorant of grace but now we are heirs


3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us...

Slaves to sin. Oh, come on now?! Yes, we were.

ILL.- A pothead walks into an appliance store and asks the owner, "How much for that TV set in the window?" The owner looks at the TV set, then looks at the stoner, and says, "I don’t sell anything to potheads."

So the pothead tells the owner that he’ll quit smoking pot and will come back the next week to buy the TV. A week later, the guy comes back and says, "I quit smoking pot. Now, how much for that TV set in the window?"

And the owner says, "I told you I don’t sell to potheads!" So the he leaves again. He comes back a month later and says, "How much for that TV?"

The owner says, "I’m not going to tell you again, I don’t sell to potheads!!!" The pothead looks back at the owner and says, "How can you tell I’m a pothead?" The owner looks back and says, "Because that’s a microwave."

Frankly, I don’t know anything about smoking pot because I’ve never done it. I’ve heard things about it is all. Marijuana addiction has the same characteristics as any other addiction to other drugs including alcohol, tobacco or even caffeine.

The frequent obsession with the drug, thinking about it all the time, where to get it, when to get it, is there enough, is it good enough, will I have the money for more are frequently asked questions.

Marijuana is a drug that masks reality. People use it to forget about their problems, and eventually, it becomes a crutch to deal with life. Marijuana abuse develops when users find it impossible to cope with everyday life unless they are high.

That was what happened to 15year-old Sarah. She said, "I used to smoke pot to try to get away from the pain of my dad leaving my mom, so I’d smoke all the time. But after a while, I realized the pain was still there."

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