Category Archives: Worth Repeating

Worth Repeating: Living By The Rules

I just finished John Ortberg’s When the Game Is Over It All Goes Back Into the Box. John always has the most amazing illustrations in his books. Here is one I enjoyed and think is so true.

Integrity Is Not the Same as Knowing the Rules

Our problem is not that we don’t know the rules, but that we don’t live by what we already know. A man is being tailgated by a woman who is in a hurry. He comes to an intersection, and when the light turns yellow. he hits the brakes. The woman behind Him goes ballistic. She honks her horn at him ; and yells her frustration in no uncertain terms; she rants and gestures.

While she is in mid-rant, someone taps on her window. She looks to see a policeman. He invites her to step out of her car and takes her to the station where she is searched, and fingerprinted, and put in a cell. After a couple of hours, she is released, and the arresting officer gives her her personal effects, saying, “I’m sorry for the mistake, ma’am. I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, and using bad gestures, and bad language. I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘Follow Me To Sunday School’ window sign, the Christian Fish emblem on your trunk, and I naturally assumed you had stolen the car.”

The world gets pretty tired of of people who have Christian bumper stickers on their cars, Christian fish signs on their trunks, Christian books on their shelves, Christian stations on their radios, Christian jewelry around their necks, Christian videos for their kids, and Christian magazines for their coffee tables but don’t actually have the life of Jesus in their bones or the love of Jesus in their hearts.

Ortberg, John, When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box, (Grand Rapids, MI:Zondervan, 2007) 115

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Worth Repeating: I’ve wasted It!

An illustration I liked from John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life
For me as a boy, one of the most gripping illustrations my fiery father used was the story of a man converted in old age. The church had prayed for this man for decades. He was hard and resistant. But this time, for some reason, he showed up when my father was preaching. At the end of the service, during a hymn, to everyone’s amazement he came and took my father’s hand. They sat down together on the front pew of the church as the people were dismissed. God opened his heart to the Gospel of Christ, and he was saved from his sins and given eternal life. But that did not stop him from sobbing and saying, as the tears ran down his wrinkled face—and what an impact it made on me to hear my father say this through his own tears—“I’ve wasted it! I’ve wasted it!” This was the story that gripped me more than all the stories of young people who died in car wrecks before they were converted—the story of an old man weeping that he had wasted his life. In those early years God awakened in me a fear and a passion not to waste my life. The thought of coming to my old age and saying through tears, “I’ve wasted it! I’ve wasted it!” was a fearful and horrible thought to me.
“ONLY ONE LIFE, ’TWILL SOON BE PAST”

John Piper, Don’t Waste your Life,(Wheaton,IL:Crossway Publishing 2007)11-12

This book is available for free download off the Desiring God website.

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Worth Repeating: Judgement

Jesus the Evangelist
Many people don’t think of themselves as sinners worthy of judgement. But if you commit just three sins per day-if you are irreverent, dishonest, malicious, lustful, or covetous just three times in a day-and the great majority of us break God’s law in thought or deed at least that many times in a hour! -you will commit more than a thousand sins per year. If you live for seventy-five years, as many of us will, when you die you will arrive in God’s court with seventy -five thousand sins to be dealt with. How would a human judge respond to a criminal with seventy-five thousand violations of the civil law? Surely he would impose the maximum penalty! God hates sin more than any human judge, and He has decreed that the “wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). How important it is, then, that we find a way to deal with our sin before appearing before God’s judgement.

Richard D. Phillips, Jesus the Evangelist, (Lake Mary,Fl.:Reformation Trust, 2007) 138

 

 

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Worth Repeating: The Insignificance of the External

The Insignificance of the External

Let it never be forgotten that the material part of a Christian Church is by far the least important part of it. The fairest combinations of marble, stone, wood and painted glass, are worthless in God’s sight, unless there is truth in the pulpit and grace in the congregation. The dens and caves in which the early Christians used to meet, were probably far more beautiful in the eyes of Christ than the noblest cathedral that was ever reared by man. The temple in which the Lord Jesus delights most, is a broken and contrite heart, renewed by the Holy Spirit.

J.C. Ryle

(HT to J.C Ryles Quotes)

Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke volume 1, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1986], 357. {Luke 21: 5-9}

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Worth Repeating: Samuel Jones on Sin

During my lesson last weekend I wound up using this illustration to describe what repentance looks like.

Samuel Jones on Sin

There is no attitude towards God that is acceptable to Him except the attitude that turns with loathing away from sin. Here is a mother sitting quietly within her room. Her only child, little”Willie, just four years old, the pride of her heart and the joy of her life, sees mamma’s little pearl handled pen knife lying on the table. That little knife is the present of a friend, and mother values it highly. Little “Willie, unknown to mother, pick sup the little knife and runs out of the room; and in an hour mother wonders where he is, and directly the nurse comes in hurriedly and says:” Little Willie is lying all bloody in the front flower-yard;” and mother rushes out, and there is little Willie just gasping, and breathing his last.

He stubbed his little foot and fell and the blades pierced the jugular vein. The mother grasps the little almost lifeless child in her arms, and runs into the room, and just as she lays him on the little bed he breathes his last; and the mother kisses her child and says: “Sweet Willie, just speak one more time.” Next day mother carries little Willie to the grave and buries him, and comes back to her home with broken heart; and as she sits down and turns back the dark veil, the nurse comes out of the front yard and says: ” Madam, here’s the little knife. Here’s your little pearl-handled knife.” The mother looks at the knife and the blade all covered with the blood of her sweet child, and she shrinks back in horror and says: “Take that knife out of my presence. I never want to see it again. It has the blood of my precious child upon it.”

And when a Christian man or woman, under the light of God’s Holy Spirit, can see that every sin in the moral universe of God has been covered with the blood of the Son of God, then he shrinks back in horror and says: ” Oh I take it out of my presence. It is covered with the precious blood of my bleeding Saviour.” Oh, brother, you will never know what purity is until you see all impurity bathed in the blood of the Son of God. Oh, let us hate sin and abhor it, and turn away from it, and despise it utterly.

Stuart, R. George,FAMOUS STORIES OF SAM P. JONES: Reproduced in the Language in Which Sam Jones Uttered Them
(Fleming H. Revell Co.,1908) p 12-13

 

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Worth Repeating: Whosoever Will

That reminds me of the penitent down in Georgia at the altar. He was agonizing, praying. The preacher went up to him, trying to encourage him, and, “Well,” he said, “I am not one of the elect, I am one of the reprobates; I feel it all over “-and I dont reckon a poor soul ever did try to seek God that the devil didnt slip up with something of that sort-” You are one of the reprobates; God never died to save you”-and there he was in agony, and the preacher said to him:

“Well, my brother, listen to me a minute. Now,” said he, “if you could see your name, ‘James B. Green, written upon the Lambs book this minute, would you believe then Christ died for you and you were one of the elect?”

The poor fellow thought a moment and he said, “No, sir. There are other people in this world of my name.” (Laughter.)

“Well,” said the preacher, “if you could see it, ‘James B. Green, Sc riven County, Ga., would you believe it was you then?”

Well,” he says, “there may have been other people of ‘my name in this county before I was born. I dont know.”

“Well,” said he, “if you could see it, ‘James B. Green, Scriven County, Ga., and the year ‘1867, would you believe it was you?”

“Well,” he said, “it may be there is somebody in this county now of my name.”

“Well,” said he, “if you could see it, ‘James B. Green of Scriven County, and the Nineteenth District and the year ’67, would you believe it was you?”

“Well,” he says, “I could not know definitely.”

“Now,” said he, “my friend, God Almighty saw all that trouble and he just put it into one word and he said: ‘Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

And the poor fellow jumped up and clapped his hands and said, “Thank God! I know that means me.”

Samuel P. Jones, Whosoever Will May Come

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Worth Repeating:A Man Like Me

“Martin Luther was a great expositor of John’s Gospel, as I mentioned in the opening chapter, and at this point in his commentary he tells a story from folklore that illustrates this principle. He says that there was once a stubborn and unspiritual man—Luther called him “a coarse and brutal lout”—who showed absolutely no reverence for any of the great truths of Christianity. When the words “And was made man” were sung in church, this man neither crossed himself nor removed his hat, both of which were common practice in the Roman church of that day. When the creeds were recited the man would not kneel. Luther says, “Then the devil stepped up to him and hit him so hard it made his head spin. He [the devil] cursed him gruesomely and said: ‘May hell consume you. … If God had become an angel like me and the congregation sang: “God was made an angel,” I would bend not only my knees but my whole body to the ground! … And you vile human creature, you stand there like a stick or a stone. You hear that God did not become an angel but a man like you, and you just stand there like a stick of wood!’ ”

James Montgomery Boice, Gospel of John, The: The Coming of the Light (John 1-4), Pbk. ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2005), 30-31.

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Worth Repeating: Behavior Change


There was an occasion when the army of Alexander the Great was engaged in a very serious battle, and in the course of the battle, one of the soldiers fled the scene. He was a coward. After the battle, the coward was apprehended and brought to Alexander’s tent. As the man stood trembling before his general, Alexander looked at him and said, “Why did you run?” The solider said, “I was afraid.” Alexander said,” So I see. What is your name?” The soldier mumbled his answer so Alexander couldn’t hear him, so the great warrior said: “Speak up. What is your name?” The young soldier looked at him and said, “My name is Alexander.” Alexander the great replied, Either change your behavior or change your name.”

If you are embarrassed by Jesus and you’re afraid to confess Him before men, either change your behavior or cease to call yourself a Christian.

R.C. Sproul,John (St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary), (Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust, 2010), 80

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