Posts made in April, 2009
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6 KJV)
It was centuries ago, when all of North America (what is now United States and Canada ) belonged to its Native people. One nomadic Indian tribe in the Great Plains was blessed with a chief that was beloved and respected by everyone who knew him. He was known as a man who deeply loved his people, and he showed it…and a man of absolute justice and fairness and he showed that. One day some braves brought a very troubling report to him; there had been several mysterious thefts from people in the tribe. The chief wanted to nip this kind of stealing in the bud so he announced a severe penalty for the thief. He would be tied to a post when the sun was high, his back laid bare, and he would be beaten with a whip twenty times.
Then the chief set a trap. He asked two of his trusted braves to leave some animal pelts in front of a teepee one night and to watch all night from another tepee. It was the middle of the night when one of those braves awakened the chief with the news, “We’ve caught the thief.” “Then bring him in,” the chief ordered sternly.
You could see the reluctance and even the pain on the braves’ faces as they brought the thief into the chief’s tent that night. The chief was stunned to see who they had caught. It was his own mother. The next day, when the sun was high, everyone in the tribe gathered around the pole in the center of the village. There was heated discussion about what the chief would do. Would he sacrifice his love for his mother for the sake of justice and fairness? Or would he sacrifice his justice for his love? Now it was time. Very sadly, two braves marched the chief’s mother to the whipping post and they tied her there as two women bared her back for the whip. “The chief is putting his justice above his love,” the people whispered as the warrior with the whip raised his right arm to administer the first lash.
Suddenly, the chief emerged from his tepee and he shouted, “Stop! Let her go!”
As the people turned to look at their chief walking toward the whipping post, they began to say, “His love is greater than his justice. He’s letting her go unpunished for what she did.”
The chief untied the thief he loved, and then to the shock of everyone, as he removed his buckskin shirt, he said, “Tie me.” Hesitantly, the braves tied their chief to the post. Then he barked out his final command, “Begin the whipping.” There, before all his people, their honored chief took the full and painful punishment for the crimes of the one he loved.
As in our Scripture and story today, He took my place, too. Oh, what love!Read More
“But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.” (1Pe 4:15 KJV)
Many years ago the Moody Church News carried a humorous story about a woman in a small town who was known for being a gossip. One day on vacation she visited the offices of The Chicago Daily News. She was wearing a white dress and inadvertently leaned against a wall where a freshly printed copy of the front page was hanging. It was a hot, humid day, and some of the print came off on the back of her white dress. Later as she walked down the street to meet her husband, she noticed that people walking behind her were snickering. When she reached the place where her husband was waiting, she asked him if there was anything on her back that shouldn’t be there. As she turned around, he read the large black reversed letters: sweN yliaD (Daily News). Realizing the appropriateness of the words, he said, “No, dear, nothing’s on your back that doesn’t belong there.”
I am more deadly than the screaming shell of the cannon. I win without killing. I tear down homes, break hearts, and wreck lives. I travel on the wings of the wind. No innocence is strong enough to intimidate me, no purity pure enough to daunt me. I have no regard for truth, no respect for justice, no mercy for the defenseless. My victims are as numerous as the sands of the sea and often as innocent. I never forget and seldom forgive. My name is Gossip. ~Morgan Blake~
I have wished a million times I had not “passed on pertinent information” (gossip) that was told to me by a friend I trusted. Even if it had been true, I know now that I should have not passed on. I was not part of the problem or the solution… I should have kept my mouth shut! God forgave me, friends did, too, but the damaged caused has never been corrected.Read More
“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10 KJV)
When Joseph Parker, the great London preacher of the last century, was debating one day on the town green with enemies of Christianity, an infidel shouted to him, “What did Christ do for Stephen when he was stoned?”
Parker answered and he said the answer was given him like an inspiration from Heaven: “He gave him grace to pray for those who stoned him.”
It was the belief of St. Augustine and of Luther that the prayer which was offered by Stephen for those who stoned him, and which Paul must have heard when he held the clothes of those who did the stoning, was used of God for the conversion of the apostle.
- a disposition to kindness and compassion; benign good will; “the victor’s grace in treating the vanquished”
- (Christian theology) the free and unmerited favor or beneficence of God; “God’s grace is manifested in the salvation of sinners”; “there but for the grace of God go I”
- a sense of propriety and consideration for others
Grace, in itself, is hard for us to understand, but the more we use of it, the more He gives… it seems an endless supply… I choose to prove that! Consider this:
He Giveth More Grace
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase.
To added affliction He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit;
His grace has no measure.
His power has no boundary known unto men.
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
~Annie Johnson Flint, 1866-1932~Read More
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 KJV)
Evangelist Dan Ewald was called to preach at a camp at a time when he had a cold and sinus problem, and his stuffy nose was making it difficult to breathe. So he came up with a simple solution: he smeared Vicks salve onto a white hanky, folded it, and tucked in his pocket, so that if he needed some relief, he could slip the hanky out and take a good whiff of the Vicks. In his other pocket, he placed a clean handkerchief.
Those of you who’ve heard him preach know well that he perspires heavily when he’s really wound up, and wipes his brow frequently with a hanky. Well…his brow became really sweaty this one evening, and, naturally he reached for his hanky. You’ve guessed it; he grabbed the wrong one, and when he began to perspire again, the Vicks on his forehead was soon running into his eyes. His eyes began to water, and he dashed the tears away, but they continued to water. He continued to preach, though, and evidently the people thought he was weeping from the emotion of the sermon. Folks began to shout and run the aisles, while he continued to preach…and cry from the burning in his eyes. Many began to come forward to pray until the altar was lined and many victories won that night.
God will, according to His word, cause all things work for good to those who love Him. Just goes to show you that God can use whatever is handy to speak to His people.Read More
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 KJV)
Legendary Spanish artist Pablo Picasso was virtually unknown when he painted his famous portrait of American writer Gertrude Stein in 1906. Picasso gave the portrait to Miss Stein since, as the artist himself recalled with a smile, at that time in his career “the difference between a gift and a sale was negligible.” Some years later, the portrait attracted the interest of millionaire art collector Dr. Albert Barnes, who asked Miss Stein how much she had paid Picasso for it. “Nothing,” she replied. “Naturally, he gave it to me.”
Dr. Barnes was incredulous that such a priceless work of art could have been a gift.
If you’ve ever thought about the gospel for very long, you can probably appreciate Dr. Barnes’s incredulity. Think of what we have been given in Christ: forgiveness, eternal life, and all the riches of heaven…all at a cost we could have never paid! But that’s not all; we have the privilege of sharing this treasure with others! And so share I…Read More