Secular tip that has a spiritual use – end goal, not entertainment

To understand where I’m coming from with this tip, if you haven’t read the first post, you’ll need to check this out first.

Tip #3 is as useful as it is straightforward. Continue reading

#preaching-point, #spiritual-application, #spiritual-goals, #spiritual-illustrations

Secular tip that has a spiritual use – remember your audience

As I mentioned in my last post about problem solving, getting to sit in on a work-related class gave me to do something I enjoy doing – finding spiritual uses in secular tips. The willingness to hone this skill allows preachers to pass along spiritual knowledge by giving illustrations that use the knowledge people already have about various secular things in life. Such is the reason why Jesus’ parables still stick to this day! Remember how to talk to your audience, and they may be better able to remember what we say.

With that being said, tip #2 is: Continue reading

#audience, #preaching-point, #spiritual-application, #spiritual-illustrations

Go Kick Tommy’s Cat

Harry Grant got up in a bad mood on Monday. Upon arriving at work he called in his sales manager and chewed him out because his report was tardy. The sales manager called in his secretary and chewed her out for several letters she had failed to file. The secretary saw the receptionist and yelled at her for not relaying some messages the previous day. The receptionist opened her door at home that evening and saw her son’s new jeans had a hole in the knee and sent him to bed without supper. On the way upstairs Tommy saw the family cat and kicked it all the way across the room.

Wouldn’t it have been better on everyone if Mr. Grant had simply gone over to Tommy’s house and kicked the cat himself and left all those other folks in a good mood?

How many times have I thought of that little story when I have been responsible for ruining the mood around our house by being in a bad mood and passing it along to others? How many times have I seen this take place in the church, where one person’s ill manners could start a chain of events that led to a great problem, even division?

Then on the other hand, I have seen someone enter a rather sticky situation, and their manners and grace changed the whole atmosphere into a lovely place to be. And then you begin to think…”Isn’t this the kind of person I had rather be?” Anybody can ruin a good atmosphere. And anyone can improve a bad one. That is, if we will put our Christian principles into practice.

Let me challenge you! Make your Bible class the best place in the world to be on Sunday morning and Wednesday night. Make our assemblies the nicest place to spend time, and you will find more people wanting to spend time there. Work and make the atmosphere pleasant wherever you are. Take it easy on Tommy’s cat! !

For His Cause, Tim Woodward

via the Smithville Church of Christ

#attitude, #bible-study, #church-problems, #spiritual-answers, #spiritual-application, #thinking-of-others, #worship-services

Rest is for those who Work

All sales and cookouts aside, Labor Day was meant to be a day off for those who actually labor. And it was designed to be a celebration and a guaranteed day of rest for workers during a time in the American culture when a workweek’s amount of vacation was an extremely rare, if not non-existent, perk enjoyed by the few!

Just as in the past, labor today can be done in different ways and in various amounts, but just as in the past, without the actual labor what’s the rest for?

Perhaps this is a point with a spiritual application? Undoubtedly it is!

To God’s people there is a time coming when we will inherit, not just a “day” of rest, but an entire “land” of rest in Heaven; but what would this rest be without the labor that works toward it?

While spiritual labor can surely be done in different ways and in various amounts, there is no point to rest if there’s no labor to begin with! This is a point, among several others, to keep in mind when we read verses such as:

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” (Hebrews 4:9-11 – KJV)

Rest is meant to be for those who work, and in the midst of a section of God’s word that says we are saved by grace we find that God’s people are meant to look for the work that he has given us to do (Ephesians 2:10). For the heavenly land of rest will only be entered by a living, a trusting, and yes, a laboring faith that seeks a rest in Canaan that can be counted on.

There is indeed rest for the weary, God will keep his word, but we must be weary of those who promise rest without the labor – for they existed among God’s people in the past and they continue to do so today.

For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.” (Matthew 20:1 – NKJV)

#faith, #labor, #labor-day, #land-of-rest, #rest, #spiritual-application, #spiritual-canaan