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Parables of Salvation

Parables of Salvation

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Parables of Salvation

Longitud:
422 página
5 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Sep 16, 2002
ISBN:
9780595738038
Formato:
Libro

Descripción

The authors wife has frequently reminded him that there is a sermon in everything! The parables of Jesus demonstrate clearly to us that spiritual truths can be readily communicated with the aid of everyday objects. Just as Jesus used real life situations such as sowing or lost coins, so the attempt is made here to draw spiritual lessons from objects met every day. The emphasis in this book is on familiar objects, such as will be met frequently in life. Thus while it is a good and valid technique to add visual material to a talk by means of a picture, a word or a series of letters, this is not done here. The emphasis is on the object and the message gleaned from that, rather than on an attempt to visualize the message.

Those wanting inspiration for children's talks that will not bore them, or illustrations to liven up a sermon, will find a wealth of ideas here. No time-consuming making of pictures and posters, but just the use of ordinary objects, found in every home.

Editorial:
Publicado:
Sep 16, 2002
ISBN:
9780595738038
Formato:
Libro

Sobre el autor

Originally from the UK, where he graduated as an engineer from Cambridge University, David went as a missionary to Southern Africa. There he has ministered in various churches, schools, hospitals and prisons. He is currently professor in systematic theology at the University of Fort Hare, one of Africa's oldest, where he has taught since 1983. He is married with four grown-up children.

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Parables of Salvation - David T. Williams

Salvation

All Rights Reserved © 2002 by David T Williams

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system, without the permission in writing from the publisher.

Writers Club Press an imprint of iUniverse, Inc.

For information address: iUniverse, Inc. 5220 S. 16th St., Suite 200 Lincoln, NE 68512 www.iuniverse.com

ISBN: 0-595-24706-7

ISBN: 978-0-5957-3804-5

Printed in the United States of America

Contents

PREFACE

INTRODUCTION

Parables of Salvation

1. AIR FRESHENER CAN

2. ATM CARD

3. AXE

4. BALL (1)

5. BALL (2)

6. BANKNOTE (1)

7. BANKNOTE (2)

8. BANKNOTE (3)

9. BANKNOTE AND COIN

10. BATTERIES (1)

11. BATTERIES (2)

12. BATTERIES (3)

13. BEADS

14. BELL

15. BELT AND BRACES

16. BENT COIN (1)

17. BENT COIN (2)

18. BICYCLE PUMP

19. BIRTHDAY

20. BLOTTED PAPER

21. BOOK (1)

22. BOOK (2)

23. BOTTLE

24. BREAD

25. BREATH

26. BRICK

27. BRICKS

28. BRIEFCASE

29. BUILDING

30. BUTTONS

31. CANDLE

32. CARPET

33. CEMENT

34. CHAIN

35. CHEQUE (1)

36. CHEQUE (2)

37. CHRISTMAS SPANNER

38. CLEANING

39. CLOTH

40. CLOTHES HANGER

41. CLOTHES PEG

42. COMB

43. COMPACT DISC

44. CROSS

45. CRUTCHES

46. CUP

47. DEFLATED BALL

48. DICTIONARY

49. DOOR HANDLE (1)

50. DOOR HANDLE (2)

51. EGG (1)

52. EGG (2)

53. EGG (3)

54. EGG (4)

55. ELECTRIC PLUG

56. EMPTYVESSELS

57. EXAMINATIONS (1)

58. EXAMINATIONS (2)

59. EXAMINATIONS (3)

60. EXERCISE

61. FLAME

62. FLASH GUN

63. FRUIT AND WOOD

64. GLASS

65. GLOVE (1)

66. GLOVE (2)

67. GOLD

68. GRASS (1)

69. GRASS (2)

70. HAMMER

71. HANDCLASP

72. HEIGHT

73. HELMET

74. HINGE

75. HITCH-HIKING

76. HYPODERMIC SYRINGE

77. JACKET AND TROUSERS

78. KEYS

79. KNIFE

80. LEAF (1)

81. LEAF (2)

82. LETTER

83. LIGHT AND DARKNESS

84. LIGHT BULB (1)

85. LIGHT BULB (2)

86. LIGHT BULB (3)

87. LOCK AND KEY

88. LOLLIPOP

89. LOLLIPOP AND BREAD

90. MAGIC (RUBIK) CUBE

91. MAGNIFYING GLASS

92. MAP

93. MATCH

94. MICROPHONE

95. MÓBIUS STRIP

96. MOTOR CAR PART (1)

97. MOTOR CAR PART (2)

98. MOTOR CAR REPAIRS

99. MOTOR FAULT

100. MOUSETRAP (1)

101. MOUSETRAP (2)

102. NAIL (1)

103. NAIL (2)

104. NAILS AND HAMMER

105. NUMBER PLATES

106. NUTS AND BOLT

107. OLD AND NEW COIN

108. PAGES OF A BOOK (1)

109. PAGES OF A BOOK (2)

110. PAINT

111. PAINTBRUSH

112. PAPER CLIP

113. PAPERAEROPLANE

114. PASSPORT

115. PEN

116. PENCILS (1)

117. PENCILS (2)

118. PHOTOGRAPH

119. PILLS, HAMMERAND KNIFE

120. PLASTIC BAG

121. PLIERS

122. PRAYING HAND

123. PUMP AND BALLOON

124. PUMPKIN (1)

125. PUMPKIN (2)

126. PUNCTURE

127. RADIO

128. RECORD

129. RED

130. ROPE IN A BAG

131. ROPE AND HOLE

132. ROTTEN APPLES

133. RUBBER GLOVES

134. RUSTYTIN

135. SAFETYPIN

136. SALT

137. SANDWICH (1)

138. SANDWICH (2)

139. SANDWICH (3)

140. SAW AND HAMMER

141. SCISSORS

142. SCISSORS AND MIRROR

143. SCREWDRIVER

144. SEAT BELT

145. SEEDS (1)

146. SEEDS (2)

147. SEEDS (3)

148. SHOE (1)

149. SHOE (2)

150. SHOE (3)

151. SIEVE

152. SINK PLUG

153. SLING (1)

154. SLING (2)

155. SLING (3)

156. SNAKE (1)

157. SNAKE (2)

158. SOAP

159. SOMETHING LOST

160. SPANNERS

161. SPIRIT LEVEL

162. SPOON

163. STAPLER

164. STEERING WHEEL

165. STOOL

166. STORM CLOUDS

167. SUN

168. SUNGLASSES (1)

169. SUNGLASSES (2)

170. SUPERCEDED COIN

171. TAPE MEASURE

172. TAX DISC

173. TELEPHONE (1)

174. TELEPHONE (2)

175. THERMOMETER

176. TIE (1)

177. TIE (2)

178. TINNED FOOD

179. TIN-OPENING (1)

180. TIN-OPENING (2)

181. TOOLS

183. TOOTHPASTE

184. TORCH (1)

185. TORCH (2)

186. TOYWITH CLOTHES

187. TRAIN

188. TWIG

189. UMBRELLA

190. VENEER

191. WARNING LIGHT

192. WATCH (1)

193. WATCH (2)

194. WATER (1)

195. WATER (2)

196. WEDDING RING

198. WINDSCREEN WIPER

199. WIRE

200. YOYO

PREFACE 

The author has been engaged for several years in visiting Southern African black High schools, in the Durban area, in Alexandra near Johannesburg, and in the Eastern Cape. Each of the talks has thus been used some twenty times, usually with good acceptance. They have been delivered in English, so that the visual element has been a considerable help in overcoming the language barrier, particularly of the younger students. (There was a request by some schools to do this in order to give practice in hearing English, particularly that of a native speaker.) Because they have been used in this situation, the message has usually been of salvation, but some other topics have been dealt with from time to time. The format at the assemblies has been fairly constant; a regular teacher has led with a hymn, the author then presented his talk and prayed a short prayer based on it, the students sang again, usually the Lord’s prayer, and unless the Principal wanted to speak, went to their lessons. The entire assembly rarely exceeded 10-15 minutes.

Although these talks were all produced with school assemblies in mind, many of them have been used in other contexts with success, such as in youth meetings either at school or church, both in a black and white context, and in prison services. It is sometimes possible to put two or three talks together (such as the two using ropes, or the series on light bulbs) to form a short sermon. This would not normally be advised. The main value of these talks, like TV advertising, is in brevity and in surprise, but with a real message.

A further application for these talks is in the course of the more formal sermon in Church to illustrate a point or message. Incidentally, the author has tried for some years to avoid a separate childrens’ talk, rather trying to have a part of the regular sermon particularly applicable to the children. It is better for families to worship together and for all to find parts of the service applicable and interesting to them as at their level.

To the author’s knowledge, none of these talks have appeared in any other publication. Most are original to him, although a few are based upon talks given by others. For such inspiration he is grateful, but above all, he is thankful to God for His continual inspiration, for the message of salvation, and for the opportunities to share it.

Because it has been so well received, the author has been continually encouraged to publish the material, and a little while ago did this on a small scale, making homemade copies available to a very limited number. This did not seem to be good enough, so herewith a more widely available edition! A particular word of thanks is due to old friends, Geoff and Julie Roberts, of Bath, England, for their longterm encouragement of my ministry and this project in particular, and for their willingness to underwrite it financially.

The Cover

The use ofsymbols and pictures frequently communicates, often without the need ofany words at all. The symbol on the cover will be instantly recognized as a dove, which is itselfa symbol ofthe Holy Spirit. It is also widely recognized as a symbol ofpeace and reconciliation.

The work ofthe Holy Spirit was absolutely essential for the production of this book, not only as the source ofthe various ideas, but also as the power behind their development and their use.

The theme ofreconciliation with God, salvation, is also central to the book. This also cannot happen unless the Spirit Himself works.

INTRODUCTION 

It was Marshall McLuhan who popularised the idea that the medium is the message. He was making the point that there is far more to communication than simply using words. Obviously words are supremely important and indispensable, particularly in Christianity, which understands the main revelation of God as the Word incarnate (Jn 1:1). Christianity has then always majored on words, whether in sermons, hymns or in the Bible to tell the good news. Yet Jesus Himself told his message visually, in His own life and practice, and when He did speak, frequently used illustrations. He knew the power of the visual to augment and bring home the verbal. It is His example that has often been a source of encouragement to pursue this method of communicating the Gospel.

It was then my wife who has frequently reminded me that there is a sermon in everything! All that has to be done is to find out what that sermon is. I have often meditated on a household object, and almost inevitably been able to use it to make several points of value. 200 results of what I can only attribute to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit are contained in this little book. My prayer is that they will be of use to very many, and that hearts will be touched for Jesus.

It is now thirty years since I fell into this method of communicating the Gospel. As a raw and inexperienced missionary, I had been dropped into the South African city of Durban with no instructions of what I should actually do. As a teacher, I had naturally gravitated to the schools, and as a missionary I sought involvement in both the classroom religious education and the daily assembly. The former was comparatively straight-forward as I had a government approved syllabus to follow, but for the latter there were no rules save the challenge of making a point or two in about five minutes. The use of visual aids came naturally to somebody who had come from a training in engineering via science teaching. Who can teach science without experiment, demonstration, illustration and application? The extension to preaching was obvious!

Certainly it has proved effective as a method. It is quite horrendous to stand in front of a school and seek to bridge the gulfs oflanguage, culture, race, and now in these days also an age gap of forty years! Yet the continued welcome into schools and the obvious popularity of the visits say a lot for the value of the method used.

Such assemblies present a speaker with both unique opportunities and real problems. On the positive side, the speaker has an opportunity that few ministers have today of a large audience (how high a proportion of the school depended on the discipline). More to the point, the meeting is usually at the start of the day before they are distracted by more mundane matters. There is the opportunity to give a message which will set the tone for the day, and hopefully for the rest of their lives. On the negative side however, there can be great difficulties, and it is these which have often made the school assembly into a burden for both teachers and pupils, and in many places caused it to be abandoned. Time is short, and a meaningful message must be presented concisely. Distraction has already started and attention must be captivated. Frequently pupils have not really woken up yet. Such problems are met by a captivating visual. Most particularly, the major problem of the school assembly is boredom due to familiarity and repetition. It is very hard to present a meaningful message five days a week. This small book will by no means solve that problem but it is the writer’s prayer that it may stimulate further ideas (for which he would also be grateful!). Occasional use of an assembly of this order (perhaps once a week) may well be different and profitable.

The use of familiar objects has the result of giving immediate rapport between the speaker and audience, thus enhancing communication. The author has in many cases followed this up by using an approach in speaking that seeks direct audience response. (This will frequently be evident in the talks themselves.)

Despite the increased rapport, and better communication, which results from a use of visual aids, a word of caution is necessary to those who want to use this very powerful medium. Just as in the case of the parables ofJesus, the visual material or the example must not be overemphasized. It is not possible to apply every detail of the illustration. A parable is a medium in which only one or two features are relevant to the message, the rest should be disregarded. The advantages, however, have been found by experience to far outweigh the possible problems, which in general with these talks, have not been experienced.

Those who seek to use this material must also be aware of the danger of using such potted material. Just like canned food, it can appear so, and needs some embellishment. The writer recommends that these ideas are meditated on and prayed over. This is a spiritual work, and these matters should not be presented cold. Without adequate preparation they are not likely to produce the desired results. The speaker must also resist the temptation of not actually having the object. Imagination is no substitute. Some of the talks will also benefit from practice beforehand.

Parables of Salvation 

1. AIR FRESHENER CAN 

Visual aid: Can of air freshener, hymn book, Bible, coin, dust pan.

READING: Isaiah 1:12-17 or Hebrews 9:22-26

If there is a bad smell, what can be done about it? Is it any use reading about it to get rid of the smell? Obviously not. Is it any use singing about it to get rid of the smell? Obviously not. Can the smell be paid to go away [show the coin]? The only thing that can be done is to go and find the source of the smell, remove it [dust pan] and then use the can [show it] to finally get rid of its effects, the smell.

But people think they can get rid of sin in the same way. They feel they can get rid of sin by education, or at best by reading the Bible [show Bible]. Or they feel that they can go to Church or a meeting and sing [show hymn book]. Or they feel that if they pay, give money to the Church, then their sin will be somehow bought off [coin]. These things are all good, indeed essential, but do not get rid of sin. The only way of doing that is by the blood of Christ who died for us. But once we have repented and accepted Christ, then we also need to get rid of the effects of sin [air-freshener].

Just as the air freshener can be a powerful means of getting rid of smells, so the Holy Spirit has the power to improve us. But the can is no use to us unless the button is pressed, and so many people do not use what God has provided for them to actually make them more perfect.

It would be very sad if the smell immediately came back once the can was put away! However, when the button has been pressed the effect lasts for quite a time. What God can do for us likewise lasts; in fact it is eternal.

You cannot see the air-freshener doing its job. You only see that it has worked. We know that the death of Jesus takes away sin; we never see the sins actually being taken away. Neither can we see the Holy Spirit working, but it is just as real.

One can of freshener is effective for a great number of smells. The death of Jesus likewise is effective for many, indeed the sins of the whole world, and as the Holy Spirit is God, He too has all the power that we need. We just need to use it!

It would be very stupid is to go around causing new smells! Of course they can be dealt with in turn, but that is a waste of effort, and our cleaning up is never perfect. Far better to avoid causing the problem in the first place. It is really far better not to sin in the first place. In any case, the air freshener costs money, and nobody wants to waste that! Perhaps if we appreciate how much Jesus suffered because of our sin, that should motivate us to improve.

2. ATM CARD 

Visual aid: Card for automatic bank teller machine. READING: Matthew 6:19-21

When people get a bit of money, they usually put it into the bank, which gives it back when it is wanted. But if the bank is closed, what can be done? Or if the bank is a long way away, what is to be done? These days there is a very simple solution, as the money is always available by the card and machine. God’s blessings are like that; He is not only ready to help us in special places and at special times, but everywhere and in any place.

What the card does is provides a link with the bank, so that the money is available to us; and our faith is what links us to God, so that His grace is available. What people often find with their cards, however, is that the account has become empty; that can never happen with God!

The card only has value if there is also a bank machine, which is able to deal with lots of cards. Christians are really only valuable insofar as they belong to churches. Incidentally, every card clearly shows which bank it belongs to, but most cards will work in machines of a different bank. There are very many churches, all of which provide help in our relationships with God. Are we proud of our church? What of course really matters is that we belong to Jesus.

The card also tells us about the account, and how much money there is in it (or should be!) That is the same as Christian faith. The fact that there are Christians is a strong indication that there really is a God who loves and cares for us. Just like the machine recognizes your specific card and can tell you exactly what you have in your account, so God knows you absolutely.

In order to get the money, you must have the card. But just having a card is no use at all, but you must have an account at the bank. Just being called a Christian is no use, but you must have a relationship to God. This is individual; all people look much the same, and all the cards look much the same, but people are individuals, and so are cards. Each is unique, with its own PIN, and each of us is individual to God. That means that even if somebody has your card, they cannot get your money. Your faith is something that just cannot be stolen from you.

3. AXE 

Visual aid: Small axe. I used one with a loose head, which adds point to the talk.

READING: Philippians 2:5-11

In the winter months it is nice to light a fire for warmth. With this, life is a lot more pleasant! Now fires need fuel, and many will either burn wood, or perhaps use wood to start them. In either case wood needs to be chopped, which needs an axe. We cannot chop wood without one! That is why people make axes, to be useful and serve us. That is what Christians should do; they should aim to serve, to be useful to others. This is why Christ came, not as a king as much as a servant.

But what does the axe do? Two things:

It divides one piece of the wood from another.

Unlike a saw, it does not lose any of the wood in the process.

And Christians do the same sort of thing. They divide things into right and wrong. They do not steal from others.

This is what Jesus came to show us. He taught us the things that are right, and gave us the example of a life that is given to the service of others. If everyone, or at least more people did this, life would be a lot more pleasant!

The axe is an example of cooperation; it has two parts, the head and the handle, neither of which will be very successful by itself. We are actually like the head of the axe, the bit that does the chopping. God has made us in this world to work, and in so doing to serve other people. However, although it is possible for the head to do the job alone, it is much better with the handle, which guides it into the right place. A

person can work without God, but to be really effective, there needs to be the help, and especially the guidance, that God is ready to give us.

Note that if the woodchopping is to be really successful, the axe head and the handle have to be fastened really tightly together. A loose head can even be dangerous, and a Christian not really one with God can also easily do harm.

The edge of the head must also be sharp and well prepared for the job. A Christian does not just need to be guided by God, but be well prepared in every other way as well. We need to develop our talents and abilities as far as we can if we are to best serve God and those round about us.

4. BALL (1) 

Visual aid: a ball, preferably one that bounces well.

READING: Genesis 1:31, Proverbs 6:6-11, or Romans 8:18-25.

Why do people make balls? They are no real use to us. We cannot eat them, we cannot wear them to keep us warm! We could ask exactly the same question as to why God created us. After all, there is nothing that we can give to God. He is the one that made us, and if there was anything that He did need He could easily make it. However people do make balls for a very good reason; using them gives us a great deal of pleasure. In the same way God made us for exactly the same reason; we can give Him pleasure.

The thing that gives us most pleasure in a ball is the way it behaves, especially that it can bounce up and down [bounce the ball]. However, do you think that the ball enjoys every part of the experience? It probably likes to rise up high in the air, but does it like being squashed onto the wall or the ground? Yet it has to in order to get the right effect; if it does not suffer in that way it will not give us very much pleasure. It would seem that one reason why God allows us to suffer is that if we respond to it as we should, trusting Him for strength in it, our endurance will be pleasing to God. It is not that God causes our suffering; just as we do not throw the ball for the sake of the bounce itself, but to see it rise up afterwards, what gives God pleasure is the way in which we respond to troubles that come upon us.

Of course the actual bounce lasts only for a very short time; if it did not it would not give any pleasure! Likewise we may suffer a while, but we do know that it is only temporary.

If we leave the ball alone it never goes up by itself. If it is to rise, someone has to throw it up; and the more effort that they put in, the higher it will rise. That is just the same with us, and with society as a whole. If

we are to improve, to rise up, it will never happen if we do not put effort into it. If we are lazy, things will only ever deteriorate.

But even if we throw the ball up with all of our strength, it always soon stops going up and starts to come down again! Our effort can keep it up for a while. The only way in which there can be improvement in us, or in society as a whole, is if God Himself provides the strength. IfHe lifts us up, we need never come down again. The life that He gives to us will last forever.

5. BALL (2) 

Visual aid: A ball. If it is a rugby ball an extra point can be made. One with a puncture will also be valuable.

READING: John 3:1-16, especially 3:5-6, or Ephesians 5:18

A ball can give us a lot of pleasure, just as we can give much pleasure to God. However, a ball is made up of two basic components, and if it is to be really good, both parts are not only essential, but have to work well. There is the outside, that we can see, but inside there is the air, which we cannot see, but which also has a job to do. We are the same. On the one hand, we have bodies that can do things to please God, but must be cared for. We cannot serve God really well with unfit bodies.

For a ball, the inside is probably more important than the outside. If we try to bounce a ball that has a puncture we will find that it does not work. It is the air that gives the bounce. In the same way it is the Spirit that is essential for our life, and especially for our eternal life. Without this we will certainly just die. Not that the Spirit is given to us just to power us, but He leads us often in ways that we cannot anticipate [a rugby ball will not bounce straight!]. This means that:

a. What we find with a ball is that it needs to be pumped up hard if it is to bounce really well; that is why we are told to be filled constantly with the Spirit, which we do by frequent worship and prayer to God.

b. At the same time a ball must be kept away from things that would puncture it, and we must keep way from temptations as far as we are able. It is stupid to play near thorns! And just as sin seems to be fun, it seems to be fun to play ball with a big dog, until it bites and bursts the ball! Once the air is out, the ball is useless, and if we sin, we grieve the Spirit, and then without His help we cannot work for God as we should.

Of course the air does not work unless it is in the ball. In the same way, the Holy Spirit generally wants to work by human means. Actually, if the ball is too light or too heavy, it does not work well at all; there has to be a correct balance.

It is also interesting that the outside is usually made up of several parts fastened together, it is only then that we have a ball. The Church of God is also made from many people and benefits from its diversity; people are made so as to be very different from one another, but then so that they can work together.

[Incidentally, while the workings of the Spirit have been the means of splitting churches (perhaps the ball is pumped up too much?), it is also the presence of the Spirit that should keep the parts together, as there is no reason for putting the ball together if there is no air in it!]

6. BANKNOTE (1) 

Visual aid: Banknotes, one of the country you are in, and one foreign one.

READING: Matthew 6:19-21 or 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 orJob 23:810.

Money is a necessity in the world today [hold up own note]. But other countries have a different form of money [hold up]. One sort of money is good for one country but useless in a different one, and vice versa. So what would happen, if you suddenly arrived in a different country without the right money? Life would be difficult if not completely impossible. Thus people who are going to travel to another country make sure that they have money of that country before they set out.

Now we are all on a journey, and one day when we die we will pass over to heaven, if of course we have put our faith in Christ for our salvation. That will get us to heaven, but shall we arrive with nothing? One reason for having money is that it is a means of

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