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W.H. Griffith Thomas scourged Christians this way, “There is no greater foe to Christianity than mere profession. There is no greater discredit to Christianity today than to stand up for it, and yet not live it in our lives. There is no greater danger in the Christian world today than to stand up for the Bible, and yet to deny that Bible by the very way we defend it. There is no greater hindrance to Christianity today than to contend for orthodoxy, whatever the orthodoxy may be, and to deny it by the censoriousness, the hardness, the unattractiveness with which we champion our cause. Oh this power of personal testimony ?with the heart filled with the love of Christ, the mind saturated with the teaching of Christ, the conscience sensitive to the law of Christ, the whole nature aglow with grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ.?(Listening to tthe Giants, 149-50, Warren Wiersbe, Baker 1980)
SAVING GRIZZLY ADAMS
Rick Stacy, Pastor in Okemos, Michigan tells a story about Ken Bailey.
Ken was a laborer on the Alaska Pipeline back in the mid 70’s. He worked up in the icy cold for a year and came back with $30,000. That was a lot of money 30 years ago! He blew it all in a month.
He went back and in six months made another $18,000. He came home again and this time he decided to visit church.
The first Sunday he walked through the doors and sat in the back seat I had two thoughts - 1) He looked just like Grizzly Adams - beard and all and 2) Here was a man that would never become a Christian.
I preached the message and gave an invitation. The instant the music began Ken came rushing down the aisle. I thought he was going to crush me! Tears came down his face as he gave his life to Jesus.
The next Sunday he came back to services and I didn’t recognize him -he was dressed in a 3 piece suit and no beard! When I asked what caused him to shave and dress up he said, "Jesus changed me on the inside and I want people to know it - so I changed the outside."
SOURCE: Rick Stacy, Meridian Christian Church, Okemos, Michigan.
In Alice in Wonderland, when Alice comes to a junction in the road that leads in different directions, she asks the Cheshire Cat, “Cheshire-Puss...would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to go to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where,” replied Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
Daily Walk, May 31, 1992
How many of us have watched Trading Spaces on TLC or seen Bob Villa and became inspired to finally do something about our own tired and outdated homes? It’s easy to get inspired to do something. Once inspired by seeing a weeks work condensed into a one hour TV show we can easily envision the lasting improvements we can make in our own homes. Yet here we sit; one month, six months, one year after starting and our weekend transformation sits half finished as we struggle to find the time to finish what we started.
This can happen in our spiritual lives too. We begin our walk with Christ full of excitement. Fully intending to do whatever it takes to make it all the way. But after a while, Christianity becomes too daily. It’s the same thing over and over again. The same prayers, the same worshi...
SOWING AND REAPING
There is a famous (and doubtless apocryphal) story about Horatio Bottomley, the politician and convicted fraudster, who was stitching mailbags in prison when a chaplain caught sight of him.
"Sewing, Bottomley?" said the priest.
"No," he replied. "Reaping."
So too all of us, sooner or later.
("The Times", London)
Illus.: “The Boy Who Believes in the Holy Spirit Isn’t Here”
A children’s catechism class was learning the Apostles Creed. Each child had been assigned a sentence to repeat. The first one said, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.” The second child said, “I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son…” When he had completed his sentence, there was an embarrassing silence. Finally, one child piped up, “Teacher, the boy who believes in the Holy Spirit isn’t here.”
George Hunter contends that the first characteristic of a secular person in the modern world is that he or she is ignorant of basic Christianity. It has been said of the Baby Busters, those born between 1963 and 1977 and the first generation to grow up in a postmodern context, that they lack even the memory of a hope-giving gospel. Today many people outside of the church struggle with the concept of Christ’s deity. They think he was a good man, perhaps even a prophet, but not God in human form. Further, 72 percent of Americans now deny the existence of absolute truth, and few have confidence in the historical accuracy or ethical authority of the Bible. Two-thirds of the population does not know what John 3:16 refers to, and less than four out of every ten Americans have any idea what the term gospel means. Ten percent believe that the name of Noah’s wife was Joan of Arc.
James White, Rethinking the Church, p. 41
Once at a meeting, some young people were discussing the text, “ye are the salt of the earth.” They were suggesting uses of salt, and the meaning. Salt gives flavor to food. It preserves food to keep it from decaying. Then one girl said, salt makes yo...
Some of you might have heard of the late Malcolm Muggeridge. He was a British journalist and a noted atheist for many years of his life. But in his sin, in the very midst of about to commit yet another vile act of wickedness, he came face to face with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He repented and turned to Christ. At the end of his life, Muggeridge said:
"All I have cared about is the living presence of Christ; the life He lived, and the death He died; and the unique salvation He offers to a distracted world today."
A. Todd Coget
[Christian Contradictions, Citation: Joseph Roy, Leadership, Vol. 5, no. 4.]
A true Christian is a sign of contradiction--a living symbol of the Cross.
He or she is a person who believes the unbelievable, bears the unbearable, forgives the unforgivable, loves the unlovable, is perfectly happy not to be perfect, is willing to give up his or her will, becomes weak to be strong ... and finds love be giving it away.