Monday, July 28, 2014

SELF-DESTRUCTIVE NATURE OF SIN


Radio personality Paul Harvey tells the story of how an Eskimo kills a wolf. The account is horrible, yet it offers insight into the consuming, self-destructive nature of sin.

"First the Eskimo coats his knife blade with animal blood & allows it to freeze. Then he adds another layer of blood & another, until the blade is completely concealed by frozen blood."

"Next, the hunter fixes his knife in the ground with the blade up. When the wolf follows his sensitive nose to the source of the scent & discovers the bait, he licks it, tasting the fresh frozen blood. He begins to lick faster, more & more vigorously."

"So great becomes his craving for blood that the wolf does not notice the razor- sharp sting of the naked blade on his own tongue, nor does he recognize the instant at which his unquenchable thirst is being satisfied by his own warm blood. His appetite just craves more - until the dawn finds him dead in the snow."

It is a fearful thing that people can be "consumed by their own lusts." - Chris T Zwingelberg.

Js 1:14 says: "But we are tempted when we are drawn away and trapped by our own evil desires."

Gal 5:16 says: "So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves."

Sunday, July 27, 2014

ENVY


D L Moody once told the fable of an eagle that was envious of another that could fly better than he could.

One day the bird saw a sportsman with a bow & arrow and said to him, "I wish you could bring down that eagle up there." The man said he could if he had some feathers for his arrow. So the jealous eagle pulled one out of his wing. The arrow was shot, but it didn't quite reach the rival bird because he was flying too high.

The first eagle pulled out another feather, then another - until he lost so many that he himself couldn't fly. The archer took advantage of the situation, turned around & killed the helpless bird.

Moody made this application: If you are envious of others, the one you will hurt the most by your actions will be yourself.

"The cure for the sin of envy & jealousy is to find our contentment in God." - Jerry Bridges.

Pro 14:30 says: "Peace of mind makes the body healthy, but jealousy is like a cancer."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

AN ATHEIST AND A CHRISTIAN FARMER


Two men owned farms side by side. One was a bitter atheist,
the other a devout Christian.

Constantly annoyed at the Christian for his trust in God, the atheist said to him one winter, "Let’s plant our crops as usual this spring, each the same number of acres. You pray to your God and I’ll curse him. Then come October, let’s just see who has the bigger crop."

When October came, the atheist was delighted because his crop was large.
"See, you fool," he taunted. "What do you have to say for your god now?"

"My God," replied the other farmer "doesn’t settle all his accounts in October." (googleusercontent.com).

"The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy" (Psa 145:8).

"He makes his sun rise on people whether they are good or evil. He lets rain fall on them whether they are just or unjust" (Mat 5:45).

"But everyone who rejects me and my teachings will be judged on the last day by what I have said." - Jesus (Jn 12:48).
  

Friday, July 25, 2014

GIVING PLACE TO THE DEVIL


On a trip to Haiti, I heard a Haitian pastor illustrate to his congregation the need for total commitment to Christ.

His parable: A certain man wanted to sell his house for a certain amount of money. Another man wanted very badly to buy it but couldn't afford the full price. After much bargaining, the owner agreed to sell the house for half the price with just one condition: He would retain ownership of one small nail protruding from just over the door.

After some years, the original owner wanted the house back but the new owner was unwilling to sell. So the first owner went out, found the carcass of a dead dog & hung it from the single nail that he still owned. Soon the house became unlivable & the family was forced to sell the house to the owner of the nail. (Sermon illustration)

The Haitian pastor's conclusion: If we leave the devil with even one small peg in our life, he will return to hang his rotting garbage on it, making it unfit for Christ's habitation. - Dale A Hays.

Eph 4:27 says: "Neither give place to the devil."

Jh 10:10 says: "The thief (devil) comes only to steal and kill and destroy..."

PRIDE


One of the guests on a late-night talk show was a bodybuilder. The host asked the weight-lifter if he would show off his muscles to the audience. With a big grin on his face, the bodybuilder faced the audience & cameras, flexing his muscles.

"Boy,” the host said, “you sure do have the muscles. What do you use all of those muscles for?" The bodybuilder didn't answer, but continued to flex & smile at the audience.

Again the host asked, "What do you use those muscles for?" Still grinning, the muscleman remained silent & continued to show off. The answer was obvious. He didn't use his muscles to do any useful work, but only to glorify himself.

We can glorify ourselves in many different ways. We can use our looks, intelligence, job status & personal accomplishments to glorify ourselves.

We can even use our spiritual gifts & ministries to exalt ourselves instead of the God who gave us those gifts. - Kent Crockett.

But Pro 16:18 (BBE) says: “Pride goes before destruction and a stiff spirit before a fall.”

“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” - Augustine.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

LOVE IN CHURCH


Show me a church where there is love, and I will show you a church that is a power in the community.

In Chicago a few years ago a little boy attended a Sunday school I know of.

When his parents moved to another part of the city the little fellow still attended the same Sunday school, although it meant a long, tiresome walk each way. A friend asked him why he went so far, and told him that there were plenty of others just as good nearer his home.

"They may be as good for others, but not for me," was his reply.

"Why not?" she asked.

"Because they love a fellow over there," he replied.

If only we could make the world believe that we loved them there would be fewer empty churches. Let love replace duty in our church relations, and the world will soon be evangelized. - Moody's Anecdotes,

1Jn 4:11 (GNB) says: “Dear friends, if this is how God loved us, then we should love one another.”

“Our love to God is measured by our everyday fellowship with others and the love it displays.” - Andrew Murray

RESTITUTION


A lady in the north of England said that every time she got down before God to pray, 5 bottles of wine came up before her mind. She has taken them wrongfully once when she was a housekeeper & had not been able to pray since then.

She was advised to make restitution.

"But the person is dead," she said.

"Are not some of the heirs living?"

"Yes, a son."

"Then go to that son & pay him back."

"Well," she said, I cannot think of doing a thing like that. My reputation is at stake."

She went away & came back the next day to ask if it would do by putting that money in the treasury of the Church. "No," she was told, "God doesn't accept any stolen money. Restitution is the only way out."

She carried that burden for several days, but finally went into the country, saw that son, made a full confession & offered him a 5-pound note. He said he didn't want the money, but she finally persuaded him to take it & came back with a joy & peace that made her face radiant. She became a magnificent worker for souls & led many into the light.(Sermon illustration)

If there is anything wrong in your life, make it right.  - D L Moody's Anecdotes.

Exo 22:12 says: "But if it is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner." (See Mt 3:8 & Lk 19:8).