Monday, May 19, 2008

Be An Example...

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago.

They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night's dinner. In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these sales men inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples.

Apples flew everywhere...........Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for they nearly missed boarding.

ALL BUT ONE !!! He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned. He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor. He was glad he did.

The 16 year old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping and no one to care for her plight.

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.

When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, "Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?"
She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, "I hope we didn't spoil your day too badly."

As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, "Mister...." He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes.
She continued, "Are you

He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul: "Are you Jesus?"

Do people mistake you for Jesus? That's our destiny, is it not?
To be so much like Jesus that people can tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace. If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church.

It's actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.
You are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by a fall.
He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.

Pray it will speak to your heart.

Contributed by Arun Philip

Friday, May 9, 2008

He gives the heart in which He dwells the same Spirit which dwelt in Him….

"And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.

And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.

And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured (Genesis 39:2 – 6 KJV)."

A look at the life of Joseph shows that he did not have to advertise himself at any time, as one possessed of the Holy Spirit; yet as the people of his time watched him, they themselves were compelled to say, "can we find such a one as this in whom the Spirit of God is?"

It is so beautiful when even ungodly men are compelled to see and glorify God in the life of a Christian. There is no greater triumph of holy character than to compel the testimony of the men of the world to the power of God in us.

This was the testimony of Daniel's life (Daniel 5:12, 14) that even his worst enemies had to say, "We can find nothing against this man, except it be as concerning the law of his God (Daniel 6:5)."

And one of the most magnificent testimonies ever given to Jesus Christ by human lips was that of His judge, Pontius Pilate, when he was compelled to say, "I bring Him forth to you that you may know that I find no fault in Him (John 19:4)."

Can this testimony be yours today, in a depraved world that loves to dwell on the darker side of things? Now we know that the same Spirit that guided the steps of Joseph, Daniel and Jesus Christ, and led each of them through painful pathways until the fullness of God's glory in each of their lives, can become our Guide, our Teacher, our Wisdom, and the Source of all our Strength, Success, and Happiness, through faith in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Becoming like Jesus Christ...

Several years ago, a preacher from out-of-state accepted a call to a church in Houston, Texas.

Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a double of his change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, 'you’d better give the half back. It would be wrong to keep it.' Then he thought, 'Oh, forget it, it's only a half. Who would worry about this little amount?

Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a gift from God and keep quiet.

When he gets to his stop, he paused momentarily at the door, then he handed the half to the driver and said, 'Here, you gave me too much change.'

The driver, with a smile, replied, 'Aren't you the new preacher in town? I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change. I’ll see you at church on Sunday.'

When the preacher stepped off of the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on, and said, 'Oh God, I almost sold your Son for a half price.'

Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read. This is a really scary example of how much people watch us as Christians and will put us to the test! Always be on guard -- and remember -- You carry the name of Christ on your shoulders when you call yourself 'Christian.'

Watch your thoughts; they become words.

Watch your words; they become actions.

Watch your actions; they become habits.

Watch your habits; they become character.

Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

Becoming like Christ.

"One of the fundamental requirements of a church that is alive is that that church is knowledgeable and that the people understand the mystery of the kingdom of God, the nature of our calling and what God has already put in place for His people. So that we can become the kind of people that God expects us to be. The Christian life is a continuous struggle to become, because the more I become, the more I can do; it is only those who become that can do."

-Dr Okey Onuzo

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Christians - Poem by Maya Angelou

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'."
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow!