Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A LETTER



Some time ago an 18-year-old girl from Washington State attended a worship service. For the first time in her life she heard the gospel message. The following Tuesday the members of the church received a letter from her. It read:

Dear Church Members,

Last Sunday I attended your church & I heard the preacher. In the sermon the preacher said that all men have sinned & rebelled against God. Because of their rebellion & disobedience they all face eternal damnation & separation from God.

But then he also said God loves man & sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to redeem men from their sins & that all those who believe in Him would go to Heaven & live with God eternally.

My parents recently died in rapid succession. I know they did not believe in Jesus Christ, whom you call the Savior of the world. If what you believe is true, they are damned. You compel me to believe that either the message is true, that you yourself don't believe this message, or that you don't care. You see, we live only three blocks from your church & no one ever told us.

- (ministry127.com)

“The Christian that is bound by his own horizon, the church that lives simply for itself, is bound to die a spiritual death and sink into stagnancy and corruption. We never can thank God enough for giving us not only a whole Gospel to believe, but a whole world to give it to.” - A.B. Simpson.

Mar 16:15-16 (ISV): Then he (Jesus) told them, “As you go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to everyone. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever doesn’t believe will be condemned.”

His fellow soldiers trusted him



Dr. Will H. Houghton tells of a soldier who ultimately was made a Christian believer through seeing his companions make fun of another soldier who was a believer in Christ.

The thing that impressed him was the fact that, though they made fun of this man, they left their money in his possession for safekeeping.

- Sunday School Times. (moreillustrations.com)

Pro 28:20 (ISV): “The faithful man will prosper with blessings, but whoever is in a hurry to get rich will not escape punishment.”

“Every day you are witnessing. What are you witnessing to? Your witness is the total package of your attitudes, character, and actions. It does not lie.” - Winkie Pratney.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

GIVING TO THE LORD'S WORK



Henry Crowell contracted Tuberculosis as a boy. After hearing D. L. Moody preach, he prayed, “I can’t be a preacher, but I can be a good business man. God, if You will let me make money, I will use it in Your service.”

He later started the Quaker Oats company & consistently gave 60-70% of his income to the Lord’s work.

Source: ‘The One Year Book of Devotions for Men on the Go’ - Stephen, Pam & Bill  (ministry127.com)

“What makes the Dead Sea dead? Because it is all the time receiving, never giving out anything. Why is it that many Christians are cold? Because they are all the time receiving, never giving out anything.” -  D.L. Moody.

2 Cor 8:12 (NLT): “If you are really eager to give, it isn’t important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don’t have.”

“After giving something to God, you are no longer accountable for it. Your blessing is based on your giving, not on what others do with the gift.” - Ed Cole.

INVESTING TIME



Charles Francis Adams, son of President John Quincy Adams & grandson of President John Adams, kept a diary.

One day he entered: “Went fishing with my son today - a day wasted.”

His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary, which is still in existence. On that same day, Brook Adams made this entry: “Went fishing with my father - the most wonderful day of my life!”

The father thought he was wasting time while fishing with his son, but his son saw it as an investment of time.
The only way to tell the difference between wasting & investing is to know one’s ultimate purpose in life & to judge accordingly.

- from: ‘Better Dads, Stronger Sons’ by Rick Johnson (ministry127.com)

1Ti 3:5 (ISV): “For if a man does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?”

“I believe the family was established long before the church, and my duty is to my family first. I am not to neglect my family.” - D.L. Moody.

Ecc 3:1 (NET): “For everything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth.”

Friday, February 5, 2016

FASTING



John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, refused to ordain anyone who did not fast two days in a week. It seems he felt that anyone who could not rule his own belly cannot be expected to rule the church.

Matt 17:21 (NHEB): “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. “

“Fasting helps express, deepens, confirms the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves, to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.” - Andrew Murray.

Joel 2:12 (GNB): “But even now,” says the LORD, “repent sincerely and return to me with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

NO LAUGHING MATTER



Edwin Cooper was famous across America, yet almost no one knew his real name. Coming from a family of circus clowns, Cooper began performing before audiences when he was just 9 yrs old.

After a stint with the Barnum & Bailey Circus, he became a fixture on television in the 1950s as Bozo, the Clown. In addition to entertaining both young & old, Cooper had a message for his “buddies & partners” - every week: get checked for cancer.

Yet Cooper was so busy working that he neglected to follow his own advice. By the time his cancer was discovered, it was too late for it to be treated. He died at just 41 yrs of age from a disease he had warned many others to watch out for.

Sin is far more deadly than the most aggressive & fast growing cancer. Sin kills & destroys everything it touches. When we regard sin as God does, we find nothing amusing or humorous about it. We will not make it the subject of the jokes we tell or those we hear. Seeing the price paid for our sin reminds us that it is no laughing matter.

- Reading Eagle. (ministry127.com)

“No, I keep on disciplining my body, making it serve me so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not somehow be disqualified.” – Paul (1Co 9:27 ISV).

COURAGE OF CONVICTION


Harry Shepler, a young man of whom the Sunday School Times tells, was in the signal service. Being ordered one morning by a sergeant to report for duty at the canteen, he refused to do so & the sergeant threatened to report him to the officer that day.

"All right," said Shepler, "go ahead. I did not enlist to be a bartender but a soldier & I will not report at the canteen."

He was duly reported to the major who sent for him. Shepler went with trembling knees & with a steady heart, for he knew he was right. The officer said to him, "Are you the young man who disobeyed orders this morning?"

"Yes, sir, I am."

"Why did you do it?"

"Simply because I do not believe it is right to do what I was asked to do. I enlisted to be a soldier & not a bartender."

The major arose quickly from his stool & extending his hand, said: "Shepler, you are the kind of man we want. I am glad to see a fellow who has the courage of his convictions. You are not obliged to report at the canteen."

- (moreillustrations.com)

Pro 15:1 (GNB): “A gentle answer quiets anger, but a harsh one stirs it up.”

“Soft words are hard arguments.” - Thomas Fuller.