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The Paradox. Young lady or old hag?. Balcony or patio?. There are a lot of things in this world that don’t make sense or that we don’t fully understand. For instance: You know that little indestructible black box on airplanes? Why don't they make the whole
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Young lady or old hag?
There are a lot of things in this world that don’t make sense or that we don’t fully understand. For instance: • You know that little indestructible black box on airplanes? • Why don't they • make the whole • plane out of the • same material?
If corn oil is made from corn and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?
If someone has a mid-life crisis while playing hide and seek, does he automatically lose because he can't find himself?
We also live in a world where heavenly things confuse our earthly minds.
We conquer by yielding • (Rom. 6:16-18)
We find restunder ayoke • (Mt. 11:28-30)
Wereignbyserving • (Mark 10:42-44)
We are made great • by becoming little • (Luke 9:48)
We are exalted by • being humble • (Mt. 23:12)
We wax strong by being weak • (2 Cor. 12:10)
We find • victoryby • glorying • in our • infirmities • (2 Cor. 12:5)
We live by dying • (John 12:24,25; 2 Cor. 4:10,11)
Just because things don’t make sense or we don’t fully understand them doesn’t mean we should ignore them. • John 12:24-28
24 I tell you the truth: unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it remains a solitary seed. But when it is planted, it produces in death a great harvest. • (The Voice)
25In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal. (The Message)
26 “If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me. (The Message)
Brokenness and death come before life. • Soil must be broken to produce a crop, clouds broken to produce rain, seed broken to produce grain, grain broken to produce bread, and bread broken to give life. • Therefore, certain seeds in our lives must be broken • and die • before • we truly live • and can • be used • by God.
The Seed of our Personal Desire and Ambition: • Luke 9:62--Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. you can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”
Dwight Moody said that one of the happiest men he ever knew was a man from Dundee, Scotland, who had fallen and broken his back when a boy of fifteen. He had lain on his bed for forty years and • could not be moved without • a good deal of pain. When • Mr. Moody saw him, he • asked him, “Doesn’t Satan • ever tempt you to doubt • God and to think that He • is an unfair Master?”
“Oh yes,” he replied, “ he does try to tempt me. I lie here and see my old classmates driving along, and Satan says, ‘if God is so good why has he kept you here all these years? You might have been a rich man. Then I see a young man walk by in • perfect health, and Satan, • whispers, ‘if God loved you, • couldn’t He have kept you • from breaking your back?’”
“ And what do you do when you are tempted to feel like that?” Ah I just take him to the cross and I show him Christ, and I point out the • wounds in His hands and feet • and side, and say, ‘Doesn’t He • love me?’ God uses brokenness to draw • people closer to Him. • This man’s life was full even • though his circumstances left • much to be desired.
What difference has a personal relationship with Jesus made in your personal desires or ambitions?
The Seed of our Priorities • Luke 9:62--Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. you can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”
When Joseph Ton was a pastor in Romania he was arrested by the secret police for publishing a sermon calling for the churches to refuse to submit to the communists government’s demand for control over their ministries. When an official told him he must renounce his sermon he replied, “No sir, I won’t do that” The official, surprised • that anyone would • respond so forcefully • to the secret police, said, • “Aren’t you aware that • I can use force against • you?”
“Sir, let me explain that to you,” Ton said. “You see, your supreme weapon is killing. My supreme weapon is dying . . . You know that my sermons are spread all over the country on tapes. When you kill me, I only sprinkle them with my blood. They will speak 10 times louder after that, because everybody will say, ‘That preacher meant it because he sealed it with • his blood.’ So go on, sir, • kill me. When you kill • me, I win the supreme • victory.” The secret • police released him, • knowing his martyrdom • would be far more of a • problem than his sermon.
How do others see an urgency in your life regarding faith in Jesus and following Him?
The Seed of our Personality • Philippians 2:5--In other words, adopt the mind-set of Jesus the Anointed. Live with His attitude in your hearts.
John Pounds, a tall muscular teen laborer at the ship docks of Portsmouth England, slipped and plunged from the top of a ship’s mast, pitching headfirst into the deck below. When fellow workers reached him, he was nothing but a mass of broken bones. • For two years he lay in bed as his • bones healed crookedly. His pain • Never ceased. Out of sheer • boredom he began to read his • Bible. • After some time, John • crawled from his bed a new man. • He began to look for something to • do in his broken and horribly • twisted condition.
A shoemaker hired him to sit at a bench and make shoes. Eventually he made enough money to purchase his own little shop. He began making shoes for crippled • children and soon his shop • became like a little children’s • hospital. • His burden for children grew • and it wasn’t long until he • began receiving homeless ones, • feeding them, teaching them to • read, and telling them about the • Lord. His shop became know as the • Ragged School.
John would limp around the waterfront, food in his pockets, looking for more children to tend. During his • lifetime, John Pounds, • rescued 500 children from • despair. His work became • so famous that a Ragged • School movement swept • England, and a series of • laws were passed to • establish schools for poor • children in John’s honor. • Boy’s homes, girls homes, • day schools and evening • schools were started all over • England.
How do your acts of service toward others reflect the selfless attitude of Jesus Christ?
The Seed of our PossessionsMatthew 19:21--“If you want to give it all you’ve got,” Jesus replied, “go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me.” • 22That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crestfallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go.
The film Schindler's List chronicled the heroic efforts of a German industrialist named Oskar Schindler. Through his unselfish activities, • over a thousand Jews • on the trains to • Auschwitz were saved. • After Schindler found • out what was • happening at • Auschwitz, he began • a systematic effort to • save as many Jews as • he could.
For money, he could buy Jews to work in his factory which was supposed to be a part of the military machine of Germany. On one hand he was buying as many Jews as he could, and on the • other hand he was • deliberately • sabotaging the • ammunition produced • in his factory. He • entered the war as a • financially wealthy • industrialist; by the • end of the war, he was • basically financially • bankrupt.
When the Germans surrendered, Schindler met with his workers and declared that at midnight they were all free to go. The most emotional scene of the film was when Schindler said • good-bye to the • financial manager of • the plant, a Jew and • his good and • trusted friend. As he • embraced his friend, • Schindler sobbed and • said, "I could have • done more."
He looked at his automobile and asked, • "Why did I save this? I could have bought 10 Jews with this.“ Taking another small • possession he cried, • "This would have • saved another one. • Why didn't I do • more?"
What would this world have lost if there had not been men prepared to forget their personal safety, security, selfish gain and selfish advancement for Christ?
Christmas Evans, a famous • evangelist, was always on the • move preaching for Christ. • Born on Christmas day 1766 • Father died when he was 9. He was then apprenticed out as a farm laborer. • Saved at age 17. He learned to read that same year.