Sermon Illustrations - Search: promises
Posted by Douglas on Mar 06, 2006

Suppose you were at a store, and as you were getting ready to make your purchase, you realized that you didn't quite have enough money to cover the purchase. What would you do?

Go home and get more money? How about walking up to the person behind the counter and asking "Can I borrow some money from the store so I can make my purchase? I'll pay you back the next time I'm here..."

Well, that actually happened to me today. Fortunately, it was at a place of business I go to quite frequently, so the people there know me really well. Fortunately, I was only short by 25 cents. Did they loan me a quarter? Yep. They sure did.

Now, in general, I wouldn't hold out much hope of getting loans that way, and in most stores I wouldn't even think about asking to borrow a quarter. What made the difference here?

Two things. First, as I said, the people there know me. They know that if I say I am going to do something, I will. They trust me. And secondly, their trust wasn't really going to cost them very much. If I didn't pay them back, they would only have lost 25 cents.

The book of Proverbs says (Proverbs 3:5) Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Trusting God means having confidence in Him, that what He says, He will do. Trusting God implies that we believe in His integrity.

But trusting Him with all our heart goes a step further. Trusting Him with all my heart implies that I would trust Him no matter what the cost, or the risk.

Imagine I had walked into that same store and said, "Can I borrow two thousand dollars? I'll pay you back the next time I'm in." Do you think they would have agreed as readily?

No! Because the cost (risk) of their trust would be much higher. They would have to know me far better than they do to be sure I could be trusted with two thousand dollars!

But trusting God with all my heart means that I no longer count the cost -- no matter how big or small the issue, I can count on God to fulfill His promises.

Well, now I need to go pay back a quarter!

Posted by Douglas on Mar 03, 2006

As a child growing up on a small farm, there were many chores I disliked. Shoveling out the barn, weeding the garden, feeding chickens, and the pig...

But there was one thing I disliked more than all the others. One yearly event that I dreaded. Haying.

That was one of the hottest, sweatiest jobs imaginable. Whether I was in the hayloft throwing and stacking bales, or out in the fields putting bales onto the trailer (yes, we did it the old fashioned way...for us a "thrower" had two legs, two arms, and very tired muscles), haying was a miserable job. If you were in the hayloft, the heat and the humidity were enough to kill an ox -- let alone a ten-year-old boy -- and if you were in the field you had to suffer with the summer sun baking and roasting everything in sight.

And no matter where you were, you had to deal with that rough, dried stubble scratching against your skin.

But being in the fields did have one advantage over being in the hayloft: when you were in the field, there would be an occasional moment of relief. When a strong, cool breeze would come wafting across the fields, the breeze would touch every part of you as it passed by, bringing a bit of relief from the heat. It made a miserable chore bearable, and for that brief moment you would find yourself thinking, "Aaaah! I'm going to make it through this!"

The book of Proverbs tells us this:

25:13Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters.Proverbs 25:13 (ESV)

How true that is! How many times have you been in a position where you asked someone to do something, or they said they would do something, and then they never followed through? Do you remember that feeling? The frustration, the failed plans, the discouragement you feel can be as oppressive as the summer heat.

But someone who does what they say they will do, who you can count on to fulfill their promises -- that is a person as refreshing as a breeze blowing in off the snow-covered mountains, bringing relief and joy.

So...which kind of person are you?

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