Friday, July 20, 2018

AFFLICTION



Billy Graham commented how, "When a ship's carpenter needed timber to make a mast for a sailing vessel, he did not cut it in the valleys, but up on the mountains where the trees have been buffeted by the strong winds. These trees, he knew, were the strongest of all. Hardship is not our choice; but if we face it bravely, it can toughen the fiber of our souls."

And that's exactly why God disciplines us & allows us to go through trials. They are designed to strengthen us & help us to grow healthy & strong.

And while "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful," what we always need to remember is that "the Lord disciplines those He loves." (Heb 12:11 & 6 NIV)

- Dick Innes (aksermonillustrations.blogspot.com)            

Ps 119:71 (KJV): “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”

“A believer may pass through much affliction, and yet secure very little blessing from it all. Abiding in Christ is the secret of securing all that the Father meant the chastisement to bring us.” -  Andrew Murray.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

THE DIFFERENCE PASSION MAKES



A Dutch diamond collector was seeking for a very rare diamond. A dealer in New York by the name of Mr. Winston heard of this inquiry & contacted him letting him know that he believed he possessed the diamond he was looking for.

The diamond collector arrived & Mr. Winston had his salesman present the diamond. The salesman described all the technical aspects of the diamond; however within minutes, the diamond collector raised his hand & said that this was not what he was looking for.

Watching from a distance, Mr. Winston hurriedly intercepted him as he was walking out & he asked him if he could present the diamond again. The collector agreed.

Mr. Winston pulled out the same diamond & started describing his admiration for this particular diamond. Within minutes they were signing papers & he purchased the diamond. As the gentleman was walking out, he asked:

“What just happened? Why was it so easy for me to say no to your salesman a little while ago, while with you I purchased the diamond?”

Mr. Winston answered: “That salesman is the best in the business. He knows more about diamonds than anyone, including myself & I pay him a large salary for his knowledge & expertise. But I would gladly pay him twice as much if I could put into him something I have which he lacks. You see, he knows about diamonds, but I love them.”

The same is true in soul winning.

Many Christians have much Bible knowledge, but do not share Christ with the lost. While others may not have as much knowledge of the Bible, but they love Christ so much they tell others about Him & press them to accept Him as their Savior.

Source: ‘Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks’, Wayne Rice (ministry127.com)

Mat 9:36 (CEB): “Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson .

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A MOTHER’S LOVE



In his book, 'Moments for Mothers', Robert Strand wrote about the conflicts of a family in Scotland. After years of rebellion, a daughter finally rejected her parents, their values, & their faith. She set out on her own to enjoy a life without restraints, but soon became enslaved to her liberated choices.

Years of misery followed as she lived on the streets, sold herself for pennies & depended on rescue missions for survival. Because of her self-imposed detachment from family, she didn’t know her father died, or that her mother never quit looking for her.

One day she saw a picture that her mom had posted in each of the city’s homeless shelters. Scrawled across the photo of her mother were the words: “I love you still… come home!”

In wonder & disbelief she set out for her home in hopes that she was indeed still loved. By the time she arrived it was the middle of the night. Her heart raced as she stood & prepared to knock, but her countenance suddenly changed when she tapped on the door & it was open.

She ran to her mother’s bedroom in fear that someone had broken in & harmed her. She desperately reached for her mom & the woman awoke quickly to embrace her wayward daughter.

When the young woman explained her fears about the open door, her mother replied: “No dear. From the day you left, that door has never been locked.”

Source: 'Chicken Soup For The Mother’s Soul', Canfield and Hansen (ministry127.com)

Isa 49:15 (GNT): So the Lord answers, “Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore? Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you.”

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

WHEN YOU PRAY, YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES



If you believe in prayer, you believe in miracles.

When you pray, you are requesting the supernatural intervention of God to come into a situation that would deteriorate without it.

Nothing is natural any more... everything has become supernatural.

The power of God is now over that situation. Therefore, when you pray, you are asking for a miracle.

- Albert Kang (aksermonillustrations.blogspot.com)

Ps 77:14 (NIV): “You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.”

“Prayer is often a temptation to bank on a miracle of God instead of on a moral issue, i.e., it is much easier to ask God to do my work than it is to do it myself. Until we are disciplined properly, we will always be inclined to bank on God's miracles and refuse to do the moral thing ourselves. It is our job, and it will never be done unless we do it.” -  Oswald Chambers.

Monday, July 16, 2018

TEMPTATION



Temptations divide the world into two classes; those who fail and go down under them & those who meet them successfully & gain strength of character through overcoming them.

To the one class they are stumbling-blocks; to the other they are stepping-stones.

To the one they are hindrances; to the other they are helps.

It is not our temptations but the way we respond to them that counts.

- H. O. Fanning (moreillustrations.com)

“In the deceitfulness of our hearts, we sometimes play with temptation by entertaining the thought that we can always confess and later ask forgiveness. Such thinking is exceedingly dangerous. God's judgment is without partiality. He never overlooks our sin. He never decides not to bother even if the sin is only a small one. No, God hates sin intensely whenever and wherever He finds it.” - Jerry Bridges.

Ecc 12:13-14 ( GNT): “After all this, there is only one thing to say: Have reverence for God, and obey his commands, because this is all that we were created for. God is going to judge everything we do, whether good or bad, even things done in secret.”

Sunday, July 15, 2018

DISAPPOINTMENT IS HIS APPOINTMENT



During a low period in the life of noted author Andrew Murray of South Africa, wrote the following words:

“He brought me here. He will keep me here. He will make this trial a blessing. He will bring me out again. Therefore, I am here by God’s appointment, in His keeping, under His training, for His time.”

It is often said that “disappointment is His appointment.” We don’t see that in advance, only in reverse. Be encouraged. God knows what He is doing even when we don’t have a clue.

- Ray Pritchard (aksermonillustrations.blogspot.com)

Pro 3:5-6 (NIV): “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

“Take courage. We walk in the wilderness today and in the Promised Land tomorrow.” - D.L. Moody.

DISCIPLINE



I had two teachers last year who never said a harsh word to anyone, yet the discipline in the classrooms was "under their little finger."

In each case, the teachers were mannerly & respectful toward their students; therefore, the students were respectful toward the teachers.
 
Both teachers had variety in their classes which made sitting & listening for an hour a pleasure.

Wilmer A. Lamar, Teachers as Students See Them (moreillustrations.com)

Heb 12:10 (NCV): “Our fathers on earth disciplined us for a short time in the way they thought was best. But God disciplines us to help us, so we can become holy as he is.”

“We must face the fact that many today are notoriously careless in their living. This attitude finds its way into the church. We have liberty, we have money and we live in comparative luxury. As a result, discipline practically has disappeared. What would a violin solo sound like if the strings on the musician's instrument were all hanging loose, not stretched tight, not "disciplined?” -  A.W. Tozer.