Tuesday, August 19, 2014

BUILD BRIDGES!


Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It began with a small misunderstanding & it grew into a major difference & finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox. "I'm looking for a few days work" he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here & there. Could I help you?"

"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor, in fact, it's my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between & he took his bulldozer to the river levee & now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll go him one better. See that pile of lumber over by the barn? I want you to build me a fence -an 8-foot fence - so I won't need to see his place anymore."

The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails & the post-hole digger & I'll be able to do a job that pleases you." The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready & then he was off for the day.

The carpenter worked hard all that day. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence at all. It was a bridge - a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, - & the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched. "You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said & done."

The two brothers met at the middle of the bridge, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter about to leave. "No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother. "I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but I have so many more bridges to build." - (saltforsermons.org)

Col 3:13 (BBE) says: “Being gentle to one another and having forgiveness for one another, if anyone has done wrong to his brother, even as the Lord had forgiveness for you.”

WHAT HAST THOU DONE FOR ME?


One day in the early 18th cent, a German artist, Stenberg, walking through the market, was attracted by the face of a dancing gypsy girl. He invited her to come to his studio & with her as a model he painted his "Dancing Gypsy Girl."

That little girl watched with great interest as he worked on a painting of the Crucifixion & asked, "He must have been a very bad man to have been nailed to the cross like that."

"No," the artist said, "he was a good man; the best man that ever lived. Indeed, he died for all men."

"Did he die for you?" asked the girl.

That question set the artist to thinking, for he had not yet given his heart to Christ. He attended a meeting of the Reformers, who opened the Scriptures & brought him to Christ.

Then he went back to finish his painting of the crucifixion, working this time not only with an artist's skill but with the love that comes from a believing heart.

When the painting was finished it was hung in the gallery at Dusseldorf. One day a young aristocratic German count paused before Stenberg's "Crucifixion". The painting moved him greatly as did the words written under it: "This I did for thee; what hast thou done for me?"

That set the count to think about what he could do for Christ. The result was the founding of the missionary brotherhood, the Moravians, for the count was none other than Nicholas Zinzendorf. (Sermon illustration)

"I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some of them." - Paul (1Cor 9:22).

What about you?

Monday, August 18, 2014

There is none that doeth good...


Jose Rodriguez, a bank robber lived in Mexico, but preferred to rob banks in America. Jose would slip across the border into Texas, rob a few banks & flee back into Mexico.

One day, an international smuggler recognized Jose in a bar. The smuggler took out a gun & threatened to shoot Jose if he did not tell him where he had hidden all the money he had stolen.

The problem was Jose, did not speak English. The smuggler did not speak Spanish & he kept threatening, "I'm going to blow your head off if you don't tell me where the money is."

Finally, a young man came over & offered to translate. "Okay," said the smuggler, "tell him I want to know where all of that money is or I am going to blow off his head."

The young fellow translated the smuggler’s words & Jose said in Spanish, "Tell him not to shoot. The money is in a dry well at the end of town. If he removes the bricks, he will find the money hidden in the well."

When Jose was finished, the smuggler asked the young man, "What did he say?" "Oh," said the translator, "he dares you to shoot him." - Saltforsermons.org (modified).

Psa 14:3 (KJV) says: “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

But, 1Jn 1:9 (KJV) says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

JESUS! ONLY JESUS!


A marshal in Napoleon's army, a man who was sacrificially & enthusiastically attached to Napoleon, was wounded in a battle.

During his last struggle of dying in his tent, he sent for his chief. Napoleon came. The poor man thought the emperor could do anything. So he earnestly pleaded with his leader to save his life. The emperor sadly shook his head & turned away.

As the dying man felt the hand of death drawing him to the unseen world, he was heard to say, "Save me, Napoleon, save me."

In the hour of death, that soldier discovered that even the powerful Napoleon could not give him life. Too late. (Sermon illustration)

Isa 2:22 (CEV) says: "Stop trusting the power of humans. They are all going to die, so how can they help."

Rom 10:13 (ISV) says: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord (Jesus) will be saved.”

Sunday, August 17, 2014

THE DEVIL’S TRICKS


A hunter raised his rifle & took careful aim at a large bear.

When about to pull the trigger, the bear spoke in a soft soothing voice: "Isn't it better to talk than to shoot? What do you want? Let's negotiate the matter."

Lowering his rifle, the hunter replied, "I want a fur coat."

"Good," said the bear, "that is a negotiable item. I only want a full stomach, so let us sit down & negotiate a compromise."

They sat down to negotiate & after a time the bear walked away, alone. The negotiations had been successful.

The bear had a full stomach & the hunter had his fur coat! – (saltforsermons.org)

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

Eph 6:11 (CEV) says: “Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil's tricks.”

NEGLECTING THE GOSPEL!


Satan & his companions were devising plans to get people to reject the Gospel.

One devil proposed, “Let’s tell them that there is no God." It was turned down as most people believe in a Supreme Being.

Another suggested, "Let’s tell them that there is no hell & no future punishment for the wicked." This too was turned down as peoples conscious tells them that sin must be punished.

Finally, one suggestion made by a devil was happily accepted, "Lets tell them that there is a God, there is hell and Bible is the Word of God. But there is lot of time to decide about the Gospel. Let them neglect the Gospel until it’s too late." (Sermon illustration)

Acts 13:10 says: And said, “You son of the devil! You are the enemy of everything that is good. You are full of all kinds of evil tricks and you always keep trying to turn the Lord's truth into lies!"

Js 4:7 says: "So then, submit your selves to God. Resist the devil and he will runaway from you."

LOSING TEMPER!


There was a little boy with a bad temper.

His father gave him a bag of nails & told him to hammer a nail into the back fence, every time he lost his temper.

The first day he drove 37 nails - then decreased as he discovered its easier to control his temper than to drive those nails.

Finally, he lost his temper no more. Then his father told him to pull off one nail from the fence every time he controls his anger. Soon, all nails were gone.

The father told him, "You have done well, my son, but look at all the holes in the fence. It can never be the same. When you say things in anger, you leave a scar just like this & doesn't matter how many times you say, 'I am sorry,' the damage caused/wound is still there." (Sermon illustration)

Js 3:6 says: "And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself."(NLT).

Js 1:26 (NLT) says: "If you claim to be religious but don't control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself and your religion is worthless."