A Critical Decision

A Critical Decision

A Critical Decision

After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church’s pastor once again slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit, and gave a very brief introduction of his childhood friend. With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit to speak, “A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific Coast,” he began, “when a fast-approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to shore. The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright, and the three were swept into the ocean.”

The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story. He continued, “Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life…to which boy he would throw the other end of the line. He only had seconds to make the decision.

The father knew that his son was a Christian; he also knew that his son’s friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves. As the father yelled out, ‘I love you, son!’ he threw the line to his son’s friend. By the time he pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beyond the raging swells into the black of night. His body was never recovered.”

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting straighter in the pew, waiting for the next words to come out of the old man’s mouth. “The father,” he continued, “knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son. How great is the love of God that He should do the same for us.” With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room.

Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man’s side. “That was a nice story,” politely started one of the boys, “but I don’t think it was very realistic for a father to give up his son’s life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian.”

“Well, you’ve got a point there,” the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face, and he once again looked up at the boys and said, “It sure isn’t very realistic, is it? But I’m standing here today to tell you that THAT story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His Son for me.”

“You see, I was that father, and your pastor was my son’s friend.”

— Author Unknown

Meditation: Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. – John 15:13

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Go Deeper

Go Deeper

A few years ago, I was getting these insane water bills. I mean HIGH! So I decided to dig some wells in my yard to have water for my landscape. I live alone, so I know it had to be from watering the grass.

So I hired a company to come out and dig these wells. The foreman and I walked all around my yard and as we were walking he was putting down flags. I asked what the flags were for. He said, “The flags represent good places to dig for water.”

I asked, “Why do you have so many flags?”

He said, “I’m not sure if any of these places will produce water.”

I said, “Hold up, you mean if you dig all these spots and don’t hit water I still have to pay you?”

He said, “Yes, that’s how it works.” I said, “Ok, fine.”

Needless to say, he dug three wells and never hit water. I said, “Just stop.”

I got a few more extreme water bills and called him back. He said, “Are you sure?” I said, “Yes, keep drilling until you hit water.”

The next well he dug he was down 500 feet and still didn’t hit any water. He asked if I wanted him to stop. I said, “Go deeper.”

He dug down another 200 feet and still nothing. I said, “Go deeper.” He drilled another 200 feet and he hit rock. I said, “Blast it, cut it, do whatever you have to do but keep digging.”

After fighting the rock and breaking his drill and getting a new one we got a little deeper. He said, “We are at 1,200 feet, why do you want me to keep going?”

I said, “Cause I’m tired of these water bills and I’m going to do something about it.”

He said, “But this is really deep.” I asked him if he had hit water yet. He said “no,” so I told him to go deeper.

“But you don’t understand,” he said. “We don’t usually drill this deep, this is going to be expensive.” I told him that, “Sometimes you have to go deeper to get what you are after, no matter what the cost.”

He started the machine and went down another four inches and hit a river of water. Just a few inches separated me from getting my breakthrough. That was five years ago and that well has never run dry.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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In The Courtroom

In The Courtroom

Your day in the courtroom will come one day, so make sure that you have good representation.

After living a “decent” life, my time on earth came to an end. The first thing I remember is sitting on a bench in the waiting room of what I thought to be a courthouse. The doors opened and I was instructed to come in and have a seat by the defence table.

As I looked around, I saw the “prosecutor,” he was a villainous looking gent who snarled as he stared at me. He definitely was the evilest person I have ever seen. I sat down and looked to my left and there sat my lawyer, a kind and gentle looking man whose appearance seemed very familiar to me.

The corner door flew open and there appeared the Judge in full flowing robes. He commanded an awesome presence as he moved across the room and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. As he took his seat behind the bench he said: “Let us begin.”

The prosecutor rose and said, “My name is Satan and I am here to show you why this man belongs in hell.” He proceeded to tell of lies that I told, things that I stole and in the past when I cheated others. Satan told of other horrible perversions that were once in my life and the more he spoke the further down in my seat I sank. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t look at anyone, even my own lawyer, as the Devil told of sins that even I had completely forgotten about.

As upset as I was at Satan for telling all these things about me, I was equally upset at my representative who sat there silently not offering any form of defence at all. I know I had been guilty of those things, but I had done some good in my life — couldn’t that at least equal out part of the harm I’ve done?

Satan finished with a fury and said, “This man belongs in hell, he is guilty of all that I have charged and there is not a person who can prove otherwise. Justice will finally be served this day.”

When it was his turn, my lawyer first asked if he might approach the bench. The judge allowed this over the strong objection of Satan, and beckoned him to come forward.

As he got up and started walking, I was able to see him now in his full splendour and majesty. Now I realized why he seemed so familiar, this was Jesus representing me, my Lord and my Savior.

He stopped at the bench and softly said to the judge “Hi Dad” and then he turned to address the court. “Satan was correct in saying that this man had sinned, I won’t deny any of these allegations. And yes the wages of sin is death and this man deserves to be punished.”

Jesus took a deep breath and turned to his Father with stretched arms and proclaimed “However, I died on the cross so that this person might have eternal life and he has accepted me as his Savior, so he is mine.”

My Lord continued with “His name is written in the book of life and no one can snatch him from me. Satan still does not understand yet, this man is not to be given justice but rather mercy.” As Jesus sat down, He quietly paused, looked at his Father and replied, “There is nothing else that needs to be done, I’ve done it all.”

The Judge lifted his mighty hand and slammed the gavel down and the following words bellowed from his lips — “This man is free — the penalty for him has already been paid in full. Case dismissed.”

As my Lord led me away, I could hear Satan ranting and raving, “I won’t give up, I’ll win the next one.”

I asked Jesus as he gave me my instructions where to go next. “Have you ever lost a case?” Christ lovingly smiled and said “Everyone that has come to me and asked me to represent them has received the same verdict as you… “PAID IN FULL.”

– Author Unknown

Meditation: All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. – John 6:37

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Always There

Always There

Always There

Hello God, I called tonight
To talk a little while.
I need a friend who’ll listen
To my anxiety and trial…

You see, I can’t quite make it
Through a day just on my own…
I need your love to guide me,
So I’ll never feel alone.

I want to ask you please to keep,
My family safe and sound.
Come and fill their lives with confidence
For whatever fate they’re bound.

Give me faith, dear God, to face
Each hour throughout the day,
And not to worry over things
I can’t change in any way.

I thank you God, for being home
And listening to my call,
For giving me such good advice
When I stumble and fall.

Your number, God, is the only one
That answers every time.
I never get a busy signal,
Never had to pay a dime.

So thank you, God, for listening
To my troubles and my sorrow.
Good night, God, I love You, too,
And I’ll call again tomorrow!

– Author Unknown

Meditation: casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Don’t Look Back

Don’t Look Back

Don’t Look Back

As you travel through life there are always those times
When decisions just have to be made,
When the choices are hard, and solutions seem scarce,
And the rain seems to soak your parade.

There are some situations where all you can do
Is simply let go and move on,
Gather your courage and choose a direction
That carries you toward a new dawn.

So pack up your troubles and take a step forward –
The process of change can be tough,
But think about all the excitement ahead
If you can be stalwart enough!

There might be adventures you never imagined
Just waiting around the next bend,
And wishes and dreams just about to come true
In ways you can’t yet comprehend!

Perhaps you’ll find friendships that spring from new things
As you challenge your status quo,
And learn there are so many options in life,
And so many ways you can grow!

Perhaps you’ll go places you never expected
And see things that you’ve never seen,
Or travel to fabulous, faraway worlds
And wonderful spots in between!

Perhaps you’ll find warmth and affection and caring
And somebody special who’s there
To help you stay centred and listen with interest
To stories and feelings you share.

Perhaps you’ll find comfort in knowing your friends
Are supportive of all that you do,
And believe that whatever decisions you make,
They’ll be the right choices for you.

So keep putting one foot in front of the other,
And taking your life day by day…
There’s a brighter tomorrow that’s just down the road –
Don’t look back! You’re not going that way!

– Author Unknown

Meditation: But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:62

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Where the Treasure Is

Where the Treasure Is

Treasure

I remember reading a story once about a man who was exploring some caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled up some clay and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man so he took the bag out of the cave with him.

As he strolled along the beach, to pass the time, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could throw.

He thought little about it until he dropped one of the balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone. Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left, then it struck him.

He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have had tens of thousands, but he just threw it all away.

You know sometimes, it’s like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn’t look like much from the outside. It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it; we see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy.

But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person. There is a treasure hidden in every one of us. We are wonderfully made. Not just our physical bodies, our spiritual selves, which are sometimes hidden from others by the earthen vessel.

But if you take the time to get to know that person, and if you ask the Spirit to show you that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship.

Meditation: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels. – 2 Corinthians 4:7

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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