Abundant Life
Carring Each Others Burdens
Christian Living
Church Discipline
Hearing God
Judgment Day
Kingdom Of God
Making A Difference
Material Possessions
Peer Pressure
Second Coming
Self Esteem
Self Reliance
Wholehearted Devotion


Finally Accepted The Prize

A recent promotion by H. R. Block Inc. offered walk-in customers a chance to win a drawing for a million dollars. Glen and Gloria Sims of Sewell, New Jersey, won the drawing, but they refused to believe it when an H. R. Block representative phoned them with the good news.

After several additional contacts by both mail and phone, the Sims still thought it was all just a scam, and usually hung up the phone or trashed the special notices.

Some weeks later, H. R. Block called one more time to let the Sims know the deadline for accepting the million-dollar prize was nearing and that the story of their refusal to accept the prize would appear on an upcoming NBC "Today Show."

At that point, Mr. Sims decided to investigate further. A few days later he appeared on the "Today Show" to tell America that he and his wife had finally gone to H. R. Block to claim the million-dollar prize.

Mr. Sims' final words were: "From the time this has been going on, H. R. Block explained to us they really wanted a happy ending to all this, and they were ecstatic that we finally accepted the prize."

God wants a similar ending as he offers salvation to every unbeliever.

Preaching Today

Good Works

In January 1985, a large suitcase, unmarked and unclaimed, was discovered at the customs office at Los Angeles International Airport. When U.S. Customs agents opened the suitcase, they found the curled-up body of an unidentified young woman.

She had been dead for a few days, according to the county coroner. As the investigation continued, it was learned that the woman was the wife of a young Iranian living in the U.S. Unable to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. and join her husband, she took matters into her own hands and attempted to smuggle herself into America via an airplane's cargo bay. While her plan seemed to her simple though risky, officials were hard pressed to understand how such an attempt could ever succeed. Even if she survived the journey in the cargo bay, she would remain an illegal alien, having entered through improper channels.

Some people believe they'll enter the kingdom of God on their own since they've been reasonably good citizens or church attendee's. But entry plans of our own design prove not only foolish but fatal.

Good works, Kingdom of God

Illustrations For Preaching & Teaching
Editor Craig Brian Larson, Baker, p. 205.

Important Decision

According to writers Kent McDill and Melissa Isaacson, Don Calhoun worked for five dollars an hour at an office supply store in Bloomington, Illinois. He had attended two Chicago Bulls basketball games in his life, and now he was going to his third. When he strolled into Chicago Stadium, a woman who worked for the Bulls organization walked up to him and told him they were selecting him to take part in a promotional event during the game called the Million Dollar Shot.

The Shot came after a time-out in the third quarter. If Calhoun could shoot a basket standing seventy-nine feet away that means he had to stand behind the free throw line on the opposite end of the court and throw the ball three quarters of the length of the court-he would win one million dollars.

Calhoun played basketball at the Bloomington YMCA but he had never tried a shot like this before. He took the basketball in his hands and looked over at Michael Jordan and the rest of the Bulls. He could see they were pulling for him.

Calhoun stepped to the line and let fly. As soon as the basketball left his hand, coach Phil Jackson said, "It's good." Indeed, the ball went through the basket in a swish. The stadium crowd went wild. Calhoun rushed into the arms of Michael Jordan, and the Bulls players crowded around slapping him on the back.

When Don Calhoun went home that night, he had only two dollars in his wallet, but he would receive fifty thousand dollars a year for the next twenty years of his life.

Sometimes one action, one decision, one moment can change everything for you. So it is when you choose to receive Christ into your life.

Born again, Conversion, Gospel, Repentance, Salvation
John 1:12; 2 Cor. 5:17

Contemporary Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers, & Writers
Editor Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, p. 199.

Important Decision

In 1973 Gary Kildall wrote the first popular operating system for personal computers, named CP/M. According to writer Phillip Fiorini, IBM approached Kildall in 1980 about developing the operating system for IBM PCs. But Kildall snubbed IBM officials at a crucial meeting, according to another author, Paul Carroll. The day IBM came calling, he chose to fly his new airplane. The frustrated IBM executives turned instead to Bill Gates, founder of a small software company called Microsoft, and his operating system named MS-DOS. Fourteen years later Bill Gates was worth more than eight billion dollars.

Of Kildall, who has since died, author Paul Carroll says, "He was a smart guy who didn't realize how big the operating system market would become."

In a similar way, people often don't realize how big God's kingdom will someday become. God comes calling with the offer of a lifetime, and we find other things to do.

Appointed time, Excuses, Kingdom of God, Opportunity, Priorities
Luke 14:15-24; 2 Cor. 6:1-2

Contemporary Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers, & Writers
Editor Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, p. 217.

Stop Running From God

In 1981, a Minnesota radio station reported a story about a stolen car in California. Police were staging an intense search for the vehicle and the driver, even to the point of placing announcements on local radio stations to contact the thief.

On the front seat of the stolen car sat a box of crackers that, unknown to the thief, were laced with poison. The car owner had intended to use the crackers as rat bait. Now the police and the owner of the VW Bug were more interested in apprehending the thief to save his life than to recover the car.

So often when we run from God, we feel it is to escape his punishment. But what we are actually doing is eluding his rescue.

Fear of God, Running from God

Illustrations For Preaching & Teaching
Editor Craig Brian Larson, Baker, p. 207.

Time Is Running Out

There is a fable told about Satan and his angels. Satan asked them, "How can we destroy the souls of men?" One said, "I will tell them there is no God." Satan answered, "That will never do because creation testifies to a Creator and man innately knows there is a God." A second said, "I will tell them there is no heaven." Satan replied, "No, that won't work either. Since Jesus was raised from the dead, men believe in heaven." A third said, "I will tell them there is no hell." Satan responded, "Your plan will not work because Jesus made it plain there is a hell." A fourth said, "I will tell them that there is no hurry to make their life right with God." Satan cried out, "That will do it--go."

Source Unknown