OceanSide church of Christ
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PICTURES OF TRUTH (1)
Victor M. Eskew
A. We have often heard this statement: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Is it true in regard to the pictures below?
B. Jesus was a Master at taking pictures and making lessons from them. Many of the pictures Jesus used are found in the Parables (Ex., The Parable of Leaven, Matt. 13:33).
…the kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
1. We can see the woman laboring in the kitchen.
2. We can see her taking a pinch of leaven and putting it in the dough.
3. We can see the effects of the leaven as the dough rises.
C. Recently, I received a picture that someone drew in the mail. In it was an encouraging note that fit the picture. A thought came to me that I need to preach one or two lessons using pictures to express various truths.
I. I BELIEVE
A. The picture
B. Everything has ever has been, is, or will be accomplished that is great and wonderful began with a deep-seated belief held by someone.
C. What is belief?
1. It is a positive mindset.
2. It is the understanding that something is possible.
3. It is the ability to see into the future.
4. It is a mindset that sees beyond all obstacles.
D. Two examples:
1. The Golden Gate Bridge.
a. The bridge spans The Golden Gate Strait between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
b. Before 1933, there was no bridge there.
c. The bridge was begun in 1933 and was finished in 1937.
d. The bridge had its beginning in the mind and beliefs of a man named Joseph Strauss.
1) He had the belief since 1922.
2) He was a short man, 5’ 2’’ inches tall and a failed college football player.
2. Twelve men to take the gospel to the world.
a. Jesus gave these twelve men His commission before leaving earth (Mark 16:15).
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
b. This would be a huge effort.
1) The Jews had rejected the Christ.
2) The Gentiles had never heard of Jesus.
3) These men did not have modern communication and modern transportation systems.
4) They did not possess the written New Testament.
5) They were just twelve men from Galilee.
c. However, these men had learned an important lesson during the ministry of Jesus.
1) They could not cast a demon out of a boy (Matt. 17:16).
2) Jesus rebuked them (Matt. 17:17).
3) The disciples inquired as to why they could not cast the demon out (Matt. 17:19).
4) Jesus gave them the answer (Matt. 17:20).
And Jesus said unto them, Because of unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall be removed; and nothing shall be impossible to you.
E. Our unbelief can prevent us from doing great things at OceanSide.
a. We are too old.
b. We are too conservative.
c. We are too sickly.
d. We are too poor.
e. We do not have enough youth.
2. My friends, we have to believe. We have to develop “faith as a grain of mustard seed,” and, then, we can do great, significant things for our God.
II. YOU HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE
B. Anything that has ever been done had a beginning, a starting point.
C. At the start, it is not perfect
At the start, the end is difficult to see.
At the start, the simple will seem difficult.
At the start, the will easily falters.
At the start, there is often pain.
D. Many Bible characters had to start somewhere.
1. Abraham’s journey to Canaan began by leaving home (Gen. 12:1).
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get the out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.
2. Moses’ journey to the Promised Land began with that first step back to Egypt (Exo. 4:20).
And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.
3. Paul’s three missionary journeys and his voyage to Rome began by leaving Antioch and traveling to Cyprus (Acts 13:4).
So they, being sent by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia, and from thence to Cyprus.
E. Whatever the OceanSide church decides to do, there must be a starting point.
1. It may be a plan of action.
2. It may be meeting a certain dollar amount in our budget (Ex., $8000 for a missionary).
3. It may be someone stepping up to the plate to lead a work.
4. It may be that we start something without having all the answers.
5. It may involve finding some faithful, diligent workers who will commit to a work.
F. Whatever we do, we have to start somewhere.
III. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE
B. We normally think in terms of possibilities.
C. We do not often think in terms of impossibilities. But, we should!
1. Luke 1:37
For with God nothing is impossible.
a. The angel was speaking to Mary about having a son.
b. She thought in terms of possibilities. To Mary, it was not possible because she had never known a man.
c. But, with God it was possible. She would have a child by the power of the most High God.
2. Luke 18:27
And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
a. In the context Jesus is speaking of the salvation of a rich man.
b. Again, God has the ability to touch the heart of one who has been blessed with many riches and covert him.
D. Things we think that are impossible.
1. We can never reach a budget of $3500.00 per week.
2. We can never have an attendance of 200.
3. We can never have a thriving youth group.
4. We can never support 2 or 3 missionaries.
5. We can never evangelize the beaches.
6. We can never reach the kids on the college campuses.
7. We can never have a ministry to those who come to the Mayo Hospital.
E. There’s an old saying: “Can’t never could.” There is another saying: “Man can’t, but God can.”
F. There are three major things that God that God has told us to do that will enable us to meet every goal that we have listed.
1. Live for Jesus (Phil. 1:21; 2:5).
2. Take the gospel to the lost (Matt. 28:18-20).
3. Give liberally (Luke 6:38).
A. We have looked at three things that can make OceanSide a very successful congregation.
Believe Start somewhere Impossible can happen
B. Hebrews 13:20-21
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1. Note, the write begins by reminding his readers that God brought again Jesus from the dead. God can do unbelievable things.
2. This same God is working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ.