“The Lord is truly worth everything we have! So as Christians, saved by the wonderful grace of God, that we don’t deserve, our lives need to be about serving Christ; that is the only way we will ever have eternal satisfaction!
The Bible says, take up your cross, follow Jesus, and give Him everything you have. Your time, your effort, your resources no matter what the cost. And the cost may be great, but always remember, we can never give or do to much for our Lord. Jesus Christ bore our sins on his body on the cross, that we might die to our sin and live righteously! By his wounds have we been healed. Deny yourself and live for Christ!” -Never Too Much (The Film)
We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin. But mere time does nothing either to the fact or to the guilt of a sin. – C.S. Lewis
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6 ESV)
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ [who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification (Romans 4:25 ESV)] died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6 ESV)
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
(Romans 5:10 ESV)
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 ESV)
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
(Proverbs 28:13 ESV)
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV)
“Ultimately it’s not who sits in the White House that matters, it’s who sits on the top of it.” -R. C. Sproul
May we who are living on the home front and who are the beneficiaries of the fruits sowed by our soldiers hands, always be thankful for their sacrifices for our freedom as One Nation Under God.
For love of country they accepted death. -James A. Garfield
From the very beginning of our country, the LORD has shown indescribable grace to our undeserving nation. May we now, with the power of the Holy Spirit, live in a way that is worthy of the LORD’s grace!
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
(Psalm 107:1 ESV)
God Bless America and thank you to all who have served!
“You must be properly related to God in order to understand Truth [Scripture].” -Barkley May
“Either you will determine the right standards by which your home will be governed, or the world will determine them for you, but standards will be established. They are inescapable. The only question is: By what standard will there be standards?” -Doug Phillips
– Author Unknown
I sat, with two friends, in the picture window of a quaint restaurant just off the corner of the town-square. The food and the company were both especially good that day.
As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across the street. There, walking into town, was a man who appeared to be carrying all his worldly goods on his back. He was carrying, a well-worn sign that read, “I will work for food.” My heart sank.
I brought him to the attention of my friends and noticed that others around us had stopped eating to focus on him. Heads moved in a mixture of sadness and disbelief.
We continued with our meal, but his image lingered in my mind. We finished our meal and went our separate ways. I had errands to do and quickly set out to accomplish them.
I glanced toward the town square, looking somewhat halfheartedly for the strange visitor. I was fearful, knowing that seeing him again would call some response. I drove through town and saw nothing of him. I made some purchases at a store and got back in my car. Deep within me, the Spirit of God kept speaking to me: “Don’t go back to the office until you’ve at least driven once more around the square.” Then with some hesitancy, I headed back into town. As I turned the square’s third corner. I saw him. He was standing on the steps of the storefront church, going through his sack.
I stopped and looked; feeling both compelled to speak to him, yet wanting to drive on. The empty parking space on the corner seemed to be a sign from God: an invitation to park. I pulled in, got out and approached the town’s newest visitor.
“Looking for the pastor?” I asked.
“Not really,” he replied, “just resting.”
“Have you eaten today?”
“Oh, I ate something early this morning.”
“Would you like to have lunch with me?”
“Do you have some work I could do for you?”
“No work,” I replied. “I commute here to work from the city, but I would like to take you to lunch.”
“Sure,” he replied with a smile.
As he began to gather his things, I asked some surface questions.
“Where you headed?”
“Where you from?”
“Oh, all over; mostly Florida.”
“How long you been walking?”
“Fourteen years,” came the reply.
I knew I had met someone unusual. We sat across from each other in the same restaurant I had left earlier. His face was weathered slightly beyond his 38 years. His eyes were dark yet clear, and he spoke with an eloquence and articulation that was startling. He removed his jacket to reveal a bright red T-shirt that said, “Jesus is The Never Ending Story.”
Then Daniel’s story began to unfold. He had seen rough times early in life. He’d made some wrong choices and reaped the consequences. Fourteen years earlier, while backpacking across the country, he had stopped on the beach in Daytona. He tried to hire on with some men who were putting up a large tent and some equipment. A concert, he thought.
He was hired, but the tent would not house a concert but revival services, and in those services he saw life more clearly. He gave his life over to God.
“Nothing’s been the same since,” he said, “I felt the Lord telling me to keep walking, and so I did, some 14 years now.”
“Ever think of stopping?” I asked.
“Oh, once in a while, when it seems to get the best of me. But God has given me this calling. I give out Bibles. That’s what’s in my sack. I work to buy food and Bibles, and I give them out when His Spirit leads.”
I sat amazed. My homeless friend was not homeless. He was on a mission and lived this way by choice. The question burned inside for a moment and then I asked: “What’s it like?”
“To walk into a town carrying all your things on your back and to show your sign?”
“Oh, it was humiliating at first. People would stare and make comments. Once someone tossed a piece of half-eaten bread and made a gesture that certainly didn’t make me feel welcome. But then it became humbling to realize that God was using me to touch lives and change people’s concepts of other folks like me.”
My concept was changing, too. We finished our dessert and gathered his things. Just outside the door, he paused. He turned to me and said, “Come Ye blessed of my Father and inherit the kingdom I’ve prepared for you. For when I was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, a stranger and you took me in.”
I felt as if we were on holy ground. “Could you use another Bible?” I asked.
He said he preferred a certain translation. It traveled well and was not too heavy. It was also his personal favorite. “I’ve read through it 14 times,” he said. “I’m not sure we’ve got one of those, but let’s stop by our church and see.” I was able to find my new friend a Bible that would do well, and he seemed very grateful.
“Where are you headed from here?”
“Well, I found this little map on the back of this amusement park coupon.”
“Are you hoping to hire on there for awhile?”
“No, I just figure I should go there. I figure someone under that star right there needs a Bible, so that’s where I’m going next.”
He smiled, and the warmth of his spirit radiated the sincerity of his mission. I drove him back to the town-square where we’d met two hours earlier, and as we drove, it started raining.We parked and unloaded his things.
“Would you sign my autograph book?” he asked. “I like to keep messages from folks I meet.”
I wrote in his little book that his commitment to his calling had touched My life. I encouraged him to stay strong. And I left him with a verse of scripture from Jeremiah, “I know the plans I have for you, “declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a Future and a hope.”
“Thanks, man,” he said. “I know we just met and we’re really just
strangers, but I love you.”
“I know,” I said, “I love you, too.”
“The Lord is good!”
“Yes, He is. How long has it been since someone hugged you?” I asked.
“A long time,” he replied.
And so on the busy street corner in the drizzling rain, my new friend and I embraced, and I felt deep inside that I had been changed. He put his things on his back, smiled his winning smile and said, “See you in the New Jerusalem.”
“I’ll be there!” was my reply.
He began his journey again. He headed away with his sign dangling from his bedroll and pack of Bibles. He stopped, turned and said, “When you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?”
“You bet,” I shouted back, “God bless.”
“God bless.” And that was the last I saw of him.
Late that evening as I left my office, the wind blew strong. The cold front had settled hard upon the town. I bundled up and hurried to my car. As I sat back and reached for the emergency brake, I saw them… a pair of well-worn brown work gloves neatly laid over the length of the handle. I picked them up and thought of my friend and wondered if his hands would stay warm that night without them.
Then I remembered his words: “If you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?”
Today his gloves lie on my desk in my office. They help me to see the world and its people in a new way, and they help me remember those two hours with my unique friend and to pray for his ministry.
“See you in the New Jerusalem,” he said. Yes, Daniel, I know I will…
“If I could do something over again, I would have dated less in my youth and spent more time chasing God.” -Alex Kendrick
Many Christians find reasons not to share the Gospel. We often make excuses because we’re scared. I totally understand: giving the Gospel can be a scary thing! Why might we be afraid to share the Good News? Perhaps we don’t know how to start or what to say. Maybe we’re afraid to “mess up” the Scriptures.
In reality, though, usually our excuses are much less noble than ‘concern for God’s Word’. Usually we refuse to tell others about Christ because we don’t want to look stupid or be rejected. Simply put, we are more concerned about our reputations than sinners’ souls.
I have used almost all of these excuses at one point or another, but recently the Lord has been changing my mind. He’s been showing me how important He is and how desperately people need to hear about Him. This week I’ve been witnessing to a friend of mine, and I have realized for the first time the Benefits of sharing my faith. As I’ve been searching the Bible to answer my friend’s questions, my faith has been strengthened; I am reminding myself what I believe and why I believe it. I’ve also been a bit convicted how little of my Bible I know; searching the Scriptures for just the verse I’m looking for reminds me how crucial it is that I know my Bible thoroughly.
I won’t say that my old excuses are non-existent; in fact, they are very near to me. I am a bit nervous that I will lose my friend; I’m still kind of concerned about my reputation (unfortunately). However, by sharing God’s truth with an unbeliever, I am being faithful to God’s command. My pastor once said, “God does not call us to be successful – only to be faithful.” Even if my friend never talks to me again, she will have heard the of God’s saving grace.
We can only control our actions: will we share the Truth or not? God controls the outcome.
Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.
Words by Francis R. Havergal