Image by Whitby Archives via Flickr
This is a good post from Pastor John Piper (taken from DesiringGod.org). The article was written back in 1998 but just like the Bible, the words stand true through out ages and many generations.
Note: This actually applies to Sunday afternoon and evening as well :)
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father was very concerned for his son’s future and thought hard about how he could explain to his son why relationships are so important and controlling his temper is a key factor in this.
After much thought his father gave him a bag full of nails and told him, “Every time you lose your temper, hammer a nail into the back of the fence.” His son did not understand but knew that his father was wise so he agreed.
On the first day that the boy received his bag of nails he ended up driving about 37 nails into the fence. Each day he learned little by little to control his temper. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all.
Here is a good interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Church in California and also author of the Purpose of Drive Life book (I got this in my email inbox).
In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:
People ask me, What is the purpose of life?
And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven. One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body– but not the end of me. I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act – the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense. Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one.
One day, there was a little boy who had a racing car toy and he joined in a competition. It was a glamorous moment because it was the final round. There were 4 finalists (including the little kid) and each one of them was boasting their own car toy. Each car was hand-made (that was the rule of the competition). That little kid’s name was Mark. His car wasn’t special but he went to the final round nevertheless. Compared to the other kids’ cars, his car was pretty basic and didn’t look as interesting as the others. However, Mark was so proud of his since he made the car himself.
So the time came. Everyone was ready with their car on the Start line. Mark asked for a minute and he was mumbling for a while before the race started. His eyes were closed. A minute later he said, “Yeah, I’m ready!”. So the race began!
A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter. At one point he asked:
‘Are you writing a story about what we’ve done? Is it a story about me?’
His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson:
‘I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the words is the pencil I’m using. I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up.’
Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t seem very special.
‘But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!’
From an email that I got, written by Pastor Bayo Afoloranmi, that I’d like to share with you:
“Abishai said to David, ‘Today God has given your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of my spear; I won’t strike him twice.’ But David said to Abishai, ‘Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless? As surely as the LORD lives,’ he said, ‘the LORD himself will strike him; either his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish’” (1 Samuel 26:8-10 NIV).
Being a mature Christian & Minister (Part 1)
by Pastor Victor Liu
(translated by me from the original article)
To grow spiritually doesn’t have anything to do with your age, how long have you served in the ministry, your Biblical knowledge, your degree, and your spiritual “position”. Growing spiritually can be seen in dialogues, attitudes, actions, and dedication. Growing spiritually is not depended on situation and environment. Bad Situation and Environment CAN make someone to grow spiritually. The story of Joseph is a living proof of this. Even though his father had 4 wives, jealous and evil siblings, Joseph still grew spiritually even on that kind of environment.
On the other hand, bad situation and environment don’t guarantee someone to grow spiritually. Judas became a traitor among Jesus’ Disciples. To grow spiritually is a choice for someone to do His Word with the strength from God. Too many Christians choose not to grow spiritually and become the doer of God’s Word!