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Sermon Illustrations: Praising God

Once upon a time there was a king who went hunting game with his friend. As the king shot the arrow, his thumb came off. His friend said, "Praise God because He's in control." The king was furious and threw his friend in gaol. Some time later, the king was hunting when he ventured into a distant land where he'd never been before. Suddenly he was surrounded by cannibals. They tied him up and were ready to cook him when they saw the hand with no thumb. "No perfect, no cookie," said the chief, and they let him go. He went back to his friend and apologised. "You were right. Not having a thumb saved my life." His friend said, "Praise God that I have been in gaol for so long." "How can you praise God?" the king asked. "If I hadn't been in gaol, I would have been hunting with you. And look: two thumbs."

I don't praise God because I feel like it, I praise Him because He said to, because it's good for me, because when I do He does great things. Can you imagine being in a war, you see the enemy pouring over the ridges. Your first response is: "Aaugh!" Your sergeant comes to you and says, "Don't worry son. Put your rifle down and use this rocket launcher." "But sergeant, I don't feel like it." "Use it son, it works." "But sergeant, you don't understand. I'm afraid. I'm hurting. I'm unhappy. I'm depressed. My wife yelled at me." "Don't give me excuses, private. Use the rocket launcher." Isn't that a little bit like what happens in church? Some people, you'd swear by watching them that life is always good to them. Because they make a decision not to let their circumstances or their feelings determine their behaviour. Others, if they've had a bad week - they stop using their rocket launcher; they stop praising God.

Matt Hayden (2003) - 380 runs. Someone told me they were there when Mark Taylor broke 300. When he hit 100, 200, the crowd got excited. But when he hit 300, they went wild. I keep asking this question. How can a person go to a sporting match, and get all excited, but in church they stand there like a lamppost?

When you use a magnifying glass, it doesn't change the size of what you look at. It changes your perception. Dwayne Vanderklok on magnifying the Lord

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