Sermon Illustration: Resistance

Okay, so this is more of a “quote” for a sermon than an illustration. Nevertheless, it is great (and convicting!) food for thought. From Fleming Rutledge’s Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ: “Your calling is to discern the place of resistance that the Lord has set before you. You will recognize it by the temptation to avoid it. It will be way out of your comfort zone. It will be characterized by pressure, by disturbance, by antagonism, by pain, by humiliation.” (from the chapter “The Call to Resistance”)  

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Still in Awe. Thank You, West Franklin Choir

West Franklin Family, Sunday was a HUGE weekend in the life of our church. Renovated building open for “business.” New Student Minister, Nathan Page. Three baby dedications (by the way, West Franklin had 7 couples give birth over the last year with 2 more currently in the “oven” . . . and I haven’t even preached through Song of Solomon! .  .  . ha). And. . . drum roll please . .  the Christmas concerts. Oh my. Speaking of drums. . .did you see the guy in the baptistery during “Drummer Boy”? Whoah. (FYI, click here to watch the entire...

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Sermon Illustration: Waiting and Hastening

From Fleming Rutledge’s Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ: Waiting and hastening! How can you wait and hasten at the same time? That, my fellow Americans, is the secret of the Christian life, knowing how to keep those two modes in creative tension, “waiting and hastening the coming day of God. . . [the] new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” This is so typical of Advent, the time of contrasts and opposites: darkness and light, good and evil, past and future, now and not-yet. Finding the right balance between waiting and hastening is the...

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Ten Advent Recommendations

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Shopping for yourself guilt-free. Kidding (sort of). This time of year, we get to focus on the coming of our Savior, Jesus. Usually, I pause my “normal” Bible reading pattern and read through an Advent Devotional. Below are ten. The first five, I have read and highly recommend. The last five (*), I haven’t but hope to soon. Maybe I will shop for myself? (“Have yourself a merry little Christmas,” right?) Enjoy clicking. Come, Let Us Adore Him by Paul Tripp The Dawning of Indestructible Joy by John Piper Good News of...

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Sermon Illustration: Pumpkin Pie and Missions

Did you know Thanksgiving first started with missionaries to America? I know, right? Here is how Stephen Mansfield tells it: It must have been the most horrifying experience of their lives. Though there were slightly more than a hundred people aboard The Mayflower, only 54 were from the band of Separatists who had lived in Holland the previous twelve years to escape persecution in England. They were farmers and sheepherders for the most part, though some may have been craftsmen of one kind or another. Yet never had they been on the high seas. So it must have seemed as...

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Ungrateful Wretches

11 While traveling to Jerusalem, he passed between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten men with leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master,have mercy on us!” 14 When he saw them, he told them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And while they were going, they were cleansed. 15 But one of them, seeing that he was healed, returned and, with a loud voice, gave glory to God. 16 He fell face down at his feet, thanking him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus said, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Didn’t any return to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And he...

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Sermon Illustration: Healing Your Church Hurt

Tremendous quote from Stephen Mansfield’s Healing Your Church Hurt: What to do When You Still Love God But Have Been Wounded By His People: “In time, I became aware that what is important is not so much the cause of the offense, but rather the common characteristics of the offended soul itself. No matter the size or importance of the event that had led to the offense, I encountered a poisoned soul. In each case, a soul was distanced from God. In each case, a leaking toxic bitterness was tainting everything that soul touched. In each case, morality, vision, and...

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When Barnabas Blew It

Yep. THAT Barnabas. The one given the nickname “Son of Encouragement” by the apostles (Acts 4:36-37). The one chosen by Paul and the church in Antioch to go with Paul on his first missionary journey (Acts 13:1-3). The one empathetic with John Mark, responsible for influencing Mark to write his Gospel (Acts 15:36-41). THAT Barnabas also fell into temptation to deny the sufficiency of the Gospel.                                   Then the rest of the Jews joined his hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy....

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Sermon Illustration: “Here Comes the Bride” & Fasting

Recently, while officiating a wedding, I learned one of the key reasons for fasting. The bride and groom are the kind of cute that almost makes you want to vomit a little. They are both “pretty people” (if you know what I mean) and are totally in love with each other. Their giddiness to get married was unmatched. As many couples do, this particular couple chose not to see or speak to one another until the bride walked down the aisle. I love getting to stand where I normally do at weddings. I get to see the bride and her...

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An Intense Worship Service

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after they had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them off. So being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. Acts 13:1-4 The worship service in Antioch that Sunday had been intense. They...

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