Thursday, July 1, 2010

ILLUSTRATIONS

COLOSSIANS 1:27
F B Meyer – Our Daily Homily


The only son of a widow runs off to sea when quite a lad. She must needs work for her living, and takes lodgers in her little home. After years have passed, a bronzed and bearded sailor comes to her door for accommodation, which she gladly affords at an agreed price. She has no idea who has come to dwell beneath her roof — it is a secret, a mystery.

By-and-by, one day as they are sitting at the midday meal, a remark, a gesture, startles her; she looks hard into the stranger’s face, recognizes him, and, with a cry, rushes into his arms and weeps out on his bosom her joy: “My son, my son, what deceived my old eyes, that I didn’t know thee!” That is the glory of the mystery, which breaks in smiles and kisses.

Then he says, “Mother, how hard life has gone with you; your hands are hard with toil. But see, I have plenty of money, and you shall go shares in all. I will take a nice little home, and you shall live there, to keep it as long as you live, and never have to do a stroke of hard toil.” That is the riches of the glory of the mystery.

So at your conversion Jesus came into your heart to abide. Too long He has been unrecognized; but of late you have been made aware of the nature and worth of your Heavenly Friend. The mystery has broken in light. Henceforth, realize that all his riches are yours, to be shared and enjoyed; that all your needs may be fully met, even to the abundance of his unsearchable riches; and that there may be an end for ever to all the weary sense of inability and incompetence to meet the inevitable demands of daily living. Christ is in you; let his life within reach out its hands to the life of glory above. 

Matthew 4:18-22

"On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur, there was once a little crude little lifesaving station. The building was just a hut and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea and with no thought for them selves went out day and night tirelessly searching for the lost. Many lives were saved by this wonderful lifesaving station so it became famous.
Some of those who were saved and various others in the surrounding area wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time and their money and their effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought and new lifesaving crews were trained and the little lifesaving station grew.
"Some of the members of the lifesaving station were unhappy that the building was so crude and poorly equipped. They felt a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea. So they replaced the emergency cots and beds and put better furniture in the enlarged building. Now the lifesaving station became a popular gathering place for its members and they decorated it beautifully and furnished it exquisitely because they used it as sort of a club. Fewer members were now interested in going to sea on lifesaving missions so they hired lifeboat crews to do this work. The lifesaving motif still prevailed in the club's decorations and there was a liturgical lifeboat in the room where the club held its initiations.
"About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast and the hired crews brought in loads of cold, wet, half drowned people. They were dirty and sick and some of them had black skin and some had yellow skin. The beautiful new club was considerably messed up so the property committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where victims of shipwrecks could be cleaned up before coming inside. At the next meeting there was a split in the club membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club's lifesaving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal social life of the club. Some members insisted upon lifesaving as their primary purpose and pointed out they were still called a lifesaving station, but they were finally voted down and told if they wanted to save the lives of various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters they could begin their own lifesaving station down the coast a little ways, which they did.
"As the years went by the new station experienced the same changes that occurred in the old one. It evolved into a club and yet another lifesaving station was founded. History continued to repeat itself and if you visit that coast today you will find a number of exclusive clubs along the shore. Shipwrecks are frequent in those waters but most of the people drown."

FELLOWSHIP vs. EVANGELISM

UNPLAYED VIOLIN
Once there was a man named Luigi Toreszio. Luigi Toreszio was found dead one morning in his house without scarcely a comfort in the entire place, but stashed away in Luigi's house, get this, were 246 exquisite violins, which he had been collecting all his life and crammed into his attic, the best of which were in the bottom drawer of a rickety old bureau. Luigi, in his great devotion to the violin had robbed the world of all of its music. All the time he treasured the violins the world never heard their song. Others before him had done the same. Do you know that the greatest Stradivarius violin ever made was first played when it was 147 years old because somebody stashed it away? I wonder how many Christians are like old Luigi Toreszio? In your very love for the church, in your very love for the treasures of the word of God you get absorbed and the world never hears their music. Tragic!

. 95% of all Christians have never led anybody to Jesus Christ. 95% of all the world's great spiritual violins have never played. 

NO PLAN B
In one of his books, S. D. Gordon pictures Gabriel as engaged in a dialogue with Christ shortly after the ascension and the angel is asking Christ about the plans for evangelism. And Jesus said, "Well I asked Peter and James and John and Andrew and a few others to make it the business of their lives to tell people and then those others would tell others and finally the whole world would hear the story and feel the power of it," and in the legend Gabriel said, "But suppose they don't tell others what then?" And Jesus answered quietly, "Oh I have no other plans. I'm counting on them. I have no other plans."

it Takes Guts to Say 'Jesus'"
This is a (supposedly) true story of something that happened just a few years ago at USC...
There was a professor of philosophy there who was a deeply committed atheist. His primary goal for one required class was to spend the entire semester attempting to prove that God couldn't exist. His students were always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic. For twenty years, he had taught this class and no one had ever had the courage to go against him. Sure, some had argued in class at times, but no one had ever 'really gone against him' (you'll see what I mean later). Nobody would go against him because he had a reputation.
At the end of every semester, on the last day, he would say to his class of 300 students, 'If there anyone here who still believes in Jesus, stand up!' In twenty years, no one had ever stood up. They knew what he was going to do next. He would say, 'because anyone who does believe in God is a fool. If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking. Such a simple task to prove that he is God, and yet he can't do it.'
And every year, he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the classroom and it would shatter into a hundred pieces. All of the students could do nothing but stop and stare. Most of the students were convinced that God couldn't exist. Certainly, a number of Christians had slipped through, but for 20 years, they had been too afraid to stand up.
Well, a few years ago, there was a freshman who happened to get enrolled in the class. He was a Christian, and had heard the stories about this professor. He had to take the class because it was one of the required classes for his major and he was afraid. But for 3 months that semester, he prayed every morning that he would have the courage to stand up no matter what the professor said or what the class thought. Nothing they said or did could ever shatter his faith, he hoped.
Finally the day came. The professor said, 'If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up!' The professor and the class of 300 people looked at him, shocked, as he stood up at the back of classroom.
The professor shouted, 'You FOOL!! If God existed, he could keep this piece of chalk from breaking when it hit the ground!' He proceeded to drop the chalk, but as he did, it slipped out of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleats of his pants, down his leg, and off his shoe. As it hit the ground, it simply rolled away, unbroken.
The professor's jaw dropped as he stared at the chalk. He looked up at the young man and then ran out of the lecture hall. The young man who had stood up proceeded to walk to the front of the room and share his faith in Jesus for the next half hour. 300 students stayed and listened as he told of God's love for them and of his power through Jesus.