A man attended a church regularly for several months, but he was always ignored. His clothes were old and worn, and the people tended to avoid him. Because they knew nothing about him, no one ever spoke to him.
One Sunday as he took a seat in the church, he intentionally left his hat on. As the pastor stood on the platform and looked out over the audience, he noticed the man with the hat right away. Beckoning to one of the deacons, the pastor asked him to go tell the man that he forgot to remove his hat. When the deacon spoke to the man, he responded with a big smile and said, “I thought that will do it. I have attended this church for months, and you are the first person who has talked to me.”
We must be courteous and hospitable to all people regardless of race, color, social status, or appearance. If we reject or mistreat a person because of his status or appearance, we are rejecting his Creator. In the eyes of God, all people are equal regardless of social standing. Furthermore, the foot of the cross of Christ is level ground (Kennedy A. Adarkwa).
OUR SIN DEBT WAS PAID BY CHRIST
Billy Graham told a story about King Charles V who years ago was loaned a large sum of money by a merchant in Antwerp. The note came due, but the King was bankrupt and unable to pay. The merchant gave a great banquet for the King. When all the guests were seated and before the food was brought in, the merchant had a large platter placed on the table before him and fire lighted on it. Then, taking the note out of his pocket, he held it in the flames until it was burned to ashes.
Just so we have all been mortgaged to God. The debt was due, but we were unable to pay. Two thousand years ago God invited a morally corrupt world to the foot of the cross. Then God held your sin and mine to the flames until every last vestige of our guilt was consumed (Billy Graham, Peace with God).
WHEN YOU ARE CONFUSED TURN TO JESUS
Rev. Billy Graham talked about a fifteen-year-old girl who was lost in approximately in an area in the Great Smoky Mountains. It was a sad time for the little community because four people on board in a plane were killed on the mountain and the girl was never found. Mr. Graham said, as his wife talked about the tragic events of these people to a man who helps them, he told her a story from his own experience. He was born and raised in those mountains, he said and thought he could never get lost. The mountains were his playground as a child and his hunting area as an adult. One day, however, he found himself groping through the brush and clambering over the rocks hopelessly confused. He wandered and retraced his steps and suddenly, to his relief, came upon an old man in a cabin.
He told Ruth that he would never forget the advice the old man gave him. “When you find yourself in the mountains, never go down—always go up. At the top of the ridge, you can get your bearings and find your way again.” We can become lost in the mountain of life. We have two choices: we can either go down and get caught in drugs, depression, emptiness, and confusion, or we can keep heading up.
When Nicodemus was perplexed he came to Jesus. That was the right thing to do. The direction we go will determine whether we find ourselves or not.
YIELD TO GOD
Many so-called Christians have just “enough religion to make them miserable.” They no longer enjoy the world and they have not entered into the “joy of the Lord.” There they stand, deprived of the “leeks and onions and the garlic” of Egypt, and without the milk and honey and the finest of the wheat of Canaan. That is a wretched place to be in. The way out is simple, absolute surrender to God. Then your joy will be full.
(R. A. Torrey, How to Find Fulness of Power)
Now did you mean it? If you don’t trust Him now, you will have cause to suspect whether you ever did. If you don’t trust God in the dark, it would seem your faith is in light or in your own eyesight. Unless we trust in God and in God alone, we don’t trust Him at all (Winkie Pratney, The Thomas Factor).
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