Volume: 850 March 14, 2022
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Many years ago, a merchant’s business failed. He went home greatly upset.
“What is the matter?” asked his wife.
“I am ruined. I will be a beggar. I have lost it all!” he exclaimed, pressing his hands to his forehead.
“All?” said his wife. “No. I am left.”
“All, papa?” questioned his eldest boy. “Here I am!”
“And I too,” piped in his little girl, running up and putting her arms around his neck.
“I’m not lost, Papa,” repeated Eddy.
“And you have your health left,” said his wife.
“And your hands to work with,” said the eldest, “and I can help you.”
“And your two feet, Papa, to carry you about and your two eyes to see with, Papa,” said little Eddie.
“And you have God’s promises,” said the grandmother.
“And a good God,” said his wife.
“And a Heaven to go to,” said his little girl.
“And Jesus, who came to fetch us there,” said his eldest.
“God forgive me!” said the poor merchant, bursting into tears. “I have not lost it all. What I have lost is nothing compared to what I have,” and he took comfort and was encouraged.
“He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood. He who faces no calamity will need no courage. Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of trouble.”
— Harry Emerson Fosdick
“Abstain from all appearance of evil.” I Thessalonians 5:22
A thing may have the appearance of wrong-doing and not be evil in itself, as an apple may look to be sweet and sound but be sour and rotten. Why then are we to abstain from the “appearance of evil”?
- Because most judge by appearance and would therefore judge us wrongfully.
- Because in judgment, our characters could be damaged, and Christianity be defamed.
- Because by following the appearance of doing something wrong, we could promote and encourage evil itself.
- Because we are commanded to keep from even looking like we are doing something sinful.
- Because it is directly inconsistent with the good we profess we do.
- Because by abstaining from even looking like we are doing something wrong, we do not appear as hypocrites.
“If you want your neighbor to see what the Christ spirit will do for him, let him see what it has done for you.” — H. Beecher
Where is the Saviour now,
Whose smiles I once possessed?
Till He returns, I bow,
By heavy grief oppressed.
My days of happiness are gone,
And I am left to weep alone.
Where can the mourner go,
And tell his tale of grief?
Ah, who can soothe his woe,
Ah, who can give relief?
Earth cannot heal the wounded breast
Or give the troubled conscience rest.
Jesus, Thy smiles impart;
My gracious Lord, return,
Bind up my broken heart
And bid me cease to mourn;
Then shall this night of sorrow flee,
And peace in Heaven is found in Thee.
Many say, “I can find God without the help of the Bible, or church, or minister.” Very well. Do so if you can.
The ferry company would feel no jealousy of a man who should prefer to swim to New York City, rather than ride on their ferry. Let him do so if he is able, and we will talk about it on the other shore, but probably trying to swim would be the thing that would bring him quickest to the boat.
So, God would have no jealousy of a man’s going to Heaven without the aid of the Bible, church, or minister, but let him try to do so, and it will be the surest way to bring him back to them for help.
A Good Example
A chaplain told this story of a young soldier who consulted with a question of Christian duty.
“Last night,” said the young man, “in my barrack, before going to bed, I knelt and prayed in a low voice, when suddenly my comrades threw their boots at me and laughed.”
“Well,” replied the chaplain, “suppose you defer your prayer until you get into bed and then silently lift your heart to God?”
A week or two afterward, the young soldier called again. “Well,” said the chaplain, “you took my advice, I suppose? How has it gone?”
“Sir,” he answered, “I took your advice for one or two nights, but I thought it looked rather like I was denying my Saviour, and I once more knelt at my bedside and prayed in a low whisper as before.”
“And what happened?”
“Not one of them laughs now, sir. The whole fifteen each kneel and pray, as well.”
“I felt ashamed,” added the chaplain in narrating the story, “of the advice I had given him. That young man was both wiser and bolder than I was.”
“A good example has twice the value of good advice.”
Ancient history records that a city was besieged and was obliged to surrender at length. In that city, two brothers had obliged the conquering general and, because of this, received permission to leave the city before it was destroyed and take with them as much of their property as they could lug. The two youths appeared at the city’s gates, one of them carrying their father and the other their mother.
If we could all be as generous and burdened as those brothers were after we get saved. We would be concerned to tell as many family members, friends, and neighbors the way to Heaven. More would be going there!
When King Ptolemy built Pharos, he wanted his name upon it. Sostratus, the architect, did not think that the king, who only paid the money for its construction, should get all the credit while he had none. Sostratus put the king’s name on the front of the structure in plaster. Underneath it, in the eternal granite, the architect had his name chiseled deep into the stone.
Over time, the sea dashed against the plaster and chipped it off bit by bit. I dare say it lasted out the time of Ptolemy, but soon the plaster was chipped away, and there stood the name “Sostratus.”
I am sure that there are “waves” that will chip off all human names from the true church Christ built. I know the name of Christ shall last forever after all others fade away.