The Courage For True Success

The Courage for True Success

Acts 14:19-20

Dr. Jim Denison

Dr. Bill Austin, the former Baylor chaplain, enjoyed telling this story on himself. Years earlier in his ministry, God led him from one pastorate to another. An elderly lady in the church he was leaving came to him with great sadness. “We’ll never find another pastor as good as you,” she said. “We’ll never find someone who can preach as well or lead as well.” “Oh, yes you will,” he assured her. “You’ll find a man who can preach much better than me, and lead much better than me, and be much better than I have been.” “Oh, no,” she shook her head, “that’s what they said the last time.”

It takes courage to follow God’s will. The message today is about the courage we must have to give sacrificially of our time, lives, and money to our Father. Now, how does this subject of courageous, sacrificial giving make you feel?

Before I became a pastor, whenever I learned that the sermon would be about giving I expected to be made to feel guilty or pressured. To be asked to do something I didn’t really want to do, because the pastor told me I should. I thought the goal was to raise as much money as possible.


The Family’s True Success

The Family’s True Success

Ephesians 6:1-4

Dr. Jim Denison

Anna Jarvis initiated the idea of Mother’s Day in 1905, to honor the memory of her deceased mother. Nine years later, President Woodrow Wilson made this day a national observance. By Ms. Jarvis’s death, 43 countries around the world had joined the observance. We typically use carnations, because they were Anna Jarvis’s mother’s favorite flower.

There’s something in the human condition that wants to honor our mothers.

We fathers recognize this fact, and kid about it. We know that more collect calls are placed on Father’s Day than any other day of the year. People say, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” but no one says that about fathers. When’s the last time you saw someone at a football game hold up a sign which said, “Hi Dad!?”

But we fathers are grateful for Mother’s Day. And we should be—more than we know. I have come to believe that Mother’s Day was God’s idea before it was Anna Jarvis’s, that this is not just a holiday but a holy day. That God intends to do crucial work with our souls today—work which can transform our families, our marriages, our community, and our nation.