RUNNING THE RACE BEFORE US
A recent meditation in the Upper Room told the following story:
A young lady had three suitors. Each wanted her to marry him and to test them in the depth of their professed love she arranged for them to race her. The one who caught her would marry her. In preparation for the race, she filled her pocket full of gold coins. Then, as each suitor drew close to her she would drop a handful of coins and as they stooped to pick up the coins, she would race ahead. In this way two of the suitors were out distanced. However, the third one refused to be delayed by stopping to pick up coins because the prize he had set out to win was more important than the coin.
We too, are in a race for a very important and valuable prize-eternal life thru Christ our Lord. Fame, fortune and flesh are often placed before us to tempt us and try us but if we are to win the prize, we must close our eyes to all else and with our eyes steadfastly upon Christ, the author and Finisher of our faith, run the race that is set before us.
As we enter the new year, let us ask ourselves the question, 'Who or what comes first in my life?" Do you think that Christ is willing to be fourth, third, or even second choice?
January 1, 1976
'Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I unto thee." (Acts 3:6)
In this story of the healing of the lame man at the gate of the temple, the lame man has only asked for a temporary blessing of food that would only meet his immediate needs. Peter and John had come to know-One who was able to heal that lame man and make him a productive citizen instead of a liability on society. Consequently, the answer: "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazarus, rise up and walk.
Once again, I want to commend our churches for their wonderful response to the needs of humanity in second mile giving. Truly, you have shown Christian compassion toward the physically needy in your gifts of "silver and gold," and certainly this is needful. But, the "One Great Hour Of Sharing" that I refer to refers to the sharing of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord with all who do not possess such saving faith, in the limited time that we have left in this dispensation of grace.
Pulpit evangelism is good and we don't intend to give it up but, the great masses of society never come near the Church and deliberately avoid its ministry. However, as a saved soul, you have this treasure of faith to share with your fellow man as you meet him or her at your work, in school, on the street, or the marketplace. This saving faith will enable them to become productive citizens of the Kingdom of heaven by healing them of the crippling disease of sin inflicted upon them by Satan. I believe that one-to-one evangelism is highly essential in our commission to "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel." In fact, the Commission doesn't mention a thing about the world coming to the Church to hear the Gospel. The responsibility rests upon each of us, individually, to share this treasure we have in earthen vessels with our fellow-man in these closing hours of grace.
If God has-given you the wondrous gift of salvation, you have the responsibility and the wondrous privilege of sharing it.
January 13, 1977
"April showers bring May flowers." Certainly, this is a trite statement. Probably millions of people have said it during the rainy days of this April. There is nothing new or enlightening about it, or is there? Maybe we have not realized the full significance of this statement and like many other sayings, we have seen only the immediately obvious meaning for one event or situation. The statement itself is intended to cheer us up with the prospect of brighter and better days ahead. Sort of a balm to soothe our chafing over the rainy days of April. The flowers of May are seen as the product of those April showers. Is this not true of many of the experiences of life? Our students receive their promotion as a result of long hours of study. A worker receives a promotion or a raise in wages as a reward for hard, faithful labor. The scientist makes a discovery after long hours of work and study in his lab. Are these "May" flowers. I think so. However, it is the spiritual benefits that come to us as a result of the temptations and trials of life that I would like to think of as the truly important "May flowers": Greater patience when we endure trial and persecution. Better understanding and sympathy for our fellow-men after we have suffered as they have suffered. Greater faith after we have endured testing and found Christ sufficient. Greater humility after we have walked in our own strength and fallen. And, greater love and appreciation when he, Who is altogether lovely, picks us up, forgives us, and taking us by the hand, leads us onward and upward toward our eternal home.
April 25, 1978
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