Sunday, September 24, 2017

SACRIFICIAL LOVE



Maria Dyer was born in 1837 on the mission field in China where her parents were pioneer missionaries. Both her parents died when Maria was a little girl & she was sent back to England to be raised by an uncle.

The loss of her parents, however, did not deter her young heart from the importance of sharing the gospel. At 16 she, along with her sister, returned to China to work in a girl’s school as a missionary herself. 5 years later, she married Hudson Taylor, a man well-known today for his life of faith & sacrifice.

Hudson & Maria’s work was often criticized - even by other Christians. At one point Maria wrote:  “As to the harsh judging of the world, or the more painful misunderstandings of Christian brethren, I generally feel that the best plan is to go on with our work & leave God to vindicate our cause.”

Of their 9 children, only 4 survived to adulthood. Maria herself died of cholera when she was just 43. But she believed the cause was worthy of the sacrifice. On her grave these words were inscribed: “For her to live was Christ, and to die was gain.” (Phi 1:21).

In a day when many are self-absorbed & care more about what they can get rather than what they can give, we need a renewal of sacrificial love.

It was God’s love for us that sent Jesus into the world to die for our sins & it is that kind of giving love that our world needs so greatly today.

When we love God as we should, our interests fade as we magnify Him.

- ‘The Jubilee Story of the China Inland Mission’, Marshall Broomhall (ministry127.com)

Friday, September 22, 2017

CURE TO DEATH



Napoleon Bonaparte said, “I die before my time; and my body will be given back to earth, to become the food of worms. Such is the fate which so soon awaits the great Napoleon.”

What a contrast to the words of Job: “I know that my Redeemer liveth - and though after my skin worms destroy my body, yet in my flesh shall I see God!” (Job 19. 25, 26)

- (moreillustrations.com)

“Live in Christ, live in Christ, and the flesh need not fear death.” - John Knox.

“If you had the cure to cancer wouldn't you share it? ... You have the cure to death ... get out there and share it.” -  Kirk Cameron.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

FOOLISH TALK



You can always tell when a man's a fool by his chatter and his way. You can always know when a man is wise by the things he does not say.

- Sunshine Magazine (moreillustrations.com)

Js 2:16 (ICB): ‘And you say to him, “God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat.” You say this, but you do not give that person the things he needs. Unless you help him, your words are worth nothing.’

"Talk that does not end in any kind of action is better suppressed altogether." - Thomas Carlyle.

“More depends on my walk than talk.” -  D.L. Moody.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

GRACE IS A GIFT



Imagine you are half a million dollars in debt. Someone comes to you & writes out a check for $500,000, saying:

“This is all for you, to cancel your debt. You don’t have to do anything but reach out & take it, and it’s yours.”

So you take the money & pay your debt. You are now debt-free & totally in the clear.

What do you have to boast about? Can you go around bragging that you had the skill & the brains to reach out & take that check? Does that make any sense?

Of course not. You received grace - nothing more, nothing less. The fact that you are now debt-free is a hundred percent due to your benefactor, zero percent due to you.

Who, then, deserves the praise & glory for your salvation? Clearly, not you! You have received riches from the resources of God. His grace made it all possible.

“I do not want to be proud of anything except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of the cross, the ways of this world are dead to me, and I am dead to them.” – Paul (Gal 6:14 NLV).

- (ministry127.com)

“The doctrines of grace humble man without degrading him and exalt him without inflating him.” -  Charles Hodge.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

LOVE THROUGH THE DARK



A father & little daughter buried the mother of the home. They were broken-hearted when they returned to the old home after the funeral & things were so different.

The little daughter was placed in her bed for the night as usual. The father retired, but could not sleep.
After a while the little daughter said, "Papa, it is so dark." And then, after a while the little child said, "Papa, you love through the dark, don't you?"

Away in the dark hours of the night the father looked up into the face of Jesus & said, "Jesus, thou dost love though it is dark."

Jesus loves His children & no night is so dark that He does not see us.

- Sunday School Times. (moreillustrations.com)

Ps 112:4 (NIRV): “Even in the darkness light shines on honest people. It shines on those who are kind and tender and godly.”

“Having the answers is not essential to living. What is essential is the sense of God's presence during dark seasons of questioning.” -  Ravi Zacharias.

Monday, September 18, 2017

WHY GOD WATCHES US



The biographer of Bishop Watts, Ditchfield, relates that when a child he was one day in the house of a very old woman, who asked him to read a framed text, "Thou God seest me."

Then she said: "When you are older, people will tell you that God is always watching you to see when you do wrong, in order to punish you. I do not want you to think of it in that way, but I want you to take the text home & to remember all your life that God loves you so much He cannot take his eyes off you."

- Sunday School Times.  (moreillustrations.com)

Ps 121:3 (TLB): “He will never let me stumble, slip, or fall. For he is always watching, never sleeping.”

Ps 121:5 (NLT): “The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.”

“You can see God from anywhere if your mind is set to love and obey Him.” -  A.W. Tozer.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

HOW GOD LOVES AND GIVES



Peter Mackenzie, a Methodist preacher of a generation ago, living in England, preached an early sermon from John 3:16.

Gipsy Smith tells us that the preacher said, after announcing the text: "There are two striking things in my text: When God loves He loves a world. When He gives, He gives His Son."

Such is the boundless love of the eternal Father of mankind.

- Sunday School Times. (moreillustrations.com)

Ep 2:4 (GNT): “But God's mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great.”

“By the cross we know the gravity of sin and the greatness of God's love toward us.” -  John Chrysostom.

“If we comprehend what Christ has done for us, then surely out of gratitude we will strive to live 'worthy' of such great love. We will strive for holiness not to make God love us but because He already does.” -  Philip Yancey.