Tuesday, May 23, 2017

HASTE



The ferry-dock was crowded with weary home-goers when through the crowd rushed a man - excited &laden to the chin with bundles of every shape & size.

He sprinted down the pier, his eyes fixed on a ferryboat only two or three feet out from the pier; he made a flying leap across the intervening stretch of water & landed safely on the deck.

A fat man happened to be standing on the exact spot on which he struck & they both went down with a resounding crash. When the arriving man had somewhat recovered his breath he apologized to the fat man.

"I hope I didn't hurt you," he said. "I am sorry. But, anyway I caught the boat!"

"But you idiot," said the fat man, "the boat was coming in!"

- (moreillustrations.com)              

“In walking after the spirit we must avoid all haste.” -  Watchman Nee.

John 11:5 (GW): “Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus.  Yet, when Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days.”

Monday, May 22, 2017

BE PREPARED



The lawyer for the defense, in the damage suit, asked the witness who had seen the plaintive struck by the automobile, how far the victim was thrown by the impact.

"Fifteen feet, six and three-quarter inches," was the instant response.

"You seem to be very exact in your figures," exclaimed the lawyer sarcastically. "How does that happen?"

"I guessed some fool lawyer would ask me," the witness answered, "and I measured the distance."

- (moreillustrations.com)

1 Pet 3:15 (NIRV): “But make sure that in your hearts you honor Christ as Lord. Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you about the hope you have. Be ready to give the reason for it. But do it gently and with respect.”

“A prepared person will always have his opportunity.” -  Jack Hyles.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A GOOD NAME



Henry Heinz, born in 1844, to German immigrants in Pittsburgh, PA, helped support his family as a teenager by growing & selling vegetables in the family garden. After graduating from college & getting married, he started a business selling horse radish.

In 1875, a national financial collapse drove the young company into bankruptcy. Despite the legal freedom bankruptcy gave him, Heinz regarded each of the company’s outstanding debts as a moral obligation & personally paid back every penny.

Heinz went on to found the H.J. Heinz Company with its 57 varieties & became a leading American businessman. A devout Christian, he was known for the generous treatment of his employees & his generosity to Christian causes.

Throughout his life Heinz conducted his business & personal dealings with the same integrity that led him to pay back hundreds of thousands of thousands of dollars he technically did not owe.

He began his will with these words: “I desire to set forth at the very beginning of this will as the most important item in it a confession of my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior.”

Pro 22:1 (TLB): “If you must choose, take a good name rather than great riches; for to be held in loving esteem is better than silver and gold.”

Source: It Was Never About the Ketchup! - Steve Lentz (ministry127.com)

Friday, May 19, 2017

PRETENSION



The story is told of a zoo that was noted for their great collection of different animals.

One day the gorilla died & to keep up the appearance of a full range of animals, the zookeeper hired a man to wear a gorilla suit & fill in for the dead animal.

It was his first day on the job & the man didn’t know how to act like a gorilla very well. As he tried to move convincingly, he got too close to the wall of the enclosure & tripped & fell into the lion exhibit.

He began to scream, convinced his life was over…until the lion spoke to him: “Be quiet, or you’re going to get us both fired!”

- (ministry127.com)

“Whatever ‘call’ a man may pretend to have, if he has not been called to holiness, he certainly has not been called to the ministry.” - Charles Spurgeon.

Mk 7:6 (VOICE): Jesus: “Isaiah prophesied wisely about your religious pretensions when he wrote, these people honor me with words off their lips; meanwhile their hearts are far from me.”

“Until you have given up yourself to Him you will not have a real self.” -  C.S. Lewis.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

IGNORANCE



It's an old story - the one about the sailing ship, blown off its course, lost & in desperate need of fresh water.

One day, when it seemed that the crew could hold out no longer, they sighted another ship.

"Water! Water!" they signaled frantically. "We are dying of thirst!"

"Lower your bucket where you are!" came back the surprising reply.

The bucket they lowered over the side of the ship came up filled with fresh, sweet water.

They had been drifting in the current from the mouth of the mighty Amazon River, whose great flood of fresh water spreads far out of sight of land before it is conquered by the saltiness of the sea.

- Sunshine Magazine (moreillustrations.com)

Col 2:3 (NIV): “In Christ are hidden all the riches of wisdom and understanding.”

“The proof of spiritual maturity is not how pure you are but awareness of your impurity. That very awareness opens the door to grace.” -  Philip Yancey.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

MISTAKES



All men, no matter how big, make mistakes. But history teaches us that big men refuse to falter because of their mistakes.

Henry Ford forgot to put a reverse gear in his first automobile.

Edison once spent over two million dollars on an invention which proved of little value.

The man who makes no mistakes lacks boldness & the spirit of adventure. He is the one who never tries anything new; he is the brake on the wheels of progress.

Remember, a mistake becomes an error only when nothing is done to correct it.

- Gear-O-Gram (moreillustrations.com)

Js 3:2 (CEB): “We all make mistakes often, but those who don’t make mistakes with their words have reached full maturity. Like a bridled horse, they can control themselves entirely.”

“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” -  John C. Maxwell.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

WEDDING ANNIVERSARY



Uncle Ephraim had put on his best coat & was walking majestically up & down the street.

"Aren't you working today, Uncle?" asked somebody.

"No, I am celebrating my golden wedding anniversary."

"You were married fifty years ago today, then!"

"Yes."

"Well, why isn't your wife helping you to celebrate?"

"My present wife," replied Uncle Ephraim with dignity "has got nothing to do with it."

- (moreillustrations.com)

“The best gift a father can give his children is to love their mother.” -  John Wooden.

Heb 13:4 (CEV): “Have respect for marriage. Always be faithful to your partner, because God will punish anyone who is immoral or unfaithful in marriage.”

“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” – Mother Teresa.

Monday, May 15, 2017

THE SECOND MILE!



There is a sign at the entrance of a great manufacturing plant that reads:

"If you are like a wheelbarrow - going no farther than you are pushed - you need not apply for work here."

The real beauty of Christian living lies in "the second mile."

Jesus talked at length to His followers that they were to be known by the beauty of going a little farther & consistent with His own teaching, He took the road to Calvary.

- Young People's Weekly. (moreillustrations.com)

Mat 5:41 (NIV): “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”


Gen 24:17-19 (GNT): The servant ran to meet her (Rebecca) and said, “Please give me a drink of water from your jar.”  She said, “Drink, sir,” and quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and held it while he drank.  When he had finished, she said, “I will also bring water for your camels and let them have all they want.”

Sunday, May 14, 2017

GO ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS



When Temple Hall, London, was built, the Masters of the Bench ordered a handsome clock to be placed there, with an appropriate motto on the face of it.

For many days the skilful mechanic waited for the motto, until, becoming impatient, he made his way to the Benchers' Chambers & pressed them for the needed words.

One of the Masters, becoming angry, rose up & said to the mechanic: "Go about your business."

The latter, thinking this was the order, placed the words on the face of the clock & there they were allowed to remain.

If Christian workers would have for their motto: "Go about your Father's business," what mighty wonders would be accomplished!

- Sunday School Times. (moreillustrations.com)

Luke 2:49 (MEV): Jesus said to them, “How is it that you searched for me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

“Rest in this - it is His business to lead, command, impel, send, call or whatever you want to call it. It is your business to obey, follow, move and respond.” -  Jim Elliot.

“It is not your business to succeed, but to do right: when you have done so, the rest lies with God.” -  C.S. Lewis.

Friday, May 12, 2017

INTEGRITY OF A LEADER



“In order to be a leader a man must have followers. And to have followers, a man must have their confidence. Hence, the supreme quality of a leader is unquestionably integrity.

Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a football field, in an army, or in an office. If a man’s associates find him guilty of falsehood, if they find that he lacks integrity, he will fail.

His teachings & actions must agree with each other. The first great need, therefore, is integrity & high purpose.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Source: ‘Bits & Pieces’ (ministry127.com)

Pro 10:9 (ESV): “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”

“Integrity is keeping a commitment even after circumstances have changed.” -  David Jeremiah.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

DO NOT GIVE ACCESS TO THE DEVIL



Suppose you had a thousand-acre farm & someone offered to buy it. You agree to sell the land except for one acre right in the center which you want to keep for yourself.

Did you know that in some areas the law would allow you to have access to that one lone spot? And that you would have the right to build a road across the surrounding property in order to get to it?

So it is with us as Christians if we make less than one hundred percent surrender to God. We can be sure that the devil will take advantage of any inroad to reach that uncommitted area of our lives.

- ‘Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations’, Paul L. Tan, quoting A. T. Pierson (ministry127.com)

Ep 4:27 (ICB): “Do not give the devil a way to defeat you.”

“Nothing sets a person so much out of the devil's reach as humility.” -  Jonathan Edwards.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

AN HONEST HEART



The conductor of a western freight train saw a tramp stealing a ride on one of the forward cars. He told the brakeman in the caboose to go up & put the man off at the next stop. When the brakeman approached the tramp, the latter waved a big revolver & told him to keep away.

"Did you get rid of him?" the conductor asked the brakeman, when the train was under motion again.

"I hadn't the heart," was the reply. "He turned out to be an old school friend of mine."

"I'll take care of him," said the conductor, as he started over the tops of the cars.

After the train had made another stop & gone on, the brakeman came into the caboose & said to the conductor:

"Well, is he off?"

"No; he turned out to be an old school friend of mine, too."

- (moreillustrations.com)

Pro 12:17 (TLB): “A good man is known by his truthfulness; a false man by deceit and lies.”

“An honest heart loves the Truth.” -  A.W. Pink.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

COMPANIONSHIP



In 1896, Glasgow University conferred on Dr. David Livingstone the degree of Doctor of Laws. He rose to speak & was received in respectful silence.

Looking frail as a result of hardships in tropical Africa, his left arm, crushed by a lion, hanging helplessly at his side, he announced his resolve to return to Africa, without doubt & with great gladness.

He added, 'Would you like me to tell you what supported me through all the years of exile among a people whose language I could not understand & whose attitude toward me was always uncertain & often hostile?

It was this, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Mat 28:20). On these words I staked everything, and they never failed.'

He had the companionship of the Son of God. 

- Dr. F. W. Boreham (moreillustrations.com)

“Jesus gives us hope because He keeps us company, has a vision and knows the way we should go.” -  Max Lucado.


Monday, May 8, 2017

HONORING



"You look very much like a (Church) minister," said an English gentleman to Woodrow Wilson (28th U.S. president), many years ago.

"Have you ever been taken for one?"

"No," was the reply, "but I have been treated like one."

"And how was that?"

"Well," said Mr. Wilson, "there was a time when I waited six months for my salary."

- Christian Herald. (moreillustrations.com)

The Bible says: Give double honor to spiritual leaders who handle their duties well. This is especially true if they work hard at teaching the word of God.  After all, Scripture says, “Never muzzle an ox when it is threshing grain,” and “The worker deserves his pay.” (1 Tim 5:17-18 NOG)

“The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.” -  John Chrysostom.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

CALM & PEACEFUL



A Cambridge undergraduate was much impressed with a preacher who had an arresting message & a lovely face, with a calm & peaceful expression.

"I should suppose," said the university man, "that preacher spends most of his time in prayer & preparation in his study, apart from the din & noise of ordinary life."

Smiling rather knowingly, the older friend said, "Would you like to meet him?"

The young man said he would & they arranged to meet on a Monday morning outside of St. Paul's Cathedral. Pushing his way through the swinging doors of a large London business firm, the old friend introduced his young companion to the man with the beautiful message & calm countenance, sitting at his desk immersed in business.

"My young friend is very anxious to know about your occupation," said the older man.

"My occupation? My occupation is to wait for His Son from Heaven & meanwhile I make buttons."

- Evangelical Christian (moreillustrations.com)

“Next to faith this is the highest art - to be content with the calling in which God has placed you.” -  Martin Luther.

Isa 26:3 (GNT): “You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you.”


Friday, May 5, 2017

THE POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD



Gaylord Kambarami, the General Secretary of the Bible Society in Zimbabwe, tried to give a New Testament to a very aggressive man.

The man insisted he would roll the pages & use them to make cigarettes. Mr. Kambarami said, “I understand that, but at least promise to read the page of the New Testament before you smoke it.”

The man agreed & the two went their separate ways.

Fifteen years later, the two men met at a convention in Zimbabwe. The Scripture-smoking man had been saved & was now a full-time evangelist.

He told the audience, “I smoked Matthew & I smoked Mark & I smoked Luke. But when I got to John 3:16, I couldn’t smoke anymore. My life was changed from that moment.”

Aren’t you glad God’s book is more than just words on paper?

Source: American Bible Society Record, March 1990 (ministry127.com)

John 3:16 (NLV): “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Whoever puts his trust in God’s Son will not be lost but will have life that lasts forever.”

“I believe the Bible is the Word of God from cover to cover.” -  Billy Sunday.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

FAITHFUL TO THE END



In 1555, as part of her campaign to re-establish the Catholic Church in England, Queen Mary, also known as 'Bloody Mary', arranged for John Philpot, one of the leading Protestant ministers of the day, to be burned at the stake.

When his death sentence was pronounced, Philpot said, “I am ready; God grant me strength & a joyful resurrection.”

Philpot walked to the place of execution on his own, rather than having to be dragged to it & when he reached it, he knelt & kissed the stake at which he would be burned.

It is easy for us to focus on our problems & think that they are larger than they really are. Most of us have never endured genuine persecution for our faith.

There may come a day when we must make the same life-or-death decision to be loyal to Christ regardless of the consequences.

Source: 'Foxe’s Book of Martyrs', John Foxe (ministry127.com)

Mat 24:13 (ERV): “But the one who remains faithful to the end will be saved.”

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

CHRIST’S COMMAND



A classic in the annals of the U.S. Coast Guard is the story of Captain Pat Etheridge of the Cape Batterne station.

One night in the howling hurricane, the look-out saw a distress signal from a ship that had gone aground on the dangerous Diamond Shoals, ten miles at sea.

The lifeboats were ordered out. One of the life-guards protested, “Captain Pat, we can get out there, but we can never get back.”

“Boys,” came the reply that has gone down in history, “we don't have to come back.”

The Lord Jesus has given us our marching order. He has commanded that the Gospel be preached in all the world. He has not promised His messengers an easy time. He has not given the assurance of a safe return to the home base - but He did say - “GO!”

- (moreillustrations.com)

When David Livingstone was asked if he didn’t fear that going into Africa was too difficult & too dangerous, he answered, “I am immortal until the will of God for me is accomplished.”

John 7:30 (GNT): “Then they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.”

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

TRUE FRIENDSHIP



Christians need to revive the spirit of consecration that characterized Sam Davis, that Confederate spy, who was executed at Pulaski, Tenn.

He was captured by the Union Army & found to possess some papers of great value to the Union Army. The officers knew that it was impossible that he was the one responsible for his having those papers.

After he had been court-martialed & blindfolded before the firing squad the officer in charge said, "If you will give us the name of the man who furnished you this information, you may go free," to which Sam Davis replied, "If I had a thousand lives I would give them all before I would betray a friend."

Are you a friend of Jesus?

- Florida Baptist Witness.(moreillustrations.com)

Js 4:4 (CEV): “You people aren’t faithful to God! Don’t you know that if you love the world, you are God’s enemies? And if you decide to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.”

Js 2:23 (CEV): This is what the Scriptures mean by saying, “Abraham had faith in God, and God was pleased with him.” That’s how Abraham became God’s friend.

Monday, May 1, 2017

FELLOW SOLDIERS OF CHRIST



In the Church there are just a few Pauls, Peters, Luthers, Knoxes,  Wesleys, Whitefields & Beechers - but back of them is the great army of the humble, but faithful workers & ministers, most of whom toil in unknown places; elders & Sunday school workers.

Paul always went out of his way to recognize those faithful friends & workers who helped him to do his work & he is proud to speak of them as his fellow soldiers of Christ: Epaphroditus, whose name means "charming," & who brought the gift of the church of Philippi to Paul when he was in prison at Rome & all the others, whose names, Paul says, are in the Book of Life, written there as clearly as the name of Paul himself.

- (moreillustrations.com)

1 Cor 12:22 &27 (GNT): “On the contrary, we cannot do without the parts of the body that seem to be weaker… All of you are Christ's body, and each one is a part of it.”

“Grace, like water, flows to the lowest part.” -  Philip Yancey.