In Nova Scotia, three teenagers stole a boat. They took it for a ride, beached it, and then burned it—without realizing that they were on an island. They were stranded. A Royal Canadian Mounted Police helicopter and rescue officials were called in. All three teens faced charges of theft and damage to property.
· The negative situations we find ourselves in are often of our own making.
· …you may be sure that your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23
When we preach against sin, we do not preach against sinners. I’m against sin because it breaks the heart of my Savior and my God, and it destroys people. God loves people, and He tells us to rescue them out of sin. My own calling is not to humiliate, hurt, bash or destroy anyone…which only drives them away.The hardest to rescue will probably be resentful of anything we say or do, but the tender ones, who still hear the voice of God’s Spirit, need to know they will be accepted, no matter their past. Jesus never insulted anyone, except hypocritical religious leaders who got rich fleecing His people in the temple. Be a preacher of the Gospel, demanding repentance and change, yes, but proclaiming the availability of gracious mercy. And live the Gospel.
–Joe Young, via Facebook
In a certain village in the African jungle, a chief was passing by when he saw children playing with a baby leopard. The chief was stunned. “Isn’t this a baby leopard?” “Yes, Chief, it is.”
“It must be put to death!”
The chief picked up a spear to kill it, but immediately the children stepped in his way. “Chief, don’t kill him! This leopard has never even tasted meat. It has only had porridge. He’s really gentle.”
The baby leopard was indeed gentle. The chief then simply stared at the leopard then walked away. Afterwards, the children fed only porridge to the leopard, and the leopard was still very gentle even though it had grown into an adult. It was wonderful because all other animals would run away from the children when they would enter the jungle with the leopard.
One day, one of the children was running in the jungle when he fell, cut his knee open, and started to bleed. The leopard quickly ran to wipe the blood away and began to lick the blood. But as he tasted the blood, he began to suck the blood. Then the look in its eyes changed, and with its paws it tore open the child’s chest.
The children did not know why the leopard did so, and it leaped onto and killed the other two children who were following behind.
“Leopard, what’s wrong? Leopard, what’s wrong?” The frightened cries of the children echoed out, but it inevitably became silent.
The leopard seemed to be gentle when it was fed porridge, but it’s true, the violent nature within was never gotten rid of. It was an illusion to think that the leopard was gentle. This is how it is with man. It seems that we have become good when we keep the law and do good things. On the other hand, the nature of sin that’s inside of us has not been eliminated. That is why filthy, evil, and lustful thoughts still come from us.
The reason God wanted to judge man with water at the time of Noah’s flood was that there was no good inside of man. If there was a way man could have become good, God would not have punished man. This is what Apostle Paul says in Romans chapter 7. “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good
thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not” (Romans 7:18).
Because man commits evil things, he has the heart to long for goodness. All people have the heart to like good and do what is good. In addition, it seems at first that people are able to accomplish that which is good; however, at the core of their heart, they have no good inside and ultimately everything falls apart. You must know that if there are those around you who appear to be good, they are hypocrites. It is because the Word of God has said that there is no good inside of man.
–“And Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord,” a sermon by Pastor Ock Soo Park, Senior Pastor of Good News Gangnam Church, and Chief Advisor of International Youth Fellowship (IYF). You can read this entire sermon at http://www.goodnews.or.kr/en/goodnews/0807/_0807.sermon.pdf
A man and his wife are out on the town one evening. Seeing flashing red and blue lights in his rear view mirror, he pulls to the side of the road.
A minute or so after coming to a stop, a police officer approaches the car.
The man says: What’s the problem officer?
Officer: You were going 75 miles an hour in a 55 mile an hour zone. I’m afraid I’m going to have to ticket you.
Man: No sir, I was going a little over 60.
Wife: Oh Harry, You were going at least 80.
[The man gives wife a dirty look.]
Officer: I’m also going to give you a ticket for your broken tail light.
Man: Broken tail light? I didn’t know about a broken tail light.
Wife: Harry you’ve known about that tail light for weeks.
[The man gives his wife dirty look.}
Officer: I’m also going to give you a citation for not wearing your seat belt.
Man: Oh, I just took it off when you were walking up to the car.
Wife: Oh Harry, you never wear your seat belt!
Man turns to his wife and yells: FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD, CAN’T YOU JUST SHUT YOUR MOUTH!
The officer turns to the woman and asks, “Ma’am, does your husband talk to you this way all the time?”
Wife says: “No, only when he’s drunk.
In his book, “Why Prayers are Unanswered,” John Lavender retells a story about Norman Vincent Peale. When Peale was a boy, he found a big, black cigar on the street.
Young Norman carefully slipped into an alley, and lit up. It didn’t taste that good, but it made him feel very grown up . . . until he saw his father coming.
Quickly he put the cigar behind his back and tried to be casual. Desperate to divert his father’s attention, Norman pointed to a billboard advertising the circus.
“Can I go, Dad? Please, let’s go when it comes to town.”
His father’s reply taught the young man a valuable lesson he never forgot. “Son,” his father answered quietly but firmly, “never make a petition while at the same time trying to hide a smoldering disobedience.
Because God is holy, He hates sin. We often say, “God hates the sin but loves the sinner.” This is blessedly true, but too often we quickly rush over the first half of this statement to get to the second. We cannot escape the fact that God hates our sins. We may trifle with our sins or excuse them, but God hates them.
–Jerry Bridges, in “The Pursuit of Holiness