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ILLUSTRATIONS


  

*ADVERSITY – DIFICULTIES*

 

 

1                                                                 FANNY CROSBY

 

            When Fanny Crosby was just six weeks old she was permanently blinded by a Dr. who put the wrong medicine in her eyes.  She lived in a Christian home and her parents accepted this as the will of the Lord.  Fanny accepted Christ as her Saviour at an early age and accepted her blindness as from the Lord and lived a very dedicated life.  During her lifetime she wrote more than 5,000 Christian hymns and many are still blessing the church today.

  

2                                               THE BLESSING OF DIFICULTIES

 

             According to an old legend, a grandfather clock stayed in the same place in the house for three generations marking the time faithfully.  The clock had a heavy weight that had to be lifted up every week so that it would function properly.  A new owner one day thought how sad that the clock had to support that heavy weight all the time, so he removed it with the chain that held it and immediately the clock stopped working.  The clock exclaimed, “Why have you taken the weight off?”  The man replied, “I just wanted lighten your load.”  “Please put back the weight, it is what makes me work.” 

  

3                                                         THE BEST APPEARANCE

 

             William Elliot was president of Harvard University for many years during the last century.  He had a large birth mark on his face that caused him a great deal of anguish because the Doctors told him that they could not do anything for him.  This caused a great deal of anguish for him.

              His mother gave him this advise: “Son, it is not possible to remove this burden but it is possible with the help of God to develop a mind and soul that people will not see your scar but will remember you for your inner being. 

             And so it was, William Elliot was well known as a great    educator and preacher and nothing was said about his physical handicap.

 

 4                                                  SHE WAS BRAKING

 

             A man and his wife were riding one day on one these bicycles that has two seats.  He was in the front and after awhile they came to a small hill and he began pedaling with all his energy.  As they got half way up he noted that the pedaling became harder and harder.  Finally they reached the top and he stopped and wiped the sweat from his face and exclaimed, “well, we finally reached the top.” 

   She then said: “I kept the brake on so we wouldn’t go backwards down the hill.”

            And isn’t this is the way it is many times in our churches, the pastor pedals with all his energy so the church will go forward and others sit on the back rows braking with their lack of interest and criticism

                                  

5                                                         MADE  PURE  BY  TRIALS

 

             A pastor was visiting a member of his church who was a jeweler, and he asked him, "How do you know when the gold is pure, and it is time to take it from the heat?" The jeweler responded: "Very easily; when I look at the gold and it reflects my face,  then I know it is completely pure.  So it is with us.  God allows us to pass through the trials of the testing, and when our life reflects the face of Christ, then we are pure.

 

6                                                            DOWN BUT NOT OUT

 

              Many people have been successful after an experience of failure, because they did not allow failure to conquer.  Nathanael Hawthorn, for example, lost his position in the customs office, when he was living in Massachusetts.  Feeling depressed, he told his wife the bad news, hoping she would share his anguish.  But to his surprise, she responded with enthusiasm:  “Now will have more time to work on your book!"  With her stimulus, he put his hands to the work and finished "The Scarlet Letter" which many critics of literature say is one of the best novels ever written in the United States.

              Philip Brooks failed miserably as a teacher, but later came to reach great prominence.  When he could not continue teaching in school, he decided to enter the ministry.  He reached success and his name appears on the list of the America’s best known pastors.

 

 7                                SHAPED DOWN HERE TO FIT UP THERE

                                                               

             During the depression a believer lost his employment, a considerable fortune and his beautiful house.  And besides all this, his beloved wife died.  Yet he maintained his faith, the only thing he had left.  One day while he was walking in search of employment, he stopped to look at some men that were laying blocks on a large church they were working on.  One of them was cutting a stone to a triangular shape.  "Where does that stone go"?, he asked.  The worker responded: “Do you see that opening up there in the corner?  I am shaping this stone down here, so that it will fit up there."  While the believer meditated, tears filled his eyes, because the Lord had spoken to him through the words of that worker, whose words gave a new meaning to his afflictions.

  

8                                                                   REAL  PEACE       

 

             Two artists were the finalists in a picture competition in which the topic was peace.  The first artist painted a still field from England, which had remained the same since the Roman times.

             Everything was peaceful and still.  The other artist painted a violent storm, and you could see the effects of the wind on the trees, on a branch of one of the trees there was a bird’s nest and the mother was calmly sitting on her eggs.  In the expression of the bird an absolute peacefulness was noticed.

             The judges gave the prize to the second artist, commenting that the first picture was not really peace, but stagnation.  The second was real peace, because of the adverse conditions.

 

9                                                 GOD KNOWS WHAT WE CAN  SUPPORT

 

             A man was shopping for groceries accompanied by his small son who stayed close to him in the market.  The boy had a big basket, and the father was filling it with the things they needed.   He put in cans of preserves, sugar, flour, meat, a selection of vegetables, etc.  A lady that observed them from a distance said, “That is a very heavy load for a small boy like you”.  The boy turned and looking a little surprised, said with a smile, “My father knows how much I can carry.”  1 Corinthians 10:13

 

 10                            HIS OBJECT IS TO GROW THE BEST MEN, NOT PEACHES

 

             A young man had worked for years to establish himself as a peach grower and had invested his all in a small peach orchard which bloomed bounteously. Then came the frost. He didn't go to church the next Sunday, nor the next, nor the next. His minister went to hunt him up and inquired the reason. The discouraged young fellow exclaimed: "No, and what is more, I'm not coming any more. Do you think I can worship a God who loves me so little that he will let a frost kill all my peaches?"

          The old minister looked at him a moment in silence, and then replied kindly: “Young man, God loves you better than he does your peaches. He knows that while peaches do better without frosts, it is impossible to grow the best men without frosts. His object is to grow the best men, not peaches.” J.F. Cowan

 

11                                                               A PROVEN CORD

 

             Doctor Leon Tucker told about when their daughter Evangeline, a talented violinist, was in a program and faced a very critical audience.  In spite of the fact that she had a very good instrument, she was not satisfied with the quality of its sound.   She pointed out to her father that this violin has to give the best resonance and vibration possible.   She sent her father out to buy proven strings.  Dr. Tucker asked what was so important about proven strings. She said, "First they are put it in a machine to stretch them to take out all their slack.  Later they are hammered and then put through acid.  This is what makes them able to produce a perfect and full tone."   When she got the strings and tuned the instrument, the music that came forth was notably richer and fuller than before.

   When the Heavenly Father wants to get the best music from the instrument of our lives,  it is imperative that we pass the tests.  God uses adversity in order to mature his children and perfect their lives.

  

12                                                          HARDSHIPS HAVE VALUES

 

             In hot tropical rain forests, huge plants and trees grow quickly, sometimes almost overnight. But these trees have soft wood, and they fall prey to insects and diseases and live only a short time. In the rugged mountains of the north, growth is slow. Plants and trees must endure high winds, ice storms, and intense cold, but they grow strong and tough with knotty, hard wood. Hardships have values we don't usually appreciate at the time, but they have a tendency to strengthen us.

 

 13                                                     THE REWARD OF A MISFORTUNE

            

             A very prominent business man from New York, lost a great part of his fortune in the stock market and decided to go to the state of California to begin a small business with the little capital he had left. He bought a few acres of land and after much work was able to put it in condition to sow a crop.  In order to do this he had to make a canal for irrigation, and in the construction all his money was used. One day a rain storm came and destroyed the canal.  Everyone was sorry for the total loss of that man. He was broken-hearted and discouraged as he stood surveying his loss.  Just then he saw a glittering object that had been uncovered by the waters.  It was gold!  The disaster that he thought had made him a beggar had actually made him wealthy.  So, too, the Lord often works through our troubles to strip away certain cherished possessions to show us the better treasures of His love and power.  How thankful we should be that in every storm of affliction we have the assurance that the Lord has a good purpose in view! Therefore, what had been considered a calamity had become his salvation.  Romans 8:28

  

14                                                       OBEDIENT TO HIS CALLING 

 

             Many years ago, a young Christian couple felt the call of God to go as missionaries to a Tropical Island.  They went with their children and their efforts were greatly blessed.  Many souls were led to Jesus and a church was established in that remote area.  One day, one of the children died of a strange illness, and ten days later the second son died in the same way.  Wondering if they should abandon the territory, they asked the Lord for direction concerning His will.  In a short time they were convinced that His will was that they should stay in their place of service.  After just a few months, the wife also died.  Just before her death, she murmured some words of encouragement to her husband.  He had the temptation to return to his country and find easier work, but the exhortation of his dear wife resonated in his heart: "Be faithful, dear, be faithful. Be a good soldier of Jesus Christ!"  The husband continued and served the Lord faithfully for many years and many other churches were established in that region.

  

15                                                   GREAT VALUE IN DESASTER

 

             Benjamin Franklin once said. “The sentence which has most influenced my life is, ‘Some persons grumble because God placed thorns among roses. Why not thank God because He placed roses among thorns?’”

             The great Edison industries in West Orange, N. J., were practically destroyed by fire in December 1914. In one night Thomas A. Edison lost two million dollars worth of equipment, and the record of much of his life's work went up in flames.

              Edison's son, Charles, ran frantically about trying to find his father. Finally he came upon him, standing near the fire, his face ruddy in the glow, his white hair blown by the winter winds. “My heart ached for him,” his son said. “He was no longer young, and everything was being destroyed.”

             When Thomas Edison spotted his son Charles, he shouted, “Where's your mother? Find her and bring her here. She'll never see anything like this again as long as she lives.”

             The next morning, walking about the charred embers of so many of his hopes and dreams, the 67-year-old Edison said, “There is a great value in disaster. All the mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.”

             It takes a long view to be able to glimpse at the refinement that comes from passing through the fires which at the time seem unendurable.

 

 16                                                    LIGHT IN THE VALLEY

                                                             

 

 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me....”  Psalm 23:4.

              D. L.  MOODY said that he believed that this verse has been wrongfully interpreted by many.  “I have listened to thousands speak about the ‘dark valley.’  But the word ‘dark’ is not there! It does say "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death". We have all seen the shadows and darkness at some time?  But go down to your basement tonight without light, and you will not see a shadow.  The fact that there is a shadow proves that there is light in the valley. All death can do is throw a shadow and shadows cannot do us any harm.  As Christians we don't have to fear because we have the Light of Life in the valley with us.                 

  

17                                                 HOW GOD MAKES COMFORTERS

 

 Little wisdom is acquired in days of prosperity and careless free happiness, but what marvelous lessons we learn in the University of pain and tears! We discover that God has a special key of consolation to fit every lock of sorrow. And when we have experienced His comfort, we can best help our fellowmen. J. W. Bramhall says, "Sorrow  can lead us into one of four lands: the barren land in which we try to escape from it; the broken land in which we sink under it; the bitter land in which we resent it; or the better land in which we bear it and become a blessing to others."

An elderly Chinese philosopher was once approached, by a young woman who was grief stricken because of the loss of her only son. "I will be able to help you," he assured her, "if you will bring me some mustard seed; but it must be obtained at a home where there has never been any sorrow." Eagerly the woman started her search. In every place she visited, however, there had been trials and loss of loved ones. Returning, she exclaimed, "How selfish I have been! Sorrow is common to all". "Ah," said the elderly sage, "you have now learned a valuable lesson and acquired a wealth of wisdom which not only has eased your own grief, but also has prepared you to sympathize with others."

If the God of all comfort has consoled you, Christian, and given you fresh perspectives of His grace, don't hoard up that precious treasure.  After having experienced His balm of healing, use it to help those by your side who need compassion and understanding.  -H. G. Bosch

   

*ANIMALS*

 

  18                                                                 THE STORY OF A DOG

 

             Evangelist C. M. Ward tells the story of a dog, a most amazing story, a true story, out of the mission fields of Africa. He told about a woman getting saved; and when she got saved, her husband was angry with her and began to beat her. He beat her many, many times. But this woman went on to church just the same. When she went to church, she took with her a dog that she had bought in the nearby market, just a scoundrel of a dog according to the world, but a little pup that she had raised and loved very much. Bro. Ward said that this woman would take the dog with her to church, and when she would sit in the church auditorium the dog would come and sit by her side.

              The husband, a mean reprobate of a man, would beat his wife. He was angry that she was a Christian and would go to church. After some time of this inhuman treatment by the husband, the wife became ill and passed away.

             He would not even allow the African pastor to come and have the service. She was buried as one without faith, buried as a heathen of that part of Africa.

             And so the story goes, given by Bro. Ward,  that some two or three days after the death of this wife, the husband looked around for the dog had been around the house, but the dog was missing.

              He said, “I know where the dog is. The dog has gone down to the church where my wife worshipped.” He said, “I'll go down to get the dog.” He was an angry, bitter man. He went down to the church and, sure enough, when he looked inside the door, he saw the dog sitting beside the empty place where his wife had worshipped for such a long time. The dog was sitting there in the same place, next to the empty seat where the wife had always gone to worship. The man looked inside for a while.

             As he told the story later, the man said that he thought, “It’s I a strange thing that that dog is sitting there, seeming to understand what is going on. I think I'll go in and just see what it is all about. He walked inside and sat in the same place where his wife had gone to worship for many years. The dog was sitting there by his side.

             When the end of the service came, the pastor gave an invitation, and the dog very strangely got up from his place and walked to the front to the altar and stopped at a certain place. Do you know where he stopped? He stopped at the place where that wife had gone again and again to pray for her husband. Again and again, the wife had walked down to the front and knelt at the altar to pray for her wicked husband. And the dog came, as he had followed the wife many times, and stopped at the same place.

   When the heathen man looked and saw what the dog had done, he was amazed for a while. Then he said, “There must be something to this.” He, said, “If that dog would walk down the aisle and go down to the front and stop at that altar, then surely I must find out what it's all about.” He walked down the aisle of the church and fell upon his knees, and the African pastor led him to the Lord Jesus Christ. He was saved.

 

19                                          HE RECOGNIZED HIS MASTERS CALL

 

             Thousands of enthusiastic football fans were sitting in the stands waiting for the beginning of the game. As they waited, a little dog strayed from his master onto the field. From the grandstand on one side of the field, one whistled. Presently, many were whistling to the dog from all sides of the field and the little dog, filled with confusion and fright, crouched to the ground. Then a boy at the end of the field put two fingers in his mouth and whistled shrilly and loudly. The little dog, recognizing his master's call amidst the others, leaped to his feet. With ears erect, the dog ran swiftly to its master.

   I grant you that there may be many confusing calls coming to you in this day. But I believe that if you love the Lord, and if you are attentive to His service, you will hear His voice and respond to His call.

  

20                                                         HE DIED WITH HER

 

              Some years ago a train was approaching the city of Montreal. The engineer saw a large dog on the tracks. The dog was barking furiously. The engineer blew the whistle, but still the dog stayed on the track. Just as the engine came upon the dog, he crouched down and extended himself across the track. The dog was struck by the locomotive and killed. After stopping the train, the engineer looked toward the front of his engine and saw a piece of white cloth fluttering in the wind. He discovered that it was part of a child's dress. After going to the back of the train, he found not only the mangled body of the dog but also the body of a child. The child had evidently fallen across the track, and the faithful dog seeing the train approaching had done his best to save her. Failing, he had covered her with his own body and died with her. The dog had been faithful unto death.

  

21                                        HE HAD BEEN FAITHFUL UNTIL DEATH

 

             In Edinburg, Scotland, there is a famous water fountain. There is a statue of a dog on the top of this fountain, a dog named Bobby. Bobby was a shepherd’s dog. One day the dog followed the shepherd to town, and that day the shepherd dropped dead upon the street. The undertaker took the body to a funeral parlor and the dog followed. They had to kick him out when they closed the place for the night, but the dog stayed near the door. The next day Bobby followed the funeral procession to the church yard where the old shepherd was buried. He stayed by the grave until everyone had left. He then lay down near the head of the grave. The sexton tried to entice him away, but the dog would not move, so the sexton each day brought food and water to the faithful dog. One night, a deep snow came, and the next morning when the sexton went out to look for Bobby he found only a mound of snow on the grave. Bobby was beneath the snow. He had stayed by his master until he had frozen to death. He had been faithful unto death.

  

 

*BIBLE*

 

 

  22                                          THE DIARY OF A BIBLE                Dr. W. R. Nelson

Jan. 15 - I have been resting quietly for a week. The first few nights of the New Year my owner read me regularly; now I've been forgotten, I guess.

Feb. 2 - Clean-up day! I was dusted with some other things and put back on the shelf.

Feb. 7 - My owner used me for a short time looking up some references and then went to Sunday School.

Mar. 7 - I have been dusted today and placed on the center table in the sitting room. Special company has been here but now I am back on the shelf again.

Apr. 2 - Busy day! My owner led a devotional lesson and had to look up some references. She had quite a time finding me and then she hunted and hunted to find the references she wanted. She’s not very well acquainted with me, you see.

March- 5 - I’m here in Grandma’s lap. She is here on a visit. A tear dropped on Colossians 2:5-7.

May 6 - I’m in Grandma’s lap again this afternoon. She has spent most of her time reading 1 Corinthians 13 and the last four verses the 15th chapter.

May 7-8-9- I've been in Grandma's lap each of these afternoons; I’m in there now. It is such a comfort to be appreciated, loved and held tenderly. She reads me part of the time, and then she just sits and talks to me.

May 10 - Grandma’s gone and I’m beck in the same old place. She kissed me before she left.

June 4 - Had a couple of four-leaf clovers tucked away between my leaves today.

July 1 - I’ve been packed away in a trunk today with some other things. They are off on a vacation, I guess.

July 7 - I'm still in the trunk.

July 10 - I'm 'still in the trunk, though nearly everything else has been taken out. Other things first, I guess.

July 15 - Well, I’m home again, and back in the same old place.  Quite a journey we had, but I can't see why they took me. I was not out of the trunk while we were gone.

Aug. 1 - Rather stuffy and hot. Two magazines, a novel, and an old hat on top of me. I wish they would take them off.

Sept. 10 - Clean-up day! I was dusted and put back. I'm lonesome, I wish Grandma would come again.

Oct. 12 - Mary used me for a few minutes today. She was writing a letter to a friend whose brother had died and she needed a suitable verse to quote.

Nov. 5 -- I was carried to Church on Rally Day and helped to be counted. I'm glad to be used even that way.

Nov. 23 - Thanksgiving is her but with all the preparations for the meal I guess they forgot to thank the Lord for His word.

 

 Dec. 31 - Tomorrow I expect to have a knife slipped between my leaves, by a blindfolded person who will place a finger on a verse and then the blindfold removed and the verse read. Suppose the finger should rest on John 5: 39?  Tomorrow the New Year will be here. I wonder if it will be as lonesome as this one has been? On the shelf, under the books and magazines, old hats, in the trunk for days and days. If only my owner would read me and learn of my message of cheer and instruction. How I would like to help them. Would you pray with me that I might have this opportunity?    An Unused Bible

  

23                                                     KNOWING THE AUTHOR

 

             A young lady began to read a book but soon laid it aside. Though she had some interest, it was soon nearly forgotten. Sometime later she became acquainted with the author, and the acquaintance resulted in betrothal. She soon remembered and took it down and read it again with tenfold interest. The soul betrothed to Christ reads the Bible, not as a mere history, but as a personal message from a loving friend.     J.G. Vaughn

 

24                                                        WHAT THE BIBLE IS

 

I am the Bible, God's wonderful library, I am always, and above all, the truth.

To the weary pilgrim, I am a strong staff.

To the one who sits in darkness, I am glorious light.

To those who stumble beneath heavy burdens, I am sweet rest.

To him who has lost his way, I am a safe guard.

To those who are sick in sin, I am healing strength and forgiveness.

To the discouraged, I am a glad message of hope.

To those who are distressed and tossed about by the storms of life, I am an anchor, sure and steadfast.

To those who search for salvation, I reveal the Savior of the world.

 

25                                                          GOD’S LEVEL            

 

             In certain spots the contour of hills gives a tremendous illusion that the law of gravity is askew. Near Los Angeles is a hill where thousands of motorists stop their cars, shut off the engines, release the brakes and seemingly roll up hill. But a plumb level placed on the ground where the cars “roll up hill,” will show immediately that the cars are actually rolling down hill. The eye can be deceived; the level cannot.

             God has given us a similar apparatus: the Bible. When my situation in life is placed next to the Word of God, the Holy Spirit immediately establishes the true aspects of the situation and reveals whatever unevenness or distortion there is. It is not safe to form judgments on the basis of our senses or our emotions.

  

26                                                               THE BIBLE

 

             There is a special week set aside to read the Bible. It seems strange that a week should have to be designated to emphasize the need to read and study and understand this most important single volume in the world, but the truth is that the Bible often is neglected.

   Almost every home has a Bible and some have several. They occupy places of honor on the living room table or the mantle piece or between book-ends and are dusted off when the family clergyman is expected to call. But most of them show few signs of use, the pages are neat and clean and the bindings about as sound as the day they were put together.

             The old family Bible, read by Father or Mother when the family was seated around the table, often contained pages upon which were inscribed the vital facts of the household's history, the dates of births and marriages and deaths. We had such a Bible in our home years ago and its covers were worn thread-bare and the pages were frayed at the edges as the years went by but it was a lovely book to look at and recalled memorable family gatherings.

             In its various versions the Bible has been translated into almost 300 languages and with tens of millions printed and sold each year, it has long been a “best seller.” What a wonderful human experience it would be if it was read as avidly and as generally as it is purchased.

             This is the most meaningful volume in the world and within its covers it contains the most remarkable history and philosophy and wisdom and inspiration to be found anywhere. There is sheer beauty in much of the writing, a joy to read deliberately so that every word may be assayed for its full value.

              The eternal truths are found on its pages, shared by generations of yesterday and to be shared by generations still unborn. Here are the verses that recite the Christian creed of living, the way to worship and to pray, passages to inspire and passages to comfort they who mourn, and with them all the promise of everlasting life, world without end.

          This is the Bible, your Bible and mine, to cherish and to love.

  

27                                                WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ME

 

             A little boy was reading his Bible one day when an atheist asked him, “What does it teach you?”

         “It teaches me about God.”

                    “I do not believe there is a God,” said the infidel boldly.

    Astonished, the boy looked him in the eye, and he started to ask questions.

          “Who then made the sun and the moon?”

          “They came by mere chance,” the infidel replied.

                      “What! The stars and everything came by chance?”

           “Yes they all came by chance.”

           “And who made your hat?” asked the boy.

           “The hatter of course.”

           “And who made the hatter?”

              This was too much for the infidel. He could not answer and turned away in silence.

 

 28                                           THE FRESHNESS OF THE BIBLE

 

               I heard a gentleman say that he could walk any number of miles when the scenery was good; “but”, he added, “when it is flat and uninteresting, how one tires!”

               What scenery it is through which the Christian man walks the towering mountains of prophecy, the great sea of providence, the mighty cliffs of divine promise, the green fields of divine grace, the river that makes glad the city of God, oh, what scenery surrounds the Christian, and what fresh discoveries he makes at every step! The Bible is always a new book. If you want a novel, read your Bible; it is always new; there is not a stale page in the Word of God; it is just as fresh as; though the ink were not yet dry, but had flowed today from the pen of inspiration. There have been poets whose sayings startled all England when first their verses were broadcast over the land, but nobody reads their writings now; yet the pages that were written by David and by Paul are glowing with the radiant glory which was upon them when long ago the Holy Spirit spoke by them.            C. H. Spurgeon.

  

29                                                           I AM THE BIBLE

 

          I am the Bible, God's wonderful library, I am always, and above all, the truth.

          To the weary pilgrim, I am a strong staff.

              To the one who sits in darkness, I am glorious light.

 To those who stumble beneath heavy burdens, I am sweet rest.

 To him who has lost his way, I am a safe guard.

 To those who are sick in sin, I am healing strength and forgiveness.

 To the discouraged, I am a glad message of hope.

 To those who are distressed and tossed about by the storms of life, I am an anchor, sure and steadfast.

 To those who search for salvation, I reveal the Savior of the world.

 

 30                                               THE BIBLE AS A MIRROR

 

             The famous evangelist D. L. Moody promised his daughter Willie that when he came home from a certain meeting, he would take her for a walk.  The small child, full of energy, asked her mother to put on her best dress to be ready for the walk.  The mother gave her a bath and combed her hair.

   When the father returned home he found his daughter had been playing with some friends and had dirtied her dress,  and he told her she would have to be clean before they could walk.

           “But daddy ... I am not dirty!” the girl answered.

   The father, without answering a word went in search of a mirror and put it in front of her.

           What do you think now?  Are you dirty or not?

           Yes. I am daddy, and she began to cry.

           Well, don't cry. Mommy will clean Willie again!

               And telling this story he would always say:  - I didn't give the mirror to my girl so she could wash with it.  The mirror is like the Law, it revealed her need,   but didn’t serve to clean her dirt.  It is the blood of Jesus Christ that washes us clean from sin according to 1 Juan 1:9.

  

31                                                THE BIBLE FINDS A THIEF

                                                               

             According to a Christian magazine, a policeman with a knowledge of the Bible, followed a group of smugglers.  He knew that they had used a wagon drawn by mules and was able to capture some of the animals, even though the smugglers escaped.  The officer left the animals go hungry for several days and then loosed them, and as he had predicted, the hungry animals guided the police directly to the hiding place of the smugglers.  He based his plan on a passage in Isaiah 1:3: "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib.”

  

32                                                        A LITTLE BIT OF GOD

 

              Juan Bunyan wrote his immortal book “The Pilgrim’s Progress” only after experiencing the truth of his writings.  He often told his people not be discouraged it if they could not understand a particular passage of the Bible.  He said, "Although you don't have a commentary at hand, continue reading the Word and praying; because a little of God is better that a lot of man."  Too many people are satisfied with listening to what men say without examining the Bible and kneeling down before God in order to know the true meaning.  What we receive directly from the Lord through the study of His Word is something that no one can take from us.

 

33                                                            HOW TO FIND FAITH

 

   I prayed for Faith, and thought that someday Faith would come down and strike me like lightening.  But Faith did not seem to come.  One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, "Now Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."  I had closed my Bible, and prayed for Faith.  I now opened my Bible, and began to study, and my Faith has been growing ever since.                 -- Dwight L. Moody

  

34                                                              NO ORANGE JUICE

 

             One spring our family was driving from Fort Lauderdale to Tampa, Florida. As far as the eye could see, orange trees were loaded with fruit. When we stopped for breakfast, I ordered orange juice with my eggs. "I'm sorry," the waitress said. "I can't bring you orange juice. Our machine is broken."

             At first I was dumbfounded. We were surrounded by millions of oranges, and I knew they had oranges in the kitchen--orange slices garnished our plates. What was the problem? No juice? Hardly. We were surrounded by thousands of gallons of juice. The problem was they had become dependent on a machine to get it.

          Christians are sometimes like that. They may be surrounded by Bibles in their homes, but if something should happen to the Sunday morning preaching service, they would have no nourishment for their souls. The problem is not a lack of spiritual food--but that many Christians haven't grown enough to know how to get it for themselves.                          Leroy Eims

 

35                                                               THE LOST BIBLE

 

             In the 1930s in Stavropol, Russia, Stalin ordered that all Bibles be confiscated and Christian believers be sent to prison camps. Ironically, most of the Bibles were not destroyed, yet many Christians died as "enemies of the state."

          With the recent dissolution of the U.S.S.R., a Mission team arrived in Stavropol in 1994 for ministry. Their request to have Bibles shipped to Moscow was being held up. But someone told them about a warehouse outside of town where confiscated Bibles were still stored. Remarkably, the team was granted permission to distribute them. Hiring several local Russian workers, they began to load their trucks.

          One young man, a hostile agnostic, came only for the day's wages. But not long after they had started, he disappeared. He was found in the corner of the warehouse, weeping, a Bible in his hands. Intending to steal it for himself, he had picked his own grandmother's off the shelf! Her signature was on the front page. Today, that young Russian is in the process of being transformed by the very Bible that his grandmother was persecuted for, but still held dear.   -- Ken Taylor

  

36                                                                   THE BIBLE

 

             The Bible is referred to in many different ways. We speak of it as God's Word, the Good Book, the Holy Scriptures, and the Sword of the Spirit. It is also known as the Book of books and the Living Word. Some call it simply THE Book, for nothing else seems necessary. It stands alone, towering above all other writings.

          Of the many titles given to the Bible, however, the one that is the most appropriate is God's Miracle Book.

          This is true for a number of reasons:

   1. It is miraculous in its origin -- coming to us by divine inspiration.

   2. It is miraculous in its durability -- outlasting the opposition of its critics and surviving the attempts of its enemies to exterminate it.

   3. It is miraculous in its results -- transforming the lives of those who read and believe it.

   4. It is miraculous in its harmony -- agreeing in all its parts, even though written over a period of 1600 years by about 40 different authors.

   5. It is miraculous in its message -- telling of many occasions when God supernaturally intervened in the affairs of men to accomplish his redemptive purposes.

   6. It is miraculous in its preservation -- maintaining its accuracy and reliability down through the centuries.

           Yes, the Bible is God's Miracle Book!

 

 37                                               WHAT WE MUST DO WITH THE BIBLE

 

               Some years ago, respected Christian leader D. J. De Pree of Zeeland, Michigan, addressed the annual Gideon convention in Washington, D. C. In his message he pointed out that we must engage in ten important spiritual activities if we are to realize fully the revitalizing power of the Word.

   We must read it (1 Tim. 4:13);

   Eat it -- that is, take it into our very being (Job 23:12; Jer. 15:16);

   Bathe in it for spiritual cleansing (John 15:3);

   Look into it as a mirror to see our true self (James 1:23-25);

   Meditate on it (Psalm 1:2; 1 Tim. 4:15);

   Memorize it (Deut. 11:18; Psalm 119:11);

   Study it (2 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 5:12-14);

   Teach it to others (Deut. 11:19; Col 3:16) ;

   Talk about it (Josh. 1:8);

          Sow its seeds of truth in the field of the world (Matt. 13:3-9; Luke 8:11).

          The daily practice of these scriptural admonitions will keep you in a state of perpetual revival.

 

38                                                     HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE

 

             Martin Luther said he studied his Bible as he gathered apples. First he shook the whole tree, that the ripest might fall; then he shook each limb, and when he had shaken each limb, he shook each branch, and after each branch, every twig; and then he looked under every leaf.

          Search the Bible as a whole, shaking the whole tree. Read it rapidly, as you would any other book. Then shake every limb -- study book after book. Then shake every branch, giving attention to the chapters when they do not break the sense. Then shake each twig, by a careful study of the paragraphs and sentences. And you will be rewarded if you will look under each leaf, by searching the meaning of the words.

 

 39                                              DON’T TURN OFF GOD’S RADIO

 

              A former park ranger at Yellowstone National Park tells the story of a ranger leading a group of hikers to a fire lookout. The ranger was so intent on telling the hikers about the flowers and animals that he considered the messages on his two-way radio distracting, so he switched it off. Nearing the tower, the ranger was met by a nearly breathless lookout, who asked why he hadn't responded to the messages on his radio. A grizzly bear had been seen stalking the group, and the authorities were trying to warn them of the danger.

             Any time we tune out the messages God has sent us, we put at peril not only ourselves, but also those around us. How important it is that we never turn off God's saving communication!

   Harold M. Wiest

 

40                              WHAT SOME PRESIDENTS SAID ABOUT THE BIBLE

 

            "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." (George Washington, 1st President)

            "The Bible is endorsed by the ages. Our civilization is built upon its words. In no other book is there such a collection of inspired wisdom, reality, and hope." (Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President)

             "Within the covers of the Bible are all the answers for all the problems men face. The Bible can touch hearts, order minds, and refresh souls." (Ronald Reagan, 40th President)

             From the earliest days of America's history, continuing right up to the present, the Bible has played a prominent role in American life.

              The principles of God's Word guided the decisions on which this nation built its foundations. Throughout our history our presidents have borne eloquent testimony to that fact:

              "That Book, sir, is the rock on which our republic rests." (Andrew Jackson, 7th President)

              "I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to men. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this Book." (Abraham Lincoln, 16th President)

              "There are a good many problems before the American people today, and before me as President, but I expect to find the solution of those problems just in the proportion that I am faithful in the study of the Word of God." (Woodrow Wilson, 28th President)

 

41                                                             WHAT THE BIBLE IS

 

             Paul explicitly states that the sword of the Spirit is Scripture, the word of God. The Scottish pastor and writer Thomas Cuthrie said, "The Bible is an armory of heavenly weapons, a laboratory of infallible medicines, a mine of exhaustless wealth. It is a guidebook for every road, a chart for every sea, a medicine for every malady, and a balm for every wound. Rob us of our Bible and our sky has lost its sun."

 

 42                                                       LET GOD’S WORD DO IT WORK

 

If you are cold, let it WARM you,

        If you are asleep, let it WAKE you,

If you are a backslider, let it WARN you,

        If you are defiled, let it WASH you.

If you are disobedient, let it WHIP you.

        If you are uncertain, let it WITNESS to you.

If you are unsaved, let it WIN you.

  

43                                                                  POSITION WANTED

 

             I would like a job as tutor, teacher and advisor to your family. I will never take a vacation. I will never be out of humor.

             I don't drink or smoke. I won't borrow your clothes or raid your refrigerator.

             I will be up in the morning as early as anyone in the household and will stay up as late as anyone wishes.

             I will help solve any problems your children might have. I will give you the satisfaction of knowing that no question your children ask will go unanswered. For that matter, I will answer any of your own questions on subjects that range from "How we got here?" to "Where are we headed?"

              I will help settle bets and differences of opinion. I will give you information that will help you with your job, your family and all of your other interests.

              In short, I will give you the knowledge that will insure the continued success of your family.

                            Sincerely yours,   The Bible.    Do I get the job?

  

44                                                          A CHILDS REQUEST

 

              A little boy named Tommy was visited by his pastor just before his death, and was asked if he had any request to make. He said, “When I am buried, I want to have my little Testament put in the coffin beside me. There are a great many large people, I am only a little boy, and I am afraid when Jesus comes he will forget me; but I will reach up for my Testament and he will receive me."

  

45                                                          DO YOU SEE JESUS?

 

               A Sunday school teacher said that he once saw a reproduction the Constitution of the United States which had been skillfully engraved on a copper plate. At first glance it seemed to be nothing more than a piece of noble writing. When he looked at if from the proper perspective, however, he could discern the portrait of America's renowned President George Washington artistically etched in minute detail. Simpson adds, "His face was revealed in the shadowing of the letters and I saw his person, not just a flow of words or lofty principles. Then I thought: that's the way we should look at the Bible if we are to understand its deeper meaning. We must see in it a 'Face of Jesus shining through,' not merely ideas, not just doctrines, but Jesus himself -- sufficient for all our needs."

               The scriptures become exciting and thrilling to read when you have the right spiritual perspective and therefore can observe the One whose spirit constantly energizes its pages with life and beauty! Can you recognize Jesus when you study the Bible?

 

46                                                       AFRAID OF THE BIBLE

 

              An infidel said, "There is one thing that mars all the pleasures of my life."

           "Indeed!" replied his friend, "what is that?"

              He answered, "I am afraid the Bible is true. If I could know for certain that death is an eternal sleep, I should be happy: my joy would be complete! But here is the thorn that stings me. This is the sword that pierces my very soul, -- if the Bible is true, I am lost forever."

 

47                                                       LIKE EATING A FISH

 

             An wise old preacher once said, “For a long period, I puzzled myself about the difficulties of Scripture, until at last I came to the resolution, that reading the Bible was like eating fish. When I find a difficulty, I lay it aside, and call it a bone. Why should I choke over the bone when there is so much nutritious meat for me? Someday, perhaps, I may find that even the bone may afford me nourishment."

 

48                                                THE POWER OF GOD’S WORD

               See what vitality the Bible has! Plunge her under the wave, and she rises the purer from her washing;  thrust her in the fire, and she comes out brighter for her burning; cut her in sunder, and each piece shall make another church;  behead her, and, like the hydra of old, she shall have a hundred heads for every one you cut away. She cannot die, she will live eternally; for she has the power of God within her.                                                               Charles Spurgeon

 

49                                                             UNROCOGNIZED VALUE

 

             Roy Whetstine purchased a stone "from an amateur collector at an Arizona mineral show for $10,000," according to Newsweek, Nov. 24, 1986. It has since been "valued at as high as $2.28 million" and declared to be the world's largest sapphire.

             Christians have in their possession a precious gem of far greater value which many treat just as cheaply. They fail to avail themselves of the joy such wealth could bring them, fail to share it with their own families, and even fail to carry it with them to the house of God. They leave it lying wherever it happened to be the last time the furniture was dusted under newspapers and magazines. If it were stolen, they probably would not miss it for a month.

            There are multitudes in many parts of the world who would gladly give a month's salary, go for days without food, and walk great distances to get one copy of the Bible to share with their entire fellowship.

              Let's not be too quick to cast aspersions upon the intelligence of the amateur gem collector.

 

 50                                                       FROM CANIBALS TO CHRISTIANS

 

             The story is told of a college professor who visited the Fiji Islands. Being agnostic, he critically remarked to an elderly chief, "You're a great leader, but it's a pity you've been taken in by those foreign missionaries. They only want to get rich through you. No one believes the Bible anymore. People are tired of the threadbare story of Christ dying on a cross for the sins of mankind. They know better now. I'm sorry you've been so foolish as to accept their story."

          The old chief's eyes flashed as he answered, "See that great rock over there? On it we smashed the heads of our victims. Notice the furnace next to it? In that oven we formerly roasted the bodies of our enemies. If it hadn't been for those good missionaries and the love of Jesus that changed us from cannibals into Christians, you'd never leave this place alive! You'd better thank the Lord for the Gospel; otherwise we'd already be feasting on you. If it weren't for the Bible, you'd now be our supper!

 

51                                                           THE POWER OF THE BIBLE

 

              A woman had often been urged by Christians to receive the Lord. In spite of their persistent efforts, she continued to harden her heart. One day she threw into the blazing fireplace a Bible and several tracts someone had given her. One of the leaflets fell out of the flames, so she cast it in again. A second time it slipped down, and once more she put it back. Again her evil intentions were frustrated. The third time, however, part of it became scorched. That night when the fire had died down, she picked up the portion that remained and exclaimed, "Surely the devil must be in that paper, for it will not burn!" Out of curiosity she began to read the partially destroyed tract. Being a message on salvation, it brought deep conviction to her heart. Finally, through that half-charred leaflet she was led to Christ!

  

52                                                                  A SAD CHOICE

 

On the table side by side;

        A Holy Bible and the TV Guide,

One is well worn but cherished with pride,

        (Not the Bible, but the TV Guide).

 

One is used daily to help folks decide,

         No! It isn't the Bible; it's the TV Guide.

As pages are turned, what shall they see?

         Oh, what does matter, turn on the TV.

So they open the book in which they confide

         (No, not the Bible, it's the TV Guide).

  

The Word of God is seldom read,

         Maybe a verse ere they fall into bed.

Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be,

         Not from reading the Bible, but watching TV.

 

So, then back to the table, side by side,

         Is the Holy Bible and the TV Guide.

No time for prayer, no time for the Word.

 

53                                                           A BIBLE IN POLAND

 

                Michael Billester once gave a Bible to a humble villager in eastern Poland. Returning a few years later, he learned that 200 people had become believers through using it. When the group gathered to hear him preach, he suggested that before he spoke he would like each person to quote some verses of Scripture. One man rose and said, "Perhaps, Brother, we've misunderstood you. Did you mean verses or chapters?" Billester was astonished. "Are you saying there are people here who could recite complete chapters of the Bible?" That was precisely the case. In fact, 13 of them knew half of Genesis and the books of Matthew and Luke. Another had committed all the psalms to memory. Combined, the 200 knew virtually the entire Bible.

               Are you constantly hiding the Word of God in your heart? If not, begin today!

  

54                                                     FAITHFUL TO THE END

 

              Missionary Rachel Saint, 80, died November 11, 1994 in Quito, Ecuador, of cancer. She was buried among Auca Indian friends in the village of Huoarani where she had been a missionary from the late 1950s. It was here she joined Elisabeth Elliot after the Auca Indians killed her husband, Jim Elliot, and Rachel's brother, Nate, along with three others.

  

55                                                               NEVER OPENED

 

             The Bible is actually a beautiful "love letter" from God, and the writer of Psalm 119 admonishes us to delight in its message and to meditate upon its contents. How sad that many Christians neglect it!! Sadder still is that countless lost souls have never opened the Book at all.

              When Elizabeth Barrett became the wife of Robert Browning, the now famous poet, her parents disowned her because they disapproved of the marriage. The daughter, however, wrote almost every week, telling them that she loved them and longed for a reconciliation. After 10 years she received a huge box in the mail that contained all the notes she had sent. Not one had been opened! Although these "love letters" have become an invaluable part of classical English literature, it's really pathetic to think that they were never read by Elizabeth Barrett's parents. Had they looked at just one, the broken relationship with their daughter might have been healed.

 

 56                                                       OUR INTERESTING BIBLE

 

             In a study of the King James Version of the Bible someone gathered the following facts: "The Scriptures contain 3,586,489 letters, 773,692 words, 31,173 verses, and 1,189 chapters. The word 'and' occurs 1,855 times, but the word 'revered' only once. Ezra 7:21 contains all the letters of the alphabet except 'J.' The longest verse is Esther 8:9, and the shortest in the English language is John 11:35."

              Knowing miscellaneous facts about the Bible is fine. But far better is the diligent searching of its truths for knowledge.

 

 57                                                THE BONES OF UNBELIEF

 

              A pastor took a seat in a dining car on a train traveling along the Hudson River. Opposite him was an atheist who, seeing his Bible, started a discussion. "I see you are a preacher." "Yes," came the reply. "I am a minister of the gospel." "I suppose you believe the Bible." The pastor, orthodox in his views, responded, "I certainly do believe the Bible to be the Word of God." "But aren't there things in the Bible you can't explain?" With humility the pastor answered, "Yes, there are places in the Bible too hard for me to understand." With an air of triumph as though he had cornered the preacher, the atheist asked, "Well, what do you do then?" Unruffled, the pastor went on eating his dinner--which happened to be Hudson shad, a tasty fish but noted for its bony structure. Looking up, he said, "Sir, I do just the same as when eating this shad. When I come to the bones, I put them to the side of the plate and go on enjoying my lunch. I leave the bones for some fool to choke on.       J.S. Hewett

  

58                                                             THE CHRIST OF THE BIBLE

 

             Evangelical Christians are not, or ought not to be, what we are sometimes accused of being, namely, "bibliolaters," worshipers of the Bible. We do not worship the Bible; we worship the Christ of the Bible. Here is a young man who is in love. He has a girlfriend who has captured his heart. As a result he carries a photograph of his beloved in his wallet because it reminds him of her when she is far away. Sometimes, when nobody is looking, he might even take the photograph out and give it a surreptitious kiss. But kissing the photograph is a poor substitute for the real thing. And so it is with the Bible. We love it only because we love him of whom it speaks.               John R. W. Stott

  

*DEATH*

 

 

 59                                                           SAFE IN THE ARMS OF JESUS

 

   At all the military reviews of Peru they have a custom by which they pay honor to Admiral Grau, Peru's noblest naval hero, killed in battle off the coast of Chile. Always at roll-call, Admiral Grau's is the first name called. An Orderly steps forward and pointing upward answers, “Absent but accounted for. He is with the heroes.”

      So we may call the roll of the dead in Christ, and pointing upward say, “Absent, but accounted for; safe in the arms of Jesus.”

  

60                                                SHE AWOKE AMID ANGELS

 

               On May 5th, 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte, in the delirium of his last sickness, cried, "Tete d'armee" -- head of the army. They were the last words of a great but defeated and exiled general at St. Helena, whose ruling passion was strong in death.

             In the cabin of a ship at anchor in the port of the same island, twenty-four years later, lay the devoted Mrs. Adonaron Judson, turning homeward from her finished work. About to pass the same ordeal, she declared, “I ever love the Lord Jesus Christ,” kissed her husband in token of her affection for him, and fell into a quiet slumber and awoke amid the angels. The Emperor was honored by a grand funeral and magnificent tomb. The missionary burial was unhonored and unsung. A simple slab marked her grave, bearing her name and age and the date of her death, and the verse:

  

61                                                                “IT IS GLORIOUS!”

 

             A few hours before entering heaven,  Dwight L. Moody caught a glimpse of the glory awaiting him. Awakening from sleep, he said, “Earth recedes, heaven opens before me. If this is death, it is sweet! There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go!”

             His son who was standing by his bedside said, "No, no, father, you are dreaming.

              “No,” said Moody, “I am not dreaming. I have been within the gates: I have seen the children's faces.”

              A short time elapsed and then, following what seemed to the family to be the death struggle, he spoke again, “This is my triumph; this is my coronation day. It is glorious!”           G.W. Ridout

 

62                                                         THE DYING OF THE APOSTLES

 

             Think of the dying of the apostles. Tradition says:  “Matthew perished at the edge of the sword. Mark died as a result of being dragged through the streets of Alexandria. Luke was hanged upon an olive tree in the classic land of Greece. John was flung first into a boiling pot, and though saved in a miraculous manner, was afterward banished to the Isle of Patmos. James was beheaded at Jerusalem. Philip Bartholomew was flayed alive. Andrew perished on a cross. Thomas was pierced by a lance. Matthias was stoned and beheaded. Paul perished by beheading in Rome, and Jude was shot to death with arrows. These were the men who loved not their lives to the death. Are we better than the men who suffered and died for Jesus? May God help us to be true to Christ.

 

63                                                              HE FINISHED HIS WORK

 

            Schuert died at thirty-seven.  It is said they carried in his funeral procession his “unfinished symphony”.  Raphael died at thirty-seven and it is said they carried in his funeral procession his unfinished canvases.  I am thinking right now of the one who died upon the cross at thirty-three, who nevertheless could say of the work he came to do, “It is finished.”

  

64                                                                      “I WANT GOD”

 

             The story is told of Rudyard Kipling being very ill with typhoid fever. For days he tossed back and forth, restlessly. It: seemed that his end had come. As he lay there, he kept mumbling: to himself. The family tried to determine his wants, but with no success. At last the nurse bent over him and asked, “Mr. Kipling, what do you want?” For a moment his restlessness left him. He opened his eyes slowly, and feebly said: “I want God.” None of us can deny the fact that this is but the expression of our subconscious desire.  But not all want the God of the Bible.

 

 65                                                                  “CROSSING THE BAR”

 

             At the age of 80, the well-known poet Alfred Lord Tennyson was being taken from his summer home at Aldworth, England, to his winter residence on the Isle of Wight. As the boat left the mainland and crossed the strait, Tennyson heard a moaning sound caused by the fierce beating of the waves against a large sandbar. He recognized this as a prelude to a coming storm. A few days later his health began to fail, and a nurse was hired to stay with him. In conversing with him she said quietly, “Sir, you've composed a great many poems, but few hymns. I wish you'd write one now on your sickbed. I'm sure it would help and comfort other poor sufferers.”

             The next morning Tennyson handed her a scrap of paper, saying, “I followed your suggestion and wrote these few verses during the night.” The poem proved to be a masterpiece filled with imagery about the sea, the emotions related to dying which the “moaning of the bar” brought to his mind, and the glorious hope of seeing Jesus at the end of life's voyage. The selection reads in part: “Sunset and evening star, and one clear call for me!/ And may there be no moaning of the bar, when I put out to sea./ Twilight and evening bell, and after that the dark!/ And may there be no sadness of farewell, when I embark./ For though from out the bourne of time and place the flood may bear me far,/ I hope to see my Pilot face to face when I have crossed the bar.”

             Yes, “crossing the bar” of death may seem ominous, but to those who love Him, Jesus promises a safe and glorious arrival in the desired Haven! -H. G. Bosch

  

66                                                     THE PROSPECT IS INDEED DISMAL

 

             Apart from Jesus Christ, the prospect is indeed dismal. When the infidel, Thomas Hobbes, was dying, he said: “I am taking a fearful leap into the dark.”  Mirabeau said: “Give me more laudanum, I don't want to think of eternity.” Voltaire said, “I hate life, and yet I hate to die.” And Edward Gibbon, “All is dark and doubtful.” And the best that Thomas A. Edison could say, in answer to a question by his friend, Harvey Firestone, about immortality, “No one knows.”

  

67                                                       600,000 ACCIDENT FREE MILES

 

             Harry Lee Simpson, a 55-year old Des Moines, Iowa, trucker, had a driving record that would be the envy of millions. A driver for Arrow Transportation Company, he had driven nearly two-thirds of a million miles without a single accident of any kind.

             The other day, in an early morning hour as he drove to work, Simpson was involved in a two-car accident. The unusually “safe” driver was fatally injured.

             All of which reminds us that we are mortals, everyone of us. And no matter how confident we might feel as he no doubt felt confident on the highway because of his proven driving ability we never know when or what circumstances are going to bring us face to face with instant death.

             It is impossible for anyone to know about that. However, it is absolutely possible to be ready for that time.  The Bible says: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12

  

68                                                    TWO DOLLARS IN HIS POCKET

 

             Three great men all died on the same day. I am not going to tell you this story to suggest anything to you relative to their characters, but simply to tell you that when death came they had to go. One was the king of Spain, another Hannibal Hamlin and the other William K. Vanderbilt.

              Out in front of Vanderbilt's brownstone mansion on Fifth Avenue, New York City, assembled 5,000 people on the day of the funeral. A reporter for the New York Times saw a bum who stood near the group of working men and one fellow was heard to make the remark, “Well, well, well, so that's Vanderbilt in that coffin that they're carrying down the steps, is it?” As the pall-bearers came down with his body the bum said: “That's Vanderbilt in that coffin that they're carrying down the steps.”

             “Yes.” “Well,” he said, “boys, I've stood just about here many a time and have watched Vanderbilt walk down these steps with his body-guard, enter his carriage and drive away to Wall Street, and his name is worth hundreds of millions and I didn't have a cent in my pocket. Today it's changed. He is coming down the steps without a cent in his pocket and I have $2.00.”

             When death calls you must go, millionaire or hobo. When death comes, you must go and nothing can hold you back. God pity you, if you have simply lived in the world.

 

 69                                            THE HOTEL IN THE SWAMP

 

             As a young preacher, I had a very excellent friend named Mrs. H.S. Barker. She was a lady past seventy-five and, and at one time, a very wealthy person. She and her husband had saved quite a sum of money, and then there came the big boom in the State of Florida.

             They took their money, bought some land, and had erected on it a beautiful hotel. Strangely the hotel was built in swamp land. The roads were never built to it. The building went up a number of stories into the air. Each room was equipped. Towels were in the bathrooms. The crash came. The beautiful hotel became a castaway. Mrs. Barker told me that no guest was ever housed in the hotel. It was beautiful, but it was useless.

             Some Christians have a good appearance, good personality, fine training, but they are useless to the service of Christ because of the world and their distance from Christ.   Lee Roberson

 

 70                                          DR. THOMAS RILEY, OFFICE UPSTAIRS

 

             It is great to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour; and it is great to live in nearness unto Him. Someone told this story of the old doctor who was a fine Christian and a very useful man. He did not have a swanky office. He had only two or three small rooms on the second floor of a building, at the head of a flight of steps. On the street below was this sign: “Dr. Thomas Riley - Office Upstairs.”

             One day the doctor was missing. They found him dead in his office. A few nights before he had gone out into a snow storm on a call. He had taken cold and died. When his friends buried him they wanted to perpetuate his memory in the best way. They wondered what sort of stone to put over his grave. What epitaph could they I put on the stone? They thought of his labors of love and how he had gone up into heaven. One of his friends took the old battered sign and put it upon the doctor's grave. It simply read, “Dr. Thomas Riley - Office Upstairs,” and pointed it toward heaven.

 

 71                                         GOING OVER NIAGARA IN A BARREL

 

             I came across the story of Bobby Leach. Bobby was an Englishman. He startled the world some years ago by his daring feat of going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. He came through the experience miraculously unscathed. It was a fascinating achievement. Sometime later he was walking down the street and Mr. Leach slipped on a small orange peel. He had to be rushed to the hospital with badly fractured leg. He had no difficulty with the huge cataracts of water at Niagara Falls, but a small orange peel brought him to serious suffering. My friend, you may handle the many affairs of this world with ease.     You may overcome the small temptations and trials, but if you reject the Lord Jesus Christ, that one sin will damn your soul forever.      Lee Roberson

  

72                                               A SAD PICTURE OF MONEY

 

             A sad picture of money-mad America is given to us in the story of Dutch Schultz. Dutch Schultz was a gangster. He was fatally shot. When they brought him to the hospital he said to the intern, “Here is something for you, pal. Take good care of me.” He pressed into the hand of the intern who bent over him a roll of bills-$725.

             The gangster felt that money could buy anything. Money had bought him wine, women, and song. Therefore, he seemed to think that he could also bribe death; but Dutch Schultz died!

             Someone imagined this scene: Dutch Schultz standing before the pearly gates. He touched the sleeve of the figure guarding the portal. He said to this one, “Here is something for you, pal. Take good care of me.” But when he reached into his shroud, his hand came away empty, for the shroud has no pockets. Condemned forever!

  

73                                                        MY ANCHOR HOLDS

 

             A Christian marine had been gravely wounded in a battle at sea.  When his friends brought him to the beach, they realized that he was dying.  They called a doctor and a nurse to the small fishing cabin where they had taken him.  They did all they could for him, but his words were already incoherent.  As he was dying,  his mind cleared a little.  Knowing that he was dying, he spoke with a companion and then with another, and then he went into a coma again.  A little later, he came too, and one of the marines ask him: "Companion, how are you now?"  Looking at the face of his friend, he said with a smile of trust: "My faith is in Jesus.  My anchor holds."  Those that saw the scene, never forgot his last words.  Many were blessed when the chaplain chose the words of Hebrews 6:19 as his text for the funeral sermon. 

  

74                                                    LIGHT IN THE VALLEY

                                                             

             "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me....Psalm  23:4.

 

          D. L.  MOODY said that he believed that this verse has been wrongfully interpreted by many.  “I have listened to thousands speak about the ‘dark valley.’  But the word ‘dark’ is not there! It does say "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death". We have all seen the shadows and darkness at some time? 

          But go down to your basement tonight without light, and you will not see a shadow.  The fact that there is a shadow proves that there is light in the valley. All death can do is throw a shadow and shadows cannot do us any harm.  As Christians we don't have to fear because we have the Light of Life in the valley with us.

 

 75                                                            A BETTER HOME

 

             An old preacher, had always feared death and lacked the ability to console those that were near their end.  One day he was preparing to leave the church he had been pastor for a long time.  When all his goods had been loaded on the truck, he stopped for a few moments to look at the place where his children had been born and where he had enjoyed many blessed hours of communion with the Lord.  A friend that had helped them to pack, came near and put his hand on his shoulder, and said: "Pastor; “Your new home is better than this one.” The man didn't know it then, but he had preached a powerful "sermon" to his friend.  Those words helped him see that his home in Heaven would be much finer and better than his home down here.  After that, the pastor lost the fear of dying.

             We know the Lord is preparing a place for each one of his children. During the depression a believer lost his employment, a considerable fortune and his beautiful house.  And besides all this, his beloved wife died.  Yet he maintained his faith, the only thing he had left.  One day while he was walking in search of employment, he stopped to look at some men that were laying blocks on a large church they were working on.  One of them was cutting a stone to a triangular shape.  "Where does that stone go"?, he asked.  The worker responded: “Do you see that opening up there in the corner?  I am shaping this stone down here, so that it will fit up there."  While the believer meditated, tears filled his eyes, because the Lord had spoken to him through the words of that worker, whose words gave a new meaning to his afflictions.

          Although we may not understand all the greatness and marvel of this great truth, we don't need to fear death, because our “new home in those eternal mansions” will be much better than anything this world can offer us.  John 14:1-6

 

 

*DEDICATION*

 

 

76                                                 HIS TRIP HAD NOT ENDED YET       

    

           Many years ago two men were returning from Africa to New York on the same ship. The first had gone for six weeks to hunt wild animals and the second was a missionary that had lived in Africa for more than 40 years and was now in ill health and very weak.  When they arrived in New York there were many people and a band waiting for the first man who was Teddy Roosevelt, the president of the United States.  He left the ship first and was received by the mayor of the city.  Later the other passengers left the ship and were received by family members and friends with much enthusiasm and emotion.  At last the missionary left the ship, but no one was there to meet him.  It had been 20 years since he last came to the United States and the ship had arrived two days early.  He looked for a hotel to pass the night and continue his journey the next day.  In his room he thought about the reception the president had received and how no one was there to meet him.  With a heavy heart he began reading his Bible found the words: “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”  The Lord spoke to his heart and said: "My child, your trip has not yet ended, you have not arrived to your final destination, your home is in Heaven."  With a renewed spirit he continued his trip knowing that his applause, reward and crown were waiting for him in paradise when his work here on earth was finished.   “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”  Rev. 2:10

  

77                                                      THE FAITH THAT CONQUERS        

 

   A nine year old girl had leukemia and the doctors told her parents she only had 6 months to live. The day the news was given to the parents outside of the room in the hospital, the girl overheard their words by chance.   But no one knew that the girl knew about her condition.  For the surprise of all, her faith in Christ gave her an attitude of victory.  She spoke openly of her death,  and seemed more radiant and happy as the days went by. One day, before entering in a coma, she said to her family: “I am going to be the first to see Jesus!  What would you like me to tell him?" Such simple trust honors God.  The Lord says: “Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.”   Matthew 18: 3.

  

78                                                          THE RIGHT SIGNATURE

 

   When Paul Van Gorder assumed his first patorate in the city of Atlanta, he desperately needed a car.  Public transportation was slow and inadequate, which made it difficult to visit his congregation that was spread throughout the city.  He didn’t have the funds to buy a car and could not get credit because he had lived in the city only a short time.  A Christian lawyer heard about his situation and introduced him to the vice-president of an important bank.  That solved the matter!  When Mr. Clarence Steward signed for the loan, I received the total amount for the purchase of the needed car, his signature and good reputation were the key  to obtaining the money that was needed.

   In the same way, you and I have the guarantee that when we pray in the name of Christ, and according to the will of the Father, our petitions will certainly be answered.

  

79                                                            NOT TEN VOLUNTEERS, ALL! 

            

       On a certain occasion Napoleon Bonaparte stood before his soldiers, and said: "I need ten men to go on a dangerous mission, in which you may die. Who will volunteer! “Not only ten men, but all one hundred that were there, took a step to the front in answer to the petition of their emperor. - how many Christian volunteers are there when the call comes to serve their Master, how many are like Joshua and Caleb and those soldiers of Napoleon?”

 80                                                                     CONSECRATION

 

   A chicken and a pig were going for a walk near a church and looked at the bulletin board, and saw  the title of the sermon," How you and I can help the poor"

             The chicken said, "we will prepare a breakfast with bacon and eggs for them."   "Nothing doing," the pig responded.    "For you it is an offering;  but for me it would be a total consecration of  life."

  

81                                             MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY

 

       The following advertisement appeared in London newspapers in 1900:

      MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success. Ernest Shackleton.

       Sir Ernest Shackleton had placed this ad to recruit men for the National Antarctic Expedition and was overwhelmed by the tremendous response that it generated.

      “It seemed,” he later said, “as though all the men in Great Britain were determined to accompany me.” Although the expedition subsequently failed to reach the South Pole, it was not for lack of able-bodied, ambitious volunteers.               William Bennett

 

82                                                            MARTYRDOM

                                                             

         A martyr is someone who gives a faithful testimony until his death.  Many times the Christian should learn how to die to self.  For example, when somebody with many talents, that could become famous, leaves everything in order to remain unknown, and faithfully preaches the truth of the Word of God, they are really a martyr, because they have died to self and to the world.

 

 83                                                        HIS CANDLE WENT OUT

 

   God is looking for a man of strict concentration to do the whole will of God in his life.

   George Whitefield was such a man. George Whitefield's whole concentration was preaching. He was in his eighties. He had preached to the great multitudes, like the Wesleys did. One night they came outside the old man's home. The multitude clamored for him to come out on the balcony and say a few words. The old man in his night attire, with a robe around, him, hair as white as snow, shoulders bent with many years of service, came with a big long candle in his hand.

   It is said that standing there on that balcony, holding a candle, for two long hours he preached until it seemed that you could hear the zephyrs of Heaven upon his lips. As the candle began to burn he said, “As the candle burns low, my life will go out on this earth also.” He preached for two hours and turned and went back to his room and that night went out to meet God and ended a life of total concentration on one thing, to serve God.

   You know, my friends, we need that kind of Christianity in this church and in America and all over the world. We need some one-track minds and some one-track fanatics whose whole heart's desire is to serve God and please Him.  God is looking for a man.             Lee Roberson

 

84                                                        THE DYING TEACHER

 

   D. L. Moody. Moody was saved in a store in Boston. When he went to Chicago, he filled five pews in a church and would go out in the streets and pick up young men and fill the pews. Some of the members didn’t like these street people in their church and so he then left.

   He then began a mission Sunday School in a rented building that was used on Saturday nights as a dance hall. He worked for numbers. If the crowd was below one thousand, it troubled him. When it ran up to twelve or fifteen hundred, he was elated. But no one was converted. There was no harvest. Then God opened his eyes. “There was a class of young ladies in the school who were without exception the most frivolous girls I ever met. One Sunday the teacher was ill, and I took the class. They laughed in my face, and I felt like opening the door and telling them all to get out and never come back. That week the teacher of the class came into the store where I worked. He was pale and looked very ill. “What is the trouble?” I asked. “I have had another hemorrhage of my lungs. The doctor says I cannot live on in this area so I am going back to New York State, and I suppose I am going to die.” He seemed greatly troubled; and when I asked him the reason, he said, “Well, I have never led any of my class to Christ.” He continued, “I really believe that I have done the girls more harm than good.” Moody said, “I never heard anyone talking like that before. It set me to thinking.”

           After a while he said to the man, “Suppose you go and tell them how you feel. I'll go with you if you want me too.” They got a carriage and started making the rounds. Moody said it was one of the best journeys he ever had on this earth. He said, “We went to the house of one of the girls, called for her, and talked to her about her soul. There was no laughing then! Tears stood in her eyes before long. The teacher explained the way of life and they had prayer. Moody: said, “I prayed and the girl accepted Jesus Christ as her Saviour.” They went to the other houses, and one by one the girls accepted Christ. Finally, the teacher came into Mr. Moody's store and said, “Mr. Moody, the last one of my class has yielded herself to Christ.”

           They had time of rejoicing together. Then the man had to leave on his trip. They called the class together for a prayer meeting. That night Mr. Moody said, “God kindled a fire in my soul that has never gone out.” Before that time Moody had wanted to be a successful merchant. But now God changed his heart.

   The dying teacher sat in the midst of his class and talked with them and read the fourteenth chapter of John. They tried to sing, “Blest Be the Tie that Binds.” After that they knelt in prayer. They prayed for the dying teacher. They prayed for one another. The whole class prayed; and Moody said, “Oh, God, let me die rather than lose the blessing that I have received tonight.”

            It wasn't long until Mr. Moody gave up his business and sold out in every way to serve God.

 

 85                                                        BROUGHT TO JESUS BY FRIENDS

 

         “And he brought him to Jesus. . .”  John 1:42

   The late Dr. Wilbur Chapman, pastor and evangelist, said that the New Testament records tell of forty people, each suffering from some disease who had been healed by Jesus. Of this number, thirty- four were either brought to Jesus by friends, or Jesus was taken to them. In only six cases out of forty did sufferers find their way to Jesus without assistance.

           God uses people to bring others to Him. He is waiting to use us, that we might help others.

 

 86                                                    THE PENNY WAS ALL SHE HAD TO GIVE

 

   Nearly seventy years ago, a little girl who knew and loved the Lord Jesus and who longed to spread His Name among those who knew Him not, gave a Christian missionary a penny to help spread the Gospel among the Burmese, to whom he was going with the Word of Life. That penny was all that the dear child could give; it was all that she possessed, and it was given with the heart. The missionary remembered the child's penny while in that far off land, and he invested it in the Name of the Lord, by purchasing a Gospel tract. It was given to a young Burmese chief, and followed by prayer. He could not read it, but so strong was his desire to know the meaning of the words that he traveled two-hundred and fifty miles to get someone to read it to him. God spoke to the heart of the young chief through the words as he heard them read. He believed the Gospel and was converted to Christ. Then, he returned to his people and began to tell them what the Lord had done for his soul. He invited missionaries to come and preach to his people, and many heard the Word, received the Saviour, and became true and devoted followers of the Lord Jesus. All this sprang from the little girl's penny, given for Jesus sake, with the desire to spread His Gospel among the lost. How great a fire that little spark kindled! How vast the growth from this tiny seed! A little done even by a child - if done for Christ -will have great results. If you are saved, go and do likewise.

 

 87                                                              GRANDMA'S SPECTACLES

 

   A little boy said to a playmate: “When I get older I want to wear spectacles just like Grandma wears. She must have a special kind because she can see so much more than most people. She can see when folks are hungry or tired or sorry, and she can even see what'll make them feel better. She can see how to fix a lot of things to have fun with, and she can see what a feller meant to do, even if he didn't do it right. She can see when a feller is about to cry and she can see what to do to make him feel better. I asked her one day how she could see so good, and she said it was the way she learned to look at things as she got older. So when I get older I want a pair o£ spectacles just like Grandma's so I can see good too.

               I think we could all use a pair of spectacles like Grandma’s.

 

 88                                               SHAKING HANDS OR GETTING THEM IN

 

   General Booth, of Salvation Army fame, was once pictured in a lifeboat with his hand extended over the sides to people floundering in the water. Upon seeing the painting, the General's small grandson asked, “Is he trying to get people into the boat or just shaking hands with them?”

   This might be said of many Christians today, we are friendly with everyone but seldom invite them to our church and to the Saviour.

 

 89                                                 HE WAS WAITING FOR A WORD

 

                During the past week I was reading about a great Christian laymen who was addressing a group of men regarding the matter of witnessing for Christ. He said as far as he was concerned, he was not going to let another opportunity pass by for witnessing for he had learned his lesson. He then told this story:

                His company, of which he was the founder and president, had decided to handle a new product. This was a large wholesale company, about 25 years of age. At the meeting of the executive board of the company, it was decided that the only way the new product could be sold successfully was for a. representative for the company to make a personal call upon each of their hundreds of customers scattered throughout the state of Texas. The board then voted unanimously for the president to present the new product to their customers. The young employee, who was elected to assist the president and go along with him, was named the first assistant to the president. With reluctance, the president turned to the executive board and said; “I will do the work, but I must take Bill along with me.  Bill, the young man, was his friend and a very efficient worker.

                 The two men began their work which required many miles of travel. Each Saturday about noon, regardless of where they were, they headed their car for home and would continue to drive until they reached their home city of Fort Worth. Very often they would not reach their destination until early Sunday morning. But the older man would go to his church and - teach a Sunday School class.

   One evening as they were driving homeward, they had ridden several miles without talking.  Finally the younger man broke the silence by saying, “Sir, have you recognized the fact in these eleven months of contacting our customers, we have driven far enough to go around the earth three times?” The older man said I that he had not noticed this.

               The younger man said, “We have driven almost 75 000 miles.”  Then the younger man spoke again. He said, “Sir, during these eleven months of riding together, we have talked about everything that we could think of except one thing. We have discussed all the international problems, national questions, our federal government, our social life, our economic systems, our educational programs, our various civic efforts. We have discussed our business from every angle. I have watched you closely during these ten years that I have worked for your company. I take you to be a real Christian. I know that you have something which I do not have, but all during these ten years in which I have been in your business, including these months of travel together, you have never said one word to me about becoming a Christian. Many, many times my heart was hungered for you to say something to me for I would like to find the secret of life which you know.

               The president, being dumbfounded with tears rolling down his face, apologized to his young assistant and turned his car off the highway. He took his New Testament from his vest pocket. He turned on his flashlight and began to read to the young man. After several passages of scripture had been read, they had a prayer together, during which time the younger man trusted Christ as his Saviour.

   The next morning they went to Sunday School and church together. At the close of the worship hour, during the invitation, they walked to the front. The younger man confessed Christ as Saviour and asked for membership in the church.

                After finishing his story in tears, the speaker said, “I never intend to let another opportunity pass to witness for my Lord.”  May God give us men of compassion. Yea, may all of our hearts be stirred today. The young, the old, the men, and the

  

90                                                             AWAITING ORDERS TO SAIL

 

“...the time of my departure is at hand.”  2 Timothy 4:6

 

               The renowned J. Wilbur Chapman pastored several churches in America before spending the last 10 years of his life in world evangelism. One of the stories he often repeated was about an old sea captain who had crossed the Pacific at least 50 times throughout his career. The officer was an earnest Christian, so following his retirement he devoted much of his, time to helping others. He was especially active in visiting navy veterans in various hospitals. One day as he was going from bed to bed, the head nurse said to him, “Captain, over there by the wall is an old sailor, and he's not long for this world. I'm sure he'd want you to pray with him. Making his way to the end of the ward, the captain was startled to see a number of little flags arranged at the foot of the dying man’s bed. As they talked, he was surprised to learn that he and the sailor had served together on the same ship years before. Finally he said, “Old friend, what do these flags mean?” His former crewman, replied, “Captain, I'm sure you haven't forgotten. how to use the signals. If you look closely, you'll see that the flags are saying. The captain looked and read the message of the signal flags: “This ship is ready and awaiting orders.” It's my way of telling others that I know Christ; and that He'll soon call me to sail into His safe Harbor.” Then Chapman would remind his audience that if they were living for Jesus each day, they'd find grace when the time of their departure came.

                 Christian, is the Lord so precious and Heaven so real that you, like the apostle Paul and that dying seaman, have no fear of the final summons? Are you confidently awaiting your “Orders to sail?”  H. G. Bosch

  

91                                                          THE GATES WERE CLOSED

 

                On the back of a Mission magazine I saw an interesting story of a man who was saved some years ago in China. .Shortly after his salvation he became seriously ill. He was very ill that he was consumed with thoughts of soon dwelling forever with the Lord. That seemed to be all he talked about.

               While on his deathbed one night, he dreamed of leaving this world and going to the home of many mansions. Having arrived at heaven's portals, he was amazed to find the gates were closed. “Why, oh, why were they closed when he so longed to be with Jesus?” Then as from the dawn of history, God sent His angels with this information, “The gates are closed now, for there is something that you must do at home before the gates swing open to you.”              

                Awaking from the dream, his mind conjectured as to what important thing must be accomplished before he could go home to Jesus. The joy of salvation had been so wonderful and comforting to the sick man that he had thought only of his soon release from suffering, but now with the message from the gates of heaven, he began to search for the task before him.

               Suddenly he realized that his relatives, even in his own household, were still worshipping idols, and he had not witnessed, nor urged them to become Christians. Losing no time, he had the family called together. Their hearts had been made ready to receive the good news that he unfolded unto them. There was a thorough destroying of idols, followed by a household of newborn souls.

              The sick man rejoiced in having finished his work, and within a very short time, he had finished his course, he had kept the faith, and now was truly prepared for his entrance into the gates of glory. His dying words were these: “I see the gates again - they are wide open now!”

             That account from the mission field should impel all of us to pause and reflect upon whether there is yet something we have left undone. Have we manifested a real concern for those around us? Have we told people about the Christ?  Lee Roberson

 

 92                                                             CHILDREN LED THEE WAY

 

              Off the eastern tip of New Guinea is a group of islands, The Laughlan Islands that received the first visit from an Australian missionary in 1968. He was met by some people who had already become Christians, people who had heard of the love and peace that had comes to others through Christ. They had sent some of their children to a distant island to attend a school run by a Papuan pastor.

             After two years the children returned, bringing with them their Bibles and hymnbooks. The children became the teachers of their parents and neighbors. They taught them how to sing Christian songs, how to read, pray, and preach.  They taught them how to be saved.

             Within living memory of the people there, no other representative of the church has ever landed among them. Yet God found a way through and used little children to lead the people to a knowledge of the Gospel.  Isaiah said: “and a little child shall lead them.”

 

93                                          THE LITTLE COLLEGE THAT BECAME BOB JONES UNIVERSITY

 

               I was in Panama City, Florida, last year with Dr. Hugh Pyle. One day an old classmate of mine, Bobby Hodges, and I got in his car and drove north out of Panama City to an old college campus. The buildings had broken windows and were run down. The floors and ceilings were caving in and the plaster was broken. Tall grass was growing up in the yard. The place was deserted. It had been a college one time that had moved because the town bank wouldn't loan money and the people would not help.

              The administration had moved. If that had been you or me, we would have quit. But that was the first campus of Bob Jones College. Dr. Bob didn't quit. He just kept running, and running.

             My friend, if you are going to do something for God, don't be discouraged, just keep running. Don't be impatient, just run. It may seem so useless, like butting your head against the wall. You may feel you are not getting anywhere. No wonder, because you are looking the wrong way. Look to Jesus. Look to Him.   John R. Rice

  

94                                                              HE KEPT ON RUNNING

 

              Many years ago now a young man became pastor of a church in Chattanooga. A handful of people met in the church basement for the first Wednesday night service. The church began to grow and flourish. The Sunday School began to pick up and double. He told God he was going to work. His church continued to grow. Souls were saved. He started a radio broadcast and other things. It wasn't long until many of the 1preahers in town had turned against him, but he kept running.

              At that time this gentleman was a Southern Baptist. (He is no longer in the Southern Baptist Convention.) A group of men came down from Nashville to see him. They told him he probably didn't realize it but last year he had reported more baptisms than the president of the convention. They evidently felt he was not setting a good example! They felt a young, enthusiastic preacher shouldn't report so many conversions.

              He didn't pay any attention, he kept running. One night he was speaking in services in another state when word came that his baby girl, his firstborn, had died. He got into his old car and began to drive back to his home.

              He was so discouraged as he drove along he said, “Lord, I've tried to do Your will, I'm getting people saved, Lord, I'm trying to do things for You. People are against me and the convention is down on me and now, Lord, my baby girl is dead.”

              He came over a hill and saw a sign lighted with flickering oil lamps. The sign said “detour.”  It was a lengthy detour and, he was tired and so anxious to get home to his wife. He said, “Lord, that's all I need. Here I am trying to get back home to my wife, my little girl is dead and now You put a detour in the road. Lord, why have this detour here?”

              After awhile, through his tears, he began to smile. He said, “Lord, I think I understand now. You are trying to tell me that in the road of life there will be some detours, but just keep driving. He said, “Lord, I'll do it.”

              Ever since then this man has been driving. No detours stop him; he just keeps on driving. That man is Dr. Lee Roberson. He is pastor of the Highland Park Baptist Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee. This man had a vision, and today there is Tennessee Temple College, Bible School and Seminary Temple Grammar School, the Rescue Mission and the many missionaries. Today he has a camp named Camp Joy after his little girl who died. Last summer they had exactly 500 saved at the camp alone.

              Last year Dr. Lee Roberson baptized over 2,000 converts. Why? Because he just wouldn't quit running. When he came to detours, he didn't stop. He kept going. If you know Dr. Roberson you know that he says, we will go down the line, we won't vary, won't turn, we won't stop. We will go right down the line. Well if you know Dr. Roberson you know that he says, "We will go down the line, we won't vary, we won't turn, we won't stop. We will go right down the line. We will keep running for Jesus.”

              There could be a Lee Roberson here tonight. But not unless you are willing to run. Are you discouraged? Then run! Are you happy? Run! Are you disappointed? Run! Are you enthused? Run!

              Run, run, run, Run with patience the race that is set before you, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith… who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame.. and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2.          John R. Rice

  

95                                                    HAVE YOU GIVEN YOUR BEST?

 

                            Someone has said, “The narrow way is very worn on the EDGES!” The meaning is clear. Many desire the spiritual blessings and the salvation which the Lord freely offers them, but dread the cross-bearing, the self denial, and the constant attention to holy living that keeping to the center of the “Jesus way” demands. Such careless living grieves the heart of Him who gave His all for us.

                            One day while walking with some children, Queen Mary was caught in a sudden shower. Quickly taking shelter on the porch of a home, she knocked at the door and asked to borrow an umbrella. “I'll send it back tomorrow,” she said. The queen had deliberately disguised her appearance by putting on a hat that partly covered her face and by wearing some very plain clothing. The householder, reluctant to give a stranger her best umbrella, offered her a castoff she found in the attic. One rib was broken and there were several holes in it. Apologizing, she turned it over to the monarch, whom she did not recognize. The next day she had another visitor - a man with gold braid on his uniform and an envelope in his hand. “The queen sent me with this letter,” he said, “and also asked me to thank you personally for the loan of your umbrella.”  Stunned, the woman burst into tears. “Oh, what an opportunity I missed that I did not give her my very best,” she cried.  Many I fear will have to make the same confession when they face the Lord at the end of life's road.

                            In seeking your own pleasure, have you neglected the self-sacrificing rigors of true discipleship that would delight the heart of the Lord?          -H. G. Bosch

 

 96                                           WHEN W. P. NICHOLSON “DIED”

 

              Years ago a young Christian by the name of W. P. Nicholson had an experience that made him realize the necessity of dying to self and pride. One day as he was walking down the street, the Lord seemed to indicate that he should assist a small Salvation Army band conducting an open-air meeting. He said to himself, “Me, a conservative, quiet churchman, identify with that group?” He recognized that many considered them fanatics, and yet he knew they were zealous witnesses for Christ. Nicholson protested, “But, Lord, I'd become a laughingstock to my friends. Oh, I'd rather die!” Little did he realize that God wanted him to do just that, but not in the way he thought. Finally the urging of the Holy Spirit became so strong that he swallowed his pride, and as he joined them, one happily exclaimed, “Let us pray!” Down on their knees in the muddy street they went, and poor Nicholson had to do the same. When he got up, the leader announced, “Now let's have an open-air march!” They handed him a tambourine and began to walk along, playing and singing Gospel hymns. At first Nicholson rebelled, but then he said in his heart, “All right, Lord, whatever You want, whatever it costs, I'll go Your way.” Suddenly a glorious ‘hallelujah chorus’ began ringing in his soul. Having died to self, W. P. Nicholson from that day became an increasing power for God.

                   Believer, you'll never know complete usefulness in the Lord's service until you reckon yourself dead to the prideful old nature that's keeping you from the joy and victory of full surrender. (See Romans 6:11.) -H. G. Bosch

  

97                                                              I HEARD HIS CALL

 

              When the missionary leader Robert E. Speer visited a little graveyard in Salisbury, North Carolina, he noticed a headstone with this inscription: “Here lies the body of F. M. Kent, lieutenant colonel of the First Louisiana Regulars, who died in 1864, in the month of April. He gave his life for the cause he loved.” Nearby was the gravestone of John R. Pearson, first lieutenant of the Seventh Regiment of North Carolina, who was shot at Petersburg at the age of 18. Beneath his name was this simple statement: “I look for the resurrection of the dead.” Said Speer, “I took off my hat and stood beside the graves of the 18-year-old lieutenant and the older colonel who had given their lives.”  He said, “Was that the way men died in those days? Did they answer the call of their leader.”

              Jefferson Davis, even though they knew they were marching in the face of death, prompted in their response by love for a great cause?”

              Speer's words present to us a deeper question: If the appeal of a human commander-in-chief could evoke such total commitment, should not the call of the Lord Jesus, our Heavenly Commander, do the same? The poet put it like this: “I heard Him call, 'Come, follow!' that was all./ My gold grew dim, my soul went after Him;/ I rose and followed - that was all.  Who would not follow if they heard Him call?"

              Have you been halfhearted in your devotion to Christ? Today, dedicate your life completely to .the Lord. Be among those who can say, “I heard His call and followed Him.” -P.R.VanGorder

 

 98                                                           THE RIGHT PRESCRIPTION

 

              This is one of the most comforting texts for the Christian in the entire Bible. It tells us that the lord's providential hand is always at work for us. From our limited perspective we often look upon certain experiences in our lives as complete disasters. Later, however, we'll discover that God has blended together all these seeming misfortunes for our eternal good, and through them has accomplished some blessed purpose.

              The Christian Victory magazine tells of a missionary who was seriously ill at a foreign outpost. One month her check did not arrive, and she was forced to live day after day on just oatmeal and canned milk. To her surprise, after about 30 days of this restricted diet her symptoms disappeared and she returned to good health. Finally she got her check and was able to buy some different food for the table. During her illness she had begun to wonder if L the Lord was neglecting her. When furlough time came, she told of her great trial to an eager audience. At the close of the meeting, a kindly doctor inquired about her ailment. When he heard the nature of her digestive malfunction, he said, “Well, if your check had arrived, you probably wouldn't be talking to me today. Because of what happened, your life was spared. You didn't know it, but what's usually prescribed for cases like yours is a 30 day oatmeal diet!"” The woman then realized how wonderfully God had cared for her in her time of need.

              Troubled believer, through your present distress the Lord is giving you exactly the right prescription - one that will work for your eternal good. -H.G. Bosch

 

 99                                          THE PRESIDENT GOES TO CHURCH

 

              One of our great Presidents of the past was Teddy Roosevelt. He had his summer home on a beautiful little island. On the island were several hundred beautiful places and Mr. Roosevelt said he fell in love with the island and spent four summers there. Here is the story he tells.

              “I had often heard of a salty, down-easter who lived up there. He was called ‘Uncle John’ by everyone. He was so quaint and so fine that he was a welcome guest in the homes of all the prominent families. Once when I went to visit in one of those homes, I was asked if I had ever met Uncle John and I told them, “I have been wanting to meet him.”,  “Well' he's in the kitchen now.”

              “Come on out!”  “They introduced us and we liked each other right off so we sat and chatted for nearly an hour. When I got up to leave, I held out my hand and said, 'Uncle John, I surely am glad to meet you. If ever I can do anything for you, I want you to feel free to call on me. Will you?'”

              “He answered, 'I certainly will, Mr. President. There is a favor I want to ask of you right now, something that you can do, and I so wish you would do it.' Uncle John smiled, 'Look,' he said, and he pointed to a little white church upon the hill. 'You are a Christian, but I haven't seen you up there at church. If you, the President of the United States, could come up there to church, all the people on this island would come up there to church. Don't you think they need to go to church?’

              Roosevelt said, “I hung my head in shame and said, I'll be there next Sunday.” Roosevelt said that he attended church every Sunday and the building I was packed and jammed. He I said that Uncle John had made him ashamed of himself.”

              Don't let your fellowship be broken by sins of commission or sins of omission. Let there be a constant sense of sweetness between you and the heavenly Father.

 

100                                                              HER ONLY SALVATION

 

              On board the ill-fated steamer Seawanhaka which sank some years ago, were one of the Fisk Jubilee singers and his wife. Before leaving the burning steamer, he carefully fastened life-preservers on his wife and himself.

              However, someone snatched away the woman's life-preserver, leaving her a helpless victim of the waves. Her only salvation was to cling to her husband. This she did, placing her hands firmly on his shoulders until her strength was exhausted and she said, “I can hold on no longer!” “Try just a little longer,” was the response of the weary husband. “Let us sing 'Rock of Ages.'”

              As those sweet strains floated over the troubled waters and reached the ears of the faint and dying, many were comforted and cheered. One after another raised his head above the turbulent waves, and with a last effort joined in the singing of this prayer:

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee; Let the water and the blood,

From Thy wounded side which flowed,

Be of sin the double cure,

I Save from wrath and make me pure.

While I draw this fleeting breath,

When my eyes shall close in death,

When I rise to worlds unknown,

And behold Thee on Thy throne, 

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee.

              With the song came strength and courage. Another and yet another put forth renewed effort. Soon in the distance a boat was seen approaching! Singing still, and with superhuman strength, they laid hold of the lifeboat. Toplady's sweet hymn, “Rock of Ages,” saved many from a watery grave that day.

 

101                                                       THE WOMAN'S ANSWER WAS THIS

 

              The story is told of a great train running along the track at more than sixty miles an hour, when suddenly a warning was given, the brakes were applied, and the train came to a shuddering standstill. A woman's body was across the tracks. The conductor lifted her to her feet looked into her eyes, and was preparing to question her in unfriendly tones, when the woman said to him, “I know you think I'm crazy, but I am not. I tried to get the station master to stop the train at the town back there but he refused. I even wired headquarters to ask them to stop it.”

              The conductor cut in on her fast talk and said. “But why did you want to stop it? Why would you endanger your life and the lives of all the people on the train? What was important enough to cause you to do that?”

              The woman's answer was this “The only son I have is dying: He is calling for me. He is one hundred miles from here and this train is the only way I have of reaching him. I must see him before it is too late.”

              There was the story of love. There was the determination born out of love. There is a heart motivated by compassion.

 

 102                                                    “MR. RAY, YOUR VIOLIN!"

 

              In 1950, David Rubinoff the famous violinist came to a town with his famous Stradivarius to present a violin concert. An elderly hotel clerk, Raymond Ray, loved violins and repaired them as a hobby. Indeed, he fashioned one completely and was proud of his workmanship. As the violinist passed through the lobby, Mr. Ray asked him to test his instrument. Mr. Rubin- off said, “Later, I must rehearse with my accompanist now.”

              As the concert began, the crowd responded to the music with pleasure. Later in the program, a string on the Stradivarius broke. Rubinoff had seen the hotel clerk sitting near the front with his instrument across his knees. As the accompanist continued to play, Rubinoff called, “Mr. Ray, your violin!”

              The audience received an added joy as they heard the artist play the violin the hotel clerk had made.

              I give you that true illustration just to point out to you that God wants to use your life. It matters not who you are, young or old, rich or poor. There is a place for you in the service of Jesus Christ.        Lee Roberson

 

103                                                     GOD'S LANTERN TO YOU

 

              Out in the wasteland of Arizona there once stood a small cabin built near the only good well of water for miles and miles. The keeper of the well, a friendly man, would light a lantern each night and hang it high on a post outside the cabin. Many of  those who passed by wondered at this seeming waste of time and precious oil.

              One night, in the heat of the summer, a knock came at the cabin door, and the keeper found a man nearly dead for want of water. He had seen the faint glimmer of the lantern from afar, and with his last remaining strength, he had struggled to the outpost. His life was saved because someone cared.

              A few months later a letter came from the man whose life had been saved by the light.  It was on the letter head of a very well known company and signed by the president.  It told how the man’s car had broken down and the light was his only hope in the darkness.  In it was check with instructions for the man to build a permanent light house for any others who might need help.

              God's lantern to you is the cross. The light shines far across the lonely places of this world. It sends its rays to men and women, boys and girls. It invites you to come to the fountain of living water, the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.

104                                                      OBEDIENCE IS COSTLY

 

              Obedience is costly - but obedience pays.  Obedience may cost in money and friends, but it pays in the end.

              A general came along side of a gunner and said, “Gunner, do you see that little shanty in the thicket of trees to the left of the bridge?”

              “I see it, sir,” said the gunner turning pale.

              The general said, “It is a nest of enemy soldiers. Try it with a shell.”

              The gunner turned paler still but sighted his gun carefully and deliberately and then fired.

              The general exclaimed, “Well done, my man.” But as he looked at the gunner, he was surprised to see a great tear running down the gunner's cheek.

              “What is the matter, gunner?” “Pardon me, general,” said the soldier, “that was my house. It was everything I had in the world.”

              Yes, Obedience is costly.

              And I need to warn some of you that you must not expect too much appreciation from the world. Your determination to follow Christ may not meet with the approval of very many people. The world looks upon Christian service in a rather strange way.

 

 105                                                THE INTEREST OF THE QUEEN

 

              Queen Victoria was taking a tour of England during the time of her reign. She went into a certain city and they brought in all the public figures to make an address and to welcome her. The mayor of the city and many others were present. They had packed over to one side about 4,000 children on a stand. They had a great celebration. Queen Victoria was there, and she listened, and the children sang. The next day, Queen Victoria was back in London. She wrote back to the mayor of the city. In the letter that she sent to the mayor - she had one question. She said, “Did the children get home safely?” She said, “When I came back home I became troubled about those 4,000 children. Did they get home safely?”

              My dear friends, that must be our concern. That must be what we are after all of the time.  Are our children going to get home safely to Heaven?

 

 106                                      THINGS THAT NEVER HAPPEN IN CHURCH

 

Ushers calling for help in carrying the offerings.

Ministers insisting that the people attend only one service each Sunday in order to make room for the visitors.

A dozen people asking the minister for some really definite work to do during the week.

A dozen families asking the ushers to place them on the front seat.

Everyone in the audience reaching for a hymnbook, when the number is announced, and then singing heartily.

Every head reverently bowed during prayer.

A choir that does not find a single thing to whisper about during the service.

The minister saying, “I have rushed from one thing to another all week. I have spent less than three hours in revising this old sermon which is rather out of date, but I will endeavor to make it fit the occasion.”

No whispering or reading during the church service.

The Missionary Society hoping that the preacher's wife will bring to the next meeting a long list of things that ought to be done in the parsonage at once. .

The “old-timers” graciously giving way to the “new-comers,” confident that the newcomers will be able to do much better work than they have done.

No one getting up or moving about or leaving the room during the service.

The middle of the pews filled first.

The name and address of all visitors handed to the preacher at the close of the service.

Each one speaking to the person next to him and inviting him to come again.

Author unknown

 

 107                                                  I MUST GO BACK TO AFRICA

 

              One of the sweetest stories in history is that given of David Livingstone. He was making his last trip into the interior of Africa. He had with him his faithful servant and friend, black-faced Susa. One afternoon as they journeyed along the course of one of the rivers, Dr. Livingstone grew ill with a fever. His black attendant ordered the tents erected and the camp for the night put in order, so that the master might have every care and attention. He stationed one of the men in the company at the door of his tent with the instruction: “If the master moves, call me.” 

              In the night the man came to Susa's tent, saying, “The master is so still that it makes me afraid.”

              Susa went to the tent and found Liyingstone kneeling by his cot, the candle burning low, the pen fallen from his hand; and on the tablet that lay before him he had written his last prayer, calling upon God to bless, the nation -English, American, or Turk-that that God ‘would help heal' this open sore (slavery) of the world.” David Livingston had gone on his last journey, and his beloved Susa could not go with him.

              But there was something this man could do. He removed the heart of Livingstone and buried it by a tree as his master had instructed before he died. He carved his master's name on the tree and using what chemicals the master had brought along and he embalmed the body, wrapped it in cloth, and suspended it to a pole. Then he started the long journey to Zanzibar, from whence he would take it back to England.

              There were perils of fever and peril of beasts and perils of warlike tribes; but on and on he and his faithful ones trudged with their precious burden, for nine hundred miles. At Zanzibar he placed it on an English ship and accompanied it back to London.

              In London, the body was borne down the main streets of the city in a grand funeral procession. Susa, the faithful servant, was given the first place in the march.

              Finally the body was buried with stately honors in Westminster Abbey, and the servant was the last to leave his master's burial place.

              Then Queen Victoria summoned him before her. She said, “You have been faithful to one of England's greatest sons. Now you shall abide in this land with us, and I will bestow upon you wealth and honors.”

              But faithful Susa said, “No, noble queen. I did not forsake my master in life nor in death, and I must not forsake him now. I must go back to Africa and there live before my people the life that he taught me, the life of Christ.”

              That servant had convictions. His convictions were what held him steady in an hour that might have swayed some people.    Lee Roberson

 

 108                                                       “DOES YOU LOVE GOD?”

 

              “Does you love God?” The question came from a pair of tiny lips. Opposite sat a young man of striking appearance. They were fellow-travelers on a train. The child sat on the mother's knee. Four hours the train had been rolling on, and the child had been very winning in her little ways-lisping songs, lifting her bright face, then falling back into her mother's arms as if to say, “I am happy here.”  For more than an hour this young man had played with her and his heart seemed fairly won.

              It was thus the journey was almost ending, when for a time the innocent face wore an air of strange solemnity. As the train rolled to a stop, she bent toward the young man and said in her childish voice, “Does you love God?”

              The young man drew back hastily, blushing up to his hair. He looked at the child in a sort of confused, abrupt way and left the car. He hurried to his hotel; but the little voice went with him. It seemed to echo in his heart – “Does you love God?”

              Several happy young men met him at the hotel. They welcomed him with mirth that seemed almost boisterous. An elegant supper had been prepared and all seemed merry. But he was not merry. There was a voice within that kept on echoing, echoing-“Does you love God?” He tried to drown it in wine, in song, in reveling, but it followed him to his bedside. It came again to him in his dreams. The next night he met a fashionable friend. The gleam of pearls and the luster of silk and lace vied with each other to set forth her loveliness. Even as she came sailing into the room, there came, too, floating noiselessly at her side, the presence of that angel-child. Before he knew it, the young man said, “Does you love God?”

              “What do you mean?” exclaimed the young lady. “I was thinking as you came in, of a lovely child I saw yesterday and she put that question to me.”      

              “And what, pray tell me, did you answer her?” “I am ashamed to say I was not prepared to give an answer,” replied the young man with downcast eyes.

              Several years later, he was walking on the street of a large city when suddenly his eyes encountered a face looking down from the window of a handsome house. In another moment his hand was ringing the doorbell, and he was soon ushered into the room where sat the lady of the house. “You will pardon my intrusion,” he said, “but I could not pass by after seeing you so suddenly at the window. I have never forgotten you nor your little girl who put to me the artless question, 'Does you love God?' Do you remember?”

              “Yes, I think I do, and you seemed so confused by her question which she asked almost every person she met.”

              Her face is engraved on my heart. May I see her madam?”

              Her face was pale and her voice trembled as she said, “She is in Heaven.” She arose, 'beckoning him to follow, and went into a small room where she showed him her child's beloved Bible, her beautiful rewards, and her childish toys. “There is all that is left on earth of my precious Nettie.”

              “No, madam; that is not all that is left. I am here, a monument of God's mercy, made so through her holy influence. My influence for evil was very great because many looked up to me and chose me as their leader. I was groping blindly in my errors and dragging others with me.

              “Madam, by now I might have been a God-defying wretch, but for her unlooked for question, 'Does you Jove God?' Madam, these tears bear witness that your child left more than precious dust and perishing toys.” Utterly broken down, the strong man wept. All that he had said was true, for he held the hearts of many. In genius, he was one of the strong ones of the earth; now that powerful mind was engaged in spreading the tidings of man's salvation through Jesus Christ.

              Reader, “Does you love God?”   From the Book, “Touching Incidents”

 

109                                             DON'T DESPISE SMALL NUMBERS!

 

              It is exciting to see a huge gathering of people at an evangelistic crusade, or to be part of a large congregation. We love to hear reports of multitudes turning to Christ in Bangladesh or Haiti. But we must never become so “crowd conscious” that we forget about the pastors, Sunday school teachers or leaders of home Bible study classes who work with individuals, or who minister to only a few. God never despises small numbers and neither should we!

              In 1853 a denominational mission society discussed closing a station in Ongole, India, because only 10 converts had been won to Christ in 15 years. Two men of God pleaded for the continued support of this field, however, arguing that these few believers must not be abandoned. They made up the single church which someone called “The lone Star of India.” Samuel Smith, author of “My Country Tis of Thee,” was a member of the mission board.

              As he contemplated this matter, he was moved to write the following bit of verse: “Shine on, lone Star, in grief and tears, and sad reverses oft baptized; shine on amid thy founders' fears; lone stars in Heaven are not despised.” The next day he read this poem to his colleagues, and they unanimously voted to continue the work. Because of this decision, God moved in such mighty power that hundreds in India were saved. Thirty years later the Ongole church had grown to 15,000 members!

              Never despise small numbers! A single soul is precious to God, and that one may be the instrument to reach thousands for Christ.

  

110                                                   WHAT HAVE YOU SUFFERED?

 

              I saw in a dream that I was in the Celestial City - though when and how I got there I could not tell, I was one of a great multitude which no man could number, from all countries and peoples and times and ages.  Somehow I found that the saint who stood next to me had been in Heaven more than 1860 years.

              “Who are you?” I said to him. (We both spoke the language of the heavenly Canaan, so that I understood him and he me,) “I,” said he, “was a Roman Christian; I lived in the days of the Apostle Paul, I was one of those who died in Nero's ' persecutions, I was covered with pitch and fastened to a stake and set on fire to light up Nero's gardens.”

              “How awful!”, I exclaimed, “No,” he said, “I was glad to do something for Jesus, He died on the cross for me.”  The man on the other side then spoke: “I have been in Heaven only a few hundred years, I came from an island in the South Seas, Erromanga. John Williams, a missionary, came and told me about Jesus, and I too learned to love Him. My fellow-countrymen killed the missionary, and they caught and bound me, I was beaten until I fainted and they thought I was dead, but I revived. The next day they knocked me on the head, I cooked me, and ate me.”

              “How terrible” I said, “No,” he answered, “I was glad to die as a Christian, You see, the missionaries had told me that Jesus was scourged and crowned with thorns for me.”

              Then they both turned to me and said, “What did you suffer for Him? Or did you sell what you had for the money which sent men like John Williams to tell the heathen about Jesus?”

              And I was speechless, and while they both were looking at me with sorrowful eyes, I awoke, and it was a dream! But I lay on my soft bed awake for hours, thinking of the money I had wasted on my own pleasures; of my extra clothing, and costly car, and many luxuries; and I realized that I did not know what the words of Jesus meant:  “If any man will come after me, I let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

 

 111                                                                   STAND UP

 

              I believe that witnessing is one of the places where most of us fail. Many of us try to pray; many of us try to live for Christ; but we fail to witness courageously for the Saviour. Hence, by our failure, many slip by us and are not brought to the Saviour.

              There was an evangelist of days gone by, by name, J. Wilbur .Chapman. He was talking one day to a number of Sunday .School teachers, and he said this: “Is it nothing to you? You Sunday School teachers, tell me - is it nothing to you that your pupils are out of Christ? I sat years ago in a Methodist Sunday School in Richmond, Indiana, by the side of a little old-fashioned woman. Someone was speaking from the platform. Who that somebody was, I cannot find out now; but I remember what she said, she said, 'Stand up and take Christ as your Saviour.' The little old- fashioned woman looked at me and said, 'Wilbur, you'd better stand.' When I did not respond, she put her hand under my elbow and helped me to stand.” Dr. - Chapman said, “I had a letter from that little woman the other day and she said, 'I'm glad I put my fingers under your elbow and lifted.'

              Is it nothing to you, father and mother, that you have a boy in your home that needs salvation? Is it nothing to you that your boy might be used to shake the world for Christ?

              Witness courageously for Jesus. This is the way to win souls. This is the way to tell people of God's power to save to the uttermost.

  

112                                                        JUST A “DOORKEEPER”

 

              The United Press International carried this interesting story: “For several years a 14-inch statue was used as a doorstop in the home of Lee Carey of Green Township, Ohio. It was not until his estate was appraised that someone recognized the item as a replica in miniature by Rodin of his classic sculpture 'The Thinker,' a masterpiece created in the 19th century. When art dealers evaluated the find, they estimated its worth at $16,000.

              After reading that report, my mind went immediately to Psalm 84, our Scripture for today. The lowliest service in the tabernacle was that of the keepers of the gates (1 Chr. 9:19). These men, the descendants of Korah, were responsible for a seemingly insignificant job - that of tending the doors of God's house. Yet they thought of their humble tasks as being more desirable than dwelling at ease in the “tents of wickedness.”        They found spiritual joy in doing their duties because they were fulfilling .God's purpose for their lives. Someday they and other “doorkeepers” will be recognized by the Lord who will honor them for faithfully carrying on such menial but important labors for His glory.

              If you are serving in some little spot for the Savior, unnoticed and perhaps unappreciated, remember, you are of great worth to the lord. Knowing that He giveth “grace to the humble,” let Psalm 84:10 be your rejoicing watchword: “I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”                                                               .-H.G.Bosch

  

113                                                        “ANGELS UNAWARES”

 

              One stormy night a country doctor in Wales received a call for help from a concerned husband whose wife was expecting a child. The weather was so bad that it was dangerous to venture outside. Knowing that the family was very poor, the physician was tempted to refuse the man's urgent appeal. But he also knew that without his assistance the woman might encounter complications, so he disregarded his personal comfort and braved the raging elements. When he arrived, he realized how much he was needed. With his help a son was finally delivered. Many years afterward the doctor said, “That night I never dreamed I was saving the life of a future leader of our nation. You see, that baby boy was David Lloyd George who later became Britain's Prime Minister.

              This experience should encourage each of us to be willing to “do good unto all men” (Gal; 6:10). According to the author of Hebrews, when some of the early Christians showed kindness to strangers, they actually “entertained angels unawares.” We have a natural tendency to bestow favors on only a privileged few, such as our acquaintances or especially those from whom we expect help in return. And most of the time we do this at our own convenience.. But we may be depriving others of necessary assistance, doing a disservice to the Lord, and; even robbing ourselves of a special blessing.            

              Don't forget, Jesus says that acts of kindness shown to even the least of His children are really deeds being done for Him. (See Matthew 25:40.) And who knows, you might be ministering to “angels unawares”                                                      R. W. DeHann

  

114                                                             THE SAFEST GUIDE

 

              A young child lost on the streets of a large city began to cry. Seeing her distress, a man questioned her and gained enough information to learn where she lived. “Just go down this street and cross the big iron bridge,” he said. “Then turn to the right, follow the river, and soon the surroundings will be familiar to you.” The youngster, chilled by the raw evening wind, didn't fully understand, so she started on her way still sobbing. But at this point, a policeman saw her and said, “Come with me.” Clasping her hand in his and drawing one side of his warm coat around her, he led the little one right to her door.

              How typical of the compassionate guidance that God provides for His trusting child!

              Gertrude Curtis, in her well-known poem “A Song of Trust”, speaks knowingly of this truth: “I cannot always see the way that leads to heights above; I sometimes quite forget He leads me on with His hand of love; but yet I know the path must lead me to Immanuel's Land, and when I reach the summit, I shall know and understand.”

              With God as your guide, you need not fear. The blessed counsel of the Holy Spirit and His Word will lead you safely Home.            -H. G. Bosch

 

115                                          THE TEACHER WHO DIDN’T GIVE UP

 

              Many years ago in a manufacturing town in Scotland a young lady took on a Sunday School class of poor boys. The worst, most un- promising one was a lad named Bob. After two or three Sundays he was missing. The teacher went to look for him.

              Although a new suit of clothes had been given to the boy by the superintendent, they were already worn and soiled. He was given another suit, and invited to come again. He attended only once or twice. Once more the teacher went out to find him, only to discover that the second suit of clothes had gone the way of the first. “I am utterly discouraged about Bob,” she said. “I guess we must give him up.”

              “Please don't do that,” said the superintendent pleadingly. “Try him once more. Tell him I will give him a third suit of clothes if he will promise to attend regularly.”

              Bob did promise and attended regularly after that. He became an earnest Christian. That obstinate, ragged, run-a-way boy was Robert Morrison, who became the great missionary to China, and translated the Bible into that difficult language, thus bringing the Word of God to teeming millions.

  

116                                                    WILLINGHEARTED GIVERS

 

              “And they came, ...as many as were willinghearted, and brought... an offering... unto the Lord.” Exodus 35:22

              In Exodus 35 we have a lovely picture of cheerful giving. No high-pressure methods were needed to move the people to provide for the work of the sanctuary. No earnest appeals, no impressive arguments were given, for "their hearts stirred them up." This is the true way to give! Early in the 19th century Frederick William Ill, the King of Prussia, needed money to protect and consolidate his country. The situation became so serious that he asked the women, as many of them as wanted to help the king, to bring their jewelry of gold and silver to be melted and made into money to help their native land. In exchange for the gold and precious ornaments, they received a casting of bronze or iron which had on it this inscription: “I gave gold for iron in1813.” Soon it became fashionable to wear these rather crude emblems, for it was proof that the women had given up something valuable for their king. And so the Order of the Iron Cross grew up, symbolizing that the luxury of jewels and gold had been exchanged for the iron of service and sacrifice. Someone has aptly commented: “God is still looking for those among His people who will sacrifice their temporal riches for the cause of Christ - who will give gold for iron. To all who do, God will give in exchange the eternal crowns that never perish!”

              Who among us will become members of “the spiritual order of the iron cross”-cheerfully forgoing the luxuries of life that the cause of the Savior may be advanced? Such willing hearted givers shall inherit the “true riches.”                                           H.G.Bosch

 

 117                                           THE LONG ARM OF THE PRESIDENT

 

              In one of the Washington churches we read about this incident. Up the aisle an old man slowly walked, looking vainly for a seat and obviously embarrassed by his failure to find what he sought. Still unsuccessful, he started back toward the door, but as he passed President Lincoln's pew the long arm of the President reached out to him and the warm but rough voice of the President whispered, “Come in here with me.”

              I like that story! Would it be wrong for me to say today that we are wandering up and down the lonely aisles of life? But we hear the voice of our Savior saying, “Come unto me, . . .and I will give you rest.” Salvation is in the blessed Lord. Come to Him.

 

 118                                                               LIVING EPISTLES

 

              Some years ago a holdup man was caught and sent to prison. While there, he came face to face with the claims of the Gospel and was born again by the Spirit of God His life completely changed and he served the rest of his sentence in an exemplary manner and was released several years later. As he was leaving, the chaplain handed him a letter written, by another prisoner. It said, “I came to this place despising both preachers and the Bible. When you told me you were saved, I said to myself, ‘There's another one taking the Gospel road just to get an early parole’ but, Roy, I've been observing you for a couple of years and your testimony has rung true. I kept track of you when you were in the yard exercising or working in the shop or eating your meals. You never made a slip. Now I'm a Christian, too, because I watched you! The Savior who saved you has saved me!”

              Others had tried to convince him through argumentation of the claims of the lord, but Roy had exhibited a changed life before him that made the difference! Be careful what the ‘epistle of your life" says today!’  H. G. Bosch

  

119                                                       HOW TO BE REMEMBERED

 

              In Yorkshire, England, during the early 1800s, two sons were born to a family named Taylor. The older one set out to make a name for himself by entering Parliament and gaining public prestige. But the younger son chose to give his life to Christ. He later recalled, “Well do I remember, as in unreserved consecration I put myself, my life, my friends, my all, upon the altar. I felt I was in the presence of God, entering into covenant with the Almighty.” With that commitment, Hudson Taylor turned his face toward China and obscurity. As a result, he is known and honored on every continent as a faithful missionary and the founder of the China Inland Mission (now known as Overseas Missionary Fellowship). For the other son, however, there is no lasting monument. He became known simply as “the brother of Hudson Taylor.”

              You may ask, “Is everyone who yields his life in devotion to the Lord Jesus remembered and revered like Mary of Bethany or Hudson Taylor?” I'm afraid not. But regardless of any recognition here on earth, every dedicated believer will experience something far greater! John said, “. . .he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” 1 John 2: 17. That's a remembrance without equal. -P. R. VanGorder

 

120                                              THE POWER OF PIETY AT HOME

 

              When America was expanding its frontiers in the great western areas of this continent, five young men from Pennsylvania left their homes as pioneers. After many years, one returned to visit his parents. He had become a strong and radiant Christian. When asked why he had not followed in the footsteps of his four companions who had chosen sinful ways, he replied, “Because I carried in my heart a picture of my Christian home. As we sat down to breakfast the last morning we were together, my father and mother were keenly aware that the intimate ties between us would soon be broken. Conversation was therefore at a minimum. After our meal, Father took down the old family Bible (as was his custom) and started to read a favorite passage. He didn't get far, for his eyes were soon blinded by tears. Mother finally finished the chapter, but she too had to stop from time to time as a lump kept forming in her throat. Then we all knelt to pray. When Father began to weep again, Mother reached over, put her loving hand on my shoulder, and in trembling tones asked the Lord to keep me in His care. The vision of that morning in my godly home and the memory of that tender petition has steered me right. I couldn't bear the thought of breaking the hearts of my Christian parents and dishonoring the Savior they had taught me to love.”

              The true test of our spirituality as parents is how we live in the intimacy of our family circle. Never underestimate the power of piety at home! -H. G. Bosch

  

121                                                     COBBLING SHOES FOR GOD

 

              “And whatever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Colossians 3:23

              Whatever engages our attention as Christians should be handled conscientiously and zealously, for God is never satisfied with half measures. Dr. Ironside learned this truth early in life. When he was a boy, he worked for a shoemaker and had to prepare leather for soles. A piece of cowhide would first be cut to size, then soaked in water, and finally pounded with a flat headed hammer until it was hard and dry. It was a wearisome task, and he wished the tedious process could be avoided.

              About a block away there was another shop, and young Harry often looked in the window to watch their competitor. This man did not pound the soles, but took them from the water and nailed them on immediately. One day he approached this cobbler and said, “1 noticed you put the soles on while they are still wet. Are they just as good as if they were pounded?” With a wink and a cynical smile the man replied, “No, but they come back much quicker this way, my boy!”

              Young Harry hurried back to his boss and suggested that perhaps they were wasting their time in drying out the leather so carefully. His Christian employer took his Bible, read to him Colossians 3:23, and said, “Harry, I do not cobble shoes just for the money. I'm doing it for the glory of God. If I should have to view every shoe I've ever repaired at the judgment seat of Christ, I would dread to have the Lord say, ‘Dan, that was a poor job. You didn't do your best.’ I want to see His smile and hear, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’” It was a lesson in practical Christian ethics which Dr. Ironside never forgot! -H. G. Bosch

 

 122                                                         REMEMBER THE SCARS!

 

              Some years ago, Triumphs of Faith carried a story about General John B. Gordon and his campaign for a seat in the United States Senate. When the time came for his name to be placed in nomination, a former army comrade was present in the voting body. Because of a resentment that had developed between the two through the years, the general knew he could not expect the support of his fellow officer in his bid to become a senator. As the balloting began, however, the man's attention was drawn to Gordon who was seated on the platform. At that moment his eyes fell upon a scar on the general's face, a mark of his valor and suffering for the cause to which he had literally given his life's blood in battle. Immediately the old soldier was stricken with remorse. As he saw this token of sacrifice and pain that had been endured by the man at whose side he had fought, he cried out with great emotion, “I cannot be against him; I had forgotten the scars, I had forgotten the scars!”

              How much more tragic it is if we forget the marks which speak of the suffering the Savior endured for us on the cross? His brow was punctured with a thorny crown, cruel nails pierced His hands and feet, and a sharp spear was thrust through His side. Yes, the very body of the lord Jesus speaks of the great sacrifice He paid for us. May it never be necessary for us to say, “We have forgotten the scars.” Rather, let us contemplate the price He paid on Calvary. Then, with hearts filled with thanksgiving, we will be motivated to loyal service! -R. W. DeHann

 

 123                                                   THE STORY OF JOHN HOLDEN

 

              Many years ago a vessel was wrecked off the north coast of Scotland. The people in the villages along the coast could see it and saw men clinging to the boats rigging. A lifeboat was launched from the nearest village to rescue these men.  The people watched anxiously as the boat rode the crest of the huge waves and disappeared to rise again on the next wave. The boat was gone a long time and darkness set in. The people on the shore kindled great fires so the lifeboat could be guided safely to the shore again. At last it came, and as it drew near one man named John Holden made a trumpet of his hands and shouted, “Have you .saved the men?”

              The answer came back, “Aye, we have saved the men.” And all were filled with happiness to I hear it.

              But when the boat landed, it: was found that one man was left clinging to the mast.

              “Why did you not save him?” asked John Holden. “Oh, why did you leave him?”      “Because we were exhausted and the storm is so fierce we thought it better to land the men we had rescued than for all of us to perish trying to save one man.”

              “But you will go back, won't y u?”

              They said, no for they were too exhausted. They had not the strength to fight the storm again.

              “Then I will go,” said John Holden. “Who will go with me?”

              Six men volunteered and stepped into the boat. But John Holden's mother came rushing down to the boat and threw her arms around him saying, “John, you must not go. You are still all I have. Your father was drowned at sea, and your brother William left two years ago, and we have never heard from him. Now you, John; what shall I do if you perish?”  Gently John loosened her arms and kissed her. “Mother, God has put it into my heart to go; and if I perish, God will take care of you.” Then he, too, stepped into the lifeboat.

              Again the people took up their vigil keeping the fires flaming high. After a long time the lifeboat returned. Again came the cry over the water, “Have you saved the man?” Again came the answer, “Aye, we have saved the man; and tell my mother it is my brother William.”

 

 124                                                           PEPPER MARTIN'S FAITH

 

              I suppose that everyone has heard the story of Pepper Martin, the ‘Cardinals’ hero of the 1931 World Series. A newspaper reporter said to him, “What is your chief ambition?”

              Pepper Martin answered, “My chief ambition is to go to heaven!”

              His flippant questioner laughed, “You want to play a harp, hey?”

              Pepper Martin said: Mister, I don't think that's funny. People don't want to be rude, I. guess, but they surely are so without thinking.

              If there is anything foolish in reading the Bible everyday and believing its contents; if there is anything funny about wanting to enter heaven when you leave this life, then I am afraid that life in this world is not worth living. Pepper Martin had found the Saviour and was proud of his faith.

              Oh, the joy of knowing that we are on the winning side now!

 

 125                                                                    ARE YOU READY?

 

              After the Battle of Bull Run an official asked Stonewall Jackson, who had received a painful wound in the battle, “General, , how is it that you can keep so cool and appear so utterly insensible to danger; in such a storm of shells and bullets as rained about you when your hand was hit?”

              “Captain,” answered Jackson in a grave and reverential manner, “my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me.” Then, after a pause: he added, “That is the way all men should live, and then all the world would be brave.”

              Let us then address ourselves to the question, “What if your heart should stop right now?  The apostle Paul said: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”  Acts 16:31

  

126                                                  HADLEY PAG, FLYING HIGHER

 

              Dedicate yourself to live a separated life. When you do so, many questions will be solved. A separated life is the life that is continually aiming higher.

              Hadley Page, the flyer, tells of a flight he was making once in one of those old-time planes over in Arabia. A large rat got into the plane without his knowledge. When he got up in the air, he saw that the rat was gnawing on a vital part of the plane. He knew that those vicious teeth might damage the plane and bring about a crash. What could he do? Suddenly he remembered that a rat cannot live in a high altitude. So he started his plane straight up into the heavens. After a time the gnawing stopped and when he returned to the ground, he found that the rat was dead. He could not exist in the high atmosphere.

              The lesson is for us. Evil will not exist in the life that is lived in dedication to Christ.  The higher we go in the Christian life will destroy the evil desires and habits we may have.

  

127                                                 “I KNEW YOU WOULD FIND ME"

 

              In another city a little boy was lost and the crowd was gathering around him. The boy was crying, just weeping. The people were trying to console him by telling him they would find his mother and father. They kept on talking to the boy and he kept on crying. A big man came bursting through the crowd and up to the man who was holding the boy and grabbed the boy out of his arms and held the boy in his arms.

              The crowd heard the little boy say, “Daddy, I knew you would find me.”

              Listen, we need to be winning our children to Jesus Christ. Let the home be centered upon the Son of God.

              Are you letting your home be centered upon the Lord Jesus Christ? Begin now to let your home be the kind of home that Christ would have it to be. 

              The Bible tells us that Jesus: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  Luke 19:10.  Are we seeking to find our children like our Saviour is doing?

128                                                 “THIS OLD WIVE'S TALE"

 

              There is a beautiful story of a pastor who teamed up with his physician to do personal work. The two of them became a powerful factor for good, not only in the church but in the whole city.  One day someone asked the pastor how it came about. His answer was something like this.

              “When I came to this pastorate, I met the physician who was a skeptic. Our paths crossed time after time, and we became friends. One day as I was walking down the street the physician stopped at the curb and asked me to ride with him for he wanted to talk with me. Our conversation started like this: 'Preacher, you and I are good friends and I wouldn't offend you for anything, but you puzzle me. How in this world can a man with your intellectual ability spend his life telling “this old wives' tale” of God’s love and His power and the resurrection of Jesus?”

              The pastor said, “This is the opening I had waited for, and I said a prayer to God before I answered slowly, 'Doctor, suppose in your younger days you had cancer; and there came to you a man and told you that he had a prescription that had cured many cancers and he wanted you to try it. Suppose you had accepted it and used it and it had cured you. What would the world think if you did not take that same prescription to every patient of yours who had cancer?”  “Quick as a flash, he answered, ‘They would say I was a fool.’ The pastor looked at him earnestly' and said, “Doctor, twenty-five years ago I had a cancer- not the kind with which you deal. You would call mine a moral cancer and the Great Physician gave me a prescription that cured me. What would you think of me doctor, if I didn't take that prescription to every single person that I could possibly reach who needed it every single one that has some great heartache or some sin that needs wiping out? I repeat, what would you think of me?”    

              After a long silence, the doctor answered, “I guess I would have to say the same thing. You would 'be a fool.’  Then the preacher poured out, his heart to this doctor, led him to the Lord Jesus Christ, and they became partners in telling the story of Jesus throughout the entire city.

              I now invite you to come and to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior.

  

129                              “SOMETHING JUST PULLED ME TO THE CHURCH

 

              In the church bulletin of the Central Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, we found this report:

              He was dirty. His clothes were wrinkled and worn. His hair was uncombed. He needed a bath, but he was made to feel welcome at the services. He had a pack on his back, and he was traveling on foot from one town to the next. He saw our church sign and said, “something just pulled me to the church.”  It had been more than two years since he had set foot in any kind of a church. Knowing that Christ came into the world to save sinners, many of our young people were burdened for this young man of twenty-one years. During the morning service he raised his hand, acknowledging that he was a lost sinner. During the afternoon, some of our people bought his lunch, and others took him into their home and witnessed to him. Sometime during the afternoon he accepted Christ as Saviour and asked for the forgiveness of his sins. He returned to the evening service and made public his salvation and followed the Lord in baptism. He said that he was going home to get things right there also.

              What happened in the Central Baptist Church in Baton Rouge should happen in many of our churches. Our desire should be to see men come to the Lord Jesus Christ and make a complete change regardless of their situation or condition.

 

130                                NO BAPTIST CHURCH WOULD WELCOME ME

 

              I must win others, or ignore HIS express commands. I must win others, or forget the primary need of man. I must win others, or ignore the awfulness of condemnation. I must win others, or forget the teaching of hell. I must win others, or turn my back upon the glories of heaven. What must I do with my life?

              I must seek to win souls. As Andrew brought his brother to Jesus, so I must engage in bringing people to Christ. In Louisville, Kentucky, six young ladies became disturbed about their Christian service. They decided to have a little prayer meeting on Sunday afternoon. At that time, they were impressed with the tremendous fact of their responsibility under God for the souls of others. The next day, they went to their pastor and asked if they could have printed some calling cards with a picture of the church on them and an invitation to come and worship with them. Eventually, they went out two by two, ringing all the door-bells in the community, giving out the cards and adding their own personal invitation.

              In a rooming house near the church, a man read the card and: listened to their little speech, shook his head, and answered, “You don't want me. I am a vaudeville actor. No Baptist church would welcome me.” After being assured he would be, welcome, he finally promised to attend one time just to prove that they were mistaken. He did attend, again and again. He finally accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour and joined the Walnut Street Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Later, this man became a pastor in Boston; and it was through his ministry that Russell Conwell heard the call to preach. Conwell led thousands to the Lord Jesus and inspired other thousands to a closer walk with God. It was Conwell who presented that great sermon, “Acres of Diamonds,” hundreds of times throughout the nation to raise money to help send young people a Christian school he had started.    Lee Roberson

  

131                                             MR. HEINZ WENT HOME IN ANGER

 

              The other day I saw again the story of Mr. Heinz. This is the man who manufactured “fifty- seven varieties” of pickles. One day after an evangelistic service, the minister turned to him and said, “you are a Christian; but with all your energy, why aren't you up and at it for the Lord?”

              Mr. Heinz went home in anger. That night, however, he couldn't sleep. At four o’clock in the morning, he prayed that God would make him a true and zealous witness. Shortly afterwards, at a meeting of bank presidents, he turned to the man next to him and told him of the joy he knew as a believer. His friend looked at him in amazement and said, “I wondered many times why you never spoke to me about salvation if you really believed in Christ.”

              He later became the first of 1267 converts, -men of all different varieties-that Mr. Heinz eventually won to Christ!

              God grant that we might testify for our Saviour from every place in life-from the high mountain or the low valley, in hours of gladness or hours of sadness.

  

132                                                       LED BY FRANKLIN'S LIGHT

 

              “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16

              Christ’s followers are to let their lights shine by their holy walk and faithful example. Each step of their pilgrim journey must be taken with care, for the world is watching how they live. If they are true to the Savior, they will illumine the way for others and bring glory to their Father in Heaven.

              In his book World Horizons, Cole D. Robinson relates this incident: When Benjamin Franklin wished to interest the people of Philadelphia in street lighting, he didn't try to persuade them by just talking about It. He hung a beautiful lantern on a long bracket in front of his home. He kept the glass brightly polished, and he carefully lit the wick every evening at the approach of dusk. People walking about on the dark street saw Franklin's light a long way off and “came under the influence of its friendly glow.” It seemed to be saying to everyone, “Come along my friend! Here is a safe place to walk. See that cobblestone sticking up? Don't stumble over it, Good by! I shall be here to help you again tomorrow night, if you should come this way.” It wasn't long before Franklin's neighbors also began placing lights on brackets outside their homes. Soon the entire city realized the value of street lighting, and many followed his example with enthusiasm. Don't miss the important spiritual lesson suggested by this story! As we let our lives glow with the love of Christ, we will influence others for Him. In fact, we may even encourage fellow believers to let their lights shine too.    -H.G.Bosch

  

133                                               THE FELLOWSHIP OF LOVE

 

              In 1765 John Fawcett was called to pastor a very small congregation at Wainsgate, England. He labored there diligently for 7 years, but his salary was so meager that he and his wife could scarcely obtain the necessities of life. Though the people were poor, however, they compensated for this lack by their faithfulness and warm fellowship. Then Dr. Fawcett received a call from a much larger church in London, and after lengthy consideration decided to accept the invitation. As his few possessions were being placed in a wagon for moving, many of his parishioners came to say good-by. They realized that a man of his abilities could not soon be replaced. Others would gladly take the pastorate in the city, but few would sacrifice to work in their needy community. Even though the farewell sermon had already been preached, some of 'the people refused to accept the decision of their pastor.  Once again they pleaded with him to reconsider. Touched by this great outpouring of love, he and his wife began to weep. Finally Mrs. Fawcett exclaimed, “O John, I just can't bear this. They need us so badly here.” “God has spoken to my heart too!” he said. “Tell them to unload the wagon! We cannot break these wonderful ties of fellowship.”

              This experience inspired Fawcett to write a hymn which has given him a worldwide ministry to this day, for believers still thrill to the simple, moving words: “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love! The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.” -H. G. Bosch

  

134                                                                 LOVING OTHERS

 

              When the missionary explorer to Africa, Frederick Arnot; was on a trek through the tall grass with a group of his black converts, a lion suddenly sprang out at one of the young men. Instantly; Arnot pushed the youth to the ground and covered him with his own body. The animal landed right next to them. For some unexplainab1e reason, the beast did not attack God's servant, but retreated without harming anyone. When the chief of the tribe heard about the incident, he said, “I’d go anywhere with a white man who would put his own body between a lion and his black friend.”

              Do you have this type of concern for others?  If not, ask the Lord to stir your heart and purify your motives so that you wil1 “increase and abound in love toward one another”       H. G. Bosch

  

135                                                   WilliNG TO BE A GLEANER

 

              Today when many are aspiring to do “big” things, it is refreshing to find some consecrated saints who are ready to participate in the work of the Lord, even if their talents and opportunities do not fit them to be anything but faithful gleaners!

              During a campaign conducted by D. L. Moody, a young foreigner was converted. He longed to witness for Christ, and asked the evangelist what he could do. Moody hardly knew what to say, for the man was awkward and illiterate. Finally he asked, “Would you be willing to tote a sandwich board around town?” “Anything, anything for Jesus!  “He saved me, and I long to show my love for Him!” the convert replied. The board with the words of John 3:16, plus an announcement of the Moody campaign was prepared, and the young man went walking up and down the busy thoroughfares of the “Windy City.” As he went along Clark Street, he was the object of much ridicule. And yet, many read the sign, among them a salesman who was saved through this witness.        Possessing a very good voice, he decided to give up his singing in the saloons, and instead used his talents for the Lord. One night in the Bowery Rescue Mission in New York City he was instrumental in touching the heart of a young Jew named Mr. Nathan. After his conversion, Nathan became a fruitful missionary to Africa. Later he testified, “That young man, whose witness led to the conversion of the singer who brought me to Christ, now lies buried in an unknown grave in Chicago; the singing salesman, too, has gone to be with the Lord, but I am still winning souls in Africa. I have no doubt that they will surely receive part of the reward of my labors because of their faithfulness!”

              Friend, what if the illiterate foreigner had not been humbly willing to carry that sign? Yes, what if you and I are not prepared to do our bit to glean among the reapers and win souls? -H.G. Bosch

 

 136                                                               “I THINK I SEE IT"

 

              Some years ago I was speaking in a revival in Alabama. A young man came to me after the service and announced that he I liked my message, but did not agree with all I said. He stated that he did not believe a Christian had to speak out for Christ.

              He said, “It is enough to live for Him and by so living, the world will know that you belong to the Saviour. You need not say a word.” I simply turned to Acts 1:8 and read the words, “. . .and ye shall be witnesses unto me .. .” I pointed out the example of the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Peter, the Apostle John, and others.

              He was not convinced by what I said until I gave an illustration. I said, “Sir, suppose that a good friend of yours was on trial in a courtroom. You are called to give a testimony in behalf of your friend. It is well known that you know the facts of the case and your testimony would be invaluable to your friend. The time comes for the trial. You are there, people see you and know your good life, but you do not speak out.”

              As I gave this illustration, the young man said, “I think I see it. As a Christian, it is my part to speak out for the Lord Jesus.”

  

137                                                          VISIBLE PROOF

 

              Dwight L. Moody and a friend were talking one day and their attention was drawn to a man nearby. “He must have been in the army or a military school,” remarked the evangelist. “That's right,” said his companion, “but how did you know?” “By the way he walks”, replied Moody. So also the Christians daily fellowship with the Lord Jesus will be discernible by certain godly qualities that set him apart from unbelievers. His manner of life will prove what his lips proclaim. While the great French artist Dore was once traveling in southern Europe, he lost his passport. When he came to the border of a particular country, the guard asked him to show his papers. “I've lost them,” he said, “but you can trust me. I am Gustave Dore, the artist. Please let me proceed.” “Oh, no,” said the officer. “Many tourists represent themselves as important people.” A lengthy conversation ensued, with both parties protesting. Finally the official said; “Here is a pencil and paper. If you are the famous artist, prove it by drawing a picture!” With a masterful hand Dore quickly sketched some of the features of the surrounding countryside. “Now I'm perfectly sure of who you are!” exclaimed the officer. “Only Dore could do that!”

              Likewise, the believer verifies his relationship to the Lord Jesus by the spiritual fruit produced in his life. The fact that we belong to Christ should be evident to those  in the home, at school, and at work. Let's be careful that our conduct is visible proof of our true identity as born-again children of God.

  

138                                                         AMBASSADOR ON DUTY!

 

              Late one night a salesman drove into a strange city and tried to get a room in a hotel. The clerk informed him that there was no vacancy. Disappointed, he started to leave the lobby when a dignified gentleman offered to share his room with him.              Gratefully the traveler accepted his kindness. Just before retiring, the man who had shown such hospitality, knelt and prayed aloud. In his petition he referred to the stranger by name and asked the Lord to bless him.

              Upon awakening the next morning, he told his guest it was his habit to read the Bible and commune with God at the beginning of each day, and he asked if he would  like to join him. The Holy Spirit had been speaking to the heart of this salesman, and when his host tactfully confronted him with the claims of Christ, he gladly received the Savior. As the two were ready to part, they exchanged business cards. The new believer was amazed to read, “William Jennings Bryan, Secretary of State.” This high government official was an ambassador of Heaven who .had not failed to represent his King, the Lord Jesus.

              Almost every situation in life affords an opportunity to witness. Mr. Bryan used a stranger's need for lodging as his divine appointment for sharing Christ. His sense of being in the service of his Master made him spiritually alert. Today you and I are on call, and no one else can fill the specific place assigned to us. What an awesome responsibility! Yet what a glorious privilege it is to represent our Lord. Are you available for duty?

  

139                                                    HAVE YOU FOUND YOUR CHILD?

 

              There is a beautiful story told, yet a sad story in some ways, of a happening in Wisconsin. It tells about a little girl, about two and a half years old, wandering away from the home and getting out into the woods near the home. The mother went out to find her and failed to find her. She was lost on Wednesday. The mother sent for help in the late afternoon. People came from everywhere. They began searching the woods - Wednesday night, Thursday, Thursday night, Friday, Friday night, Saturday, Saturday night, and Sunday. They went on and on.

              Finally, on late Sunday afternoon, the men, scouring every part of the countryside looking in every place that they could, found the little child, just a few hundred yards away in a clump of bushes. She was alive, and she lived. Her body was scratched and torn. She was almost gone because of the long hours night and day, all alone, with no one to care for her.

              But oh, the joy that filled everyone when she was found. There was a big write-up in the paper - everyone rejoicing.

              Have you found your child? I love to see parents come down the aisles with their little ones. Thank God for it. That’s the way it ought to be. Bring them to the Lord Jesus Christ. Search them out. Reach your children with the Gospel of Jesus Christ before it is too late.

  

140                                                 THE DEATH OF JOHN COWELL

 

              I came to this church in November, 1942, and I feel that I was brought here by the definite leadership of the Holy Spirit.

              But you see, God uses people. God used Dr. John C. Cowell of the Central Baptist Church of Decatur, Alabama. Dr. Cowell had been before you people and as a matter of fact, the church at that time decided to call him, but he refused to consider the call. He gave them my name and recommended that they contact me in Fairfield, Alabama. The contact was made; and as a result, I came here to preach on one Sunday morning and received the call of the church. The name of John C. Cowell means much to me. He died at .forty-three years of age. He passed away in 1944.

              In the life story of John C. Cowell, published by Moody Press some years ago, there is an interesting story. John Cowell ; was saved in 1923. This story speaks for itself. “One day in the late 1920's, two men met on the main street of a small town in North Carolina.

              The older man abruptly stopped the young one with the query. 'Aren't you the John Cowell I used to know in Wilmington?'

              “The young man evidenced no sign of recognition, save for a merry twinkle in his eyes. He replied, 'You are mistaken, sir. I am not the man you refer to.' “Well, that is strange, continued the first speaker as he made an apology. 'You surely do resemble him.    I knew him as a growing boy. I knew his father and mother also. You certainly look enough like him to be his twin brother.'  “But you see, sir,” continued the youth, “I knew him also, and the John Cowell you refer to is' dead.”

              “Dead!” The news was evidently a shock. 'Tell me about it. When did he die?'

              “Yes, John Cowell is dead. He I died rather suddenly one night several years ago. It was the eighth of April, 1923 to be exact. He died on the corner of Franklin and Anderson Streets in Fayetteville. I was there at the time. I saw him die. You see, my name is John Cowell, but that night in this city, the John Cowell you knew died to the old life of sin and shame. And the John Cowell you now see was saved in a great revival then in progress and became a new creature in Christ Jesus. I am not the John Cowell you knew as a lad and a youth. I have been reborn.”

              That answer given by John Cowell was typical of his life. He knew how to say things to make people remember them. He had a radiant, flashing personality. There was a winning smile but a driving passion to preach and win souls.

              Jolm C, Cowell was saved in 1923, and when he was saved, he died to the old life of sin, This happens in many cases, Sometimes a person is saved and then a time goes by before he recognizes the weakness of the flesh and comes to die to self. But “die to self' we must,” if we are to be used of God.

   Lee Roberson

  

141                                         FROM WAR DRUMS TO DRUMS OF PRAISE

 

              Dr .George Green was home on leave from a mission field, and he told the story of his first visit to Africa. He said, “When I first went out to our mission field in Africa, the boat carried me up a wide, beautiful river flowing through the jungle. As the sun set and the night came on, I listened with much misgiving to the roll of the war drums. They continued far into the night. The captain of the boat was uneasy and tried to dissuade me from going ashore the next morning, and I admit I was trembling with fear. But I found that the Lord standeth within the shadows keeping watch above His own.”

              “After years of delightful labor, I left the jungle on the same boat. As I came down the river, thousands of these same natives gathered on the shores near their villages to say farewell. As the boat came into sight, they broke into song but not a war song. They were singing the hymn that is a favorite to most of them, ‘Amazing Grace’.”

 

142                                                                 THE VOICE OF GOD

 

              Some years ago in the Lutheran Youth magazine the following touching story was related by a Minnesota farmer who lived on the edge of one of the many lakes in that area. One evening near sunset he began crossing the deep water, when a strong gust of wind unexpectedly overturned his boat in the middle of the lake. It was early spring, so the surface was still covered with treacherous masses of floating ice. The farmer was a good swimmer, and so struck out boldly toward that part of the shore where he thought his house stood. Soon, however, he became confused in the darkness. At last in despair he gave up, and was about to sink in the freezing water, when suddenly he heard his little girl calling him. “Father! Father!” He listened, hoping the sound of her voice would tell him which way to swim. He thought “If she would only call once more.” He knew however that she usually was frightened by darkness and gusty winds, and so probably would go into the house and shut the door. Just then there came another cry - this time faint and less clear – “Father!” “I turned,” he testified later, “and struck out in the opposite direction for I suddenly realized I had been going the wrong way! I fought my way through the broken ice, until 1 reached my home at last. However, if my dear little girl had not persisted in calling me, though hearing no reply, I would have perished beneath the waves!”

              The story of many a man's life is like that of this drowning farmer; yet there is always one divine Voice calling to him, which, if he will but hear and heed will guide him safely Home.

              Friend, “The Master is come, and calleth for thee” (John 11:28). Have you responded to His gracious voice, or are you still drifting in the icy waters of sin and death?  H.G. Bosch

  

143                                                    A SERMON ON A STEEPLE

              Charles Trumbull tells of a man who refused to go and hear the Word of God. One day his wife said to her preacher as he visited in the home, “Jim is a good fellow, but he doesn't have much use for church.” “Please give your husband my greetings and tell him I hope to see him soon,” replied the pastor.  Later she told the minister, “Jim says that if you want to see him you'll just have to go where he is. He won't come to hear you preach.” “I think I'll visit him right now,” he replied. “That'll be a little difficult:' said the man's wife, “because he's working on the steeple of a new church.”  Nevertheless the pastor went to the site immediately, climbed up several ladders, and finally reached the surprised worker at the top of the spire. He told the man of God's redeeming love, and that Christ had died for his sins. As a result of the visit, Jim received the lord Jesus as his Savior a short time later. When his friends asked him about his changed life, he answered, “You can't help but listen to someone who'll climb 200 feet to the top of a steeple to talk to you about Christ.”

              It may not be necessary to “climb a steeple” to reach the lost, but you should be willing to walk a few steps - and knock on a door! --:H.G. Bosch

 

144                                               THE LIGHT IN THE WINDOW

 

              A very beautiful story is related of a boat out at sea, carrying in it a father and his little daughter. As they were steering for the shore, they were overtaken by a violent storm which threatened to destroy them. The coast was dangerous. The mother lighted a lamp and started up the worn stairway to the attic window.

              “It won't do any good, mother,” the son called after her.

              But the mother went up and put the light in the window knelt beside it and prayed.      Out in the storm the daughter saw a glimmer of gold on the water's edge.

              “Steer for that,” the father.

              Slowly but steadily they came toward the light and at last were anchored in the little sheltered harbor by the cottage.

              “Thank God,” cried the mother, as she heard their glad voices and came down the stairway with the lamp in her hand. “How did you get here?” she said.

              “We steered by mother's light,” answered the daughter, “although we did not know what it was out there.”

              The son in that home had never I accepted Christ as Savior and when he heard the answer of his sister he said, “It is time I was steering by mother's light too.” And before the closing of that day he accepted Christ as his Saviour.

  

145                                                   YOU LED ME TO THE LORD

 

              I can never forget the story of Miss Abey Burr of Springfield, Tennessee. Miss Burr left the First Baptist Church in the town and went to a mission on the edge of Springfield. She was a cashier in the largest bank in the city: She came from a well-to-do family, but she decided to give her life to the winning of souls in the mission area. I conducted revivals in the mission. I knew the work of this dear one.

              And then one day the message came to me that Miss Abey Burr was dead. They asked if I would have a part in the service. At the service I read the Scripture and prayed. Then the pastor, Dr. W. R. Pettigrew, stood for his message. As he began he said this: “I would like for the ladies who are seated here before the pulpit to stand please.” At this request, fifty-two women stood to their feet. Then the pastor went on to say, “These ladies are here in testimony to the fact that Miss Abey Burr led them to Jesus.”

              What a testimony! What a glorious place is heaven! Think of fifty-two people sitting up in heaven saying, “You led me to the Lord.” Miss Abey Burr was a Sunday School teacher in the mission; but most of all, she was a soul winner.     Lee Roberson

 

 146                                                      I MUST GO AND SEE THEM

 

              A new family moved into the neighborhood, but they did not attend the church services. One of the church workers decided, “I must go and see them.”

“"But what excuse will you have for going?” her friend asked. Then she remembered, “Oh, yes, take this book. I have heard that one of the daughters expressed a desire to read it.”

              “But I don't want an excuse,” the Christian answered. “I want them to know I am interested in them.”

              So out of the kindness of her heart, she went to see the family and they soon visited the church.

 

 147                                                         “SHOW US CALVARY"

 

              Some years ago a pastor of a great church in the east was honored by his congregation on his twenty-fifth anniversary with a number of love gifts, including a check for $2500 to take his wife and himself to the Holy Land.

              A deacon in his church, the owner of a large photographic supply store, presented him with a fine movie camera and all the films he could use. The pastor and his wife left for the lands of our Lord very soon after the celebration.

              How long they stayed, I do not know. When they came back, after the films were developed it was announced in the local papers that on a given night, in the fellowship hall of the church, the pictures would be shown to the public. The fellowship hall was crowded to capacity that night. They had a song or two, prayer, announcements, and then the projector began to reel off the scenes taken.

              There the couple was boarding the airplane in New York. There they were on the streets of London, of Paris, of Rome, of Athens, of Cairo, of Joppa, of Jerusalem, of Bethlehem, of Nazareth, when, out of the crowd, in the darkened room there came a man's voice a bit hoarse with emotion, saying: “Preacher, show us Calvary!”

              Consciously, or unconsciously, this is the cry of the world. “Show us Calvary.” It is our only hope, our only plea, the heart, the soul and the spirit of all the Bible, of all of Christianity.  Without Calvary there would be no hope of Heaven.   Lee Roberson

  

148                                          TWO BOYS IN THE TAYLOR FAMILY

 

              Listen to this story: “There were two boys in the Taylor family. The older said he must make a name for the family and so turned his face toward Parliament and fame. The younger decided to give his life to the service of Christ and so turned his face toward China and his calling and duty. Hudson Taylor, the missionary, died beloved and known on every continent. But when I looked in the encyclopedia to see what the other son had done, said one, I found these words, “The brother of Hudson Taylor.”

  

149                                               “I WILL TELL YOU THE SECRET"

 

              A traveler came to see the church Robert Murry McCheyne pastored.  McCheyne died at twenty-nine years of age. You have heard me mention his name often in this pulpit. The traveler came to find the secret of McCheyne, and to his disappointment the preacher was not there. The caretaker of the building was on hand and the traveler said to him, “I have come so far to find the secret of this pastor, and he is not here.”

              The caretaker said, “I will tell you the secret. Come with me.”

              He took the traveler to the study of the pastor and said, “This is his desk, and this is the chair in which he sits. Now, you sit down in the chair. Now put your arms on the desk. Now, sir, put your face in your hands and weep.” Then the caretaker said, “Come with me.”

              He led the man into the auditorium. He said, “Now mount the pulpit.” So the traveler mounted the pulpit and stood behind the sacred desk. The caretaker said, “Now put your arms on the desk." The traveler put his arms on the desk, and the caretaker said, “Now bury your face in your hands and weep.” 

              Robert Murry McChayne was known as a man of a deep devotion and consecration to our Saviour and moved the hearts of his hearers when he preached.

 

 150                                             THEY LAUGHED BUT GOD BLESSED

 

              Obedience means to do what God says in God's way. Some people want to argue with God. They are afraid of appearing foolish. It is quite possible that some of the Israelites often argued with Joshua regarding his way of doing things. He was doubtless a very plain, humble man; but he spoke with authority, for he was acting in obedience to God's commands.

              We don't like to have the laughter of the world. We don't want to appear foolish before men; but a few of our folks will remember what happened more than twenty years ago. The Phillips Memorial Chapel was too small for our crowds. I learned that a preacher in Macon, Georgia, had a big canvas tabernacle that he wanted to sell. We made the purchase for one thousand dollars. We put it up on the Highland Park School grounds. It was a big affair, supported by large telephone posts and steel cables. The canvas was draped all over this, and it was quite an unsightly affair. It had been up only a couple of days when a heavy, rain fell and the entire structure was in danger of collapsing. To save at least a part of our investment, we cut holes in the canvas, and allowed the big pockets of water to empty out. When the rains finished, we tried to stretch the tent again. 

              I recall so well the day when I went across the street to check the tent. As I stood on the outside, I heard a group of men inside talking. I listened. They were pastors of the city of Chattanooga. They were laughing at the tent. They made fun of its appearance. They ridiculed its awkward, draping contours. They laughed at the holes cut in the tent. When I stepped in the tent, they stopped their laughing. They made a few comments and went on their ways. But when it was all over, I felt a very embarrassed person. I thought perhaps that it was foolish to have put it up. We could seat hundreds of people more than the chapel, but still I did not like to be laughed at.

              Ah, but wait. I got my feet settled, back on the rock. I remembered that what I had done was in obedience to the direction of the Lord. We went from that old canvas tabernacle to the rough and ready canvas-wooden building on the location of the Student Center building. The people kept on laughing, I suppose; but we kept on obeying the Lord.

              I repeat, obedience means to do what God says in God's way.   Lee Roberson

 

 151                                                               PRAISE THE LORD!

 

              The remarkable Cornish miner Billy Bray (1794-1868), is probably remembered best today as the man who, when rebuked by those who opposed his “singing and shouting” so much, replied: “If they were to put me into a barrel, I would shout glory out through the bung-hole! Praise the Lord!” On another occasion, at the bedside of a dying saint whose voice had been reduced to a mere whisper, the one about to go Home murmured, “I wish I had a voice, so that I might praise the Lord!”             

              Billy immediately responded: “You should have praised Him, my brother, when you had one!”

              Bray practiced what he preached in this matter. His biographer wrote: “He could smile through his tears. The sickness of a child, the death of a wife, were powerless to silence his voice, or to repress his joy. It is said that when his wife died he was so overpowered with the thought of his 'dear Joey' having escaped from earth's toils and sufferings to the rest and bliss of Heaven, that he began to jump and dance about the room, exclaiming, 'Bless the Lord! My dear Joey is gone up with the bright ones! My dear Joey is gone up with the shining angels! Glory! Glory! Glory!” At a friend's house in Falmouth, Billy explained: “I can't help praising the Lord. As I go along the street I lift up one foot, and it seems to say 'Glory,' and I lift up the other, and it seems to say 'Amen'; and so they keep on like that all the time I am walking.”

 

 152                                                                A SOFT ANSWER

 

              An English sergeant once stationed in Egypt tells this incident about himself: “There was a private in the same company who was converted in Malta before the regiment came to Egypt. We gave that fellow an awful time. One terribly wet night, he came in very tired and very wet. Before getting into bed, he got down to pray. My boots were heavy with wet mud, and I let him have one on one side of the head, and the other on the other side; and he just went on with his prayers. Next morning I found those boots beautifully polished and standing by the side of my bed. That was his reply to me, and it broke my heart. I was saved that very day.

  

153                                                          JOHN HARPER'S LAST CONVERT

 

              Four years after the “Titanic” went down, a young Scotsman rose in a meeting in Hamilton, Canada, and said, “I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting on a spar on that awful night, the tide brought Mr. John Harper of Glasgow, also on a piece of the wreck, near me. 'Man,' he said, 'are you saved?' 'No,' 1 said, '1 am not,' He replied, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' The waves bore him away, but, strange to say, brought him back a little later, and he said, 'Are you saved now?' 'No,' I said, 'I cannot honestly say that 1 am.' He said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' Shortly after that he went down, and there, alone in the night, with two miles of water under me, I believed. I am John Harper's last convert.”

 

 154                                                                 THE LITTLE BOOK

 

              There was a quiet little man, a vendor of fruits and vegetables, who had a cart that he pushed along with his hands. He pushed it down the street. He stopped along to sell the fruit and vegetables.

              One day, he stopped his little cart in front of a house to make a sale. When he had finished, he went on down the street but left on the sidewalk a little black notebook. Somebody came along and found it and recognized that the fruit vendor was the owner. This person took the notebook and began to read what was inside. He found a number of names and these words, “These people were absent from Bible School last Sunday.” He read another note, “Ask about the sick baby.”  There was another note, “Leave fruit for the blind: lady.”

              Another note read, “Speak a word of cheer to the old crippled man.”  Still another note, “Invite that new family to church next Sunday.” This is a true story.

              The next day the friend saw the man and he said, “Sir, I found this little book on yesterday. I believe it's yours.”

              The man answered, “Yes, it is. I lost it yesterday.”

              The friend said, “Sir, what I do you call this little book?”

              He said, “This is a 'book of reminder.' I want to thank you for returning it to me.”

              Then, the friend looked at him and said, “But, sir, it is rather strange. You have written there so many different things you are going to do, people whom you are going to see, words that you are going to speak.”

              The man said, “Oh, yes,” and then he said this, “You see, that book keeps my soul out of the dust.” Think on that for a while! “This book keeps my soul out of the dust.”

              Do you know what he meant? He meant that by keeping his own heart in tune with God and trying to help somebody else, trying to win souls, inviting folks to Sunday School and church, helping this person, helping that one, it kept his own soul alive. It kept his life vibrant and ringing and moving on for God. It kept a revival blazing in his own heart.

              My friends, I want revival! I want to be revived every day of my life. I want our nation to know revival and the people of our nation to know it. But the whole thing has to begin with me and I must give myself wholly to the Saviour. I must lay myself upon the altar and say, “0 God, take me and use me! I surrender my all to Thee! I want revival in my heart.”

 

155                                                              THE OLD DEACON

 

              This week I was reading the story of an old deacon who was a member of a country church in the South. He was a good Christian, and he loved the Lord and the souls of men. But he had never done personal work. A revival meeting was in progress. At the morning service, the preacher brought a stirring message on soul winning; and at the close of the message, he asked all who would try to find someone and speak to that one about Christ to stand.

              To his own surprise, the old deacon stood with the others. As he rode along home in his horse and buggy, the Holy Spirit brought to him over and over the question, “Whom will you speak to about Christ?”

              On his road home was a blacksmith shop. The blacksmith was an ungodly fellow who laughed and sneered at church people, but he had a godly wife. As he neared the blacksmith shop, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Speak to the blacksmith.”

              He got down from the buggy and slowly hitched his horse to the old rail fence. He heard the blacksmith hammering away at the anvil. He approached the shop and entered the doorway. The sun cast his shadow across the shop to the blacksmith hammering away at the anvil.

              The blacksmith looked up as he saw the shadow; and with a grimy hand, he wiped the beads of sweat from his brow. The deacon had thought up a little speech he would make; but in that instant, it left him entirely. He stood there a moment without a word. Then he seized the blacksmith's hand and said, “Neighbor, I am interested in your soul.” With that, he turned, left the shop, got in his buggy and rode away. He said to himself, “What a fool I made of myself. I went there to talk to him about his soul. I broke down and could hardly utter a word.” After he left, the blacksmith stood by his anvil in deep meditation. Then he turned, put the cold iron again in the fire until it came out to a white heat and started to hammer it out on the anvil. But with each stroke of the hammer, came the words of the old deacon, “Neighbor, I am interested in your soul. Neighbor, I am interested in your soul.” A strange feeling took possession of him. A deep burden lay on his heart. He was disturbed and deeply oppressed. Finally, he threw down his hammer and started for the cottage nearby where he lived. He entered the kitchen where his good wife was preparing dinner and said, “Wife, I don't know what is the matter with me. I feel sick and deeply burdened in soul. Beside that Deacon Brown came into the shop and acted strangely. He grasped my hand and said, brokenly, 'Neighbor, I am interested in your soul.' Then he turned and walked away from the shop.” The good wife burst into tears, clapped her hands, and said, “I know what is the matter. The Holy Spirit is at work on your heart.”

              That evening the old blacksmith went to church with her and was gloriously saved. God help us that we might labor on. There is so much to be done, so many thousands and millions who have not heard the Gospel.                                                                                                          Lee Roberson

 

 156                                  NOTHING MATTERS BUT GOD AND HIS LOVE

 

              A woman by the name of Sadie Smithson lived in Virginia. She was an ordinary seamstress, but her life was filled with a great disappointment, for she found that she was not acceptable to the society leaders of the town. Her great ambition was to belong to the Laurel Literary Society, but her father was poor. She had to wear cheap clothes, and she was not invited to join.

              Then she hit upon a plan to win over the society leaders. No one in her town had ever been to Europe. She reasoned that if she went to Europe and came home telling of her experiences, she would be invited to join the Laurel Literary Society. So, she scrimped and saved until she had enough money to go to Europe. While she was there the war broke out and she was trapped in Belgium. An Army officer offered to drive her to a place where she could catch a plane to Paris. On the way they became lost and Sadie soon found herself on a battlefield. As she stepped out of the car she heard a soldier cry out, “Water, for God's sake, water.” She rushed to find some water and brought it to the dying soldier. All night long she went from man to man, giving water, binding wounds with bandages made from her skirt, and scribbling messages for men who would never see home and loved ones again. The next morning a medical officer found her and asked, “Who are you, and what are you doing here?” She replied, “I am Sadie Smithson from Virginia, and I have been holding hell back all night.”

              Before long she was on a ship coming back to America. She was telling her experiences to a fellow passenger and the fellow .passenger said, “Well, the Laurel Literary Society will surely take you in now. They would be glad to have you as a member.”  But Sadie answered, “I have been face to face with war and death and hell and God. I don't think the social prestige matters now. Nothing matters but God and His love, and doing things for others in His name."

  

157                                          A PLAN FOR GETTING THINGS DONE

 

              The first three years after conversion I neglected the Word of God. Since I began to search it diligently, the blessing has been wonderful. I have read the Bible through one hundred times and always with increasing delight. I look upon it as a lost day when I have not had a good time over the Word of God. Friends often say, “I have so much to do, so many people to see, I cannot find time for Scripture study.” Perhaps there are not many who have more to do than I have. For more I than half a century I have never I known one day when I had not more business than I could get through. For 40 years I have had annually about 30,000 letters, and most of these have passed through my own hands. I have nine assistants always at work corresponding in German, French, English, Danish, Italian, Russian, and other I languages. Then, as pastor of a church with 1,200 believers, great has been my care. Besides, I have had charge of five immense orphanages also, at my publishing depot, the printing and circulating of millions of tracts, books, and Bibles. But I have always made it a rule never to begin work till I have had a good season with God. The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Word in our life and thoughts.  George Mueller of Bristol, England

158                                         THE MARKS OF A GOD CALLED PREACHER

             

              He is always an uncompromising individual.  He cannot be bound by convention or by public opinion or be restrained by the caution of diplomats.

              He is conscious of a Divine call that holds him to the task set before him by his God. Always he must realize that he is God’s mouthpiece. The Divine compulsion must be obeyed.

              He is conscious of the privilege of coming boldly before the Throne of Grace. He is in constant contact with God. He is a bearer of precious secrets from the Throne of Grace to needy men and women.

              He is a man of action with certain ruggedness of body and character that commands attention in any gathering.

              Being intense and keyed to a high pitch, he will be apt to stir up antagonism and opposition.

              He is conscious of God’s backing and authority in all emergencies. It is usually true that he stands alone against practically all of his fellow (conventional preachers and priests) who usually find time for worldly practices, are constantly challenging the strange stand of God’s preacher..

              He is very definitely a man of prayer and communication with God. His constant fight with Satan gives him plenty to talk to God about.

              He is clean and consecrated in life and character. In all of the long line of God’s prophets and preachers we do not find a single breath of criticism in them. Each lived a separated life.

              He is outspoken against specific evils in the social order. Kings, presidents, nobles and governors are all denounced fiercely when they deviate from God’s precepts. He does not deal in abstractions.

              Guided by the Holy Spirit he raises his voice against any person or institution meriting denunciating.

              He is God’s agent to reveal the Bible to people. It is true that his main work is preaching, but he must not lose sight of the personal needs of a lost and dying world. God has given his preachers peculiar insight into the future and when they see the world coming to an end fast they cry out loudly for sinners to repent. Because of the urgency of their message men call them fanatical.            Author unknown

 

159                                                       THE PRICE THEY PAID

 

              Have you ever wondered what happened to those men who signed the “Declaration of Independence?”

              Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or the hardships of the Revolutionary War. What kind of men were they? Twenty four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners, men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

              They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.         

              Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

              Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers or both, looted the properties of Ellery, Clymer, Hall, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

              At the Battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis, had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. The owner quietly urged General George Washington to open fire, which was done. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

              Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

              John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his grist mill were laid waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home after the war to find his wife dead, his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

              Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

              Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. There were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: “For the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of the Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

  

160                                                           “I GAVE IT TO JESUS"

 

              A pastor once told the story of a great need his church had for financial support in a crisis. Sunday morning he told the congregation about the need and asked them to bring their gift to the front of the church. The members loved their church and they loved the Lord, and they soon filled the aisles as they brought their offerings.

              The pastor noticed one giver above all the rest. It was a little girl who was on a pair of crutches. When she reached the front of the church, she removed a ring from her finger, and after great effort she placed it with the rest of the offerings and returned to her seat. After the service was over, the pastor looked through the gifts until he found the little girl's ring. He took it to her and said, "Honey, I saw what you did. It was beautiful, but the response of the people has been so large that we have money left over, so we do not need your ring. I have brought it back to you."

              The little girl looked up at her pastor and said, "I did not give that ring to you, I gave it to Jesus."

  

161                                                       MY FATHER WAS BLIND

 

              In 1933 the New York Giants were helped to the National League pennant and victory in the World Series by the pitching of Carl Hubbel. In the late season, but before the pennant had been won, Carl's father died on the day he pitched and won. No one expected Carl to be back three days later to take his regular turn in the pitching rotation, but an hour before game time he appeared and suited out. He pitched one of the greatest games of his career that day. When asked how he could do it, he said, “As you know, my father was blind. I felt somehow that he saw me pitch for the first time today. I just couldn't let him down.”

  

162                                                        PASTORS REQUEST INCREASE

               

              Not a salary increase like most of you reading this are probably thinking, but an increase:

In our faithfulness to Christ.

In our punctuality to the services of the church.

In our vision for the work of God.

In our courage to accept the challenges and opportunities that come to us.

In our attendance in the Sunday school and other services.

In reading of the Word of God.

In time spent in fervent prayer.

In the number of souls won for Christ.

In our love towards one another.

In volunteers for teachers and helpers.

In our happiness in the Lord’s work.

In believers full of the Holy Spirit.

In believers called into missionary work.

  

163                                        FOR THOSE WHO MISS THE CHURCH SERVICE

             

              Don't miss the church service, because you have visitors.  Invite them courteously to attend the service with you. 

              Don't miss these wonderful meetings by having the habit of reading the newspaper at night.  The Bible that is read in the pulpit feeds the soul of  the believer much better than the passing news.

              Don't miss because you think that you won't be missed at church: The Lord who sees everything, will notice your absence.

              Don't miss because your friends don't go to these meetings.  You have a commitment with God and not with men.

              Don't miss because you believe you are insignificant and you don't exercise an influence in your church.  Your presence in the service is very important, it indicates that you keep your commitments with God.

              Don't miss because you think that you know more than the minister of your church.  No matter how much you know,  that is no reason to not serve the Lord. 

              Don't think that the church doesn't need you.  No matter how poor or humble one may be, there is always something you can do for your church.

              Don't miss because your church is imperfect.  All churches are made of believers that have their faults.  You also have them: and, perhaps, hearing the sermons will correct you a little.

              Don't miss the services: because attending them, you will fulfill your obligation to God.  You have six days for your daily occupations:  and the seventh for your Saviour.

              Don't miss: because communion with God and His people feeds your soul.  Just as the body needs to be fed properly, our spirits need the heavenly manna that provides faith and strength for our inner man.

  

164                                                                 GOD IS FIRST 

 

PACIENT: A lady went to her doctor.  After examining her he gave her this advice.

DOCTOR: “You shouldn’t go out for six months, absolute rest.”

PACIENT: “It happens that I am a believer. . . what about the church?” 

DOCTOR: “The church can pass very well without you.”

PACIENT: “I know, but I could not do well without the church.”

 

 165                                                                    HE LIVES HERE! 

 

              Many years ago, near the real Royal British residence on the island of Wight, there were several houses for the poor and old.  One day a missionary visited some of the elderly, and said to a woman:  “Does Queen Victoria ever come for a visit?”   “Oh, yes, she answered, her Majesty often comes to see us." Later, thinking if the woman was a Christian or not, the missionary ask: “Does the King of kings ever visit you?"  The woman immediately smiled and answered “no” The missionary was somewhat puzzled, Then she said,  “He doesn't visit us, praise the Lord!, He lives here.  That is why we are so wonderfully blessed."

  

166                                                                 BROTHERLY  LOVE

               

              A boy was quite sick and his brother agreed to give him a blood transfusion (a simple procedure and without risk).  When the two children were in beds next to each other in the hospital, the father noticed that that one giving the blood was very nervous, and the father asked him why.  The boy asked his father when he was going to die?   He thought he had to give all his blood and die in order to save his brother.  This was real love.  Real love for others is when we are willing to give up everything in order to lead people to Christ and save their souls from death and hell.

 

 167                                                         A FAITHFUL MISSIONARY

 

              Doctor Robert Hotchkiss, lived for 40 years in Africa.  He once said, “Thirty times I have been sick with fevers, three times attacked by lions and several times by rhinoceroses;  and not a few times the natives have spread ambushes for me and on one occasion I spent four months without seeing a piece of bread, having to survive on ants and even rhinoceroses meat.  But let me tell you that I would gladly pass all these experiences again, in exchange for the joy of making Christ known in the darkness that engulfs the tribes of Central Africa."

 

 168                                                             A REAL CHRISTIAN

 

              Honesty should be the second nature of the believer.  A certain worker found a wallet in a phone booth one day.  Opening it he saw the name of the owner and returned it without realizing that it contained more than a thousand dollars.  Later when a reporter asked why he hadn’t kept the billfold; He replied that it would not have mattered if there was hundred thousand dollars,  he would not have kept it. 

              A similar incident took place in another city, when a certain person found a purse on the floor of a taxi. Looking in it for the name of the owner, he saw a lot of money, and immediately gave it to the police.  In it there was more than two thousand dollars in cash, Travelers checks and jewelry.  The purse belonged to the wife of Mr. Edward Cole, the retired president of "General Motors."  Although those two people received a nice reward, this was not the reason for their actions.  The two admitted to be Christians and said they were simply doing what was right.        Proverbs 15: 3

 

 169                                                          CHOOSING THE BEST 

 

              The following story was told by the pastor of a church of a small town.  “Jimmy was a barber in our town and there were not many customers.  Jimmy along with his wife and their three children were one of the most faithful families in our church and Sunday School.  But Jimmy found it difficult to earn a living, so we weren’t surprised when he announced that he had accepted work in another town.  A few months later, however, he returned, and was again at his chair in the barber shop.  He didn't seem bothered in the least, and greeted his friends as his habit was, with his cheerful smile.  While he was cutting my hair, he explained to me why he came back.  He said there was not a Sunday School, or even a church in the new town.  Not one!  The people were too busy making money, playing and drinking and had no desire for a church.  Our children cried for the Sunday School, and my wife and I came to the conclusion that we could not raise our children in that atmosphere.  So I decided to receive a months payment and return here where we can worship the Lord.  Jimmy had recognized that the fellowship and instruction of a good church was very important for the spiritual growth of his family.  Today, Jimmy, his wife and their children are living a full Christian life.”

  

170                                                                     THE RIGHT DIRECTION

 

              A young mother in Kansas City made an unusual request to a man who was just finishing to smooth the cement on a sidewalk.  She asked if she could leave the footprints of her young son in the cement.  The worker said yes and she pointed to a nearby church and while her son looked that way she gently put his feet in the new cement.  We may not know why she did that, but it probably was to leave a lasting impression in her son’s mind of the right way to go.

 

 171                                                    SERVING THE LORD WHERE WE ARE

 

              A widow lady, limited in her activities, had a burden to serve Christ.  After praying about this, she decided that in spite of fact that she could not go from house to house to pass out tracts, she still could play the piano.  The following day she placed a small announcement in the Oakland Tribune: “Pianist will play hymns by telephone to shut-ins, the service is free.”  The announcement included the number of her telephone.  When a person called, she immediately asked; “What hymn would you like to listen to?"  

              For many years she did this and touched the lives of hundreds of depressed and lonely people.  Many of them opened their hearts to her, and she could help them and encourage them.  Later she gave this testimony: "This service came to be the most satisfying thing that I ever undertook in my life."  When a person has a desire to serve Christ, there are always doors to enter if we look for them with our whole heart.

172                                                         A CHANNEL OF BLESSING

               

              In 1936, King Edward from England was to speak on a radio station to the people of the United States.  The transmission was to go through radio station WJZC in New York.  Minutes before the king was to speak, somebody tripped over a cable in the control room and cut the only line of communication between the two continents.  The engineers went crazy trying to repair the broken wire.  Then, with only moments to spare, a sharp apprentice caught the ends of the two cables, restoring the connection.  Seconds later, the king spoke to the nation.  In a real sense, his words were transmitted through the body of the apprentice. The King of the Glory is looking for people that are willing to extend their hand and touch the hand of God order that He may be able to speak to the multitudes.  You could be a channel of blessing to this world.

 

 173                                                        “MY DAD WAS BLIND"

 

              There is the story of the father and his son. A college boy on the football team was the number one goof off, a goldbricker. He liked to hear the cheers, but not to charge the line. He liked to wear the suit, but not to practice. He didn't like to put out.

              One day the players were doing fifty laps, and this showpiece was doing his usual five. The coach came over and said, “Hey, kid, here is a telegram for you.” The lad said, “Read it for me, coach.” He was so lazy that he didn't even like to read.

              The coach opened the telegram and it said, “Dear Son: Your father is dead. Come home immediately. The coach swallowed hard; He said, “Take the rest of the, week off.”

              A strange thing happened at game time on Friday. The entire team came rushing out on the field and, and behold, the last kid out was the goof-off. No sooner had the gun sounded than the boy was saying, “Coach, can I play today? Can I play?” The coach thought, “You are not playing today. This is homecoming. This is a big game. We need every real guy we have, and you are not one of them.”

              But every time the coach turned around, the boy was standing there, saying, “Coach, please let me play. Coach, I've got to play.”

              The first quarter ended with the score lopsided against the home team. At half time, the coach braced himself to give d good talk. He told his men to go in there and win the game.

              The team came rushing out, and began tripping over their own feet again. The coach, mumbling to himself, began to write out his resignation. Up came this lad. “Coach, coach, let me play, please!”

              The coach looked up at the scoreboard. “AI right,” he said. “Get in there, kid; you can't hurt anything now.”

              No sooner did the boy hit the field than the team began to explode. He ran. He passed. He blocked. He tackled like a star.  The electricity leaped to the team. The score began to even up. In the closing seconds of the game, this kid intercepted a pass and ran all the way for the winning touchdown,

              The stands broke loose. People hoisted the hero onto their shoulders. Such cheering you have never heard. Finally the excitement subsided, and the coach got over to the lad and said, “I never saw anything like that. What in the world happened to you out there?”

              He said, “Coach, you know my dad died last week.” “Yes.” he said. “I read the telegram.” “Well, coach,” he said, “my dad was blind. Today was the first day he ever saw me play!”

               I will let that story give its own interpretation to your heart. We can understand the reasoning of the lad on the football team. I want to emphasize to you that our eternal God is watching over us. He sees all we do. His eyes run to and fro upon the land. No one is out of the sight of God.          Charles  Jones

  

174                                             A BOY HEARS THE DIVINE CALL

 

              After many years of service in Africa, the famous missionary Robert Moffat returned to Scotland to recruit workers.  When he arrived at a church one cold winter night, he was discouraged upon seeing that only a small group was there to hear his message.  What more concerned him was that they were all ladies.  Although he was grateful for the interest of them, he had chosen Proverbs 8:4 "Oh men, I cry to you."  Discouraged, he hardly noticed a small boy that was working the bellows of the organ.  Moffat felt frustrated upon giving the message, because he realized that very few women could support the rigorous life in the underdeveloped jungles.  But God works in mysterious ways.  Although nobody came forward that night, the young man that helped the organist was deeply moved by the challenge.  Later he promised God that he would continue the steps necessary to become a pioneer missionary.  And he stayed faithful to that promise.  When he grew up he did more to reach the unreached people of Africa than many others.  His name was David Livingston.

 

 

*DIVINE PROVIDENCE*

 

 

 

175                                                            “PAPA, BRING ME A DOLL"

 

              Perhaps at some time you heard the story of Anthony Hunt. This man lived out on the western prairies. His neighbors were a long distance from his home. They say that one day Anthony Hunt went off to sell fifty head of cattle and to buy some groceries and dry goods. His little daughter begged him, “Papa bring me a doll.” He promised that he would. As he went out the gate, she cried again, “Papa, bring me a big one.”

              The cattle were sold, the doll was purchased, and along with calico and tea and sugar, was being born home. In his own heart Anthony Hunt was thinking of getting home and showing the doll to his little girl and seeing the joy upon her face. But that night he said, “The rain was falling, I urged on my horse.” He said, “I heard a faint cry. I stopped short and listened. “I called and it answered. I couldn't see a thing.”

              Hunt said that he got down from his horse and began to search for that which had answered his call. Then he said, “I began to be afraid, for I had I money with me; and I thought it might be a trap to catch me and rob me. I was half inclined to run away. Once again I heard that piteous cry, and I could not leave.”  Following that sound, Hunt went to a hollow under a hill, and there, sure enough, he stumbled right onto a little bundle of a child. It moaned and sobbed as he took it into his arms.  When he was back on his horse, he said, “I tucked the little soaked thing under my coat as best I could. It seemed tired to death and soon cried itself to sleep against my bosom. Coming near to my home he said, “I saw my own windows lighted and I suppose my wife had done it to show me the way. But entering the door, I saw a great company of neighbors who had been gathered from long distances, and my wife amid them was weeping.”

              She said, O, don't tell him-it will kill him!” But Hunt said, “I turned to the neighbors and asked them what was the trouble.” A neighbor said, “What is that in your arms?” “A poor lost child. Take it and care for it, and now tell me I what is wrong.” Hunt pulled the bundle from his arms, placed it in the hands of a neighbor. The cloth fell away from the face, and he saw the face of his own child. It was his own little girl that he had picked up and saved from perishing.

              The tiny child, knowing the time when the father would be coming back, had started down the road. She had traveled for some distance. The rain was falling. The night became dark. She was lost. The mother and the neighbors could not find her. Then the father came along and heard the faint cry. Anthony Hunt used to tell the story. He said, “Quite often I stop and wonder in my heart, What if I had not heard the cry, and what if I had not found for my child!”

  

176                                                            GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING

               

              In the early days of the automobile, a ‘Model T Ford’ stopped in the center of the street and the owner could not get it started.   The owner touched and moved all the controls, but the car would not start.  At that moment another automobile appeared and stopped behind him.  A well dressed man got out and offered his help.  After adjusting some parts of the motor, the stranger said: "Now try it." Immediately the motor came alive.  The man then identified himself as Henry Ford.  He was the one who had designed and built those cars, and he knew very well how to make them run. In the same way, God, who has created and planned this world, knows very well how to help his children when they need a touch from His divine hand.  We should rely on God when there is a need in our lives.  He is a very present help in time of need.

  

177                                                  THE RETURN OF THE BREAD  

 

              A rich English family invited some friends to spend a day on their beautiful property.  The happy day was almost over when a terrible tragedy struck.  When the children went to swim, one of them entered in deep waters and almost drowned.  Fortunately, the gardener heard  the children screaming and ran to the pool and saved the life of the young man.  His name was Winston Churchill.  His parents were deeply grateful to the gardener, and asked him if they could do something as a gesture of their gratitude.  He thought a moment, and then said:  “My son would like to go to the university and become a doctor.” The parents of Winston Churchil replied, “We will pay for his studies.”               Years later Sir Churchill Winston was the prime minister of England, but gravely sick with pneumonia.  Very concerned, the king called for the best doctor that could be found to attend this illustrious person.  The doctor was Sir Alexander Fleming, the one who had recently discovered penicillin.  With this new and successful  remedy he succeeded in saving the life of Winston Churchill.  Later conversing with the doctor he discovered that it was his father who had sent him to medical school many years before.  His investment had saved the life of his son the second time.       Ecclesiastes 11: 1

  

178                                                           DIVINE PROTECION          

 

              Psalm 91: 7, 11 “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”

              During the Second World War a bomber reached Japan in an attack.  The plane was hit and the copilot died instantly and the plane began to fall.  The pilot succeeded in leaving the plane, but his parachute didn’t open.  Seeing the earth approaching very rapidly, he knew that his death was imminent.  He was a Christian and remembered the words of this Psalm and prayed for the protection of God.  When he woke up he was in a hospital.  He had fallen in the branches of a large tree and survived.  After many months of recovery he was help prisoner until the war ended.  After the war he returned to Japan as a missionary where he served for many years.    His name was Tom Smoke.       Gaylord Chisum

  

179                                                             ON THE EARTH, PEACE

               

              During the Second World War, an American soldier that was fighting in New Guinea was left for dead on the side of the highway.  But he regained consciousness, and remained there waiting for the arrival of the Japanese soldiers, which, with all certainty, would kill him. Being a believer, he commended his life to the Lord.

              A little later he saw four Japanese soldiers approaching, which, instead of killing him,  took him from there and laid him on the another side,  closer to his companions.  Before leaving him, one spoke in quite comprehensible English,   Here you are safe and sound.   Soon some of your soldiers will aid you.  Good-bye.  We are Christians and hate the war.

  

180                                                                A GREATER POWER     

 

              John G. Patton was a missionary to the islands of the South Sea for many years.  Many times he faced danger working among the aboriginal savages that had never heard the Gospel.  Once three witch doctors sought to show their power and cause his death.  They openly declared their intention of killing the missionary with their witchcraft before the following Sunday.  In order to carry out their black magic they needed some food that he had partly eaten.  Knowing this, Patton, courageously, ate part of three bananas and gave the rest to the men that planned his death.  When Sunday dawned, the missionary peacefully entered the village with a cheerful smile and skipping along the road.  The natives were astonished and looked at him for some time thinking that it could not be Patton.  Their “witch doctors” admitted that all their witchcrafts had failed to kill him.  Upon asking them why they had failed, they answered that the missionary was a holy man like them, but that his God was stronger than the evil spirits that helped them, and his God had protected Patton.  From then on, the influence of Patton grew and thousands of souls were led to the Lord.

 

 181                                               THE CREATOR AND THE SWALLOW

               

              “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they.”  Mateo 6: 26

              In Spain like in many other parts of the world the birds leave on October 23 for the south and return on March 19.  They have never come or gone on the wrong date for thousands of years.   How can you explain this phenomenon?   Natural instinct?  Luck?  Coincidence?  The creator of the swallows has put an instinct that tells these small creatures with mysterious accuracy, just when they have to go South and when they have to return.  Their survival depends on the precision of this natural sense.  What meticulous care God exercises in order to guide these swallows and all the other birds in the sky!  When we consider how much value these small birds are to God, it shows us how He must care for man who he has made in His own image.

 

182                                                             A FORTUNATE MISFORTUNE    

 

              Nothing is accidental with God.  An event during the Second World War illustrates this truth.

              When London was being bombed,  a Christian was returning to his house as quickly as possible, but  had difficulties because of a deep pain in his chest.  This illness had confused many doctors, and he had lost all hope of finding a cure.  Carefully walking, he felt sure the Lord would not allow anything to happen to him,  but a piece of  flying metal struck him and knocked him to the ground.   He thought, if I had been one more step ahead, I would have escaped injury.  While they took him to the hospital, with a very strong pain, he wondered why the Lord had not protected him.  While the surgeons took out the piece of metal from his chest, they discovered the mysterious origin of the pain he had felt for many years: a small piece of wood had entered into his lung.  Once taken out, he began to recover his health.  How he thanked God for this accident that had revealed the cause of his long time pain! He recognized that this supposed misfortune was simply another event in the Providence of God that had resulted in bringing a blessing to him.  He thought about Roman 8: 28 in the Bible.

  

183                                                     “TAKE ALL YOU NEED"

 

              In China there was a young man named Mr. Marcus Cheng. Mr. Cheng was a very fine Christian worker and beloved by many people. He told the story of his early Christian life. He said he was a student in school and all of his funds were exhausted. He was in great distress and he was too proud it seemed to ask for help. One night, he overcame his pride and went to the home of a missionary friend. He went after hours and knocked at the door. His friend opened the door and said, “What are you doing here this time of night? Is not this against the rules of the college?”

              Marcus Cheng said, “I have no money.”

              His friend immediately sensed the situation, opened the door wide, and said, “Come in.” He took him into his study and then he said, “All of the money that I have is here in this box. You may have anything that you want. I do not have much, but it is for you. Take everything that you want.” The missionary opened the box and said, “Take what you want.”

              Marcus Cheng said he trembled and bent over and took the tiniest bit of silver that he could see in that chest. His friend said, “Take more, take more, take all you need.” Marcus Cheng said he broke down and cried. First, he cried because the missionary trusted him so much, and secondly, he cried because he had a glimpse of the infinite love of God. He could see that God had opened up His treasure chest and was saying, “Take all you need. Do not be content with the little. Take everything that you need.”

              Do you have needs? Then come and take of God. He invites you to receive all that He has for you. Believe His promises. Rest upon them and know that He will never fail.

 

172                                                         A CHANNEL OF BLESSING

               

              In 1936, King Edward from England was to speak on a radio station to the people of the United States.  The transmission was to go through radio station WJZC in New York.  Minutes before the king was to speak, somebody tripped over a cable in the control room and cut the only line of communication between the two continents.  The engineers went crazy trying to repair the broken wire.  Then, with only moments to spare, a sharp apprentice caught the ends of the two cables, restoring the connection.  Seconds later, the king spoke to the nation.  In a real sense, his words were transmitted through the body of the apprentice. The King of the Glory is looking for people that are willing to extend their hand and touch the hand of God order that He may be able to speak to the multitudes.  You could be a channel of blessing to this world.

 

 173                                                        “MY DAD WAS BLIND"

 

              There is the story of the father and his son. A college boy on the football team was the number one goof off, a goldbricker. He liked to hear the cheers, but not to charge the line. He liked to wear the suit, but not to practice. He didn't like to put out.

              One day the players were doing fifty laps, and this showpiece was doing his usual five. The coach came over and said, “Hey, kid, here is a telegram for you.” The lad said, “Read it for me, coach.” He was so lazy that he didn't even like to read.

              The coach opened the telegram and it said, “Dear Son: Your father is dead. Come home immediately. The coach swallowed hard; He said, “Take the rest of the, week off.”

              A strange thing happened at game time on Friday. The entire team came rushing out on the field and, and behold, the last kid out was the goof-off. No sooner had the gun sounded than the boy was saying, “Coach, can I play today? Can I play?” The coach thought, “You are not playing today. This is homecoming. This is a big game. We need every real guy we have, and you are not one of them.”

              But every time the coach turned around, the boy was standing there, saying, “Coach, please let me play. Coach, I've got to play.”

              The first quarter ended with the score lopsided against the home team. At half time, the coach braced himself to give d good talk. He told his men to go in there and win the game.

              The team came rushing out, and began tripping over their own feet again. The coach, mumbling to himself, began to write out his resignation. Up came this lad. “Coach, coach, let me play, please!”

              The coach looked up at the scoreboard. “AI right,” he said. “Get in there, kid; you can't hurt anything now.”

              No sooner did the boy hit the field than the team began to explode. He ran. He passed. He blocked. He tackled like a star.  The electricity leaped to the team. The score began to even up. In the closing seconds of the game, this kid intercepted a pass and ran all the way for the winning touchdown,

              The stands broke loose. People hoisted the hero onto their shoulders. Such cheering you have never heard. Finally the excitement subsided, and the coach got over to the lad and said, “I never saw anything like that. What in the world happened to you out there?”

              He said, “Coach, you know my dad died last week.” “Yes.” he said. “I read the telegram.” “Well, coach,” he said, “my dad was blind. Today was the first day he ever saw me play!”

               I will let that story give its own interpretation to your heart. We can understand the reasoning of the lad on the football team. I want to emphasize to you that our eternal God is watching over us. He sees all we do. His eyes run to and fro upon the land. No one is out of the sight of God.          Charles  Jones

  

174                                             A BOY HEARS THE DIVINE CALL

 

              After many years of service in Africa, the famous missionary Robert Moffat returned to Scotland to recruit workers.  When he arrived at a church one cold winter night, he was discouraged upon seeing that only a small group was there to hear his message.  What more concerned him was that they were all ladies.  Although he was grateful for the interest of them, he had chosen Proverbs 8:4 "Oh men, I cry to you."  Discouraged, he hardly noticed a small boy that was working the bellows of the organ.  Moffat felt frustrated upon giving the message, because he realized that very few women could support the rigorous life in the underdeveloped jungles.  But God works in mysterious ways.  Although nobody came forward that night, the young man that helped the organist was deeply moved by the challenge.  Later he promised God that he would continue the steps necessary to become a pioneer missionary.  And he stayed faithful to that promise.  When he grew up he did more to reach the unreached people of Africa than many others.  His name was David Livingston.

 

 

*DIVINE PROVIDENCE*

 

 

 

175                                                                 “PAPA, RING ME A DOLL"

 

              Perhaps at some time you heard the story of Anthony Hunt. This man lived out on the western prairies. His neighbors were a long distance from his home. They say that one day Anthony Hunt went off to sell fifty head of cattle and to buy some groceries and dry goods. His little daughter begged him, “Papa bring me a doll.” He promised that he would. As he went out the gate, she cried again, “Papa, bring me a big one.”

              The cattle were sold, the doll was purchased, and along with calico and tea and sugar, was being born home. In his own heart Anthony Hunt was thinking of getting home and showing the doll to his little girl and seeing the joy upon her face. But that night he said, “The rain was falling, I urged on my horse.” He said, “I heard a faint cry. I stopped short and listened. “I called and it answered. I couldn't see a thing.”

              Hunt said that he got down from his horse and began to search for that which had answered his call. Then he said, “I began to be afraid, for I had I money with me; and I thought it might be a trap to catch me and rob me. I was half inclined to run away. Once again I heard that piteous cry, and I could not leave.”  Following that sound, Hunt went to a hollow under a hill, and there, sure enough, he stumbled right onto a little bundle of a child. It moaned and sobbed as he took it into his arms.  When he was back on his horse, he said, “I tucked the little soaked thing under my coat as best I could. It seemed tired to death and soon cried itself to sleep against my bosom. Coming near to my home he said, “I saw my own windows lighted and I suppose my wife had done it to show me the way. But entering the door, I saw a great company of neighbors who had been gathered from long distances, and my wife amid them was weeping.”

              She said, O, don't tell him-it will kill him!” But Hunt said, “I turned to the neighbors and asked them what was the trouble.” A neighbor said, “What is that in your arms?” “A poor lost child. Take it and care for it, and now tell me I what is wrong.” Hunt pulled the bundle from his arms, placed it in the hands of a neighbor. The cloth fell away from the face, and he saw the face of his own child. It was his own little girl that he had picked up and saved from perishing.

              The tiny child, knowing the time when the father would be coming back, had started down the road. She had traveled for some distance. The rain was falling. The night became dark. She was lost. The mother and the neighbors could not find her. Then the father came along and heard the faint cry. Anthony Hunt used to tell the story. He said, “Quite often I stop and wonder in my heart, What if I had not heard the cry, and what if I had not found for my child!”

  

176                                                            GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING

               

              In the early days of the automobile, a ‘Model T Ford’ stopped in the center of the street and the owner could not get it started.   The owner touched and moved all the controls, but the car would not start.  At that moment another automobile appeared and stopped behind him.  A well dressed man got out and offered his help.  After adjusting some parts of the motor, the stranger said: "Now try it." Immediately the motor came alive.  The man then identified himself as Henry Ford.  He was the one who had designed and built those cars, and he knew very well how to make them run. In the same way, God, who has created and planned this world, knows very well how to help his children when they need a touch from His divine hand.  We should rely on God when there is a need in our lives.  He is a very present help in time of need.

  

177                                                  THE RETURN OF THE BREAD  

 

              A rich English family invited some friends to spend a day on their beautiful property.  The happy day was almost over when a terrible tragedy struck.  When the children went to swim, one of them entered in deep waters and almost drowned.  Fortunately, the gardener heard  the children screaming and ran to the pool and saved the life of the young man.  His name was Winston Churchill.  His parents were deeply grateful to the gardener, and asked him if they could do something as a gesture of their gratitude.  He thought a moment, and then said:  “My son would like to go to the university and become a doctor.” The parents of Winston Churchil replied, “We will pay for his studies.”               Years later Sir Churchill Winston was the prime minister of England, but gravely sick with pneumonia.  Very concerned, the king called for the best doctor that could be found to attend this illustrious person.  The doctor was Sir Alexander Fleming, the one who had recently discovered penicillin.  With this new and successful  remedy he succeeded in saving the life of Winston Churchill.  Later conversing with the doctor he discovered that it was his father who had sent him to medical school many years before.  His investment had saved the life of his son the second time.       Ecclesiastes 11: 1

  

178                                                           DIVINE PROTECION          

 

              Psalm 91: 7, 11 “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”

              During the Second World War a bomber reached Japan in an attack.  The plane was hit and the copilot died instantly and the plane began to fall.  The pilot succeeded in leaving the plane, but his parachute didn’t open.  Seeing the earth approaching very rapidly, he knew that his death was imminent.  He was a Christian and remembered the words of this Psalm and prayed for the protection of God.  When he woke up he was in a hospital.  He had fallen in the branches of a large tree and survived.  After many months of recovery he was help prisoner until the war ended.  After the war he returned to Japan as a missionary where he served for many years.    His name was Tom Smoke.       Gaylord Chisum

  

179                                                             ON THE EARTH, PEACE

               

              During the Second World War, an American soldier that was fighting in New Guinea was left for dead on the side of the highway.  But he regained consciousness, and remained there waiting for the arrival of the Japanese soldiers, which, with all certainty, would kill him. Being a believer, he commended his life to the Lord.

              A little later he saw four Japanese soldiers approaching, which, instead of killing him,  took him from there and laid him on the another side,  closer to his companions.  Before leaving him, one spoke in quite comprehensible English,   Here you are safe and sound.   Soon some of your soldiers will aid you.  Good-bye.  We are Christians and hate the war.

  

180                                                                A GREATER POWER     

 

              John G. Patton was a missionary to the islands of the South Sea for many years.  Many times he faced danger working among the aboriginal savages that had never heard the Gospel.  Once three witch doctors sought to show their power and cause his death.  They openly declared their intention of killing the missionary with their witchcraft before the following Sunday.  In order to carry out their black magic they needed some food that he had partly eaten.  Knowing this, Patton, courageously, ate part of three bananas and gave the rest to the men that planned his death.  When Sunday dawned, the missionary peacefully entered the village with a cheerful smile and skipping along the road.  The natives were astonished and looked at him for some time thinking that it could not be Patton.  Their “witch doctors” admitted that all their witchcrafts had failed to kill him.  Upon asking them why they had failed, they answered that the missionary was a holy man like them, but that his God was stronger than the evil spirits that helped them, and his God had protected Patton.  From then on, the influence of Patton grew and thousands of souls were led to the Lord.

 

 181                                               THE CREATOR AND THE SWALLOW

               

              “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they.”  Mateo 6: 26

              In Spain like in many other parts of the world the birds leave on October 23 for the south and return on March 19.  They have never come or gone on the wrong date for thousands of years.   How can you explain this phenomenon?   Natural instinct?  Luck?  Coincidence?  The creator of the swallows has put an instinct that tells these small creatures with mysterious accuracy, just when they have to go South and when they have to return.  Their survival depends on the precision of this natural sense.  What meticulous care God exercises in order to guide these swallows and all the other birds in the sky!  When we consider how much value these small birds are to God, it shows us how He must care for man who he has made in His own image.

 

182                                                             A FORTUNATE MISFORTUNE    

 

              Nothing is accidental with God.  An event during the Second World War illustrates this truth.

              When London was being bombed,  a Christian was returning to his house as quickly as possible, but  had difficulties because of a deep pain in his chest.  This illness had confused many doctors, and he had lost all hope of finding a cure.  Carefully walking, he felt sure the Lord would not allow anything to happen to him,  but a piece of  flying metal struck him and knocked him to the ground.   He thought, if I had been one more step ahead, I would have escaped injury.  While they took him to the hospital, with a very strong pain, he wondered why the Lord had not protected him.  While the surgeons took out the piece of metal from his chest, they discovered the mysterious origin of the pain he had felt for many years: a small piece of wood had entered into his lung.  Once taken out, he began to recover his health.  How he thanked God for this accident that had revealed the cause of his long time pain! He recognized that this supposed misfortune was simply another event in the Providence of God that had resulted in bringing a blessing to him.  He thought about Roman 8: 28 in the Bible.

  

183                                                     “TAKE ALL YOU NEED"

 

              In China there was a young man named Mr. Marcus Cheng. Mr. Cheng was a very fine Christian worker and beloved by many people. He told the story of his early Christian life. He said he was a student in school and all of his funds were exhausted. He was in great distress and he was too proud it seemed to ask for help. One night, he overcame his pride and went to the home of a missionary friend. He went after hours and knocked at the door. His friend opened the door and said, “What are you doing here this time of night? Is not this against the rules of the college?”

              Marcus Cheng said, “I have no money.”

              His friend immediately sensed the situation, opened the door wide, and said, “Come in.” He took him into his study and then he said, “All of the money that I have is here in this box. You may have anything that you want. I do not have much, but it is for you. Take everything that you want.” The missionary opened the box and said, “Take what you want.”

              Marcus Cheng said he trembled and bent over and took the tiniest bit of silver that he could see in that chest. His friend said, “Take more, take more, take all you need.” Marcus Cheng said he broke down and cried. First, he cried because the missionary trusted him so much, and secondly, he cried because he had a glimpse of the infinite love of God. He could see that God had opened up His treasure chest and was saying, “Take all you need. Do not be content with the little. Take everything that you need.”

              Do you have needs? Then come and take of God. He invites you to receive all that He has for you. Believe His promises. Rest upon them and know that He will never fail.

 

184                                           WHEN GOD SUPPLIED A BANQUET

 

              Missionary G. Christian. Weiss and his wife lived by faith as they engaged in church-planting work in Minnesota during the 1950s. Money and supplies were running low, and the winter snows had all but locked them into their cabin. One night Mrs. Weiss set a bowl of boiled potatoes on the table. “This is it!” she said.

              They bowed their heads and gave thanks, asking God to supply their needs. Often they had received food in miraculous ways, but now the storm seemed to have cut them off from everyone. Suddenly they heard a sharp knock. Opening the door, they saw the wife of the manager of a nearby ranger station. She said, “We were expecting a crew of workers today, but they phoned to say they weren't able to get through. I had a big dinner prepared for them, and my husband and I will not be able to eat all that food before it spoils. Could you come over and have supper with us?” Gratitude flooded the hearts of the missionary couple as they made their way with difficulty through the drifts to the ranger outpost. For a second time they sat down to eat, but now their meal was a banquet of roast duck with all the trimmings, vegetables, and pie. Humble and grateful, Mr. Weiss bowed his head and returned thanks to God for His provision.

 

185                                           “IS MY FATHER STEERING THE SHIP?" 

 

              Years ago the captain of an ocean liner took his young daughter along on his run from Liverpool, England, to New York City. One night when all the passengers were asleep, the huge vessel ran into some violent weather. The wind came sweeping over the water, and mighty swells rolled across the bow of the ship. All movable objects were being tossed about, and everyone soon sensed the imminent danger. Many sprang from their berths in alarm and began to dress. The captain's little girl, just 8 years old, was awakened and cried out, “What's the matter?” When told about the storm, she asked, “Is my father steering the ship?” Being assured that he was, she put her head on her pillow and in spite of the howling gale and crashing waves was soon fast asleep.

 

186                                                           WEIGHING A PRAYER

 

              Shortly after World War II, a woman entered a grocery store and asked for enough food for a Christmas dinner for her children. When the owner inquired how much she could afford, she answered, “My husband was killed in the war. Truthfully, I have nothing to offer but a little prayer.” The man, an unbeliever, was unmoved by the woman's need, and said sarcastically, “Write your prayer on a piece of paper and you can have its weight in groceries.” To his surprise, she plucked a folded note out of her pocket and handed it to him. “I already did that during the night while I was watching over my sick child,” was her immediate reply. Without even reading it, he put it on one side of his old-fashioned scales. “We'll see how much food this is worth,” he muttered. To his dismay, nothing happened when he put a loaf of bread on the other side. But he was even more upset when he added other items and still nothing happened. Finally he blurted out, “Well, that's all it will hold anyway. Here's a bag. You'll have to put these things in yourself. I'm busy!” With a tearful “Thank you,” the lady went happily on her way.

              The grocer later discovered that the scale was out of order. As the years passed, he often wondered if that was just a coincidence. Why did the woman have the prayer already written before he asked for it? Why did she come at exactly the time the mechanism was broken? Whenever he looks at the slip of paper that bears her petition, he is amazed, for it reads, “Please, dear lord, give us this day our daily bread!”

  

187                                                    NOT WEEDS BUT FLOWERS

 

              A famous Danish sculptor went to Rome to produce his works of art because choice marble was available there. When he finished, he put his masterpieces in crates, using hay and straw to protect them for shipping. Then he hurried back to Denmark. The day his treasures arrived, he was away on business. After uncrating the statues, his resentful servants deliberately scattered the packing material over his well-tilled garden, hoping the weeds which were lodged in the chaff would take root in the fertile soil. Exotic plants native to Rome sprang up instead, and today they are some of Copenhagen's most beautiful flowers.

              Believer, trust the lord when distressing circumstances come into your life. You may have to wait many years before you understand the reason. But you can be sure that in God's wise plan what you fear to be “weeds” will turn out to be lovely “flowers of blessing!” -H. G. Bosch

 

  188                                                    JOHN NEWTON'S FABLE

 

              In 1779 the famous preacher John Newton composed a poetic fable to emphasize the truth of man's willfulness and God's overruling providence. He wrote, “Once upon a time a paper kite mounted to a wondrous height, where giddy with its elevation, it thus expressed self-admiration: ‘See how the crowds of gazing people admire my flight above the steeple. How they would wonder if they knew all that a kite like me could do! Were I but free, I'd take a flight and pierce the clouds beyond their sight; but ah! like a poor prisoner bound, my string confines me to the ground! I'd brave the eagle, the towering wing, might I but fly without the string.’ It tugged and pulled while thus it spoke-to snap the string-at last it broke. Deprived at once of all its stay, in vain it tried to soar away; unable its own weight to bear, it fluttered downward through the air. Unable its own course to guide, the winds soon plunged it in the tide. Ah! foolish kite, thou hast no wing, how couldst thou fly without a string?” 

              Newton then made this application: “My heart cried out, o Lord, I see how much this kite resembles me! Forgetful that by Thee I stand, impatient of Thy ruling hand; how oft I've wished to break the lines Thy wisdom for my lot assigns! How oft indulge the vain desire for something more, or something higher! But for Thy grace and love divine, a fall this dreadful had been mine!”

  

189                                                         GOD UNDERSTANDS

 

              In the early days of the automobile a man’s Model- T Ford stalled in the middle of the road. He couldn't get it started no matter how hard he cranked nor how much he tried to advance the spark or adjust things under the hood. Just then a chauffeured limousine pulled up behind him, and a wiry, energetic man stepped out from the back seat and offered his assistance. After tinkering for a few moments, the stranger said, “Now try it!” Immediately the engine leaped to life. The well-dressed individual then identified himself as Henry Ford. “1 designed and built these cars,” he said, “so I know what to do when something goes wrong.”

              In the same way, God who created us and has providentially planned our lives and understands us from A to Z. We can turn to Him with confidence in our dreary hours of frustration, knowing that He recognizes the difficulty of our situations and has the answers to all our problems. Yes, God understands!

 

 190                                                      THERE CAN BE PEACE

 

              There can be peace when Christ is in control. There can be peace when we recognize His presence and rest on His power. There can be peace m the midst of all the storms of life!

              Many of you have seen the picture by the thoughtful artist who painted the raging storm. The boughs of the trees were blown to the ground; the rain was descending in torrents. In the midst of this stormy scene, the artist painted a picture of a little bird. The bird was in a place of shelter and was singing in the midst of the storm.

              We can have peace in every storm of life when we rest upon Him. Let Christ control your life and your heart.

 

  191                                                  GUIDANCE IN THE FOG

 

              An experience of some fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico illustrates the truth of God’s guidance. They had taken a small boat to their favorite fishing spot about 5 miles from land.

              They enjoyed themselves and had no difficulty until late afternoon when a dense fog suddenly moved in. By the time they realized what was happening and got the motor running to head back, they were completely engulfed in the “soup” and could see only a few yards ahead. With hearts pounding, they tried to figure out the way to shore. Then one of them remembered that he had a small compass which he pulled out of his pocket. Even though its tiny pointer defied their own sense of direction, they finally agreed to trust it. The men later admitted that periodically they would shout above the noise of the motor, “I don't think the compass is working. I'm sure we're headed the wrong way.” But they allowed its needle to be their guide. After what seemed like a very long time, they finally saw the dry images of land emerging. With uncanny precision they had been brought out of the fog to within a few yards of the dock from which they started.

              Friend, you can have confidence in the Word of God. Like that compass, it will show you the way through the dark circumstances of this live. It may not enable you to see as much as you'd like to, but it will always enable you to see as much as you need to.

 

 192                                      GOD'S PRESERVING PROVIDENCE

 

              Dr. James M. Gray, former president of the Moody Bible Institute, was convalescing from a severe illness. His physician, thinking that a change of scenery might bring the relaxation he needed, advised him to take an ocean voyage. But just when arrangements for the journey were completed, Dr. Gray experienced an unexpected physical setback. He was greatly disappointed and began to wonder why the Heavenly father had allowed this new affliction to come. About a week later, he picked up a newspaper which carried on the front page the tragic account of a steamer that had sunk after striking a reef in St. John's harbor. There were no survivors. When he learned that it was the ship he would have taken, he realized how perfectly the lord had directed his way. His temporary sickness had delivered him from certain death.

 

 193                                                          “PAID IN FULL"

 

              A pastor up in North Carolina had a long siege of illness. The doctors feared that he would die. His people met often and prayed for him and soon he was on the road to recovery.

              When he was able to leave the house, he went down to the drug store and asked the druggist, “How much do I owe you?”

              The druggist replied, “You were sick a long time. Your bill is a rather large one.”

              Then he showed the preacher the bill. The preacher said, I can’t pay you now, but I will as soon as I can.

              He started out the door with a heavy heart, but the druggist called him back and said to the preacher, “Look at the last page: and on that page he saw the words, “Paid in full.” “Yes”, said the druggist, “a good friend of yours came in and paid it all.”

              With gratitude in his heart the preacher left the store; but he said his soul was singing with another song. He said, “I was thinking of another debt, the debt of sin that I could not pay, and I remembered that Jesus paid that debt in full, and I am free.”

  

194                                                            PRAYER AND PRAISE

 

              The blind poetess Fanny J. Crosby is known for her hymns of praise, but few people are aware that most of her work was the fruit of prayer. Mrs. Crosby never attempted a composition without first seeking God's help. She must have spent considerable time on her knees, for she wrote no less than 8,000 gospel songs. One day when she was under pressure to produce lyrics for a tune sent to her by William Howard Doane, the words wouldn't come. Then she remembered that she had neglected her usual time of prayer. After seeking the lord’s direction, she rose from her knees and dictated to her assistant in rapid succession all the verses of her now famous hymn, “Near the Cross.”

              On another occasion when she was asking God for creative insight to prepare some new gospel lyrics for publication, she reca11ed that a bill for $5 was due and she had no money. So she included that need in her petition. Before her devotions had ended, an admirer called on her to pay a visit. Greeting him with her usual “God bless your dear soul,” she chatted with the stranger briefly and then held out her hand to say good by. As he left, he slipped something into her palm. Her assistant told her it was a 5 dollar bill. Immediately the blind poetess bowed her head to thank the lord for His kind provision. That remarkable answer led her to write, “All the Way My Savior Leads Me.”              

              Because Fanny Crosby took everything to the lord in prayer and trusted Him for the answers, she found it easy to sing His praises. All of us should learn this lesson and follow her blessed example.

  

195                                                HOW GOD SPARED A PRESIDENT

 

              Recently I read an interesting story telling how God shielded former President Theodore Roosevelt from a bullet of a would-be assassin The Head of State was very nearsighted and always carried two pairs of glasses, one for close up work and the other for seeing things at a distance. While speaking in the city of Milwaukee during his last great political campaign, he was shot by man named Shrenk. Roosevelt was hurt but insisted on finishing his speech. Later, when a surgeon was examining his wound, he discovered that the steel spectacle case in his vest pocket had saved his life, for it had deflected the bullet from his heart. “That's remarkable!” said the President as he carefully inspected the bent container with it’s shattered contents. “I've always considered it a nuisance to carry two pairs of glasses, especially those thick heavy ones I kept in that metal case. Yet tonight, God used it to save my life.”  Roosevelt realized that the Lord had been his help and shield. Indeed, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about those who fear Him”. Psalm 34:7.

  

196                                                       HINDERED BUT HELPED

 

              The distressing things which “happen” to the Christian are not accidents but divine messengers sent to help him. This principle is clearly illustrated by the following incident: During the siege of the Russian city of Sevastopol, a shell landed on the side of a nearby hill. The explosion produced a crater that exposed an underground spring. At first a little fountain bubbled up, but as the battle continued, the flow increased and provided an abundant supply of pure, cold water for the thirsty troops who were fighting in that area. A missile of death fired by the enemy proved to be a messenger of life for the soldiers it was intended to kill. Though it may have temporarily caused fear in the hearts of the men, they were truly grateful when they saw that it had produced a gushing stream. Drinking from the refreshing fount, their spirits were lifted and their strength was renewed.

 

 197                                            FAITH'S REWARD: GOD'S SUPPLY

 

              “When my wife and I were first married, we felt called to full-time Christian service. God blessed our ministry and many people accepted the Lord. Although our income was small and we had few worldly possessions, our hearts were full of joy. One day, however, my wife said, “Max, there's nothing to eat for dinner!” I didn't reply at first but stood listening to the birds singing in the trees. Suddenly these words from a well-known Gospel song flashed through my mind: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” Immediately I said, “If our Heavenly Father feeds the birds, surely He'll take care of us!” Just then a lady knocked at the door. After introducing herself she said, “My husband was a hopeless alcoholic. Every time he got his check he’d spend most of it to get drunk, so the children and I were often hungry. Recently he heard you preach the Gospel, and the lord worked a miracle in his heart. Now he’s a changed man! For the first time in years he brought home a full week's pay, and I was able to get a good supply of groceries. I thought as I was cooking, part of this food really belongs to Brother Reich. I was going to bring you some later, but I felt compelled to do it immediately. Here's half of the chicken I fried and some biscuits fresh from the oven!”  “We were so happy,” said Dr. Reich, “that we sang, 'Praise God from whom all blessings flow!'  From that moment the lord has never failed to give us our daily bread.”     Dr. Max Reich

 

 198                                            WHEN GOD CLOSED THE SWITCH

 

              A remarkable incident occurred some years ago when a Christian called upon God in a time of great danger. A 12-car passenger train was speeding along in eastern Missouri. On board were hundreds of happy children on their way to a Sunday school picnic. The sky was cloudless when the excursion began, but it wasn't long before they ran into a severe thunderstorm. The heavy downpour caused the concerned engineer to slow down to about 35 miles an hour. As the train rounded a curve, the man saw that a switch just ahead had been left wide open. He jammed on the brakes, but he was sure they faced certain disaster. “Stick with it!” he shouted to the fireman. “Hundreds of children are on board.” “I intend to!” came the reply. Then the fireman, who was a Christian, cried, “O God, help us!” His words were drowned out by a thunderclap as a bolt of lightning struck right in front of the engine. The next thing they knew, they were safely past the danger point. After stopping the train, the men hurried back to find out what had happened. To their amazement they discovered that the lightning had struck the rails and closed the switch. This in turn kept them from being shunted onto a spur which would have caused certain derailment.

              It's wonderful to know that God hears the distressed cries of His own. He may not always answer our prayers immediately or in startling and dramatic ways, but He will surely help us.  H. G. Bosch

  

199                                                PROVIDENTIAL PROTECTION

 

              In 1874, Palestine experienced an unusually severe winter. On February 8 a blizzard moved in, piling several feet of snow on the flat-roofed buildings, and many houses caved in under the heavy weight. On that night a notorious robber, thinking no one would expect him to be out in such weather, entered a home belonging to a Christian. After ransacking the first floor, he tiptoed upstairs to one of the bedrooms. When he saw a sleeping but restless baby, the thief feared he would wake up and betray him. So he carefully lifted the child from the crib and carried him outside before continuing his search for additional loot. Because of the cold, the little one began to cry. This wakened the mother, who then roused her husband. He too heard the crying and exclaimed, “It seems to be coming from outdoors, but how can that be?” Quickly they ran downstairs to investigate. No sooner had they gotten out of the house than the roof, overburdened by its load of snow, collapsed. The burglar was later found dead in the ruins, clutching some valuables in his hands. How thankful we can be that the Lord is our ‘shield’.    J. R. Miller

 

 199                                                A TRUST THAT TRIUMPHS

 

              Years ago the English steamer Stella was wrecked on a rocky coast. Twelve women were put into a lifeboat, but the boisterous sea immediately carried It away. Having no oars, they were at the mercy of the winds and the waves, and they spent a fearful night being tossed about by the raging tempest. They probably would have lost hope if it had not been for the spiritual stamina of one of the ladies, Margaret Williams, who was well known for her work in sacred oratorios. Calmly she prayed aloud for Divine protection. Then, urging her companions to put their trust in the Lord, she encouraged them by singing hymns of comfort. Throughout the dark hours her voice rang out across the water. Early the next morning a small craft came searching for survivors. The man at the helm would have missed the women in the fog if he had not heard Miss Williams singing the selection from Elijah, “Oh, rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him.” Steering in the direction of her strong voice, he soon spotted the drifting lifeboat. While many others were lost that night, these trusting few were rescued.

 

 200                                              “THE LORD WULL PROVIDE!”

 

              Mrs. Hokanson never lost her ready smile or triumphant faith. Casting her care upon God, she found that He always took the burden and supplied the needed blessing.

              At the time of her husband's death, she became the sole support of her mentally retarded son. At first she managed quite well, but soon chronic arthritis confined her to bed. When a church youth group went over to cheer up the widow Hokanson, they were amazed to discover that she was not at all depressed. They inquired, “Now what will you and Arthur do?” She gave her usual quiet, confident response, “The Lord will provide.”

              Reporting this case in the Moody Monthly, Hazel Thom- son said that God did show His care for that trusting woman through numerous individuals and church organizations. When Mrs. Hokanson died, however, many people wondered what would happen to her helpless son. Some of them remembered how his mother had often expressed confidence that her child would not suffer after she was gone. When friends and neighbors went home with Arthur after the funeral, he proudly showed them his stamp collection. They found that instead of tearing the stamps off the envelopes, he had intercepted scores of letters addressed to his mother and had left them unopened. Many of them contained substantial gifts, enough to provide for the boy's support for the rest of his life.

              Christian, if you cast all your care upon the lord, you'll be amazed at the wondrous way He provides!

  

201                                                         GIVING TO THE POOR

 

              In the latter part of the seventeenth century, German preacher August H. Francke founded an orphanage to care for the homeless children of Halle. One day when Francke desperately needed funds to carry on his work, a destitute Christian widow came to his door begging for a ducat-a gold coin. Because of his financial situation, he politely but regretfully told her he couldn't help her. Disheartened, the woman began to weep. Moved by her tears, Francke asked her to wait while he went to his room to pray. After seeking God's guidance, he felt that the Holy Spirit wanted him to change his mind. So, trusting the Lord to meet his own needs, he gave her the money. Two mornings later, he received a letter of thanks from the widow. She explained that because of his generosity she had asked the Lord to shower the orphanage with gifts. That same day Francke received 12 ducats from a wealthy lady and 2 more from a friend in Sweden. He thought he had been amply rewarded for helping the widow, but he was soon informed that the orphanage was to receive 500 gold pieces from the estate of Prince Lodewyk Van Wurtenburg. When he heard this, Francke wept in gratitude. In sacrificially providing for that needy widow, he had been enriched, not impoverished.

  

202                                                   PLANNED STEPS AND STOPS!

 

               John J. Wesley traveled one day along a narrow dirt road filled with ruts. His carriage soon became stuck in the mud. The delay especially disturbed him because he was eager to get to the next town where he was scheduled to preach. While some helpers tried to get the vehicle moving, another Christian came by. Wesley talked with him for a moment and perceived that the poor fellow was deeply troubled.

              Asking why he was so distressed, he learned that because of a crop failure, the man was almost destitute.  I haven't been able to get the money together to pay the rent,” he said despairingly. “The landlord is ready to turn us out, and I don’t know where to go with my wife and children.” “How much do you owe?” Wesley inquired. He was told that 20 shillings would clear the debt. “Well,” said Wesley, “I believe we can handle that. The lord evidently wanted me to meet you.” Taking the money from his wallet, he handed it to the man and said, “Here, go and be happy!” Then turning to his companions, he exclaimed, “Now I see why our carriage had to get stuck in the mud. Our steps were halted so that we might help that needy family.”

 

203                                     “THE NEXT NAME WOULD HAVE BEEN MINE"

 

                          I also owe my life to God’s diving protection. I give this little story, which is sacred to me. A few years ago three other young men and I planned a trip to Europe. We had read and talked and planned for months. A few months before we were ready to start, I mentioned the trip to my mother, who since my father's death has made her home with me, and it has been my sweetest pleasure to give her the sunniest and best room in my home. When I mentioned the trip, she said: “George, I am getting old; you are my only stay: I am afraid of the ocean; I cannot let you go while I live. Wait till I am gone, and then you can go to Europe.”

               I thought it was a mere kind of sentiment with Mother, and decided that I would get all things ready for the trip, believing that in the kindness of her heart she would yield her consent. I had made arrangements, temporarily, as some of you possibly have done permanently, to have my father-in-law take care of my wife and children, and all things were ready for the trip.

              A short while before we were ready to start I stated in the presence of my mother:      “Well, we are off soon for Europe.”

              She looked up and said: “What is that, George?”

              I said: “We have everything ready; the trip is all organized, and we start for Europe soon.”

              Straightening up in her chair, she looked me straight in the face and said: “George, I told you once I did not want you to go. I have thought over this trip and prayed over it, and I cannot give my consent for you to go; and now I tell you so that you will understand it: You shall not go.” I said: “Mother, do not put it that way.” I tried to argue the question, saying: “It is one of the sweetest hopes of my life that you are crushing.”

               She said: “George, I have prayed over it; my mind is made up. We will not discuss it; you shall not go, and that settles it.”

              And when she said that, I knew it did settle it, and surrendered what to me was one of the most pleasant hopes of my life. I hunted up my companions and said: “I’m not in it.”

              They excitedly exclaimed: “What's the matter?”

             I said: “Mother won't let me go.”

               They said: “Are you not twenty-one, married and have children and yet tied to your mother's apron strings?”

              I said: “I would not cross the old Atlantic against my mother's wishes for a million dollars.”

              A few days later I got a letter from Brother Jones, asking me to accompany him on a trip to Canada. The following week we were plowing across Lake Ontario.

               It was a bright day. Brother Jones wife and I were sitting on the deck of the vessel, and as she plowed through the blue waters I said, “This is glorious; how I wish it were on the Atlantic, and I were headed for Europe. I shall always feel that Mother was a little harsh in breaking up my European trip.” Brother Jones said: “Well, old boy, the  whales might have gotten you in the Atlantic.” On our return we were going to the supper table at Buffalo, New York.

              Brother Jones had bought the New York World. Just as we reached the dining room door he said: “George, there has been a terrible railroad wreck at Thaxton, Virginia.    My! What a list of those killed!” looking at the list I saw Cleveland, Tennessee. I snatched the paper from his hand and read, while my blood ran cold: “John M. Hardwick, Cleveland, Tennessee, killed, and burned; William Marshall, Cleveland, Tennessee, killed and burned; Willie Steed, Cleveland, Tennessee, killed and burned.”

              I threw up my hands and said: “O Sam, the next name would have been George R. Stuart, Cleveland, Tennessee, killed and burned, but for the authority of my precious mother.”

               I ran out to a bulletin board and found when the first train toward home was due. We turned from our journey and came immediately home. I found my little town gathered about the street, and sadness resting like a cloud upon the whole town. As I walked up the street the mother of one of the boys, in whose home I had boarded in other days (she was almost as a mother to me), ran out in the streets and said, “O George, if I only had the body of my precious boy.” 

               When I reached the gate I saw my mother come running; she threw her arms around me and said: “Thank God! my boy is safe.”

              And I said: “Mother, I never missed it when I took your advice. I am sure I shall take it from this time to the grave.  I found that I had never learned what God meant when He said: ‘Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the lord thy God giveth thee.’

              Home authority has saved lives and it has saved character and saved thousands of souls; and for the lack of it the world is going to a terrible end.      George R. Stuart

 

 204                                                                   DIVINE PROVISION

 

               Early in my life I had Tuberculosis in my hip bone, and it left me partially paralyzed.  But from these apparent tragic circumstances the Lord provided for my needs many years later.

              When it came time for me to study in the university, the stock market crash came with the depression years and it was very difficult to find work.  Finally I found work in a grocery store but it wasn't sufficient for my studies.  I though the Lord might have other plans for my life.

              After three days of this work and having already begun my studies I received help from a completely unknown source. That year the Rehabilitation League of Grand Rapids had decided to give a scholarship to a student with the highest grades in High School.  They chose me because of my good grades and physical handicap.  They paid for all my tuition and other materials needed in my studies.  They had not known about my situation or prayers, but thanks be to the Lord who knew what my needs were.    H. G. Bosch

 

 205                                                                BOMB BLESSINGS

 

              During the last war an English farmer sent a contribution to a mission group making apology for the smallness of the gift “due to dry weather and the lack of water on his farm.” He added a request that the staff pray that no German bombs would fall on his property.

              The leader of the mission answered thanking him for the gift but saying that they were only praying “the Lord's will be done” as far as the bombs were I concerned. The answer was somewhat of a puzzle to the, farmer who had so earnestly requested prayer for God's protection.

              The farmer's faith was severely shaken when, not too long after, a huge bomb shook the earth with a deafening roar breaking windows and tearing things up in general. “Is this the Lord's will?” questioned the man. “Should this happen to me?” But investigation showed no damage to any livestock or to his family. And what should rise from the bottom of the still smoking crater but a gushing spring of crystal-clear water!

              The next harvest a much enlarged check arrived at the mission as the man wrote of the blessing that the bomb had been to him and his water-needy neighbors! This was better than having no bomb fall!

              When we have prayed, and what we have feared comes, look for the gushing springs of God's blessings!     J. W. Mellick.

 

 206                                                               A VALUABLE BEQUEST

 

Some time ago an elderly man living in New Jersey made an unusual discovery as he leafed through an old family Bible. Many years earlier, his aunt had died and left it to him. Part of her will read, "To my beloved Steven Marsh I bequeath my family Bible and all it contains, along with the residue of my estate after my funeral expenses and just and lawful debts are paid". When everything had been settled, the nephew got a few hundred dollars plus the old volume mentioned in the will. After the money was used up, his only support was a small pension, and for more than 30 years he lived in poverty. Then one day he cleaned out his attic in preparation for a move to his son's home where he hoped to spend his old age. There in a trunk was the family Bible he had inherited. Opening it, he was amazed to find banknotes scattered throughout its pages. He counted over $5000 in cash. Within his reach were riches he could have been enjoying all along.

 

*FAITHFULNESS*

 

  

207                                                           A LAND OF NO SEPARATION

 

              A missionary out in India had two little children, a boy and a girl. The little girl of three took ill and passed away in a few days. The little boy took ill also. The disease was diphtheria. They were many miles away from the doctor. They heard that he had come to a village some miles away from them. They took up the little fellow and journeyed through the jungle to the village, only to find when they got there that he had gone. All they could do was to watch the little life flicker away. Then they journeyed back to their station and laid the two children one grave. The mother said that she never seemed to feel the sorrow until it was all over. Then when she came into the house and put away for the last time their toys and garments, it was too much for her. She collapsed. She lay for some days ill. Later her strength came back to her and the comfort of God filled her heart. She began to realize that she was separated from them for just a short time. She realized that she would meet them again and never be separated throughout all eternity. We need to thank God. There is no separation for those who come to the heavenly place.

              I am reminded of the story of Mrs. Adoniram Judson, the wife of the great missionary in Burma. She loved her children and dreaded for the time to come for them to leave Burma and sail for America to go to school. But that time finally came. She went down to the dock to see Lathem off. In those days, she knew it could be many years before she would see them again, maybe never. She bade them a tender “good-bye.” Then she stood and watched the ship pullout. The children stood on the deck waving to her. She stood on the dock waving “good-bye” to them. The tears were in her eyes as she watched the ship sail out of the harbor. She stood there looking at it until it was just a small speck in the ocean. Then she went to her room, flung across the bed, and cried out, “All this I do for the sake of my Lord.” Separation now, but one day no separation! Jesus wept, and His tears give the promise of a day without tears.

  

208                                             HE DIED BUT HIS WORK LIVES ON

 

              The Lord is calling for men and women to make sacrifices! He is asking that you give your best to the service of Christ, not because it is convenient, but because it is right.

              Henry Drummond used to tell the story of the famous statue in a fine arts gallery in Paris. It was the work of a great genius who, like many a genius, was very poor and lived in a garret which served as both studio and sleeping room.    

              One night when the statue was just finished, a sudden frost fell upon Paris. The sculptor lay awake in his fireless room and thought of the still moist clay. He thought of how the moisture in the pores would freeze and the dream of his life would be destroyed in a night. So the old man rose from his cot, wrapped his bedclothes reverently about the statue, and lay down to sleep.

              In the morning, the neighbors found him lying in bed. His life had gone out into his work. It was saved; he was gone. But he still lived in it, and he still lives in it today!

              The Lord asked us to boldly give ourselves to the work of Christ. The task may be small, but you will put your whole I heart into it.

              Now give some thought to this matter. As Christ looks upon your heart, what does He see? As He looks upon our city, what does He see?

  

209                                                     WORKING WITH DILIGENCE

 

              On October 18, 1879, a young inventor by the name of Thomas A. Edison sat in his laboratory. He was weary from 13 months of repeated failure in his search for a filament that would stand the stress of electric current. To add to his problems, the men who had backed him financially were now refusing to put up any additional funds. Having tried every known metal in his experiment, Edison was admittedly baffled. Casually picking up a bit of lampblack, he mixed it with tar and rolled it into a thin thread. Suddenly the thought struck him, why not try a carbonized cotton fiber? For 5 hours he worked on the first filament, but it broke before he could remove the mold. Two entire spools of thread were used in similar fruitless efforts. At last a perfect strand emerged, only to be ruined when he tried to place it inside a glass tube. Still Edison refused to admit defeat. He continued to work without sleep for two more days and nights. Eventually he managed to insert one of the crude carbonized threads into a vacuum-sealed bulb. When he turned on the current, he said, “the sight we had so long desired to see finally met our eyes!” His persistence in the face of the most discouraging odds gave the world one of its greatest inventions - the electric light!

 

 210                                                              A POLISHED SHAFT

 

              Just as a parent patiently corrects his children, so the Heavenly Father often has to chasten us. The process is never pleasant, but it is necessary if we are to be useful to Him.

              A missionary was watching an Ethiopian villager prepare spears for hunting. First, the man selected a slender stick about 8 feet long from a bundle of small, crooked tree trunks. Rough and bent, it appeared to be totally useless. The villager then drove a large number of pegs into a level piece of ground. They protruded slightly above the surface and were arranged in two parallel rows about an inch and a half apart. Taking the wooden rod, he heated it in the fire until it was scorched but not burned. With a knife he scraped the bark and cut off the rough places.  While the shaft was still hot; he forced it between the parallel rows of pegs. This both hardened and reshaped the wood. He did this over and over until it remained perfectly straight and was tapered just right to a fine point.  Then followed more scraping and rubbing with an abrasive. Carefully he cleaned it and applied warm oil until the smooth surface gleamed. Finally he had a polished shaft!                          Thomas Lambie

 

211                                                              GOD IS NOT DEAD!

 

              One of the most moving events to be read in the life of a man is the tragedy and triumph that overtook Dr. George W. Truett, the illustrious pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, for forty-seven years. In the congregation of the Dallas church was Captain J. C. Arnold of the Texas Rangers, who had become Chief of Police of the city. He was a humble and devoted member. Upon a day Police Chief Arnold and Pastor Truett were quail hunting in Johnson County. Captain Arnold was walking along a few paces in front of Dr. Truett. Dr. Truett shifted his gun from one arm to the other but in so doing the trigger on the hammerless weapon was touched. The discharge struck the police chief and mortally wounded him. All Dallas was shocked by the death of their police chief. The pastor himself was plunged into indescribable grief. He felt that he could never preach again. His hands were stained with the blood of his dear friend,  blood shed as he awkwardly and carelessly handled a gun. He shut himself off from the world and in the black shadows he brooded and prayed and read his Bible, crying unto God.

              Late one Saturday night, for the first time since the accident, he fell asleep. During the night there came to him a dream in which Jesus stood as visibly and realistically as some earthly friend standing by his side. He heard the Master say, “Be not afraid, you are my man from now on.” Dr. Truett awoke. He awakened his wife and told her the dream. The second time he went back to sleep and the same vision and the same words were repeated. Again he told his wife what he had seen and heard. He went back to sleep and the third time the same vision appeared. The Master came and spoke to him just as He did before.

              On Sunday, Dr. Truett returned to his pulpit to preach the gospel of the unsearchable riches of Christ. Jesus. That Sunday morning the Methodist churches and the Presbyterian churches and the other churches dismissed their services that they might hear the great pastor. The news swept like wildfire through the city of Dallas. One spoke to the other saying: “Truett will be in his pulpit this Sunday. Truett will be preaching Christ again today.”    

              Thus it is that Jesus our Lord is more alive today than He was 2,000 years ago. He is not dead. He is alive! He lives in our hearts and He looks upon us from Heaven.  Dr. Truett went on to preach for many more years and thousands were turned to Christ.

 

 212                                                  AFFLICTION'S PURPOSE

 

              David M. Dawson says that as a boy he watched the Scottish shepherds “bundle their plaids around them” and go into the hills in a blinding snowstorm to help their sheep. The animals felt secure in the hollowed-out places where they had found temporary refuge, but the shepherds knew that unless they were driven from these comfortable spots, they would ultimately be trapped by the snow. Like sheep, God's children prefer to remain in their cozy shelters of tranquility, so the Good Shepherd must press them forward through the storms of life. His intention, however, is their ultimate good, and when the cruel blasts have subsided, they'll be able to look back and testify that they are richer for the experience. A Christian man lost his home and mill when a flood washed them away. He was brokenhearted and discouraged as he stood surveying his loss. Just then he saw a glittering object that had been uncovered by the waters. It was gold! The disaster he thought had made him a beggar had actually made him wealthy. So, too, the Lord often works through our troubles to strip away certain cherished possessions to show us the better treasures of His love and power. How thankful we should be that in every storm of affliction we have the assurance that the Lord has a good purpose in view!

 

 213                                           A MAN WHO FOUND REST IN PRAYER

 

              Sometime ago, I drove by the Evansville Rescue Mission in Evansville, Indiana. My mind went back to that great man of God. Dr. Ernest Reveal. For more than forty-five years Dr. Reveal operated the mission entirely by prayer. God answered his prayers in mighty and miraculous ways.

              I began to think this week of the many hours that I spent in the presence of that dear man. I recall the freshness of his conversation, the exuberance of his life. Physically he was almost helpless. Heavy braces were placed on his legs; he struggled around by the use of a cane. Moving was an effort; but every time that you looked at him, there was a smile upon his face. I believe that Dr. Reveal found his rest in prayer and faith in God.

              I thought again of the last moments of his life. Mrs. Reveal was in the kitchen preparing breakfast while crippled Dr. Reveal remained in bed. He plugged in his electric razor and began shaving. As the electric razor purred along, he sang with it. He wasn't much of a singer, but he could try. He was singing and shaving, and all of a sudden the razor kept running, but there was no voice. Mrs. Reveal went to his bedside and found that her husband had gone home to be with the Lord. I give that story simply because here was a man who found rest in prayer.     Lee Roberson

 

214                                                        THE EVIL OF DECEPTION

 

              There is a story which comes to mind when I give that word "deception." It always comes back. I never get away from it. I helped a man in a church in Louisville for two years. It was a thriving church with thousands in attendance. I worked for him and visited at his home most of the time. He was kind to me. One day he told me the following:

              “I better tell you about my life. I know you have wondered why we have this church right here when there are other churches all around us--other Baptist churches.

              We had big crowds, over a thousand people in every service. God was blessing. I was having a wonderful time. But, I would like to tell you my story. Maybe someday it will help you. Maybe someday you can help somebody else with this story.

              I brought into our home a young man. He was a fine looking young man. His parents were gone. He was alone. He needed help so I brought him in, I put clothes on his back. I furnished all the money to go to high school. I did everything for I him. He was my boy. He was my son. I counted him as my son. We had good fellowship together, or so I thought. We were often together. We would go places together as my boy, as a high school boy and out of high school.

              One Sunday morning I stood up before my audience to preach. When I did, I looked out in the audience and my boy adopted son standing to say something. He lived at my home. I ate breakfast with him. He put on the clothes which I had furnished for him. He was counted as my son.

              When the boy stood to his feet, I knew that he wanted to say something. He had never done it before. I turned and I said, “Son, what do you want?” I’d like to make a motion that the pulpit of the church be vacated at once.”

              When he said that, it was the signal for the insurrection which that boy had worked up. An older man rose to his side and said, “I second the motion.” Another said, “All in favor stand to your feet.”

              It was not a majority, but many people stood up.

              I do not recall anything that happened. I fell back in the chair. It so stunned me. Here was the boy that I had fed, clothed, reared, had fellowship with day after day in my home, stood before the audience and said, “I make a motion that the pulpit be vacated.” He was the tool of some others. Can you think of a boy doing that? He was a boy of intelligence.

              It almost killed me. I was in the hospital for many, many days. I do not recall any part of it. I do not know what happened, but it was an awful time. Many days and many weeks went by. For months I was at my home. I could not preach. I could not do a thing. Everything seemed to be gone from me in a moment's time.

              After some months had gone by, some people came to me and said, “We are starting a church. Would you be our pastor?” I replied, “I do not know, but I will come and preach for you.” I came up here with a little handful of people on this corner. I preached on one Sunday morning, and I felt that God was in it. I said, “Yes, I will be your pastor.” Now, you see what God has done in just a few short years. The Lord has been good to me, but there was a day when I was almost killed by the evil of deception.

 

215                                                                   WHAT GOD CAN DO

 

              There are some who are waiting for the message of Jesus Christ. There are some who will respond when we give the Gospel to them.

              There are mission fields waiting. Millions have never heard the Gospel and many would gladly receive the message if they could hear it. This means that we must go!

              We are guilty of committing many sins of omission.

              First, we fail to give our money. What miracles are wrought by giving! I can recall the first gift to Tennessee Temple Schools in 1946. After the official vote of our church on July 3, 1946 we waited upon the Lord; and in a very brief time there came a check from a missionary for $1,000 for .Tennessee Temple Schools. We felt that surely this was the hand of God upon us. What miracles have been wrought in the giving of money through the work of Camp Joy. Thousands have sent in gifts, from a dollar to five hundred dollars. Sunday School classes have given sacrificially! One dear man, not a member of our church nor a resident of the state of Tennessee, came to our city and gave a check for $10,000 for Camp Joy. Ah, that man has been pulling down dividends on his gift since the day that he made it. Hundreds and hundreds of young people have been saved and many have entered into the Lord’s work.

 

216                                                           HE DID WHAT HE COULD

 

              Dr. W. A. Criswell of Dallas, Texas, told the story of a man by the name of Tony who came to his study each Sunday, helped him off with his coat, hung it up on the rack. Then when the time came for the preacher to go to the pulpit, this man would go before him and hold the door open. This was all he could do, but he did it as unto the Lord.

              Some of the members told Tony that he bothered the pastor, and he came to Dr. Criswell about it. The preacher gently said to him, “No, Sir, you don't bother me. I appreciate what you are doing for me.”

              When the church built a new activities building, the pastor's study was moved across the street. On the first night in the new building, Tony came and asked Dr. Criswell if he might walk across the street before him and hold the door open for him. The preacher told him that he could do this. Tony went ahead and proudly held the door open as the preacher entered the church auditorium. A few days later, Tony died. Dr. Criswell said that maybe it was just a wild fancy, but he believed that when he got to heaven, Tony would be there to open the door for him.  He couldn't do much, but he did what he could for God's servant, and he did it as unto the Lord.

              That little story might help some of us to check up on our work and begin giving our best in service to the Lord.

 

 217                                                               LITTLE IS MUCH

 

              A few years ago I saw the famous Buckner Orphan's Horne in Texas. They tell the story that thirteen dollars started the orphanage. Today, the buildings are worth millions of dollars and have housed and clothed thousands of children. Hundreds and hundreds have been saved and sent out to serve God.

              When we talk about giving, we think of the story of little six-year-old Hattie May Wiatt. The little dying girl in Philadelphia gave fifty-seven cents to start a new meeting house for her church, The pastor, Dr. Russell A. Conwell, took this small sum and, with her dying testimony and example as an inspiration, built the Baptist Temple with an auditorium seating 3,135. It has been my privilege to speak in that auditorium. But not only this, Dr. Russel Conwell built Temple University with its enrollment of thousands. He built the Philadelphia Orphan's Horne. He built three hospitals. He built a rescue mission. He delivered one lecture, “Acres of Diamonds” more than 6,000 times and with the proceeds helped almost 10,000 young men secure an education. The little girl's money failed to buy her life back. By dying, she gave it to Christ. Her investment is still bringing in measureless dividends in the harvest for Christ.

  

218                                                      THE HARVEST IS SURE!

 

              A bountiful harvest in the work of the Lord is assured to all who faithfully sow the good seed of the Word. When our hearts are filled with compassion for lost sinners, our earnest and loving concern will be used by the Holy Spirit to soften the hard and parched ground of their unbelief. The results of our labors may not be immediately evident, and so we may become discouraged and be tempted to give up. But if we spend time in prayerful preparation, asking God for His help and guidance, He will honor and bless our efforts with spiritual fruit in the lives of those we are seeking to reach.

              A chaplain who was ministering to a seriously wounded soldier was requested by the dying man to write a letter to his former Sunday school teacher. “Tell her I died a Christian because of what she taught me in that class in church. The memory of her earnest pleas and the warmth of her love as she asked us to accept Jesus has stayed with me. Tell her I'll meet her in Heaven.” The message was sent, and some time later the chaplain received this reply: “May God forgive me. Just last month I resigned my position and abandoned my Sunday school pupils because I felt my work had been fruitless. How I regret my impatience and lack of faith! I shall ask my pastor to let me go back to teaching. I have learned that when one sows for God, the reaping is both sure and blessed!”

              Take heart, Christian worker, “your labor is not in vain in the Lord” -H. G. Bosch

 

 219                                                       FAITHFULNESS REWARDED

 

              Charles M. Schwab tells of a prosperous man who many I years ago started out in his youth as a poorly paid helper in a department store. One rainy day when business was slow, the employees gathered in a corner to discuss the current baseball situation. When a woman came in, wet and bedraggled from the weather, they all continued talking except this young fellow. Quickly he walked over to the customer and asked courteously, “What can I show you, madam?” He promptly got the merchandise she requested and explained its merits in a convincing and pleasant manner. A short time later, the firm received a letter from this lady ordering complete furnishings for a large estate overseas. “I want to be assisted by the polite clerk who waited on me a few weeks ago,” she wrote. The head of the company responded by saying that the one she asked for was young and inexperienced, so the manager would be sent instead. But when her reply came, it stated that she wanted the person she had designated and no other. So the courteous employee was sent to advise in furnishing a famous Scottish palace, for the customer had been none other than Mrs. Andrew Carnegie!

              The Lord often proves our worth by asking us to do little things. If we are faithful, He rewards us with greater responsibilities and gives us the joy of engaging in larger areas of service. -H. G. Bosch

 

 220                                                   WHAT GOD CAN DO

 

              In recent days someone sent me a copy of a book entitled, “The Vision Lives.” It gives the story of Mrs. Charles Cowman. This is the woman who gave us the books, Streams in the Desert, Springs in the Valley and Mountain Trailways for For Youth. Mrs. Cowman felt that God had called her to raise money for missions. She began to pray that money would come in. After the first prayer God sent $25 for missions; in the year 1900, she received $909 for missions; in 1901 $2500 for missions; in 1903, $7,000. By 1909 she received $104,000. By 1919 the total of $510,000.00; and by May 1, 1939, she had received a total of five million dollars. Every penny had gone into the work of missions. She kept not one penny for herself, but turned it all into the work of the Saviour. Only love will make men and women generous.          Lee Roberson

 

 221                                                 “HEAD HER FOR THE SHORE"

 

              I read a beautiful story coming to us out of years gone by. It is the story of a steamer, heavily laden with people, on Lake Erie.! One day that steamer caught on fire when it was several miles from shore. There was consternation, anxiety, and confusion!   The captain ordered the people to the farther end of the ship, away from the fire. Soon the captain gave command to his pilot. He called, "John Maynard." Maynard answer "Aye-aye, Sir. The captain said; “Head her for the shore.” The pilot answered, “Aye, aye, Sir.”

              The people wondered if they would ever reach the shore. The fire burst through the deck and smoke enveloped the pilot. “John Maynard,” again the captain shouted, “can you hold the helm a little longer?”

              “Aye, aye, Sir. I will try, Sir,” was the answer. But the heat had already seized one hand and it was useless at his side. Could he not flee? He might save himself. Had he not shown his interest and had he not shown more than his duty? Ought he not to save himself? These questions must have passed through his mind.

              But again sounds the captain's voice, “John Maynard.” “Aye, aye, Sir,” comes faintly through the smoke and the flames. “Hold to the helm three minutes more and you will beach the ship and save the people.”

              “I will hold to it, God helping me,” was his answer. Finally the ship struck the beach. The folks rushed to the shore and were safe. The women and children were saved.      But the blackened corpse of John Maynard was found with his hand still on the wheel. He saved others, but he did not save himself.

              So it was with our Lord Jesus Christ. He died in behalf of sinners. He died that we might be saved from the fires of hell.  Let this wonderful story of redemption lay hold upon your heart. Change your life and draw near to the Lord now.   

 

 222                                                     AN AMBASSADOR FOR CHRIST

 

              A traveling man came into a hotel to secure a room for the night. Upon being informed that every room in the building had been taken, he was naturally quite perturbed until a gentleman standing nearby offered to share his room with him. The offer was thankfully accepted.

              Upon retiring the well dressed man knelt and prayed tenderly mentioning his guest of the night in his petition. In the morning his host informed him that it was his custom to read a portion of the Word of God and pray before taking up the responsibilities of the day.

              The effect upon the man was moving. A strange feeling came over him. Something had been working in his heart all the night. When gently pressed by this stranger to accept the Lord Jesus as his personal Saviour, his resistance went down in a heap. A soul had been won for Christ.

              But who was this humble ambassador of Christ? The gentleman who had behaved in a Christ-like manner was William Jennings Bryan, Secretary of State.

              The world of this day may laugh at folks who pray and attend church faithfully. They may ridicule you at times and say that you are a fanatic and a fool, but determine before God that you will make Christ first and that you will be faithful in your prayers and worship in the house of the Lord.

  

223                                                            “GONE ABOVE.”

             

              When a little cabinet-maker found business rather dull, he would sometimes leave the little shop. However, when he did so he would put out his little sign on the door, “Gone above”. His quarters above were very comfortable. There was a very grand view to be seen from the window. It is something of a parable – He was a Christian and he lived above his work. He had dreams and hopes. He had his eyes fixed upon his heavenly home.  One day he didn’t come down after lunch and later someone went upstairs to see what might be wrong.  The carpenter had passed away and was truly now, “Gone Above”.  Every one of us should have the thought that we do live above, that we are not living with our feet deep in the mire, the clogs of clay. We live above.

  

224                                                                ONLY ONE LEG

 

              There was a picture in the local newspaper of a Texas Tech senior, Brian Hall, heading for football practice in Lubbock, Texas, carrying his “kicking leg.”  Hall's right leg was amputated below the knee after an agricultural accident while he was in high school. He was a “walk-on” as a freshman, and last season as a junior he was Tech's leading scorer with 48 points.

              I remember reading about a young man applying to a mission. He, too, had only one leg. When asked why he would volunteer for missionary service with only one leg, he replied: “Because I don't see those with two legs applying.”  Regardless of our impediments we can still be of service to others.    Brian Hall

 

 225                                                        SINGING IN THE DARK

 

              Some of the most beautiful singing canaries in the world have come from the Harz Mountains of Germany. But during World War I; it became impossible to obtain these little warblers. So a dealer in New York came up with the idea of training an American finch to sing just like the European variety. He had the songs of these famous birds recorded and mailed to his home. When they arrived, he played them over and over each day in the room where he kept his own canaries. At first his efforts met with little success. Then one day he made a startling discovery. He found that if he covered their cages and completely shut out the light, the American birds soon learned to warble like those on the recording.

              Similarly, we can learn to sing God's praises most sweetly when our way is dark and we cannot see what lies ahead. He shuts us away from the things of this world so that we will appreciate more fully the blessed and matchless harmonies of Heaven: When life is restricted by the blackness of trial and despair, we are more inclined to pay attention to His voice than when we bask in the bright days of light hearted pleasure, which tend to distract us. We can be thankful that we do not have to compose our own symphonies of comfort, for the melody is furnished by God our Maker, “who giveth songs in the night” Job 35:10.

              Many of God's saints who have gone through hours of gloom and distress can testify that the most thrilling grace notes of praise have been learned in the murky shadows of adversity and trouble! -H. G. Bosch

 

226                                                            “FORGIVE ME LORD”

 

Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely maid with golden hair.

I envied her-she seemed so gay -and wished I were as fair.

When suddenly she arose to leave, I saw the cruel braces as she hobbled down the aisle;

A victim of polio was she. But a~ she passed-a smile!

Ob, God, forgive me when I whine.

 I have two straight feet. The world is mine!

 

And when I stopped to buy some sweets,

The lad who sold them had such charm.

I talked with him. He said to me:

“It is nice to talk with folks like you:

You see, he said, “I'm blind.”

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

I have two eyes. The world is mine!

 

Then walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue.

He stood and watched the others play.

It seemed he knew not what to do.

I stopped a moment, then I said:

“Why don't you join the others, dear?”

He looked ahead without a word,

And then I knew he could not hear.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine. I have two years. The world is mine!

 

With feet to take me where I'd go,

With eyes to see the sunset's glow,

With ears to hear what I would know.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

 I'm blessed indeed. The world is mine.                Author Unknown

 

227                                              “IS YOUR FACE TOWARD ME?”

 

              Charles Welborn told the story of the little family, father, mother and son. The mother became ill and passed away.

              The father, trying to shield the boy, did not tell him of the mother's death, and did not permit him to go to the funeral service. When the father returned home and the boy inquired about his mother, the father replied, “she will be back in a short time. Do not be troubled -she will soon return.” This went on for many days.

              Then one night, past the midnight hour, the father had been trying to sleep, but was unable to do so. He was sorrowing in the death of his wife, and he was troubled because of the falsehoods he was giving to his boy. As he lay restlessly in his bed, he heard footsteps, and in a few moments he felt the hands of his son touch the side of the bed.

              The little boy said, “Daddy, may I get in with you?”

              “Yes”, said the father. “Come.”

              The boy crawled in with his father. He was quiet for a moment, and then he said,  “Daddy, I would like to ask you one more time-when will Mama be home?”

              The father was tired, irritated, troubled in heart, and he blurted out, “Your mother is not coming back. She is dead. We buried her in the cemetery. You will never see her again in this world.”

              As the father shouted out these words, the boy began to sob. His tears flowed copiously, then there was silence, and out of the darkness of the night came the boy's voice again.

              He said, “Daddy, may I ask you one more question?”

              “Yes, go ahead.” “Daddy, is your face toward me?”

              The father knew what he meant. Many times the boy had slept with him, and he liked to go to sleep facing his father. He was concerned now that the father's face might be toward his face.

              The father replied, “Yes, son, my face is toward you.”

              And the boy answered, “Then, Daddy, I can go to sleep.”

              In a little while the boy was sleeping. The father rose from the bed, went to the window, looked out into the night; up into the skies, and said, “Father, there is just one thing that I want to know: Is your face toward me? If your face is toward me, then I can bear the burden and go forward.”

              My friend, we should all be deeply concerned that God's face is toward us. May we so live that every day He can look upon us with favor.  Let every Christian make this a moment of rededication. If you have never accepted Jesus Christ, do so at this time. He is waiting to receive you. His face is always toward a lost world, waiting for them to turn their face toward Him.

 

 228                                                              DETERMINATION

              Anything worth doing takes perseverance, Cyrus Field, telling about the laying of the Atlantic cable said that took thirteen years of “ceaseless toil”. Often he said he despaired of ever being able to accomplish the task, yet one hope has led me on; and I have prayed that I not taste of death till this work was accomplished, That prayer was answered, "

              Should not Christians have the same determination to accomplish the work of God?  This is greater significance than any human accomplishment.

 

229                                                          THE SUN WILL SHINE AGAIN

 

              The story is told of a newsboy thinly clad and drenched to the skin by the falling rain. The lad stood shivering in a doorway on a cold November day. His feet were bare, and he would lift one foot from the cold pavement and warm it against his other leg.

              Every few minutes his shrill cry could be heard - “Morning paper! Morning paper! Morning paper!” A man passing by, clad in his over coat and carrying an umbrella, stopped to buy a paper.  Noticing the boy's plight, he said, “This kind of weather is pretty hard on you, my lad,” Looking up with a cheery smile the boy replied, “I don't mind this much, mister, the sun will shine again,”

              There are scores of precious thoughts which come to us out of the statement of that little lad.

              We are living in days of darkness, days of shadows, but for the child of God, the sun will shine again.

  

230                                                 CHRIS LOSBY WAS STANDING

 

              I could never forget the man that I met in Minot, North Dakota. I preached to a packed house one evening. In the back of the building stood a man throughout my entire message.

              After the service, he came to speak to me. It took him ten or fifteen minutes to walk from the back of the church to the front of it. He moved only a few inches at a time. He introduced himself to me as Chris Losby. He had a radiant smile. He was standing with a steel brace around his body.

              He invited me to have lunch with him on the next day. I told him I would do so. We met in the hotel lobby. I met his wife and daughter. We walked into the hotel dining room. The table was found. He told us where to sit, and he stood at one side of the table. We ordered our food, and he stood there and ate his food holding his plate in his hand. The three of us were seated, and Chris Losby was standing.

              At the end of the meal, be said, “I would like to show you my business.” I was amazed that a man in his condition would have a business. He sent us out to his car. We waited a long time, and finally he came shuffling down the sidewalk. He put his back to the rear of the car. His wife opened the doors of the station wagon. She grabbed him by the ankles and shoved him inside. She got in the driver's seat, and I sat beside her. Chris Losby was on his back holding a small mirror in his hand so that he could look at me as he talked to me.

              I saw his business - an attractive book store. We left the store and we drove away. I asked Mr. Losby about his condition. He said, “I have been this way over ten years, unable to bend my body. I never sit in a chair. I either I stand up or lie down. I can move my head only an inch or two. I can still talk.” Then he said, “Oh, how precious the Lord Jesus is to me!”

              This suffering child of God had committed his life to the Saviour. Jesus was in his heart and life. He then told of the two evenings a week that he spent in witnessing to people in the city of Minot. Since it was so difficult for him to move at all, when he came to a person's home they would always listen to him as he gave his testimony and told of Jesus and His power to save.

              Chris Losby is dead now. He died while still a young man. But, he heard the knock of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the door of his heart. He let Him in as his Saviour and he made Him the Master of his life.                                                                                                                      Lee Roberson

 

 231                                                “THIS TIME I SHALL DIE FOR YOU"

 

              A rough band of Chinese soldiers, atheistic and God hating, gathered a little congregation of Christians inside their church building and brought them out one by one. If the Christian renounced his faith in Jesus Christ, he was liberated. One by one they refused to renounce their Saviour and one by one they were all beheaded.

              The last to be brought to the door was a small boy. The leader of the soldiers said to the lad, “You are so small. Why don't you live? I am placing a picture of Jesus on the ground. You grind it into the dust with your heel and we will let you go.”

              The little boy looked at the picture of the Saviour on the ground, then up to the Lord in heaven and said, “Lord Jesus, one time you died for me. This time I shall die for you.”

              With these words he placed his head before the sword of the murderous executioner and the last member of the little church was slain.

              Joshua said, “. ..choose you this day whom ye will serve ...but as for me and my house, we will, serve the LORD.”  Joshua 24:15

 

 232                                                  THE LAST YEARS OF THEIR LONG LIVES 

 

              Let me begin this message by saying that the records are full of people who have stayed active and productive in the last years of their long lives,

              Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel on his back on a scaffold at near ninety, George Santayana said at eighty- two: “I have never been happier in my life than right now,” Paderewski at seventy-nine played the piano superbly. At eighty-eight John Wesley preached every day, Tennyson published “Crossing The Bar” at eighty-three, Booth Tarkington wrote sixteen novels after sixty, some of them when he was almost blind.

              Of Benjamin Franklin, Walter B. Pitkin said, “Men have forgotten the first half of his life, The world will never forget the second," Franklin went to France in the service of his country at seventy-eight and wrote his auto biography at over eighty.

              Perhaps this day might inspire some of us to new achievements. I remind myself that Henry J. Kaiser was building beautiful new hotels in Hawaii at seventy-five. I remind myself that Dr, Charles Weigle wrote some of his greatest songs between eighty and ninety-five, I remind myself that Dr. John R. Rice is doing his best work at seventy-seven, both in preaching and in the writing of books.

              But 1 am concerned about every life - whether the age be 16 of 96. Enough has been given to us through our Saviour and our God to enable life to be victorious.

              Life can be a masterpiece when He is in charge. He first saves and then He guides and transforms daily.

              He has given us a masterpiece guide - the Bible. This blessed Book has directed thousands and given them superb and meaning.   Lee Roberson

 

233                                                        HE PAINTED EVERYBODY

 

              We must not forget that sometimes a man's greatest work might be done in the days which seem empty of success and full of failure. They say that Rembrandt was the most popular painter of his day until he was about thirty-five. The whole of Europe applauded him. He painted everybody of any distinction at all, and could command any price he wished. Then at about thirty-five years of age, another: painter came along. His name: was Van Dyke. Rembrandt lost his popularity. Van Dyke, the: more elegant successor, stepped into his place.

              Some years before his death, Rembrandt was forced to sell everything he had. He lived the last years of his life in poverty.  And yet, they tell us that his greatest paintings came out of those difficult years of seeming failure and were the years of his greatest achievements.  Some of his most famous paintings were done during the last 20 years of his life.

  

234                                                           JUST WHAT COULD WE DO?

 

              The treasurer of a congregation reigned. The church asked another to take his position, a man who managed the local grain elevator. He agreed under two conditions: (1) That no reports from the treasurer for one whole year be given. (2) That no one ask him any questions during this one-year period. The church gulped, but finally agreed, since he was a trusted man in the community and well known because most of them did business with him as manager of the local grain elevator. At the end of the year, he had this report: The indebtedness of $250,000 on the church has been paid. The minister's salary had been increased. There are no outstanding bills and there is a cash balance of $12,000.

              Immediately a shocked congregation asked, “How come” Quietly he answered, “Most of you bring your grain to my elevator. As you did business with me, I simply with held ten percent on your behalf and gave it to the church in your name. You never missed it. Do you see what we could do for the Lord if we were willing to give the first tithe to God, who really owns it.”

 

235                                                            A PURSE FULL OF GOLD

 

              A king once placed a heavy stone in the roadway. Then he hid to wait and see who would remove it.

              Many who came by loudly blamed the government for not keeping the highways clear, but none assumed the duty of pushing the offending obstacle out of the way.

              At last a poor peasant stopped and graciously rolled it into the gutter and to his surprise, he found a purse full of gold embedded in the road directly beneath the spot where the rock had stood. A note informed him that it was the king's reward intended for anyone who willingly performed this needed service. The peasant was thus richly repaid for his trouble and inconvenience.

              The application of that story is very simple: God has a blessing for every trial of life. There may be obstacles. God may be testing our faithfulness; but when we respond in a positive way, we can know that He will reward us. Rejoice that He I knows what is best!

  

236                                                    THE LIGHT NEVER WENT OUT

 

              The late Dr. S.D. Gordon used to tell the story of an interesting light on the coast in the northern part of Scotland.

              A grey-haired woman with a cheery, thoughtful face sat at her work. She vas busy working at her spinning wheel and watching the candle, turning now and again to trim it. All night long she sat at the spinning wheel, watching the candle. Fishermen, out on the water heading for home, knew that light could be counted on and came safely in past all the dangers of that coast. For more than fifty years, this women tended her little lighthouse.

              When she was a young girl, there had been a wild storm, and her father, out in his fishing boat, lost his life. There were no shore lights. His boat had struck a huge dangerous rock, called “The Lonely Rock,” and had been wrecked.

              The father's body was found in the morning, washed up on the shore. She watched by her father's body, as was the habit of her people, until it was laid away. Then she lay down on her bed and slept the day through.

              When night came, she rose, lit a candle, put it in the window, drew up her spinning wheel, and began her night vigil for the unknown out sailor at sea. 

              All night long and all her life, her vigil of love and light continued. From youth to old age, through winter and summer, through the storm and calm, fog and clear, that humble lighthouse beacon failed not.

              Each night she spun many hanks of yarn for her daily bread and one hank over another until the spinning one day fell silent.  She had been faithful and saved many lives from a perilous end at sea.

 

 237                                                          A PAYING PRINCIPLE

 

              God honors men who take His Word seriously. Stephen Girard, Philadelphia millionaire, one Saturday bade his clerks come next day and unload a vessel which had just arrived. One young man stepped up to the desk and said, as he turned pale, “Mr. Girard, I cannot work tomorrow:  “Very well, sir,” said the proprietor, “go to the cashier's desk and he will settle with you.”

              For three weeks the young man tramped the streets looking for work. One day a bank president asked Mr, Girard to name a suitable person for cashier of the new bank about to be started.

              After reflection, Mr, Girard named this young man. “But I thought you discharged him?”  “I did,” was the answer, “because he would not work on Sunday. The man who will lose his situation from principle is the man to whom you can entrust your money.”

  

238                                                      HE KEPT ON WORKING

 

              There was a man years ago in Philadelphia, they tell us, whose name was Patrick Kern. Patrick Kern was a window-washer. He worked on one of the big hotels in Philadelphia. He was washing windows one day. He was up in his place washing away on the window according to his business. That's what he did all of the time.

              A man came down to the bottom of the ladder and looked up at him. He said, “Are you Patrick Kern?”

              He looked down and said, “Yes, Sir, I am.”

              “Well, Patrick Kern, I've come to tell you that your uncle, who was also named Patrick and who lived in Galway, has died. He left you $100,000.”

              They say that he came down from the ladder without spilling very much water, even though he carried the bucket down with him. He said, “I'm Patrick Kern. Is it true that I have $100,000?”

              Yes, you have. Here's the will. This is your name, and you have inherited $100,000.  Patrick Kern thanked him and went back up the ladder to his job.

              Later when they gave out the news story, one of the Philadelphia reporters asked him, “When will you quit your work here?”

              Patrick Kern said, “When I see the coin,” and went on scrubbing' windows.

              My friend, we have life. We have Him. Let us hold to the truth and keep on working until Jesus comes with our reward.

              “. . . be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”  Revelation 2:10

  

239                                                       “BE THOU FAITHFUL”

 

              Some years ago our family visited Yellow Stone National Park. With many others we stood and waited for “Old Faithful” to erupt. Right on schedule it let go with a loud roar, spewing out nearly 12,000 gallons of boiling liquid in a spectacular display of power. The steam and water rose 150 feet into the air! We were told that various geysers in the area go higher, but they are not so predictable in their regularity. As stewards of the grace of God, we too should always “be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). The Lord does not say we have to be successful, glamorous, or deeply intellectual. All He requires is hearty endeavor that is performed with grace and steadfastness. A shepherd and his small dog once came to live in the, city of Edinburgh, Scotland. The animal was so loyal to his owner that he followed him everywhere. Sometime later the man died and was buried in the local cemetery. Hardly anyone noticed the little dog trailing behind the mourners; but after they left, he went and sat down on the shepherd's grave. He stayed there not for a day, a week, or a month, but the rest of his life! Interested people gave him food and water, and he never left the spot where his master had been laid to rest. After 12 years he finally died at his post of vigilance. That was faithfulness!

              We as Christians should show the same kind of devotion to our Lord.

  

240                                        “KEEP ME FROM TURNING BACK!”

 

              A missionary to, Thialand named Lillian Hammer faced many obstacles in her work, and she saw few visible results despite her earnest endeavors. Her confidence was in the Lord and she refused to yield to despair. Her only desire was to plow-out her furrow for God no matter how stony or how difficult it might be to sow the seed” In 1962 this gallant servant of Christ suffered a cruel death at the hands of a drug addict. In her last letter to a friend she quoted a poem which not only told of the great trial of her faith, but revealed her determination to go on serving God without flinching or retreating in the face of overwhelming odds. This bit of verse, which so apply expressed her feelings, is a touching commentary on a life completely dedicated to the Lord.

 

My hand is on the plow, my falt’ring hand;

But in front of me is untilled land.

The wilderness and solitary place,

The lonely desert with its interspace.

The handles of my plow with tears are wet;

The shares with rust are spoiled, and yet, and yet,

Out in the field, ne'er let the reins be slack;

My God! my God! Keep me from turning back!

  

241                                                         THE VALUE OF WORK

 

              Man was created by God to work. Lack of industry and too much leisure time can easily lead to sin and misery. It has been wisely said, “Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do” and “An idle mind is the Devil’s workshop”.

              Adam Clark is reported to have spent 40 years writing his commentary on the Scriptures. Noah Webster labored 36 years forming his dictionary; in fact, he crossed the ocean twice to gather material needed to make the book absolutely accurate. Milton rose at 4 o'clock every morning in order to have sufficient hours to compose and rewrite his poetry which stands among the best of the world's literature. George Gibbon spent 26 years on his book ‘The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,’ but it towers as a monument to careful research and untiring dedication to his task. Bryant rewrote one of his poetic masterpieces 100 times before publication, just to attain complete beauty and perfection of expression. These men enjoyed what they were doing, and each one threw all of his energy into his effort no matter how difficult the job.

              The Bible says: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. . .”  Ecclesiastes 9:10

 

 242                                                    IN THE NAME OF CHRIST

             

              The story of Telemachus might bring inspiration to some of us to stand for our convictions. Telemachus, the faithful Christian, arrived in Rome one day to find crowds streaming toward the Coliseum for a gladiatorial contest. Over eighty thousand people gathered that day. So great was the throng that Telemachus found himself swept along with it. He watched two gladiators fight until one was killed. Two more came out. The soul of Telemachus revolted. He leaped into the arena and thrusting himself between the contestants shouted, “In the name of Christ, forbear.” The crowd yelled with laughter. The gladiators tried to thrust him aside, but he came back again appealing to them to desist. The crowd became angry and shouted to the gladiators to run him through. A sword flashed.

              The defenseless Telemachus fell to the ground and the contest continued. But then as the blood of Telemachus reddened the ground around about, a man in the topmost tier of the Coliseum got up and went away. One by one others left until the great stands were practically deserted. From that day to this, there has never been another gladiatoral contest in the Coliseum at Rome. In the place where Telemachus died, there stands a cross on which are inscribed these words, “In the spirit of this cross, lie the hopes of all the world.”             Author unknown

 

 243                                                “WE MUST TAKE JESUS!”

 

              A religious publication tells us the story of something that happened just a few years ago. A lady was married to a man who was very antagonistic to the things of God. They had three children. She tried to bring them up in a Christian way. They accepted Christ as their Saviour. They read the Bible in the home. They attended church together.               The husband did not like any of this.

              One day he forced the children to make a decision. He told them, “You are going to have to choose between Jesus and me.” He asked them, “Whom do you love the most? If you choose Jesus, I'm going to leave home. Now you must decide whom you want. It must be Jesus or me.”             

              The answer given by the children, young in years and yet mature in faith, would put many adults to shame. They told their father, “Daddy, we want you to know that we love you very much, but we also love Jesus. We don't want you to go away from home. We want you to stay, but if you make us choose between Jesus and you, as much as we love you, we must take Jesus!”

  

244                                                  EARNING THE KING'S APPROVAL

 

              Ethel B. Sutton tells the story of a young British soldier who was blinded in battle. A trained musician, he later spent much of his time playing the piano for the wounded who had been sent to a London hospital. Although he often heard the tramping of feet through the corridors as visitors came and went, he never let this distract him. He always put his best effort into his playing, hoping his music would encourage and comfort those who were depressed by their painful injuries. One day when he paused for a moment of rest, he heard someone nearby heartily clapping his hands. Turning his sightless eyes in that direction, he asked with a smile, “Who are you?” The astonishing reply was, “I'm your King!”  Without realizing it, the young man had been using his talent to entertain royalty for the British monarch was visiting the wounded to cheer them up and strengthen their morale.

              We may not understand why God asks us to serve in a given place, nor can we know all the results of our Christian service. But we should remember that our Sovereign lord is also observing our faithful endeavors.

 

 245                                                     THE SACRIFICE OF SELF

 

              One of the old Roman coins was imprinted with the figure of an ox standing between an altar and a plow, along with the inscription READY FOR EITHER.

              “A missionary to the West Indies was unable to reach the people he desired to influence for Christ. They had to work long hours each day, and at night they were too exhausted to listen to his preaching.  He tried every means to bring them the gospel, but without success. Finally he decided to ‘take a drastic step.’  He sold himself as a slave to one of the plantation owners and was driven with the others into the fields to work, where he had occasional opportunities to talk to them. Although he lost his life of freedom for the gospel's sake, he found it again in the hearts of the many he was able to lead to Christ.”

 

 246                                                                ANCHORED!

 

              “On the margin of the ocean close to our home, an object of absorbing interest may often be observed - a ship riding at anchor in the angry sea. I scarcely know in nature a more interesting or suggestive sight. The ship is dancing on the waves; she appears to be in their power and at their mercy. Wind and water combine to make her their sport. Destruction seems near; for if the vessel's hull is dashed by these waves upon the rocks of the coast, it will be broken into a thousand pieces. But as you stand and look awhile, the ship holds her own. Although at first sight she seemed the helpless plaything of the elements, they have not overcome. She is no nearer destruction than when you first began to gaze in anticipation of her fate. What is the secret of the ship's safety? The bond of her security is a line that is unseen. The ship is at anchor! The line on which she hangs does not depend on the waters, nor anything that floats there. It goes through them and fastens on the solid ground beneath. The soul, considered a passenger on the treacherous sea of time, likewise needs an anchor ‘sure and steadfast.’”

              Is your life in turmoil? Are you being buffeted by stormy winds? Without Christ you're like a ship tossed about on a raging sea. But with the lord Jesus as your Savior and the promises of God as the anchor of your soul you can ride out every gale with safety and confidence!  

              “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.”   Hebrews 6:19     Frederick Arnot

  

247                                                        “UP FROM SLAVERY"

 

              A Negro man came to our home in Fairfield, Alabama and stated that he was selling  books.  He was a man of some years. He said that “This is the story of my father.” I cannot verify this fact, but the book, entitled “Up From Slavery”, was written by Booker T. Washington. It was the story of his life. It is a thrilling account. He was born a slave with no possible chance to get an education. He was allowed to carry the white mans books right up to the school, but never permitted to go in.  Booker T. Washington wanted an education. Hearing that there was a school for Negroes in Virginia, he started on his way without money. He tells how he crawled under the board sidewalk in one town, through which, he was passing, in order to sleep one night. Finally he got to the Hampton Institute. He had little to present to the school authorities, except a tremendous desire for an education and a willingness to study. Out of this disadvantage came his great devotion to the cause of Negro education, which finally brought the Tuskegee Institute into being which has trained over the years thousands of young men and women.

              This man learned how to handle the failures of life. He rested upon the promises of God. Don't blame the other fellow! Look up for help! Trust in God!     Lee Roberson

 

 248                                                            "HE LIVES HERE!"

 

              When Queen Victoria reigned in England, she occasionally would visit some of the humble cottages of her subjects. One time she entered the home of a widow and stayed to enjoy a brief period of Christian fellowship. Later on, the poor woman was taunted by her worldly neighbors. “Granny,” they said, “who's the most honored guest you've ever entertained in your home?”  They expected her to say it was Jesus, for despite their constant ridicule of her Christian witness, they recognized her deep spirituality. But to their surprise she answered.  “The most honored guest I've entertained is Her Majesty the Queen.”  “Did you say the Queen? Ah, we caught you this time! How about this Jesus you're always talking about? Isn't He your most honored guest?” Her answer was definite and scriptural, “No, indeed! He's not a guest. HE LIVES HERE!”  Her hecklers were put to silence.

 

 249                                                      NERO AND THE APOSTLE PAUL

 

              For satisfaction and peace there must be a complete separation from this world. Someone points this out by the stories of Nero and Paul. Nero sat in all his pomp and glory, the conqueror of the world. The porticoes of his palace were a mile long. The walls were arranged to shower lovely perfumes upon his guests. His crown was worth $500,000 and his mules were shod with silver. A thousand carriages accompanied him when he traveled. His wardrobe contained so much clothing that he never wore a garment a second time.              “It seemed that Nero had everything, but Nero was not a saved man. His arm had conquered, but his heart was unsatisfied.

              But the apostle Paul, lying in a dungeon cell and calling himself the “prisoner of the Lord,” could say, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” From the prison Paul could write, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7.

              The apostle Paul had believed in Jesus Christ and was a saved man. Therefore he could say, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

  

250                                                         WHAT FLOOR PLEASE?

 

              “Recently I stepped into the elevator of a hospital in my city. The operator, a big giant of a man quietly closed his Bible and said, ‘What floor, please?’ Fortunate for me I wanted the top floor and there were no stops between. I had seen this black man reading his Bible when he had a few minutes of time, and I was interested to talk with him. The conversation was interesting but I had to get off on my floor. I hurried my call on the patient, I fear, in order to continue the conversation on the trip down that was interesting, rewarding, and inspiring. Here was a man who had a glory in his breast, and that glory caused him to turn to his Bible at every opportunity as unerringly as steel filings seek a magnet.  For twenty-five years he had read his Bible through each year. Each day during those years he had memorized a verse from his reading. Each year, in addition to the daily verse, he had memorized three chapters: one from the Old Testament; two from the New Testament. He told me that any chapter he had ever memorized he still knew 'by heart' and could quote it at any time, day or night.

              I thought of the words of the psalmist, ‘I love thy law’ and ‘Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee’ and ‘great peace have they that love thy law.'”   Psalm 119

251                                                     THE MOTOR FELL OFF

 

              Some years ago a commercial airliner started out from, Cleveland to Baltimore. It carried a full load of passengers, plus crew. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot felt a slight tremor on the plane. One of the motors then fell off and went crashing to the ground. As it tore away, it completely ruined the landing gear of the plane as well. The pilot limped along with one motor but had no way of bringing the plane to a safe landing. His mind raced for a solution. Twenty-four lives, including his own, were facing almost certain death. What should he do?  He turned around and headed for Cleveland, the home airport. He radioed the airport, informing them of his hopeless plight, and requested that ambulances and fire-fighting apparatus be summoned. He would endeavor to bring the ship to earth, although there wasn't one chance in a thousand that any of the twenty-four lives would escape death. In route to Cleveland, he noticed the one parachute the plane carried for emergency escapes. He could use it and save his own life. Why not? None of the other twenty-three could escape death anyway. Why not save himself? All this quickly passed through his mind.

              However, he decided that he would stick by the ship and not “bail out.”

              He brought the wobbling plane over the airport, looked down and saw hundreds of people waiting and several ambulances and fire apparatus. He circled the field several times, knowing that sooner or later he must bring that heavy ship to land. He swung lower and lower and finally gritted his teeth, braced himself, and brought the plane down on the runway, lifted it a bit, and let it down with a terrible thud. Many were injured, but the striking thing was that not one of the twenty-four was killed or fatally wounded.

              The newspapers carried front-page accounts of the accident. One writer made this significant observation: “In all the history of commercial flying, not one pilot has ever bailed out and left his ship.” Think of it!

              What a record! The moral is: the best people -don't bail out. The best people stick to the ship. They don't turn their backs on the right, the true, and the good.

              “. . . be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life”.  Revelation 2:10

 

 252                                                                   DON'T BAIL OUT

 

              My high school coach had a saying, “No one wins who doesn't finish.” Certainly it is important to get a good start, but it is all-important to have a good finish. No one wins who doesn't finish. You may start fast and run brilliantly; but if you fail to finish, there is no prize.

              So it is in the race of life. Begin the right life, start on the Christian way; but continue. Stay in the race. Finish!

              Many a racer begins a course but falls out because of weariness, keen competition, lack of morale, or loss of the will to win. For such there is no reward - no “Well done.” We must stay in the race, keep in the course, set our eyes on the goal, double up our will, and finish!

              Paul fought to the end and said, “I have finished the course.” He crossed the goal - broke the finishing tape - and heard the Savior say, “Well done - You win - Here is your crown.”  Demas made a brilliant start, a fast getaway. But he dropped out. One of the saddest, most pathetic statements in the Bible is Paul's lament to Timothy, “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.” He missed the reward. He failed to finish. He bailed Out!             J. Don Jennings

 

 253                                               HE WOULDN'T QUIT AND BECAME PRESIDENT!

 

              “Last year my wife and I were going into Florida for a revival meeting. We went a little out of the way in order to stop at White Springs, Georgia. This is where the Little White House of F. D. R. is located. We took a tour of the different rooms and we saw where he had his final stroke, and where he died.

              A very interesting thing about President Roosevelt is that he had polio. From the time he was a fairly young man he was crippled. : He wore braces on his legs, big heavy braces with leather straps to support his small legs. I saw, pictures of his legs. They were very thin -as big around as a man's wrist. Little pipe stem legs.

              He would roll around in his wheel chair. We were in World War Two.

              He didn't want the people to be discouraged, so when his aides, would ask him if he felt all right, he would say he was fine. When it carne time to be in front of the cameras for a news conference he would get out of the wheelchair, straighten his body, and say, “0. K. open the doors.” They would open the doors, the cameras; would begin to roll and he would walk on his painful legs and stand to say, “The war is going well.”

              I know a lot of handicapped people who have just quit. I talked to a lady not too long ago who was handicapped. She said, “I just can't get out of the house anymore. I am useless, I'd just as soon die.” Although I may not agree with all of his political views, I admire the fact that President Roosevelt did not quit.  He kept going. Because he ran, he became president.

              My dear friend if you are ever going to do anything for God, you have to run. Run, run, run, run with Patience.

              What if you make mistakes? , Well, if you cut your knee, you get back up and start running. If you're hurt, get up and start running. Run. If you fall down, get up and run, and after you run, run some more. Run, and run and run. How many people walk when they ought to be running for God. Run!

              You say, “Well that's nice for you to talk. You are young. You are impetuous. When you get older, you will learn to slow down. “Never, by God's grace! If I have to ride in a wheelchair, I'll put a motor on it so I can go faster. We need to run!                                                   Lee Roberson

 

 254                                        “SURELY SHE CAN RETIRE NOW"

 

              Mrs. Dawson was a talented Sunday School teacher. In her Sunday School class there was a young woman who had two outstanding talents. She had a marvelous singing voice and she had the gift of helping others. She loved children and wanted to help them. One day the young lady came to Mrs. Dawson's home and said, “I am going to be a grand opera singer. My father is sending me away to study, some day my name will be in bright lights on Broad-way. I am going to be a star.”

              The years went by and one day Mrs. Dawson was speaking in a southern city. This young woman came to her. Mrs. Dawson asked, “What are you doing now?” “I am the head of a hospital for crippled children,” replied the young lady.

              “What about your music?” Mrs. Dawson asked.

              The girl answered, “One day I went to a missionary society to sing. After my song a woman spoke. She had been on the mission field for many years. Her hair was gray. The lines of suffering showed on her face. She spoke of her work and I said to myself, ‘Surely she can retire now, she won't go back and live for those for whom Christ died,' but she did return and I thought of my puny selfish efforts. God spoke to me that day, so I went back to school, took a nursing course, and I am now running this crippled children's home and walking from room to room and bed to bed with the message of hope in Christ to the sick. Her compassion for the children was outstanding. She said to Mrs. Dawson, “I would rather have the privilege of helping these children than to be the greatest singer in the world.”

 

 255                                                       “ONLY SPARROWS AND GOD"

 

              I suppose you have heard the story of the sculptor who commenced to carve the figure of a small cherub high up in a great cathedral. He gave all his skill to it. He gave so much time to it that his fellow workmen began to laugh at him and said, “Why spend so much time on something that will not be seen?”  One workman said, “Why only the sparrows will see it hidden in that little niche.”

              Then the sculptor answered, “Only sparrows and God.”

 

 256                                                      THE STORY OF LOTTIE MOON

 

              Lottie Moon was born 1840 in Virginia as Charlotte Moon. She received the nickame Lottie because that is how she pronounced Charlotte.

              Lottie had 4 sisters and 2 brothers. Her mother and father were faithful Baptists.

              Lottie was an energetic curious tom-boy who always did things at a run. She wasn’t interested in church or giving her life to God for she always wanted to do things her way.

              I,ottie was strangely affected at the age of 10 by a story read to her by her mother. The story was about Ann Judson the missionary to Burma. Lottie was never to forget the story of the trials and torture of this missionary.

              At the age of 11 Lottie left home to go to Virginia Female Seminary. She was homesick and cried herself to sleep every night at first. Her studies required most of her time and she soon made many friends and found much mischief to get into.

              When Lottie returned home after a couple of years she hadn't changed much, but more restless than ever.

              At 17 Lottie returned to school to study for a trade. She went to Albermarle Female Institute. During her time in this school, she realized her need to accept Christ and dedicate her life to Christ in a service and she did so.

              When Lottie went home from school after earning her Master of Arts Degree she came home to war and debt and the loss of her father. Lottie began to teach her youngest sister Edmonia.  Through this she felt her calling was teaching.  She established schools in Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia. She was also busy in the Baptist Church teaching Sunday School and giving to the needy. She was able to save little for herself because there was always someone with a need. Lottie and her sister, Edmonia, were sending money yearly to China. Edrnon1a felt the calling to go to China as a missionary. Three years after her sister went to China.  Lottie surrendered to the Lord completely and joined Edmonia. She really had her work cut out for her. She had a long hard time learning the language. The people treated her with fear and distrust.

              Lott1e was in China for 10 years when her sister took ill and returned to America.. Lott1e was left alone in China to continue their work going from village to village daily teaching the people about Jesus.

              In time Lottie felt the need for other missionaries to come and help her. The mission told her they didn't have the money to support them. In 1887 women in the Southern region of America formed a women's organization to observe a week in December for special prayers & offerings known today as The Week of Prayer for Foreign Missions.

              In' 1899 war came to China. The men of the North came to destroy foreigners in China. They didn't destroy Christianity in China, but caused it to spread. There were now Christian hospitals and Christians were accepted more openly. Lottie had established 5 schools.

              Lottie Moon died in Japan in 1912 at the age of 72. She was on her way to America after a severe illness. Japanese law required that her body be cremated, but loving friends brought her ashes to America to be bur1ed in the little cemetery at Creee, Virginia.

              But that is not the end of her story. There is no end to the story of Lottie Moon because her work goes on. To Lottie, that would have been all that mattered. That was her only reason for living.

 

257                                                                HE SAW THE PLAY

 

              Those who read baseball history would remember the name of Christy Mathewson. He was a pitcher for the New York Giants. He won the first game that he pitched for them. Then he pitched many times and was quite a champion.

              At one time, the New York Giants were playing the Chicago Cubs for the championship of the year. It was .the last half of the ninth inning and the score was tied with two men out. A man was on first base awaiting the hit. The hit came and they were away. The runner from first base crossed the home plate for the winning run.

              Immediately, however, the run was challenged by Chicago.

              They claimed that the man running from first base had not touched second base. The teams were in a hot dispute. President Harry Pulliam of the National League was called in and he said, “Where's Christy Mathewson?.”

              Christy was called and was asked to state what he saw. Knowing that the meaning of the decision, the losing of the championship for the members of his team, and the extra money that goes along with the championship to the winners, Christy replied, “Merkel cut second base.” Christy and his .team lost the championship, but baseball won something far more important than a pennant. 

              Honesty is a lost quality in the world today.

  

258                               WHAT DO THESE PEOPLE HAVE IN COMMON?

 

 Mr. Welch of Welch's Grape Juice

 Mr. J.C. Kraft of Kraft Cheese Corporation

 Mr. Henry P. Crowell of Quaker Oats

 Mr. William Colgate of Colgate Soap

 Wallace Johnson, founder of Holiday Inns

 J.C. Penney of J.C. Penney Stores

 Mr. Albert Hyde of Mentholateum

 R.G. Letourneau of Letourneau College of Engineering

              They all put God first in their life and business. They started off their businesses asking God for wisdom in running them according to Christian principles. They started off giving Him a tithe and graduated to proportionate giving from 15% to over 25% of their profits. They were not content to give God leftovers and God was not content to bless them with leftovers. They were not content to be casual in their stewardship with God but made a pledge upon which they could "test God" according to His promise in Proverbs 3:9-10. "Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine."

  

259                                                           THE MEN OF THE PEW

 

              The men in the pew given to praying for the pastor are like poles which hold up the wires along which the electric current runs. They are not the power, neither are they the specific agents in making the Word of the Lord effective. But they hold up the wires upon which the divine power runs to the hearts of men. They make conditions favorable for the preaching of the Gospel.   E.M. Bounds

*FALSE  DOCTRINE*

 

 

 260                                                             TWO BUSHEL MEASURES

 

              The story is told of John Quincy Adams and his dramatic action before the houses of Congress. He walked upon the rostrum, carrying two bushel measures. Holding one in each hand, he said to the audience, “The bushel measure in my right hand comes from South Carolina. The one in my left hand comes from the city of New York. One of these bushel measures contains sixty-eight cubic inches more than the other one.” He stood silent for a few moments to let the implication sink in. Then he slowly placed them side by side on the floor. In the same deliberate way, he walked over to a little table and picked up two one-pound weights, the kind that were used on a set of balance scales to weigh produce.

              With measured words, he said, “This weight in my right hand comes from Massachusetts. This other one comes from Maine. One of them weighs nearly an ounce more than the other.” Again he waited for a few moments for everyone to grasp the problem. Then with a resonant voice he said, “Gentlemen, we need a standard measure and a standard weight for the United States of America.”

              Because of what was done by John Quincy Adams, there came into existence what is known as the Bureau of Weights and Measures. In this bureau, they say there is a set of scales so delicate that the man who wishes to weigh something accurately must stand at least ten feet away, lest the heat of his body upset the balance. It is also said that the balance is so delicate that it could weigh a wisp of smoke.

              I use that illustration to point out to you that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, must be our guide.  The only fountain of real truth is the Word of God, the Holy Bible.  All other writings and practices must be weighed in the light of its teachings.

  

261                                           SOME WOMEN (NOT ALL) OUT OF PLACE

 

              A dominant woman named Jezebel married and ruled an indecisive weak-kneed king named Ahab, poisoned the nation of Israel with the idolatrous worship of Baal and brought down the displeasure of God upon the nation.

              Many of the false religious cults that have spread the venom of spiritual confusion around the world and have been responsible for damning multitudes of eternal souls were founded by women who rejected God's plan for them as clearly revealed in the Bible.

              The damning cult of Spiritualism was founded by the Fox Sisters. The subtle and destructive cult of Seventh-Day Adventism had for its prophetess Ellen White. Theosophy was founded by Madam Elena Blavatsky. The blasphemous cult of so-called Christian Science, which is neither Christian nor scientific, was founded by Mary Baker Eddy. Then, too, we are reminded of the Four Square Gospel movement founded by Aimee Semple McPherson, who lived a questionable moral life and died a tragic death.

              In God’s word we find an example of what a woman can do for the Lord. “I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:  That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also”.  Romans 16:1-2    Lee Roberson

 

 262                                                                 A GOD LIKE ME

 

              In Kyoto, Japan, is an unusual place of worship called “The Temple of the Thousand Buddhas.”  On display inside the shrine are more than a thousand likenesses of Buddha, each just a little different from the others. They are there so the devotee can come in, find the one that looks the most like himself, and worship it. How sad! Yet, how much like people the world over.

              The god of self has become one of the most prevalent idols of the 20th century. Many people admire their gifts and talents, pride themselves in their ability to acquire material things, or serve the shallow lusts of the flesh. All their time and energy is spent in gratifying their own needs and desires. No wonder this era has been called the age of narcissism, named after a fictitious Greek god who spent long hours gazing at his own reflection in a pool.

  

263                                                                          TAKEN IN

 

              Some time ago an acquaintance of mine was “taken in” by a salesman who stopped at his place of business. Opening the trunk of his big, flashy car, he displayed some attractive jewelry. He said he had purchased the merchandise at tremendous discount, and was passing on the low prices to anyone interested in making a few extra dollars. Taking out one of the boxes, he offered to sell him some very expensive-looking watches. The name on the dials appeared to be one of the most well-known in the field. My friend was greatly impressed and bought several of them. After the peddler left, however, he examined his “bargain” more carefully and was surprised to discover that the trademark was not that of a famous make after all. Two letters in the name were different, but the print was so small he hadn't noticed it before. The watch straps were not genuine leather but “genuine lizard,” and on the back of the cases were the words “Swiss base metal.” An imprint on the dials seemed to indicate that these timepieces were electric, when actually they weren't even “self-winding.”

              The incident reminded me of what the Savior said in Luke 21:8, “Take heed that ye be not deceived.” Even as some in the business world cleverly pervert the facts and victimize their customers, there are also false teachers in the church who subtly distort the truth. They use scriptural terminology and appear to be orthodox. But beware! They are evil men who will lead you astray. Be firmly grounded on the Word of God and you won't be “taken in” by deceptive error.                                    R. W. DeHann

264                                                              CHRIST IS NEAR?

 

              A diver from Genoa, Italy, loved to explore the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic. As he was enjoying the undersea world one day, he thought about how wonderful it would be to place a statue of Christ down there. Then all who lived by the sea or died in its waters would have Christ near. Later, when he presented his idea to others, it caught on. People from all over Italy sent bronze and copper articles to be melted down. Soon an 8-foot statue of Christ was completed. On the day the 800-pound artifact was lowered to its place 56 feet below the surface of the sparkling waters, the diver said, “Now Christ is near the sailors and people who live on the seashore.”

              Although that man meant well, he failed to comprehend the wonderful truth of Scripture that Jesus is not limited by time or space. A statue or a picture, therefore, can't bring Him any closer. He is with us wherever we are, whether on land, in the air, or on the sea. Some believers have difficulty acknowledging Christ's nearness because He can't be seen. What they fail to appreciate is that the indwelling Holy Spirit is the one who manifests the Savior to them. When Jesus promised His disciples, “Lo, I am with you always” Matthew 28:20, He was guaranteeing His ever-abiding presence, even though He would no longer be with them in a physical body.

              As 20th-century followers of the Savior, we have the same assurance. Wherever we go, and whatever the situation, Christ is always near.

 

265                                   “SOMEONE GAVE ME THE WRONG ORDERS"

 

              Some years ago, a passenger train was rushing into New York as another train was emerging. There was a head-on collision. Fifty lives were lost. An engineer was pinned under his engine, frightfully injured. In his dying agonies, he held a piece of yellow paper crushed in his hand and said, “Take this. This will show you that someone gave me the wrong orders.”              

              Many will stand before the great white throne judgment and in their lost condition will cry out, “Someone gave us the wrong orders.”   

              “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  Acts 4:12

  

266                                               THE WRATH OF THE GREEN ANTS

 

              The fear of God is not merely an after-the-sin feeling of uneasiness. It's a whole way of life, involving a discerning mind and a deep sense of moral courage.

              I was reminded of this by an article in Time magazine. It stated that the world's richest uranium deposit had been discovered in a remote part of Australia. Assuming that mining rights could be easily obtained Red, industrialists began negotiating multimillion-dollar contracts for the sale of the ore. But they failed to take into account the aboriginal owners of the land, who refused to interfere with a colony of green ants located within 200 yards of the site. These people called this spot “he dreaming place of the ants,” and they believed that if the “allowed ground” was disturbed, the insects would turn into man-eating monsters. So strong was their feeling that they refused offers of nearly 14 million dollars. Given the choice between poverty and the wrath of the green ants, they decided to remain poor.

              Of course, the dread in the hearts of these people was unfounded, yet their respect for the “higher power” of the insects caused them to order their lives accordingly. So, too, a healthy fear of God should keep us from ever defying the Almighty. It is not a cowering emotion based on superstition; it is a deep sense of awe and reverence before a holy God, creating within us a genuine hatred of evil.   M.R. DeHann

  

267                                                            A SATANIC BAPTISM

 

              SAN FRANCISCO (UPI)-As well-proportioned brunette tiptoed through a hushed room decorated with a stuffed rat, two crows and a skull. She took off her clothes and lay down on a leopard skin covering a mantle. All was ready for the baptism of a child.

              Anton Szandor Lavey, who calls himself a sorcerer and the high priest of the First Church of Satan, baptized his gum chewing 3-year-old daughter Tuesday night as a hooded organist played “The Hymn of Satan.”

              The child, Zeena Galatea LaVey, sat quietly near the feet of the naked woman who formed the altar for the anti-religious ceremony. Her father, who claims to have 250 followers in San Francisco and 5,000 throughout the world, was robed and wore a hood that bore the horns of Satan. He said the mystic ceremony was the first such baptism in history.

              “I always felt it was wrong to consider that a child is born with black sin in his soul,” Lavey 37, said as his 24-year-old blonde wife stood by. “But that's how the Christian church considers baptism. This is a baptism in reverse. There is nothing purer than a child, so we are baptizing her to symbolize everything good and into a life of lust for life.”

              A 3-week-old girl had been scheduled to be baptized, but Zeena Galatea, whose name symbolizes a mythical woman without flaws, was substituted after the baby's grandparents objected.

              The 15-minute ceremony began when the woman took off her clothes. In such ceremonies the altar is always a naked woman. As LaVey tapped his daughter on the head with a. sword, five gowned priests gathered in a semicircle, then parted. The high priest toured the chamber, which contained a 19th century barber's chair and, a bookcase filled with horror books, ringing a bell and chanting to Satan.

              Zeena Galatea sat contentedly, chewing her gum and nestling against the naked leg of the woman on the mantle. About 40 persons, mostly reporters and photographers, attended the ceremony. LaVey pleased the photographers by performing the baptism three times. At one point the nude on the altar began laughing, presumably at what a bearded man had been, whispering to her.  “I don't mind her laughing,” said another of LaVey’s priestesses. “It's just her satanic nature coming out.”

 

 268                                    STANDING ON A PILAR FOR 17 YEARS

 

              In years gone by, there was a man who called himself Saint Simeon. This one stood on a pillar and looked up into the sky for seventeen years. He felt that this was the way to be saved and this was the way to serve God; but, you see, Saint Simeon missed the Word of God entirely. We are not told to stand on a pillar and look into the sky. We are told to enter into the work that Christ has given unto us. The early disciples stood gazing into heaven as Jesus ascended from them. Two men came and stood by in white apparel. They said that they would see the Lord Jesus again. These men said, “Why stand ye gazing up into heaven?” They simply meant that the disciples should return to Jerusalem. They should spend time in prayer, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and begin witnessing for the Savior.

              Standing on a lonely pillar like Simeon is foolish. Suppose a child should cry at his feet. He could not come down or look down.  If a family had some need he could be of no help to them.

 

 269                                              STEPS THAT LEAD NOWHERE

             

              As finite creatures, we sense that our earthly life and eternal destiny are somehow bound up with our Creator. Most religions of the world represent man's effort to reach up to God and become acceptable to Him. In China, for example, devout pilgrims ascend a sacred mountain called Taishan. They climb 7,000 steps to its summit, first passing through the "middle gate," then through "heaven's southern gate." Finally they reach one of the most beautiful buildings in all of China - the Temple of the Azure Cloud. Here they offer sacrifices, which the worshipers believe will gain God's favor. Such effort represents great religious fervor and futility, for it brings the devotee no closer to God than when he mounted the first step.

              By contrast, Christianity begins with the Creator of heaven and earth reaching down to man. In His holiness He is beyond the highest mountain peak, so far out of reach of sinful man that only He Himself could span the gulf. And that's exactly what He did. By the marvelous miracle of the incarnation, He became flesh and offered Himself a sacrifice for man's sin once for all. Then, after rising from the dead, He went back to Glory. This descent-ascent, with its accompanying eternal sacrifice, was for us. Our part is to confess that we are sinners, to renounce all efforts to earn our salvation, and to trust Him as our Savior.

              Are you still climbing endless steps of self-effort that lead nowhere? Why not take that one all-important step of faith in the Lord Jesus? It's the step that leads to heaven.                D.J.DeHann

 

 270                                                          A STRANGE SURVEY

 

              A Gallup poll was taken of ten countries with regard to Bible truths. Let me quote from this article: "Among the nations surveyed, Sweden showed the least attachment to traditional religious beliefs. Only seventeen per cent expressed belief in hell. Only six per cent expressed belief in God. At the other extreme, sixty- two per cent of the Greeks surveyed said they believed in God. In every other country surveyed, a majority said that morals are getting worse.

              Except for Greece, belief in hell was a minority opinion in all the countries surveyed. France had the second lowest percentage, twenty-two; and Norway the second highest, thirty-six.

              On the existence of hell, the Church of England members came out identical with the Swedes and below any other national average with seventeen per cent.

              Among Roman Catholics polled, ninety per cent believed in God and fifty-six per cent in hell.

              The summary of this survey was made, giving the following points: Religious beliefs are declining. Morals have also slumped.  Honesty is on the wane.  Happiness is becoming increasingly hard to find.  Peace of mind is rare.  Hardly anybody believes in the devil.

 

271                                           A DANGEROUS “YELLOW GOSPEL”

 

              BLOOD is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible and is essential to the doctrine of Christ's atonement. It lies at the very heart of the Gospel, for it is through “the blood of his cross” that Jesus reconciled us to God.  Colossians 1:20-23.

              Some years ago a terrible railroad accident occurred, killing many people. A commuter train had stalled on the tracks just minutes before a fast freight was due to arrive. A conductor was quickly sent to flag down the approaching “flier.”  Being assured that all was well, the passengers relaxed. Suddenly, however, the speeding freight train came bearing down upon them. The crash left a ghastly scene of horror. The engineer of the second train, who escaped death by jumping from the cab, was called into court to explain why he hadn’t stopped. “I saw a man waving a warning flag,” he said, “but it was yellow, so I thought he just wanted me to slow down.” When the flag was examined, the mystery was explained. It had been red, but because of long exposure to the sun and weather it had become a dirty yellow. Dr. Harry Ironside commented on this incident: “O the lives eternally wrecked by the 'yellow gospels' we are hearing today - the bloodless theories of unregenerated men that send their hearers to their doom instead of stopping them on their downward road!”

              Dear friend, only Christ and His sacrifice on the cross can redeem your soul.  Don't be deceived by an. anemic “yellow gospel” of works that is powerless to save you from everlasting destruction.

                          H.G.Bosch

  

272                                                         SATANIC NUPCIALS HELD

 

              Asking the blessings of Satan, a couple was married Tuesday night by a lion-tamer turned sorcerer who pronounced the match “conceived in hell.”

              Throughout the dark rite, a 500 pound lion on the back porch grumbled throatily and bashed the bars of his cage with his paws.

              The ceremony was chanted in San Francisco by Alton LaVey to wed Judith Case and John Raymond before a stone altar on which lay a nude women.

              The bride was black-gowned Judith Case, 26, graduate of Goucher College and daughter of Edward Haile Case, former member of the New York Power Authority.

              The bridegroom was John Raymond, 35, who described himself as “a member of the society.”

              Anton Szandor LaVey wore devil horns while performing his first wedding in the Victorian living room of his black-walled Satanist church. About 30 disciples of the self-styled priest of the Prince of Darkness witnessed the wedding, plus an equal number of reporters.

              As the sorcerer prepared for the ceremony, a nude girl with I long flowing red hair reclined on a purple velvet robe atop a mantle piece. That was to symbolize earthly pleasure, LaVey said.

              Flanking LaVey and the happy couple was the paraphernalia of the sorcery business, human skeletons, stuffed opossums and leopards, and a physician's examining table which later became a bar.

              Black hooded and robed, LaVey rang a gong, recited an ode to the satyr Pan, then uttered incantations in a guttural outpouring LaVey said was a language he invented.

              Occasionally Togilre, the lion, muttered out in back. Raymond placed a ring on the bride's finger.

              LaVey dismissed the question of the ceremony's legality. “I am an ordained clergyman in the Satanic church, which I founded and which the law may not recognize,” he said. No marriage license was obtained. “This marriage,” said LaVey was conceived not in heaven but in hell, which is the mold from which heaven was cast and which has kept religion alive from the beginning. LaVey held a sword over the couples' head as he pronounced the words.

              A black-walled nuptial chamber decorated with drawings of deadly nightshade awaited the couple, but first the party adjourned to a basement bar.  LaVey reached through a trap door in a closet and the couple was toasted with a vodka punch scented with oil of eucalyptus.

              In the middle of the festivities a fire engine, siren screaming, roared up in front of the mansion and firemen waving axes leaped out. Someone had turned in a false alarm.

 

*HELL*

 

 

 273                                                               THE CHILE AND HELL         

 

              A Spanish evangelist of Mexican descent, that resided and worked in Texas, was invited to preach in an English speaking church.   Thinking that they would invite him to eat, and because the food never was quite seasoned like he was accustomed too, he took a few spicy chilies in his coat pocket.

              After the service the pastor invited him to eat in his home.  When they sat down at the table, he took out his spicy chilies and put them near his plate.  The host, out of curiosity and upon seeing the pleasure he got as he ate the chilies, requested a chili.  Without thinking twice, he put the whole chili in his mouth.  As he began to chew it he noticed that his mouth began to burn and he left running to the kitchen to rinse his mouth with lots of water.

              Upon returning to the dining room, he put his hand on the shoulder of his good friend and companion, and very solemnly said: "Angel, I knew that you believed in the hell, but I didn’t know that you carried it in your pocket!"

  

274                                                                     NO WAY OUT

 

              Dr. R. G. Lee was talking about the place called hell when he told the story of Joseph Holmes, a man who was put in prison for twenty years. In the eighth year of his twenty year sentence the matter of the time that he had to serve began to prey on his mind. He thought about digging himself out of the prison. He made a drill by inserting a nail in the end of a stick sixteen inches long and an inch in diameter and began boring holes close together in the slate floor of his cell. It took him forty days to cut through the slate and form a trap door.

              Then, he tackled the ten inches of concrete beneath. He used a chisel stolen from the workshop, wrapping it in cloth to deaden the sound of the pounding. He could work only when the radio was blaring over the prison broadcast system during the early evenings. It took five to six months to pound through the concrete, pulverizing every chunk so he could flush it down the toilet. And, remember, every half hour a guard came by to check his room.

              When he got through the concrete, he tackled the dirt beneath this first floor cell. He dug straight down for about six feet and began angling slightly toward the outside. He used anything that he could for digging. He went down to a depth of twenty- six feet. He ran into water. To solve this, he scooped out a large underground drain and bailed the water. Some nights he carried more than one hundred gallons. Twenty months after he started the project, he came up under the topsoil outside the prison. He squinted up through the fine matting of grass to see light. He squirmed back through the entire seventy-two feet into his cell and waited for the big moment.

              The big moment was 1:00 o'clock on Sunday morning. He took $152 he had made running a numbers game in the prison. He slipped into the tunnel mouth. It took him forty-five minutes to wriggle the length of the tunnel then he broke through the final layer of topsoil and pulled himself into the fresh air. He easily scaled the seven-foot iron fence and found himself free for awhile. His freedom did not last for he soon was recaptured.

              Dr. R. G. Lee, the eloquent preacher of Memphis, said, “But no escape from hell has ever been made or can ever be made by the inhabitants of hell. Once there, always there. Once in, never out. 'Exit' is a word not in the hard vocabulary of hell. 

              Jesus said this about hell:  “But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence.”  Luke 16:25-26

 

 275                                                         NO WAY OUT OF HELL

 

              From Doylestown, Pennsylvania comes this report of a remarkably amazing escape from jail. Here is the newspaper report: “Burks County prison officials reported ‘the most amazing escape’ they ever encountered. Warden Earl D. Handy said Robert Henderson. 22 year old Philadelphian held on e car theft charge apparently used a small piece of steel from en old lock and several short lengths of lumber to break out of a solitary confinement cell; smash through a steel mesh grating; break the panes of a closely leaded window; then squeeze his 170 pounds through a space of five and one half by 13 inches he had sprung between two one-inch steel bars; scale a 10-foot steel barbed wire fence and then climb over a 31-foot wall.

              But nobody has ever escaped from Hell concerning which Dr. Harry Ironside once said: “Hell is God’s well-ordered prison house; the lake of fire. In this penitentiary ‘Exit’ is a word not in the vocabulary of Hell and a departure from Hell is an experience nobody has ever had. On earth in many places you see the words: “This way out” or “exit” but no man in Hell has ever found his way out.

 

 276                                                          NAPOLEON IN HELL

 

              Somewhere I heard about a picture entitles “Napoleon in Hell”.  It pictured the little General Napoleon in Hell.  Here was his hell.  Around him were gathered all the mothers he had left with dead little babies.  Around him were gathered all the little orphaned children caused by his tyranny.  Around him were gathered all the widows who were left because of Napoleon’s ruthlessness.  Napoleon had to look at them, had to look forever in Hell at those orphans, at those widows, at those maimed bodies, and the empty places in the homes.  He had to look forever at those because Hell was the conscience of thinking of the awful things he had done on this earth.    Jack Hyles

 

 277                                                   THERE IS NO WATER IN HELL

 

              A few months ago a party of workmen were putting a new roof on the house next door. The heat was dreadful and I heard one middle-aged man remark that they had not had a cool drink since they had been on the job.

              I filled a pitcher with ice water and taking it over offered it to him. As he took it he made the remark, “I expect I drink a half gallon of water every day during the hot weather.” I told him I drank that much also. Then I added, “I am so glad I am saved and going to heaven for there will be no water in hell. A lake, but it will be of fire and brimstone but not one drop of water.” He seemed startled for a moment, and then asked, “Is that right?”

              I answered saying, “It surely is. Don't you remember the story Jesus told in the 16th chapter of St. Luke about the rich man Dives who, being in hell, lifted up his eyes and saw the poor beggar, Lazarus, in Paradise and asked Abraham to allow him to just dip the tip of his finger in water and touch his tongue, for he was tormented in the flames.” Never until that moment did the full horror of that truth strike to the very depth of my heart - NO WATER IN HELL - NO WATER IN HELL - it kept ringing in my ears.

              There is nothing so refreshing to a tired, hot, thirsty person as a large glass of ice cold water. Jesus offers the Water of Life to thirsty souls, yet people day after day reject Christ and on Sunday spend their time fishing, or in theatres, parks, beaches, cafes and other places, but have no desire for the things of Christ.                                                                                                               Lee Roberson

 

 278                                                  THE ETERNAL HOME OF THE LOST

 

Mids't choking fumes from the sulphur lake,

The lost of this earth shall dwell,

No hope, no comfort can they claim

For this is the place called "Hell."

No light of the sun ever reaches this place,

Nor song of a bird can they hear,

But weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth,

And darkness, torture and fear.

 

“Too late for repentance,” is the cry of each heart,

For earth they rejected God's love,

And now for eternity their doom they must face,

No help can be sent from above.

 

As the tree has fallen, so must it lie,

Is the law our Lord has laid down;

“For once the door of mercy is closed

No hope for a robe and a crown.”

 

 

O sinner, be warned while yet there is time,

And the eyes of the Saviour still plead,

Leave the primrose path, tread one called ‘straight’

And you’ll find that to Glory it leads.

 

 279                                      THE MODERNIST PREACHER ENTERING HELL

 

He was an ordained minister, but modern in his views,

He preached his doctrines to people in the pews.

He would not hurt their feelings, what'er the cost would be,

But for their smiles and friendship and compliments sought he.

His church was filled with wicked souls that needed be saved from sin

But never once he showed the Way or tried a soul to win

He preached about the lovely birds that twitter in the trees,

The babbling of the running brooks. the murmuring of the seas.

 

He quoted fancy poetry that tickled listing ears;

When sorrow came to some, he tried to laugh away their tears,

His smooth and slippery sermons made the people slide to hell

The harm he did by preaching goes beyond what we can tell.

He took our Holy Bible, and preached it full of holes,

The Virgin Birth, said he, can't be believed by honest souls,

The miracles of Jesus and the resurrection tale

To educated ones like us, today, cannot avail.

We're living in an age, said he, when wisdom rules and reigns,

When man's intelligence is great and superstition wanes.

 

He said, we're all God's children who live upon this earth,

No message of salvation, no need of second birth,

His coat was bought with money that he had wrongly gained,

For through his lying sermons his wealth he had obtained.

He was just like the soldiers that watched at Jesus' grave,

For money in abundance, to them, the people gave;

It all was theirs by telling what was a sinful lie -

A resurrected Savior, they, too were to deny.

 

The day at last had come for the minister to die,

When to his congregation he had to say good-bye.

His form lay cold and lifeless, his ministry was past,

His tongue with all its poison was hushed and stilled at lat

His funeral was grand, he was lauded to the skies-

The preached him into heaven, (so they thought) where there are no good-bys.

Upon the lonely hill, underneath the shady trees,

His form was laid to rest in the whispering of the breeze

 

A tombstone was erected with the words: “He is at rest,

He's gone to heaven's glories to live among the blest.”

His body now is lifeless, but Ah! his soul lives on,

He failed to enter in where they thought that he had gone.

The letters on the tombstone or that sermon some had heard,

Could not decide his destiny, twas not the final word.

He still had God to deal with, the one who knows the heart;

While others entered heaven, he heard the word, “Depart.”

He pauses for a moment upon the brink of hell;

He stares into a depth where he evermore will dwell.

He hears the cries and groanings of souls he had misled,

He recognizes faces among the screaming dead-

He sees departed deacons which he once highly praised,

Their fingers pointing at him as they their voices raised:

“You stood behind the pulpit, and lived in awful sin,

We took you for a saint, but a serpent you have been.”

Accusing cries! he hears them, ,. Ah! You have been to blame,

You led us into darkness when you were seeking fame,

 

You preached your deadly poison, we thought you knew the way,

We fed you and we clothed you, we even raised your pay.

You've robbed us of a home where no tear-drops ever flow,

Where days always fair and the heav'nly breezes blow,

Where living streams are flowing, and saints and Angels sing,

Where everyone is happy, and Hallelujahs ring,

We're in this place of torment, from which no soul returns;

We hear the cry of lost ones, we feel the sizzling burns;

Give us a drop of water, we're tortured in this flame;

You failed to preach salvation to us through Jesus' Name."

 

The preacher turns in horror, he tries to leave the scene,

He knows the awful future for every soul unclean,

But there h~ meets the devil, whom he had served so well,

He feels the demon powers, they drag him into hell.

Throughout eternal ages, his groans, too, must be heard-

He, too, must suffer torment- for he failed to heed God's Word,

He feels God's wrath upon him, he hears the hot flames roar,

His doctrine now is different, he ridicules no more,

By Oscar C. Eliason,

 

              The Bible tells us to “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Many will say to me in that day. Lord, have we not prophesied i thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matt. 7:22-23.

 

 280                                                        HELL, WHAT IT IS

 

A lake of fire - Revelation   20:15

A bottomless pit - Revelation 20:1

A horrible tempest - Psalm 11:6

A devouring fire - Isaiah 33.14

A place of sorrows - Psalm 18:5

A place where they wail - Matthew 13:42

A place of weeping - Matthew 8:12

A furnace of fire - Matthew 13:41, 42

A place of torments - Luke 16:23

 Place of Everlasting - burnings Isaiah 33:14

A place of filthiness - Revelation 22:10, 11

A place where they curse God - Revelation 16:11

A place of everlasting destruction - 2 Thessalonians 1:9

A place of outer darkness - Matthew 25:30

A place where they have no rest - Luke 16:27

A place where people pray - Luke 16:27

A place where they can never repent - Matthew 12:32

A place where they scream for mercy - Luke 16:24

A place of, everlasting punishment - Matthew 25:46

A place where they gnaw their tongues - Revelation 16:10

A place of blackness and darkness forever - Jude 13

A place prepared for the Devil and his angels - Matthew 25:41

A place where they scream for one drop of water - Luke 16:24

A place where they will be tormented with brimstone - Revelation 14:10

A place where there are dogs, sorcerers and whoremongers - Revelation 22:15

A place where they will drink the wine of the wrath of God - Revelation 14:10

A place where their Worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched - Mark 9:48

A place where they do not want their loved ones to come Luke 16:28

By E. A. Fergerson

 

*HUMILITY*

 

 

 281                                                           THE HUMILITY REWARDED 

 

              Some years ago there was a small Christian university that needed money.  The buildings were in precarious condition and the wages had not been paid for several months. One day a stranger appeared on the campus and asked a man who was cleaning a wall, where he could find to the president’s office.  "I Believe you will find him in that building at twelve o’clock," was the answer.  The visitor went to the building he had indicated and met with the president, which he recognized as the same man he had seen cleaning, although dressed differently.  The following day a letter with a contribution of $50.000 dollars for the university arrived.  The humble spirit of service on the part of the president had won the admiration of the visitor.  The benefactor saw a man that was not to proud to help where it was necessary, even though some would call it a humble task, and he was motivated to contribute generously to the school. 

 

 282                                             THE HUMILITY OF THE PRESIDENT

 

              In spite of the fact that he was extremely busy during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln often visited the hospitals in order to encourage the wounded.  On one occasion he saw a youth that was dying:  “Is there something I can do for you?” the compassionate president asked. "Please write a letter to my mother," was the faint answer.  Without the soldier recognizing him, the president of the nation sat down and wrote as the youth dictated:  “My dear mother: I was terribly wounded during the battle.  May God bless you and Dad.  Please give a kiss to Mary and to John for me.”  The youth was too weak to continue, so Lincoln signed the letter on his behalf and added a note: "Written for your son by Abraham Lincoln."  Asking if he could see the letter, the soldier was surprised upon discovering who had shown him so much kindness. “Are you really our president?”, he asked.   “Yes,” was the modest answer.   “And now, is there anything else I can do for you?”  The youth weakly answered: “Please, could you hold my hand?  I believe it would help me reach the end.”  The important and humble man granted his petition offering warm and comforting words until death came near dawn.

 

 283                                              RISING ABOVE THE COMMONPLACE

 

              A college girl, a fine scholar and one who had a noble spirit, was spending the summer as counselor in a girl’s camp, and among her other duties she was expected to help out in the kitchen. One day she was busy peeling potatoes when the head of the camp came and spoke to her.

              “It's too bad,” she said, “that a young woman of your education should have to peel potatoes.” The college girl looked up brightly and answered: “But, Miss Baldwin, I don't have to think about potatoes while I am peeling them.”

              That was a Pauline utterance. “Whatsoever things are lovely. ...think on these things.” Our minds are ours, though our fingers may be hired out. Drudgery, fortunately, may be done, and well done, automatically. We can “sweep a room as by God's laws” because God's laws and not the dust may be filling our minds as we sweep. And even humdrum tasks require constant attention as we work, there is an upper self that may be living at the same time, and communing with the angels!   Amos R. Wells.

 

 

284                                                       THE REWARD OF HUMILITY

 

              A truly humble man is hard to find. Yet God smiles upon such selfless people. Booker T. Washington, a Negro, was a shining example of this truth. Shortly after he took charge of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, he was walking in an exclusive section of town when he was stopped by a wealthy white woman. Not knowing the famous Mr. Washington by sight, she asked if he would like to earn a few dollars by chopping wood for her. Because he had no pressing business at the moment, Professor Washington smiled, took off his coat, and proceeded to do the humble chore she had requested. When he was finished, he obediently carried the logs into the kitchen. A servant girl recognized him, and later revealed to her mistress his true identity. The next morning the embarrassed woman went to his office in the institute and apologized profusely, saying, “I didn't know it was you I put to work.” “It's perfectly all right, Madam,” the renowned black educator replied. “Occasionally I enjoy a little manual labor. Besides, it's always a delight to do something for a friend.” She shook his hand warmly and assured him that his meek and gracious attitude had endeared him and his work to her heart. Not long afterward she showed her admiration by persuading her wealthy acquaintances to join her in giving thousands of dollars to the Tuskegee Institute.

              Remember, no task is too menial for a Christian to perform if he does it as unto the Lord. Because it is a healthy deflator of the ego, lowly activity brings with it not only the respect of men but the favor of God. This is humility's sure reward. -H. G. Bosch

 

 285                                                                      HARD WORK

 

              I was reading a story about Booker T. Washington this week. He was trying to gain admittance to a college. The head teacher said to him: “The adjoining recitation room needs sweeping. Take your broom and sweep it.”

              Booker T. Washington said, “I knew how to sweep. I had been taught to sweep and how to dust. I swept the recitation room three times. I got a dusting cloth and dusted it four times. I went over the woodwork around the walls, every bench, table, and desk. I moved every chair, dusted every corner. When I finished I reported this to the head teacher.”  She came in and looked it over; rubbed her hand on the floor. She inspected the closets. She rubbed her handkerchief on the tables and benches, and when she didn't find one single speck of dirt she said to Booker Washington, “I guess you will do to enter this institution.”

              I like that story - it is good for white and black. In this day of lazy people, we need people who are determined to work aggressively and faithfully. Someone said there are three rules to holding a job without a rope.  First, hard work. Secondly, have a purpose in your work. Thirdly, go the extra mile. Proverbs 22:29 says: “Seest thou a I man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings. . .”.   Lee Roberson

 

 286                                                       "FOR THE GOSPEL'S SAKE"

 

              General Charles G. Gordon was an outstanding man of God. When the English government wanted to reward him for his distinguished service in China, he declined all money and titles. Finally, after much urging, he accepted a gold medal inscribed with his name and a record of his accomplishments. Following his death, however, it could not be found among his belongings. It was learned that on a certain date he had sent it to Manchester during a famine with the request that it be melted and used to buy bread for the poor. In his private diary for that day were written these words: “The only thing I had in this world that I valued, I have now given to the Lord Jesus.” His love for the Savior had constrained him to relinquish his one treasured possession for the relief of the destitute. He would not cling to earthly honor, but casting its last vestige aside, he sought only to serve the Master “for the gospel's sake.”

              Have you laid your all upon the altar and become a bondservant of Jesus Christ? Then your song and prayer will be, “Strengthen heart and head and nerve; all Thy bidding to fulfill. Savior, let me selfless be, serving others- serving Thee!” -H. G. Bosch

 

287                                                      CHANGING PLACES

 

              On one occasion the famous educator Booker T. Washington was in Washington at the invitation of the president.  He asked a taxi driver to take him to the White House but he refused.  He then asked him if he could drive the carriage and the driver sit inside, which he agreed to do.  Booker T. Washington drove the carriage to the train station, paid the fare and went on his way. 

              This act of humility reminds us of the humility of our Saviour.  The Bible says: “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”.  Philippians 2:7-8

 

 288                                                           STOOP AND DRINK

 

              In the State of Arkansas I saw a drinking fountain that had a sign above it. It said: “stoop and drink”.  A man went to get a drink and looked for a button or handle to turn the water on but found none.  When he stooped an electric eye turned it on. 

              That is how sinners must come to the Saviour.  They must be willing to stoop in humility and confess their sins to the Saviour.

 289                                                  NOT ASHAMED OF HIS PAST

              Some years ago at a gathering the wife of the vice president of one leading banks in Los Angelis told this story.

              A few weeks after our marriage my husband and I were invited to an elegant dinner in a fine restaurant.  One of the guests, a young lady showed an interest in my husband and said she thought she knew him from someplace.

              “Were you at the graduation of my brother John?  Did you study at Harvard?” 

              “No”, was the reply.

              “Was it in Palm Springs, or maybe in Miami?”

              “No, I haven’t been in any of these places”, was the answer.

              The young lady kept asking until everyone was tired of her insistence.

              The young mans wife finally whispered to the young lady,  my husband was your milkman.  Everyone laughed. 

              Later someone asked the vice president of the bank if he forgave his wife for the joke. 

              He said, “certainly, because I had been her milkman when I was in college”.  I have never been ashamed of my past or become proud because of my present position.

              This was an example true humility.

 

290                                                            FORGET MY NAME

 

              A really humble person will do things for others without expecting something in return.

              Jean Frederick Oberlin who was a famous pastor in Germany during the 18th century, told of a person he once met with this attitude.  He said he once was on his way to a meeting in the country and was overtaken by a snowstorm.  He lost his way and finally in desperation sat down to pray.   A man in a carriage soon came along and offered him a ride to the next town where he was going to preach.  Soon they were at their destination and when he got out of the carriage he asked for the man’s name so he could send him a small token for his help.  The man had by then recognized his famous guest and told him to tell him the name of the Good Samaritan.  The pastor responded that he couldn’t because it was not given in the Bible.  The man then asked that his not be given and went on his way.

  

291                                                  SERVING THE KING OF KINGS

 

              Sir Thomas Moore, the famous poet laurel of Ireland during the 18th century was accustomed to attend church in the small town called Chelsea where he lived..  He gratefully put on a choir robe and sang in the local choir.  On one occasion the governor of Norfolk came to have dinner with him.  The governor was surprised to find his friend in church and singing with the humble members of the congregation.

              After church while they walked to the poet’s house, the governor exclaimed, “the poet laurel of Ireland singing in the choir of this humble church.  You dishonor your position and your king”.   Sir Thomas Moore responded by saying that his king would not be offended by his serving the King of kings.

 

 292                                           NO ROOM FOR THE VICE PRESIDENT

 

              Near the end of the 18th century the owner of the largest hotel in Boston refused a room to a man dressed in farmer’s clothes because he thought that this man would bring disrespect to his hotel.  The man left and a few hours later someone told him he had rejected the vice president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson.  He immediately sent a messenger asking him to return to the hotel.  Jefferson sent a note back saying that if a humble farmer was not welcome in the hotel, the vice president wasn’t welcome either.

              In the same way many people don’t have room for our Saviour when He comes their way.  We sometimes forget that he may come on the form of a small child needing attention, or as a humble widow needing a word of encouragement or a tired worker needing a word of recognition for his work.

              Jesus said:  “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me”.

Matthew 25:40

  

293                                                          HUMBLE WORKS

 

              Why do some professing Christians feel offended when asked to do a simple task in the church.  I once heard of an assistant in a church complain that his work was below his talents and abilities.  Some think that the soul of a humble beggar has less value to God than the soul of the apostle Paul.  Some feel offended when asked to visit in a poor part of the city or give out tracts in a public place.  The forget that Jesus himself was poor and had no certain place where to lay his head at night, Luke 9:58. 

              We sometimes forget that the towel Jesus washed the disciple’s feet with had much greater value than the purple robe that Caesar wore.  The place of service in the Lord’s work is a place of honor in Heaven.  Our seat in church is of greater value that a seat in congress.

 

*JESUS*

 

 

294                                                                      FAMOUS TOMBS 

 

              The pyramids of Egypt are famous because they once contained the mummified bodies of Egyptian leaders.  The Westminster Abbey, in the city of London, is famous because it contains the tombs of many of England’s kings and noblemen.  The Arlington Cemetery in the city of Washington is revered because it is the honorable place where many famous soldiers and prominent Americans are buried. 

              But between the tomb of Christ and these places exists a great difference, like the difference between night and day.  These places are famous and attract visitors from far and wide for what they contain; while the tomb of Christ is famous for what it DOESN’T contain.

 

 295                                                            HEAVEN WITHOUT JESUS?

 

              The very well-known composer John W. Peterson has written thousands of hymns.  When he began to compose melodies and verses he was at times rejected by the publishers.  One such occasion especially bothered him.  He had just written a beautiful hymn “Beyond the Ivory Palaces” after meditating about the glorious day in which we will enter in the joy of the Heaven and will see our Saviour.  Believing that the message and the melody would be a blessing to others, Peterson wanted to know if somebody would publish it.  The first music editor he met was pleased with the hymn, but said: “I would like to use it, but I want to make a small suggestion, eliminate the name of Jesus, and talk a little more about Heaven.”  Peterson sat down in silence for a moment. Heaven without Jesus? This was unimaginable!  So, he took his manuscript and left.  But God honored him and rewarded him for being true to the Bible.  Soon there came to his mind another hymn that expressed the rejection he had felt in his heart.  “All Hail the Power of Jesus Name”.  Both of these hymns were finally published, and through the years have given comfort and blessing to millions of people.  John Peterson knew that a Heaven without Christ could not exist.

 

 296                                                      DON’T FORGET HIS DEATH             

 

              José Domingo, told this story to a friend.  When I was a boy more than 40 years ago, my younger brother was seriously hurt in an accident.  A highway passed beside our house which had very little traffic.  But one day, when my brother crossed on his bicycle, a speeding car ran over him and he was killed.  Mr. Domingo said: “Later, when my father picked up the that bicycle, I heard him cry for the first time in my life.  After the funeral he took the bike to a place in the barn that we rarely used.  The terrible pain of my father was relived as the time passed, but for many years, whenever he saw that bicycle, the tears would run down his cheeks”.  The older brother continued, “From that time, I have prayed frequently that the memory of Jesus death would not be forgotten.  Every time that I participate in the Lord’s Supper, my heart becomes warmed as I think about what He did for me. I pray  that the Lord’s Supper will never become a mere formality, but rather that it will always be a sweet and moving experience”.

 

 297                                                       DOWN FROM HIS GLORY

 

              The land of Persia was once ruled by a wise and beloved Shah who cared greatly for his people and desired only what was best for them. One day he disguised himself as a poor man and went to visit the public baths. The water for the baths was heated by a furnace in the cellar, so the Shah made his way to that dark place to sit with the man who tended the fire and the Shah befriended him in his loneliness When it was lunch time the two men shared the coarse food of the worker, and week after week the ruler went to visit the man. The worker became attached to this stranger because he “came where he was” (Luke 10:33). One day the Shah revealed his true identity, and he expected the man to ask him for a gift. Instead, he looked long into his leader's face and with love and wonder in his voice said, “You left your palace and your glory to sit with me in this dark place, to eat my coarse food, and to care about what happens to me. On others you may bestow rich gifts, but to me you have given yourself!”

              As we think of what our Lord has done for us, we can echo that fire tender's sentiments. Oh, what a step our Lord took-from heaven to earth, from the worship of angels to the mocking of cruel men, from glory to humiliation! To provide our salvation, Jesus came in human flesh, took upon Himself the form of a servant, and “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). What a sacrifice that our great Creator became our Savior! Surely He deserves our heartfelt worship and humble adoration.

 

298                                                                  HE MUST BE KING

 

              Years ago Dr. Henry Jowett was speaking with regard to the coronation of Edward VII. He said that he sat in Westminister Abbey and watched the honorable assembling of princes, princesses, earls, dukes, and so on. Dr. Jowett said, “There was much bowing and respect shown as these people of high degree entered. But when the king arrived, all eyes left the people of lesser rank and were fastened r on the king.”

              “So,” said Dr. Jowett, “literature, art, and science hold our attention but when Jesus Christ comes into our hearts and lives, He must be King. All lesser subjects must take their lesser place.”

 

 299                                                              A BRICK AND A STONE

 

              Ten million bricks were delivered to the Empire State Building during its construction in the city of New York. Exactly 9,999,999 went into the building itself but one was left over. It is on display on one of the exhibition floors near the top.

              When King Solomon’s Temple was built, legend says that one stone was left over. Peter said that stone was a type of Christ, and so did David.

              “Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.”  1 Peter 2:6-8.

              “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” Psalm 118:22.

What a difference between that brick in New York and that stone mentioned by Peter.

1. That brick is lifeless but Jesus is very much alive.

2. That brick is useless, sits idle with nothing to do but Jesus is useful, saving people every day.

3. The brick has to be held up, supported by more than 100 floors of steel and concrete but Jesus holds His building up. He is the chief cornerstone.

4. That brick was accepted and put on display but Jesus was rejected and broken on the cross.

5. That brick is valueless but Jesus is precious.

6. That brick points to mud hardened by heat in a kiln but Jesus points to the Rock, Himself, from which a chip has never been flaked. Not mud- Rock!

              And there is a difference between the mud of lost, sin-mired humanity and the granite of eternal omnipotent Deity. Jesus Christ built the church on Himself and not on backslidden, bragging, blubbering Simon!

              “And I say also unto thee, that thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church: and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18.

By Evangelist Joe Boyd

 

 300                                                      THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN

 

              A man traveling in unfamiliar territory came to a place where he had to cross some very high mountains. Knowing it would be difficult, he looked for a qualified guide. When one man offered his services, the tourist asked, “Have you ever been to the village where I want to go?” “No,” he replied, “but I've been part of the way, and have been told how to proceed from there.” The traveler answered, “I’m sorry, but you won't do.” Then another volunteered, and he too was asked, “Have you ever been to that town?” “No, but I've been to the top of the mountain and looked down on the road that leads to it.” The man replied, “I'm afraid that despite the knowledge you have, I wouldn't dare trust myself to your leading.” Finally a third said that he knew the way perfectly. When asked the same question as the others, he exclaimed, “Sir, the village where you are going is my home!” The traveler knew immediately that this was the guide he needed.

              Many today seek the path to the City of God. Various religions with their partial insights offer dubious help, but only Christ, whose eternal abode is Heaven, can say with authority, “I AM THE WAY.” Without Him you can never reach the Father's house

 

 302                                                                          JESUS

 

              Jesus was the poorest man who ever walked the dirt roads of earth. Born in poverty and reared in obscurity, He yet lived to enrich mankind. A stable was His birthplace, a manger His cradle. For twenty years He worked as a carpenter in a poverty-stricken and despised village which bore the scorn of man as they asked, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” He began His ministry at the Jordan River, with no organization to support Him, no patrons to enrich Him. He publicly began a life of poverty that ended at the tomb. He preached without price, and with miracles without money. As far as we know, He never possessed the value of one dollar. How pathetic His words, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air their nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”

              He was an itinerant preacher whose parish was the world. When invited, He entered men's homes for dinner. When unasked, He went hungry. He sought breakfast from the leafing fig tree, but found none. He ate grain from His hands as He walked through fields of corn. His support came from the gifts of a few women, and His treasurer stole part of the pittance put therein. He walked on over the hills of Judea and by the waters of Galilee enriching men, Himself the poorest of all. He slept often under the open sky, in the wilderness without food, by Jacob's well without water, in the crowded city without a home. Thus He lived and loved toiled and died. His value was thirty pieces of silver when sold-the price of a slave, the lowest estimate of human life.

              So poor was He that He needs must carry His own cross through the city until, fainting, He fell. In a potter's field He was nailed to that cross between two thieves, stripped of His robe the gift of love, for which inhuman soldiers gambled as He died. With no estate with which to endow His weeping and widowed mother, He bequeathed her to the love of the beloved disciple.  Then He gave His peace to His disciples, His blood to pardon the sins of the world, his body to the cross, and His spirit to God. His burial clothes were the gift of a friend and He was laid at last in a borrowed grave.

              Truly, Jesus Christ was the poorest man that ever walked the dirt roads of this earth.&