In the ancient times, a box on the ear given by a master to a slave meant liberty, little would the freedman care how hard was the blow. By a stroke from the sword the warrior was knighted by his monarch, small matter was it to the new-made knight if the royal hand was heavy.
In one Peanuts comic strip Sally was struggling with her memory verse for Sunday. She was absorbed in her thoughts trying to figure it out when she remembered, “Maybe it was something from the book of Reevaluation.”
She never did find the memory verse, but we should always read the Bible with the intent of reevaluating our attitudes and actions to make sure they are in line with the truth of God’s Word.
The story is told of a young girl who accepted Christ as her Saviour and applied for membership in a local church. “Were you a sinner before you received the Lord Jesus into your life?” inquired an old deacon. “Yes, sir,” she replied.
“Well, are you still a sinner?”
“To tell you the truth, I feel I’m a greater sinner than ever.”
“Then what real change have you experienced?”
During World War II a young soldier named David Webster of Easy Company of the 101st Airborne wrote his mother: "Stop worrying about me. I joined the parachutists to fight. I intend to fight. If necessary, I shall die fighting, but don’t worry about this because no war can be won without young men dying. Those things which are precious are saved only by sacrifice."
The story is told that Andrew Jackson’s boyhood friends just couldn’t understand how he became a famous general and then the President of the United States. They knew of other men who had greater talent but who never succeeded. One of Jackson’s friends said, “Why, Jim Brown, who lived right down the pike from Jackson, was not only smarter but he could throw Andy three times out of four in a wrestling match. But look where Andy is now.”
Another friend responded, “How did there happen to be a fourth time? Didn’t they usually say three times and out?”
“A wife or husband may remain faithful and may give evidence of careful attention in matters pertaining to each other, and yet there may be a decline in first love. Similarly, a church member may be very regular in his attendance at the services, but no amount of activity, however intense, can compensate for a lack of love.”—Lehman Strauss
In the 1800s, a group of women met to study the Bible in Dublin. They were puzzled by the words of Malachi 3:3, “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” One of the ladies promised to call on a silversmith and report to them what he said on the subject. She went accordingly and without telling the object of her errand begged to know the process of refining silver which he fully described to her. “But Sir.” said she, “Do you sit while the work of refining is going on?”
Clovis Chappell, a minister from a century back, used to tell the story of two steamboats. They left Memphis about the same time, traveling down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. As they traveled side by side, sailors from one vessel made a few remarks about the snail’s pace of the other. Challenges were made and the race began.
“Professor Drummond once described a man going into one of our after-meetings and saying he wanted to become a Christian.
‘Well, my friend, what is the trouble?’
He doesn’t like to tell. He is greatly agitated. Finally he says, ‘The fact is, I have overdrawn my account’—a polite way of saying he has been stealing.
‘Did you take your employer’s money?’
‘I don’t know. I have never kept account of it.’
‘Well, do you have an idea you stole $1,500 last year?’
‘I am afraid it is that much.’
A young man was eager to grow in His Christian life. He got a piece of paper and made a list of all the things he would do for God. He wrote down the things he would give up, the places he would go to minister and the areas of ministry he would enter. He was excited. He took that list to the church and put it on the altar.
He thought he would feel joy, but instead he felt empty. So he went home and started adding to his list. He wrote down more things he would do and wouldn’t do. He took the longer list and put it on the altar, but still he felt nothing.
“Between an airplane and every other form of locomotion and transportation there is one great contrast. The horse and wagon, the automobile, the bicycle, the locomotive, the speedboat, and the great battleship—all can come to a standstill without danger, and they can all reverse their engines, or their power, and go back.
The process of sanctification can be compared to an iceberg, which is almost 90% under water. As the sun shines on the iceberg, the exposed part melts, moving the lower part upward.
In the same way, we are usually aware of only a small part of our sinfulness and need, which is all we can deal with at any one time. However, as the light of God’s work in our lives changes us in the areas we know about, we become aware of new areas needing the work of God.
After businesses were ravaged by bombs during World War II the owners would often clear away the rubbish and place a sign out front that said, “Business as usual.” When God saves us, His desire is that we would put out a sign that says, “Under new management.”
The French have a proverb, which states, “A good meal ought to begin with hunger.” It is hard to enjoy a meal when you are not yet hungry. But, when you are hungry, anything tastes good.
If we approach the Word with a hunger to be satisfied, we will be satisfied every time. Effective worship begins with a hunger for God.
Source: The Facts on File, Martin Manser
Repeated afflictions come, not as lightning on the scathed tree, blasting it yet more and more, but as the strokes of the sculptor on the marble block, forming, it into the image of beauty and loveliness. Let but the Divine Presence be felt, and no lot is hard. Let me but see His hand, and no event is unwelcome.
Source: The Power of Illustration, John Dowling
Pablo Casals was considered the greatest cellist to ever live. When he was 95 years old he was asked why he continued to practice 6 hours a day. He answered, “Because I think I’m making progress.”
Source: Your Road Map for Success, John Maxwell
Eighty-five percent of church members who were formerly unchurched said that they are active in Sunday school or small groups. Seventy-two percent of churched people said the same thing.
Eighty-six percent of new Christians who remained active in their church for at least five years were active in Sunday school as well.
Source: Surprising Insights, Thomas S. Rainer
A little boy carried his new boat to the river. He placed it in the water and let out the string. All at once a strong current caught the boat. He tried to pull it back to shore, but the string broke and the little boat raced downstream.
The little boy searched for the boat until night fell and he went home with a heavy heart. A few days later he saw his boat in a store window. He spoke to the store manager: ”Sir, that’s my boat in your window! I made it!”
Corley met his friend, Alex, at the dealership where Alex worked.
“Jim, I feel like a hypocrite every time I go to church because I fail to live for Christ so often.”
“Alex, what do you call this part of the dealership?” Jim asked, nodding to the area outside his cubicle.
“You mean the showroom?”