It is
important to remember that Jesus did not quit meeting with His
disciples because Judas was a traitor and a thief, because Peter was
fickle, or because Thomas had his doubts. His disciples were at times
rude, thoughtless, unkind, and selfish. His disciples still sometimes
manifest those attitudes. But He does not forsake them; nor should we
forsake them. Rather, we are to encourage the best and overlook and
forgive the rest. In this way, we can create a climate for growth, all
the while being thankful that people have been patient with us as
well.

_______________

J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.


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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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I heard a story the other night about a truck driver who dropped in at an all-night restaurant in Broken Bow, Nebraska. The waitress had just served him when three swaggering, leather-jacketed motorcyclists – of the Hell’s Angels type – entered and rushed up to him, apparently spoiling for a fight. One grabbed the hamburger off his plate; another took a handful of his French fries; and the third picked up his coffee and began to drink it.

The trucker did not respond as one might expect. Instead, he calmly rose, picked up his check, walked to the front of the room, put the check and his money on the cash register, and went out the door. The waitress followed him to put the money in the till and stood watching out the door as the big truck drove away into the night.

When she returned, one of the cyclists said to her, “Well, he’s not much of a man, is he?”

She replied, “I can’t answer as to that, but he’s not much of a truck driver. He just ran over three motorcycles out in the parking lot.”


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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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It is important
to remember that Jesus did not quit meeting with His disciples because Judas
was a traitor and a thief, because Peter was fickle, or because Thomas had his
doubts. His disciples were at times rude, thoughtless, unkind, and selfish.
His disciples still sometimes manifest those attitudes. But He does not forsake
them; nor should we forsake them. Rather, we are to encourage the best and overlook
and forgive the rest. In this way, we can create a climate for growth, all the
while being thankful that people have been patient with us as well.

__________________________

Michael Shannon,
Cincinnati Bible College


View more sermon illustrations for inspiration for your next message.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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A few years ago I bought a red flowering crabapple tree and carefully planted it in our yard. But it didn’t exactly thrive – in fact, one by one the leaves started dropping off! My husband failed to see the urgency of the situation. “Give it a little time,” he murmured.

The next spring it did a little better – it had swelled buds and leaves, but no flowers. “That does it! I’m getting rid of the flowering crabapple!” I sputtered.

Jim surveyed the scraggly branches. “Maybe this isn’t the flowering kind. Some of ’em never blossom, you know.”

“But the tag says: Flowering, Crabapple, Red!”

The third spring came. Still no red flowers. But this time Jim took me outside and showed me some tiny clusters of red balls nestled in among the leaves. “Blossoms?” I asked, incredulous.

“Blossoms!” he said.

Now, as I watch the little red tree become brilliant with color, it reminds me of how impatient I can be with other things in my life.

-Vickie Schad


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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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