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JACOB
JACOB See Paul Harvey, The Rest of the Story, p. 84. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This quip is a good comparison to Jacob\'s life: Two men were discussing the character of a third. \"Let me describe him this way,\" said the first. \"He\'s the kind of guy who follows you into a revolving door and comes out ahead of you.\" Bits & Pieces, October, 1990. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JACOB
JACOB See Paul Harvey, The Rest of the Story, p. 84. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This quip is a good comparison to Jacob\'s life: Two men were discussing the character of a third. \"Let me describe him this way,\" said the first. \"He\'s the kind of guy who follows you into a revolving door and comes out ahead of you.\" Bits & Pieces, October, 1990. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JANUARY
JANUARY January is the month when we start paying on December bills and on November election results. James Holt McGavran, Ideas for Better Living. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JANUARY
JANUARY January is the month when we start paying on December bills and on November election results. James Holt McGavran, Ideas for Better Living. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JEALOUSY
JEALOUSY It is the eyes of other people that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither a fine house nor fine furniture. Benjamin Franklin. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For many years Sir Walter Scott was the leading literary figure in the British Empire. No one could write as well as he. Then the works of Lord Byron began to appear, and their greatness was immediately evident. Soon an anonymous critic praised his poems in a London Paper. He declared that in the presence of these brilliant works of poetic genius, Scott could no longer be considered the leading poet of England. It was later discovered that the unnamed reviewer had been none other than Sir Walter Scott himself! There is a distinction between jealousy and envy. To envy is to want something which belongs to another person. \"You shall not covet your neighbor\'s house, his wife or his servant, his ox or donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.\" In contrast, jealousy is the fear that something which we possess will be taken away by another person. Although jealousy can apply to our jobs, our possessions, or our reputations, the word more often refers to anxiety which comes when we are afraid that the affections of a loved one might be lost to a rival. We fear that our mates, or perhaps our children, will be lured away by some other person who, when compared to us, seems to be more attractive, capable and successful. Dr. Gary Collins in Homemade, July, 1985 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The parable of the vineyard workers (Matt. 20) offends our sense of fairness. Why should everyone get equal pay for unequal work? Back in Ontario when the apples ripened, Mom would sit all seven of us down, Dad included, with pans and paring knives until the mountain of fruit was reduced to neat rows of filled canning jars. She never bothered keeping track of how many we did, though the younger ones undoubtedly proved more of a nuisance than a help: cut fingers, squabbles over who got which pan, apple core fights. But when the job was done, the reward for everyone was the same: the largest chocolate-dipped cone money could buy. A stickler might argue it wasn\'t quite fair since the older ones actually peeled apples. But I can\'t remember anyone complaining about it. A family understands it operates under a different set of norms than a courtroom. In fact, when the store ran out of ice cream and my younger brother had to make do with a Pop-sicle, we felt sorry for him despite his lack of productivity (he\'d eaten all the apples he\'d peeled that day--both of them). God wants all his children to enjoy the complete fullness of eternal life. No true child of God wants it any other way. Robert De Moor. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Irish novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett received great recognition for his work--but not every one savored his accomplishments. Beckett\'s marriage, in fact, was soured by his wife\'s jealousy of his growing fame and success as a writer. One day in 1969 his wife Suzanne answered the telephone, listened for a moment, spoke briefly, and hung up. She then turned to Beckett and with a stricken look whispered, \"What a catastrophe!\" Was it a devastating personal tragedy? No, she had just learned that Beckett had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature! Today in the Word, February, 1991, p. 15. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Two shopkeepers were bitter rivals. Their stores were directly across the street from each other, and they would spend each day keeping track of each other\'s business. If one got a customer, he would smile in triumph at his rival. One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, \"I will give you anything you ask, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive twice as much. Would you be rich? You can be very rich, but he will be twice as wealthy. Do you wish to live a long and healthy life? You can, but his life will be longer and healthier. What is your desire?\" The man frowned, thought for a moment, and then said, \"Here is my request: Strike me blind in one eye!\" One sign of jealousy is when it\'s easier to show sympathy and \"weep with those who weep\" than it is to exhibit joy and \"rejoice with those who rejoice.\" Thomas Lindberg. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There is a fable of an eagle which could out fly another, and the other didn\'t like it. The latter saw a sportsman one day, and said to him: \"I wish you would bring down that eagle.\" The sportsman replied that he would if he only had some feathers to put into the arrow. So the eagle pulled one out of his wing. The arrow was shot, but didn\'t quite reach the rival eagle; it was flying too high. The envious eagle pulled out more feathers, and kept pulling them out until he lost so many that he couldn\'t fly, and then the sportsman turned around and killed him. My friend, if you are jealous, the only man you can hurt is yourself. Moody\'s Anecdotes, pp. 44-45. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JEALOUSY
JEALOUSY It is the eyes of other people that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither a fine house nor fine furniture. Benjamin Franklin. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For many years Sir Walter Scott was the leading literary figure in the British Empire. No one could write as well as he. Then the works of Lord Byron began to appear, and their greatness was immediately evident. Soon an anonymous critic praised his poems in a London Paper. He declared that in the presence of these brilliant works of poetic genius, Scott could no longer be considered the leading poet of England. It was later discovered that the unnamed reviewer had been none other than Sir Walter Scott himself! There is a distinction between jealousy and envy. To envy is to want something which belongs to another person. \"You shall not covet your neighbor\'s house, his wife or his servant, his ox or donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.\" In contrast, jealousy is the fear that something which we possess will be taken away by another person. Although jealousy can apply to our jobs, our possessions, or our reputations, the word more often refers to anxiety which comes when we are afraid that the affections of a loved one might be lost to a rival. We fear that our mates, or perhaps our children, will be lured away by some other person who, when compared to us, seems to be more attractive, capable and successful. Dr. Gary Collins in Homemade, July, 1985 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The parable of the vineyard workers (Matt. 20) offends our sense of fairness. Why should everyone get equal pay for unequal work? Back in Ontario when the apples ripened, Mom would sit all seven of us down, Dad included, with pans and paring knives until the mountain of fruit was reduced to neat rows of filled canning jars. She never bothered keeping track of how many we did, though the younger ones undoubtedly proved more of a nuisance than a help: cut fingers, squabbles over who got which pan, apple core fights. But when the job was done, the reward for everyone was the same: the largest chocolate-dipped cone money could buy. A stickler might argue it wasn\'t quite fair since the older ones actually peeled apples. But I can\'t remember anyone complaining about it. A family understands it operates under a different set of norms than a courtroom. In fact, when the store ran out of ice cream and my younger brother had to make do with a Pop-sicle, we felt sorry for him despite his lack of productivity (he\'d eaten all the apples he\'d peeled that day--both of them). God wants all his children to enjoy the complete fullness of eternal life. No true child of God wants it any other way. Robert De Moor. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Irish novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett received great recognition for his work--but not every one savored his accomplishments. Beckett\'s marriage, in fact, was soured by his wife\'s jealousy of his growing fame and success as a writer. One day in 1969 his wife Suzanne answered the telephone, listened for a moment, spoke briefly, and hung up. She then turned to Beckett and with a stricken look whispered, \"What a catastrophe!\" Was it a devastating personal tragedy? No, she had just learned that Beckett had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature! Today in the Word, February, 1991, p. 15. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Two shopkeepers were bitter rivals. Their stores were directly across the street from each other, and they would spend each day keeping track of each other\'s business. If one got a customer, he would smile in triumph at his rival. One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, \"I will give you anything you ask, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive twice as much. Would you be rich? You can be very rich, but he will be twice as wealthy. Do you wish to live a long and healthy life? You can, but his life will be longer and healthier. What is your desire?\" The man frowned, thought for a moment, and then said, \"Here is my request: Strike me blind in one eye!\" One sign of jealousy is when it\'s easier to show sympathy and \"weep with those who weep\" than it is to exhibit joy and \"rejoice with those who rejoice.\" Thomas Lindberg. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There is a fable of an eagle which could out fly another, and the other didn\'t like it. The latter saw a sportsman one day, and said to him: \"I wish you would bring down that eagle.\" The sportsman replied that he would if he only had some feathers to put into the arrow. So the eagle pulled one out of his wing. The arrow was shot, but didn\'t quite reach the rival eagle; it was flying too high. The envious eagle pulled out more feathers, and kept pulling them out until he lost so many that he couldn\'t fly, and then the sportsman turned around and killed him. My friend, if you are jealous, the only man you can hurt is yourself. Moody\'s Anecdotes, pp. 44-45. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JESUS
JESUS (see also CHRIST) He began His ministry by being hungry, yet He is the Bread of Life. Jesus ended His earthly ministry by being thirsty, yet He is the Living Water. Jesus was weary, yet He is our rest. Jesus paid tribute, yet He is the King. Jesus was accused of having a demon, yet He cast out demons. Jesus wept, yet He wipes away our tears. Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver, yet He redeemed the world. Jesus was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd. Jesus died, yet by His death He destroyed the power of death. Gregory of Nazianzus, A.D. 381. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I would propose that the subject of the ministry of this house, as long as this platform shall stand, and as long as this house shall be frequented by worshipers, shall be the person of Jesus Christ. I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist; I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist; but if I am asked what is my creed, I reply, \"It is Jesus Christ.\" My venerated predecessor, Dr. Gill, has left a [theological heritage] admirable and excellent in its way. But the [legacy] to which I would pin and bind myself forever, God helping me,...is Jesus Christ, who is the arm and substance of the gospel, who is in Himself all theology, the incarnation of every precious truth. C.H. Spurgeon, first words in the pulpit of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JESUS
JESUS (see also CHRIST) He began His ministry by being hungry, yet He is the Bread of Life. Jesus ended His earthly ministry by being thirsty, yet He is the Living Water. Jesus was weary, yet He is our rest. Jesus paid tribute, yet He is the King. Jesus was accused of having a demon, yet He cast out demons. Jesus wept, yet He wipes away our tears. Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver, yet He redeemed the world. Jesus was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd. Jesus died, yet by His death He destroyed the power of death. Gregory of Nazianzus, A.D. 381. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I would propose that the subject of the ministry of this house, as long as this platform shall stand, and as long as this house shall be frequented by worshipers, shall be the person of Jesus Christ. I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist; I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist; but if I am asked what is my creed, I reply, \"It is Jesus Christ.\" My venerated predecessor, Dr. Gill, has left a [theological heritage] admirable and excellent in its way. But the [legacy] to which I would pin and bind myself forever, God helping me,...is Jesus Christ, who is the arm and substance of the gospel, who is in Himself all theology, the incarnation of every precious truth. C.H. Spurgeon, first words in the pulpit of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JESUS AS SAVIOR
JESUS AS SAVIOR (see also CHRIST and SAVIOR) D.M. Stearns was preaching in Philadelphia. At the close of the service a stranger came up to him and said, \"I don\'t like the way you spoke about the cross. I think that instead of emphasizing the death of Christ, it would be far better to preach Jesus, the teacher and example.\" Stearns replied, \"If I presented Christ in that way, would you be willing to follow Him?\" \"I certainly would,\" said the stranger without hesitation. \"All right then,\" said the preacher, \"let\'s take the first step. He did no sin. Can you claim that for yourself?\" The man looked confused and somewhat surprised. \"Why, no,\" he said. \"I acknowledge that I do sin.\" Stearns replied, \"Then your greatest need is to have a Savior, not an example!\" Source Unknown. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JESUS AS SAVIOR
JESUS AS SAVIOR (see also CHRIST and SAVIOR) D.M. Stearns was preaching in Philadelphia. At the close of the service a stranger came up to him and said, \"I don\'t like the way you spoke about the cross. I think that instead of emphasizing the death of Christ, it would be far better to preach Jesus, the teacher and example.\" Stearns replied, \"If I presented Christ in that way, would you be willing to follow Him?\" \"I certainly would,\" said the stranger without hesitation. \"All right then,\" said the preacher, \"let\'s take the first step. He did no sin. Can you claim that for yourself?\" The man looked confused and somewhat surprised. \"Why, no,\" he said. \"I acknowledge that I do sin.\" Stearns replied, \"Then your greatest need is to have a Savior, not an example!\" Source Unknown. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JESUS, birth of
JESUS, birth of On a plaque marking Abraham Lincoln\'s birthplace near Hodgenville, Kentucky, is recorded this scrap of conversation: \"Any news down \'t the village, Ezry?\" \"Well, Squire McLain\'s gone t\' Washington t\' see Madison swore in, and ol\' Spellman tells me this Bonaparte fella has captured most o\' Spain. What\'s new out here, neighbor?\" \"Nuthin\' nuthin\' a\'tall, \'cept fer a new baby born t\' Tom Lincoln\'s. Nothin\' ever happens out here.\" Some events, whether birthdays in Hodgenville (or Bethlehem) or spiritual rebirth in a person\'s life, may not create much earthly splash, but those of lasting importance will eventually get the notice they deserve. Source Unknown. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JESUS, birth of
JESUS, birth of On a plaque marking Abraham Lincoln\'s birthplace near Hodgenville, Kentucky, is recorded this scrap of conversation: \"Any news down \'t the village, Ezry?\" \"Well, Squire McLain\'s gone t\' Washington t\' see Madison swore in, and ol\' Spellman tells me this Bonaparte fella has captured most o\' Spain. What\'s new out here, neighbor?\" \"Nuthin\' nuthin\' a\'tall, \'cept fer a new baby born t\' Tom Lincoln\'s. Nothin\' ever happens out here.\" Some events, whether birthdays in Hodgenville (or Bethlehem) or spiritual rebirth in a person\'s life, may not create much earthly splash, but those of lasting importance will eventually get the notice they deserve. Source Unknown. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JESUS, name of
JESUS, name of There are two hundred and fifty-six names given in the Bible for the Lord Jesus Christ, and I suppose this was because He was infinitely beyond all that any one name could express. Billy Sunday, in a sermon, \"Wonderful,\" quoted in The Real Billy Sunday. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JESUS, name of
JESUS, name of There are two hundred and fifty-six names given in the Bible for the Lord Jesus Christ, and I suppose this was because He was infinitely beyond all that any one name could express. Billy Sunday, in a sermon, \"Wonderful,\" quoted in The Real Billy Sunday. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JOY
JOY Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. C.S. Lewis. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Men have pursued joy in every avenue imaginable. Some have successfully found it while others have not. Perhaps it would be easier to describe where joy cannot be found: Not in Unbelief -- Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: \"I wish I had never been born.\" Not in Pleasure -- Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote: \"The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone.\" Not in Money -- Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: \"I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.\" Not in Position and Fame -- Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: \"Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.\" Not in Military Glory -- Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept in his tent, before he said, \"There are no more worlds to conquer.\" Where then is real joy found? -- the answer is simple, in Christ alone. The Bible Friend, Turning Point, May, 1993. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Author Leo Buscaglia tells this story about his mother and their \"misery dinner.\" It was the night after his father came home and said it looked as if he would have to go into bankruptcy because his partner had absconded with their firm\'s funds. His mother went out and sold some jewelry to buy food for a sumptuous feast. Other members of the family scolded her for it. But she told them that \"the time for joy is now, when we need it most, not next week.\" Her courageous act rallied the family. Christopher News Notes, August, 1993. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one: the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap, and being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. George Bernard Shaw quoted in: Jon Johnston, Courage - You Can Stand Strong in the Face of Fear, SP Publications, 1990, p. 171. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A conference at a Presbyterian church in Omaha. People were given helium filled balloons and told to release them at some point in the service when they felt like expressing the joy in their hearts. Since they were Presbyterians, they weren\'t free to say \"Hallelujah, Praise the Lord.\" All through the service balloons ascended, but when it was over 1/3 of the balloons were unreleased. Let your balloon go. Bruce Larson, Luke, p. 43. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was a member of the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years. His mind, wit and work earned him the unofficial title of \"the greatest justice since John Marshall.\" At one point in his life, Justice Holmes explained his choice of a career by saying: \"I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers.\" Today In The Word, June, 1988, p. 13. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As a third-century man was anticipating death, he penned these last words to a friend: \"It\'s a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people are the Christians--and I am one of them.\" Today In The Word, June, 1988, p. 18. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Joy is the byproduct of obedience. Traditional. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JOY
JOY Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. C.S. Lewis. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Men have pursued joy in every avenue imaginable. Some have successfully found it while others have not. Perhaps it would be easier to describe where joy cannot be found: Not in Unbelief -- Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: \"I wish I had never been born.\" Not in Pleasure -- Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote: \"The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone.\" Not in Money -- Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: \"I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.\" Not in Position and Fame -- Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: \"Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.\" Not in Military Glory -- Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept in his tent, before he said, \"There are no more worlds to conquer.\" Where then is real joy found? -- the answer is simple, in Christ alone. The Bible Friend, Turning Point, May, 1993. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Author Leo Buscaglia tells this story about his mother and their \"misery dinner.\" It was the night after his father came home and said it looked as if he would have to go into bankruptcy because his partner had absconded with their firm\'s funds. His mother went out and sold some jewelry to buy food for a sumptuous feast. Other members of the family scolded her for it. But she told them that \"the time for joy is now, when we need it most, not next week.\" Her courageous act rallied the family. Christopher News Notes, August, 1993. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one: the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap, and being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. George Bernard Shaw quoted in: Jon Johnston, Courage - You Can Stand Strong in the Face of Fear, SP Publications, 1990, p. 171. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A conference at a Presbyterian church in Omaha. People were given helium filled balloons and told to release them at some point in the service when they felt like expressing the joy in their hearts. Since they were Presbyterians, they weren\'t free to say \"Hallelujah, Praise the Lord.\" All through the service balloons ascended, but when it was over 1/3 of the balloons were unreleased. Let your balloon go. Bruce Larson, Luke, p. 43. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was a member of the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years. His mind, wit and work earned him the unofficial title of \"the greatest justice since John Marshall.\" At one point in his life, Justice Holmes explained his choice of a career by saying: \"I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers.\" Today In The Word, June, 1988, p. 13. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As a third-century man was anticipating death, he penned these last words to a friend: \"It\'s a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people are the Christians--and I am one of them.\" Today In The Word, June, 1988, p. 18. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Joy is the byproduct of obedience. Traditional. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JUDGING
JUDGING It was F.B. Meyer, I believe, who once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are two things we do not know: First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin. And second, we do not know the power of the forces that assailed him or her. We also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances. Stephen Brown, Christianity Today, April 5, 1993, p. 17. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In his little book Illustrations of Bible Truth, H.A. Ironside pointed out the folly of judging others. He related an incident in the life of a man called Bishop Potter. \"He was sailing for Europe on one of the great transatlantic ocean liners. When he went on board, he found that another passenger was to share the cabin with him. After going to see the accommodations, he came up to the purser\'s desk and inquired if he could leave his gold watch and other valuables in the ship\'s safe. He explained that ordinarily he never availed himself of that privilege, but he had been to his cabin and had met the man who was to occupy the other berth. Judging from his appearance, he was afraid that he might not be a very trustworthy person. The purser accepted the responsibility for the valuables and remarked, \'It\'s all right, bishop, I\'ll be very glad to take care of them for you. The other man has been up here and left his for the same reason!\'\" Our Daily Bread. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We sometimes criticize others unfairly. We don\'t know all their circumstances, nor their motives. Only God, who is aware of all the facts, is able to judge people righteously. John Wesley told of a man he had little respect for because he considered him to be miserly and covetous. One day when this person contributed only a small gift to a worthy charity, Wesley openly criticized him. After the incident, the man went to Wesley privately and told him he had been living on parsnips and water for several weeks. He explained that before his conversion, he had run up many bills. Now, by skimping on everything and buying nothing for himself he was paying off his creditors one by one. \"Christ has made me an honest man,\" he said, \"and so with all these debts to pay, I can give only a few offerings above my tithe. I must settle up with my worldly neighbors and show them what the grace of God can do in the heart of a man who was once dishonest.\" Wesley then apologized to the man and asked his forgiveness. Daily Bread, July 20, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In 1884 a young man died, and after the funeral his grieving parents decided to establish a memorial to him. With that in mind they met with Charles Eliot, president of Harvard University. Eliot received the unpretentious couple into his office and asked what he could do. After they expressed their desire to fund a memorial, Eliot impatiently said, \"Perhaps you have in mind a scholarship.\" \"We were thinking of something more substantial than that...perhaps a building,\" the woman replied. In a patronizing tone, Eliot brushed aside the idea as being too expensive and the couple departed. The next year, Eliot learned that this plain pair had gone elsewhere and established a $26 million memorial named Leland Stanford Junior University, better known today as Stanford! Today in the Word, June 11, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dodie Gadient, a schoolteacher for thirteen years, decided to travel across America and see the sights she had taught about. Traveling alone in a truck with camper in tow, she launched out. One afternoon rounding a curve on I-5 near Sacramento in rush-hour traffic, a water pump blew on her truck. She was tired, exasperated, scared, and alone. In spite of the traffic jam she caused, no one seemed interested in helping. \"Leaning up against the trailer, she prayed, \'Please God, send me an angel . . . preferably one with mechanical experience.\' Within four minutes, a huge Harley drove up, ridden by an enormous man sporting long, black hair, a beard and tattooed arms. With an incredible air of confidence, he jumped off and, without even glancing at Dodie, went to work on the truck. Within another few minutes, he flagged down a larger truck, attached a tow chain to the frame of the disabled Chevy, and whisked the whole 56-foot rig off the freeway onto a side street, where he calmly continued to work on the water pump. The intimidated schoolteacher was too dumbfounded to talk. Especially when she read the paralyzing words on the back of his leather jacket: \'Hell\'s Angels -- California\'. As he finished the task, she finally got up the courage to say, \"Thanks so much,\" and carry on a brief conversation. Noticing her surprise at the whole ordeal, he looked her straight in the eye and mumbled, \"Don\'t judge a book by its cover. You may not know who you\'re talking to.\" With that, he smiled, closed the hood of the truck, and straddled his Harley. With a wave, he was gone as fast as he had appeared. From the newsletter OUR AMERICA. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Given half a chance, people often crawl out of the boxes into which we\'ve relegated them. Larry D. Wright. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- At a pastor\'s conference in Spokane, Chuck Swindoll told of being at a California Christian camp. The first day there a man approached him and said how greatly he had looked forward to hearing Dr. Swindoll speak and his delight at now finally being able to realize that desire. That evening Swindoll noticed the man sitting near the front. But only a few minutes into the message the man was sound asleep. Swindoll thought to himself that perhaps he was tired after a long day\'s drive and couldn\'t help himself. But the same thing happened the next few nights, and Dr. Swindoll found his exasperation with the man growing. On the last night the man\'s wife came up and apologized for her husband\'s inattention to the messages. She then explained that he had recently been diagnosed as having terminal cancer and the medication he was taking to ease the pain made him extremely sleepy. But it had been one of his life-long ambitions to hear Dr. Swindoll speak before he died, and now he had fulfilled that goal. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Commentary and Devotional At a recent gathering of seminary professors, one teacher reported that at his school the most damaging charge one student can lodge against another is that the person is being \"judgmental.\" He found this pattern very upsetting. \"You can\'t get a good argument going in class anymore,\" he said. \"As soon as somebody takes a stand on any important issue, someone else says that the person is being judgmental. And that\'s it. End of discussion. Everyone is intimidated!\" Many of the other professors nodded knowingly. There seemed to be a consensus that the fear of being judgmental has taken on epidemic proportions. Is the call for civility just another way of spreading this epidemic? If so, then I\'m against civility. But I really don\'t think that this is what being civil is all about. Christian civility does not commit us to a relativistic perspective. Being civil doesn\'t mean that we cannot criticize what goes on around us. Civility doesn\'t require us to approve of what other people believe and do. It is one thing to insist that other people have the right to express their basic convictions; it is another thing to say that they are right in doing so. Civility requires us to live by the first of these principles. But it does not commit us to the second formula. To say that all beliefs and values deserve to be treated as if they were on a par is to endorse relativism -- a perspective that is incompatible with Christian faith and practice. Christian civility does not mean refusing to make judgments about what is good and true. For one thing, it really isn\'t possible to be completely nonjudgmental. Even telling someone else that she is being judgmental is a rather judgmental thing to do! Richard J. Mouw, Uncommon Decency, pp. 20-21. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JUDGING
JUDGING It was F.B. Meyer, I believe, who once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are two things we do not know: First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin. And second, we do not know the power of the forces that assailed him or her. We also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances. Stephen Brown, Christianity Today, April 5, 1993, p. 17. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In his little book Illustrations of Bible Truth, H.A. Ironside pointed out the folly of judging others. He related an incident in the life of a man called Bishop Potter. \"He was sailing for Europe on one of the great transatlantic ocean liners. When he went on board, he found that another passenger was to share the cabin with him. After going to see the accommodations, he came up to the purser\'s desk and inquired if he could leave his gold watch and other valuables in the ship\'s safe. He explained that ordinarily he never availed himself of that privilege, but he had been to his cabin and had met the man who was to occupy the other berth. Judging from his appearance, he was afraid that he might not be a very trustworthy person. The purser accepted the responsibility for the valuables and remarked, \'It\'s all right, bishop, I\'ll be very glad to take care of them for you. The other man has been up here and left his for the same reason!\'\" Our Daily Bread. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We sometimes criticize others unfairly. We don\'t know all their circumstances, nor their motives. Only God, who is aware of all the facts, is able to judge people righteously. John Wesley told of a man he had little respect for because he considered him to be miserly and covetous. One day when this person contributed only a small gift to a worthy charity, Wesley openly criticized him. After the incident, the man went to Wesley privately and told him he had been living on parsnips and water for several weeks. He explained that before his conversion, he had run up many bills. Now, by skimping on everything and buying nothing for himself he was paying off his creditors one by one. \"Christ has made me an honest man,\" he said, \"and so with all these debts to pay, I can give only a few offerings above my tithe. I must settle up with my worldly neighbors and show them what the grace of God can do in the heart of a man who was once dishonest.\" Wesley then apologized to the man and asked his forgiveness. Daily Bread, July 20, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In 1884 a young man died, and after the funeral his grieving parents decided to establish a memorial to him. With that in mind they met with Charles Eliot, president of Harvard University. Eliot received the unpretentious couple into his office and asked what he could do. After they expressed their desire to fund a memorial, Eliot impatiently said, \"Perhaps you have in mind a scholarship.\" \"We were thinking of something more substantial than that...perhaps a building,\" the woman replied. In a patronizing tone, Eliot brushed aside the idea as being too expensive and the couple departed. The next year, Eliot learned that this plain pair had gone elsewhere and established a $26 million memorial named Leland Stanford Junior University, better known today as Stanford! Today in the Word, June 11, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dodie Gadient, a schoolteacher for thirteen years, decided to travel across America and see the sights she had taught about. Traveling alone in a truck with camper in tow, she launched out. One afternoon rounding a curve on I-5 near Sacramento in rush-hour traffic, a water pump blew on her truck. She was tired, exasperated, scared, and alone. In spite of the traffic jam she caused, no one seemed interested in helping. \"Leaning up against the trailer, she prayed, \'Please God, send me an angel . . . preferably one with mechanical experience.\' Within four minutes, a huge Harley drove up, ridden by an enormous man sporting long, black hair, a beard and tattooed arms. With an incredible air of confidence, he jumped off and, without even glancing at Dodie, went to work on the truck. Within another few minutes, he flagged down a larger truck, attached a tow chain to the frame of the disabled Chevy, and whisked the whole 56-foot rig off the freeway onto a side street, where he calmly continued to work on the water pump. The intimidated schoolteacher was too dumbfounded to talk. Especially when she read the paralyzing words on the back of his leather jacket: \'Hell\'s Angels -- California\'. As he finished the task, she finally got up the courage to say, \"Thanks so much,\" and carry on a brief conversation. Noticing her surprise at the whole ordeal, he looked her straight in the eye and mumbled, \"Don\'t judge a book by its cover. You may not know who you\'re talking to.\" With that, he smiled, closed the hood of the truck, and straddled his Harley. With a wave, he was gone as fast as he had appeared. From the newsletter OUR AMERICA. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Given half a chance, people often crawl out of the boxes into which we\'ve relegated them. Larry D. Wright. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- At a pastor\'s conference in Spokane, Chuck Swindoll told of being at a California Christian camp. The first day there a man approached him and said how greatly he had looked forward to hearing Dr. Swindoll speak and his delight at now finally being able to realize that desire. That evening Swindoll noticed the man sitting near the front. But only a few minutes into the message the man was sound asleep. Swindoll thought to himself that perhaps he was tired after a long day\'s drive and couldn\'t help himself. But the same thing happened the next few nights, and Dr. Swindoll found his exasperation with the man growing. On the last night the man\'s wife came up and apologized for her husband\'s inattention to the messages. She then explained that he had recently been diagnosed as having terminal cancer and the medication he was taking to ease the pain made him extremely sleepy. But it had been one of his life-long ambitions to hear Dr. Swindoll speak before he died, and now he had fulfilled that goal. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Commentary and Devotional At a recent gathering of seminary professors, one teacher reported that at his school the most damaging charge one student can lodge against another is that the person is being \"judgmental.\" He found this pattern very upsetting. \"You can\'t get a good argument going in class anymore,\" he said. \"As soon as somebody takes a stand on any important issue, someone else says that the person is being judgmental. And that\'s it. End of discussion. Everyone is intimidated!\" Many of the other professors nodded knowingly. There seemed to be a consensus that the fear of being judgmental has taken on epidemic proportions. Is the call for civility just another way of spreading this epidemic? If so, then I\'m against civility. But I really don\'t think that this is what being civil is all about. Christian civility does not commit us to a relativistic perspective. Being civil doesn\'t mean that we cannot criticize what goes on around us. Civility doesn\'t require us to approve of what other people believe and do. It is one thing to insist that other people have the right to express their basic convictions; it is another thing to say that they are right in doing so. Civility requires us to live by the first of these principles. But it does not commit us to the second formula. To say that all beliefs and values deserve to be treated as if they were on a par is to endorse relativism -- a perspective that is incompatible with Christian faith and practice. Christian civility does not mean refusing to make judgments about what is good and true. For one thing, it really isn\'t possible to be completely nonjudgmental. Even telling someone else that she is being judgmental is a rather judgmental thing to do! Richard J. Mouw, Uncommon Decency, pp. 20-21. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JUDGMENT
JUDGMENT The idea of hell and judgment are nowhere to be found [in Betty Eadie\'s bestseller, Embraced By The Light, on the N.Y. Times bestseller list for more than 40 weeks, including 5 weeks as #1]. In November 1973 Eadie allegedly died after undergoing a hysterectomy, and returned five hours later with the secrets of heaven revealed by Jesus]. Eadie says that Jesus \"never wanted to do or say anything that would offend me\" while she visited heaven. Indeed, Jesus seems to be relegated to the role of a happy tour guide in heaven, not the Savior of the world who died on the cross. Richard Abanes, in Christianity Today, March 7, 1994, p. 53. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- President Clinton named Kristine Gebbie, a lesbian, as the new AIDS czar. Four months later she spelled out her perceptions on traditional morality. She said, [The United States] needs to view human sexuality as an essentially important and pleasurable thing. [Until it does so], we will continue to be a repressed, Victorian society that misrepresents information, denies homosexual sexuality, particularly in teens, and leaves people abandoned with no place to go. I can help just a little bit in my job, standing on the White House lawn talking about sex with no lightning bolts falling on my head.\" Associated Press, October 29, 1993. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- One of the first gospel illustrations that ever made a real impression upon my young heart was a simple story which I heard a preacher tell when I was less than nine years old. It was of pioneers who were making their way across one of the central states to a distant place that had been opened up for homesteading. They traveled in covered wagons drawn by oxen, and progress was necessarily slow. One day they were horrified to note a long line of smoke in the west, stretching for miles across the prairie, and soon it was evident that the dried grass was burning fiercely and coming toward them rapidly. They had crossed a river the day before but it would be impossible to go back to that before the flames would be upon them. One man only seemed to have understanding as to what could be done. He gave the command to set fire to the grass behind them. Then when a space was burned over, the whole company moved back upon it. As the flames roared on toward them from the west, a little girl cried out in terror, \"Are you sure we shall not all be burned up?\" The leader replied, \"My child, the flames cannot reach us here, for we are standing where the fire has been!\" What a picture of the believer, who is safe in Christ! \"On Him Almighty vengeance fell, Which would have sunk a world to hell. He bore it for a chosen race, And thus becomes our Hiding Place.\" The fires of God\'s judgment burned themselves out on Him, and all who are in Christ are safe forever, for they are now standing where the fire has been. H.A. Ironside, Illustrations of Bible Truth, Moody Press, 1945, pp. 34-35. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just before the death of actor W.C. Fields, a friend visited Fields\' hospital room and was surprised to find him thumbing through a Bible. Asked what he was doing with a Bible, Fields replied, \"I\'m looking for loopholes.\" Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I read this past week of a couple (let\'s call them Carl and Clara) whose twenty-five year marriage was a good one. Not the most idyllic, but good. They now had three grown children who loved them dearly. They were also blessed with sufficient financial security to allow them room to dream about a lakeside retirement home. They began looking. A widower we\'ll call Ben was selling his place. They liked it a lot and returned home to talk and plan. Months passed. Last fall, right out of the blue, Clara told Carl she wanted a divorce. He went numb. After all these years, why? And how could she deceive him...how could she have been nursing such a scheme while they were looking at a retirement home? She said she hadn\'t been. Actually, this was a recent decision now that she had found another man. Who? Clara admitted it was Ben, the owner of the lake house, whom she inadvertently ran into several weeks after they had discussed the sale. They\'d begun seeing each other. Since they were now \"in love,\" there was no turning back. Not even the kids, who hated the idea, could dissuade their mother. On the day she was to leave, Carl walked through the kitchen toward the garage. Realizing she would be gone when he returned, he hesitated, \"Well, hon, I guess this is the last time--\" His voice dissolved as he broke into sobs. She felt uneasy, hurriedly got her things together, and drove north to join Ben. Less than two weeks after she moved in with Ben, her new lover, he was seized with a heart attack. He lingered a few hours...and then died. Charles Swindoll, The Quest For Character, Multnomah, p. 42. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lengthy Illustrations The following incident is vouched for by a Church of England clergyman who knew all the circumstances. A young woman, who had been brought up in a Christian home and who had often had very serious convictions in regard to the importance of coming to Christ, chose instead to take the way of the world. Much against the wishes of her godly mother, she insisted on keeping company with a wild, hilarious crowd, who lived only for the passing moment and tried to forget the things of eternity. Again and again she was pleaded with to turn to Christ, but she persistently refused to heed the admonitions addressed to her. Finally, she was taken with a very serious illness. All that medical science could do for her was done in order to bring about her recovery, but it soon became evident that the case was hopeless and death was staring her in the face. Still she was hard and obdurate when urged to turn to God in repentance and take the lost sinner\'s place and trust the lost sinner\'s Saviour. One night she awoke suddenly out of a sound sleep, a frightened look in her eyes, and asked excitedly, \"Mother, what is Ezekiel 7:8,9?\" Her mother said, \"What do you mean, my dear?\" She replied that she had had a most vivid dream. She thought there was a Presence in the room, who very solemnly said to her, \"Read Ezekiel 7:8,9.\" Not recalling the verses in question, the mother reached for a Bible. As she opened it, her heart sank as she saw the words, but she read them aloud to the dying girl: \"Now I will shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations. And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the Lord that smiteth.\" The poor sufferer, with a look of horror on her face, sank back on the pillow, utterly exhausted, and in a few moments she was in eternity. Once more it had been demonstrated that grace rejected brings judgment at last. H.A. Ironside, Illustrations of Bible Truth, Moody Press, 1945, pp. 31-32. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In the 18th century, Archibald Boyle was the leading member of an association of wild and wicked men known as \"The Hell Club\" in Glasgow, Scotland. After one night of carousing at the Club\'s notorious annual meeting, Boyle dreamed he was riding home on his black horse. In the darkness, someone seized the reins, shouting, \"You must go with me!\" As Boyle desperately tried to force the reins from the hands of the unknown guide, the horse reared. Boyle fell down, down, down with increasing speed. \"Where are you taking me?\" The cold voice replied, \"To hell!\" The echoes of the groans and yells of frantic revelry assaulted their ears. At the entrance to hell, Boyle saw the inmates chasing the same pleasures they had pursued in life. There was a lady he\'d known playing her favorite vulgar game. Boyle relaxed, thinking hell must be a pleasurable place after all. When he asked her to rest a moment and show him through the pleasures of hell, she shrieked. \"There is no rest in hell!\" She unclasped the vest of her robe and displayed a coil of living snakes writhing about her midsection. Others revealed different forms of pain in their hearts. \"Take me from this place!\" Boyle demanded. \"By the living God whose name I have so often outraged, I beg you, let me go!\" His guide replied, \"Go then--but in a year and a day we meet to part no more.\" At this, Boyle awoke, feeling that these last words were as letters of fire burned into his heart. Despite a resolution never to attend the Hell Club again, he soon was drawn back. He found no comfort there. He grew haggard and gray under the weight of his conscience and fear of the future. He dreaded attending the Club\'s annual meeting, but his companions forced him to attend. Every nerve of his body writhed in agony at the first sentence of the president\'s opening address: \"Gentlemen, this is leap year; therefore it is a year and a day since our last annual meeting.\" After the meeting, he mounted his house to ride home. Next morning, his horse was found grazing quietly by the roadside. A few yards away lay the corpse of Archibald Boyle. The strange guide had claimed him at the appointed time. Paul Lee Tan. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Commentary and Devotional It was F.B. Meyer, I believe, who once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are two things we do not know: First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin. And second, we do not know the power of the forces that assailed him or her. We also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances. Stephen Brown, Christianity Today, April 5, 1993, p. 17. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Statistics and Research More than four out of every five Americans agree that \"we all will be called before God at judgment day to answer for our sins,\" says a poll conducted for the Times Mirror company. National and International Religion Report, quoted in Signs of the Times, August, 1993, p. 6. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JUDGMENT
JUDGMENT The idea of hell and judgment are nowhere to be found [in Betty Eadie\'s bestseller, Embraced By The Light, on the N.Y. Times bestseller list for more than 40 weeks, including 5 weeks as #1]. In November 1973 Eadie allegedly died after undergoing a hysterectomy, and returned five hours later with the secrets of heaven revealed by Jesus]. Eadie says that Jesus \"never wanted to do or say anything that would offend me\" while she visited heaven. Indeed, Jesus seems to be relegated to the role of a happy tour guide in heaven, not the Savior of the world who died on the cross. Richard Abanes, in Christianity Today, March 7, 1994, p. 53. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- President Clinton named Kristine Gebbie, a lesbian, as the new AIDS czar. Four months later she spelled out her perceptions on traditional morality. She said, [The United States] needs to view human sexuality as an essentially important and pleasurable thing. [Until it does so], we will continue to be a repressed, Victorian society that misrepresents information, denies homosexual sexuality, particularly in teens, and leaves people abandoned with no place to go. I can help just a little bit in my job, standing on the White House lawn talking about sex with no lightning bolts falling on my head.\" Associated Press, October 29, 1993. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- One of the first gospel illustrations that ever made a real impression upon my young heart was a simple story which I heard a preacher tell when I was less than nine years old. It was of pioneers who were making their way across one of the central states to a distant place that had been opened up for homesteading. They traveled in covered wagons drawn by oxen, and progress was necessarily slow. One day they were horrified to note a long line of smoke in the west, stretching for miles across the prairie, and soon it was evident that the dried grass was burning fiercely and coming toward them rapidly. They had crossed a river the day before but it would be impossible to go back to that before the flames would be upon them. One man only seemed to have understanding as to what could be done. He gave the command to set fire to the grass behind them. Then when a space was burned over, the whole company moved back upon it. As the flames roared on toward them from the west, a little girl cried out in terror, \"Are you sure we shall not all be burned up?\" The leader replied, \"My child, the flames cannot reach us here, for we are standing where the fire has been!\" What a picture of the believer, who is safe in Christ! \"On Him Almighty vengeance fell, Which would have sunk a world to hell. He bore it for a chosen race, And thus becomes our Hiding Place.\" The fires of God\'s judgment burned themselves out on Him, and all who are in Christ are safe forever, for they are now standing where the fire has been. H.A. Ironside, Illustrations of Bible Truth, Moody Press, 1945, pp. 34-35. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just before the death of actor W.C. Fields, a friend visited Fields\' hospital room and was surprised to find him thumbing through a Bible. Asked what he was doing with a Bible, Fields replied, \"I\'m looking for loopholes.\" Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I read this past week of a couple (let\'s call them Carl and Clara) whose twenty-five year marriage was a good one. Not the most idyllic, but good. They now had three grown children who loved them dearly. They were also blessed with sufficient financial security to allow them room to dream about a lakeside retirement home. They began looking. A widower we\'ll call Ben was selling his place. They liked it a lot and returned home to talk and plan. Months passed. Last fall, right out of the blue, Clara told Carl she wanted a divorce. He went numb. After all these years, why? And how could she deceive him...how could she have been nursing such a scheme while they were looking at a retirement home? She said she hadn\'t been. Actually, this was a recent decision now that she had found another man. Who? Clara admitted it was Ben, the owner of the lake house, whom she inadvertently ran into several weeks after they had discussed the sale. They\'d begun seeing each other. Since they were now \"in love,\" there was no turning back. Not even the kids, who hated the idea, could dissuade their mother. On the day she was to leave, Carl walked through the kitchen toward the garage. Realizing she would be gone when he returned, he hesitated, \"Well, hon, I guess this is the last time--\" His voice dissolved as he broke into sobs. She felt uneasy, hurriedly got her things together, and drove north to join Ben. Less than two weeks after she moved in with Ben, her new lover, he was seized with a heart attack. He lingered a few hours...and then died. Charles Swindoll, The Quest For Character, Multnomah, p. 42. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lengthy Illustrations The following incident is vouched for by a Church of England clergyman who knew all the circumstances. A young woman, who had been brought up in a Christian home and who had often had very serious convictions in regard to the importance of coming to Christ, chose instead to take the way of the world. Much against the wishes of her godly mother, she insisted on keeping company with a wild, hilarious crowd, who lived only for the passing moment and tried to forget the things of eternity. Again and again she was pleaded with to turn to Christ, but she persistently refused to heed the admonitions addressed to her. Finally, she was taken with a very serious illness. All that medical science could do for her was done in order to bring about her recovery, but it soon became evident that the case was hopeless and death was staring her in the face. Still she was hard and obdurate when urged to turn to God in repentance and take the lost sinner\'s place and trust the lost sinner\'s Saviour. One night she awoke suddenly out of a sound sleep, a frightened look in her eyes, and asked excitedly, \"Mother, what is Ezekiel 7:8,9?\" Her mother said, \"What do you mean, my dear?\" She replied that she had had a most vivid dream. She thought there was a Presence in the room, who very solemnly said to her, \"Read Ezekiel 7:8,9.\" Not recalling the verses in question, the mother reached for a Bible. As she opened it, her heart sank as she saw the words, but she read them aloud to the dying girl: \"Now I will shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations. And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the Lord that smiteth.\" The poor sufferer, with a look of horror on her face, sank back on the pillow, utterly exhausted, and in a few moments she was in eternity. Once more it had been demonstrated that grace rejected brings judgment at last. H.A. Ironside, Illustrations of Bible Truth, Moody Press, 1945, pp. 31-32. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In the 18th century, Archibald Boyle was the leading member of an association of wild and wicked men known as \"The Hell Club\" in Glasgow, Scotland. After one night of carousing at the Club\'s notorious annual meeting, Boyle dreamed he was riding home on his black horse. In the darkness, someone seized the reins, shouting, \"You must go with me!\" As Boyle desperately tried to force the reins from the hands of the unknown guide, the horse reared. Boyle fell down, down, down with increasing speed. \"Where are you taking me?\" The cold voice replied, \"To hell!\" The echoes of the groans and yells of frantic revelry assaulted their ears. At the entrance to hell, Boyle saw the inmates chasing the same pleasures they had pursued in life. There was a lady he\'d known playing her favorite vulgar game. Boyle relaxed, thinking hell must be a pleasurable place after all. When he asked her to rest a moment and show him through the pleasures of hell, she shrieked. \"There is no rest in hell!\" She unclasped the vest of her robe and displayed a coil of living snakes writhing about her midsection. Others revealed different forms of pain in their hearts. \"Take me from this place!\" Boyle demanded. \"By the living God whose name I have so often outraged, I beg you, let me go!\" His guide replied, \"Go then--but in a year and a day we meet to part no more.\" At this, Boyle awoke, feeling that these last words were as letters of fire burned into his heart. Despite a resolution never to attend the Hell Club again, he soon was drawn back. He found no comfort there. He grew haggard and gray under the weight of his conscience and fear of the future. He dreaded attending the Club\'s annual meeting, but his companions forced him to attend. Every nerve of his body writhed in agony at the first sentence of the president\'s opening address: \"Gentlemen, this is leap year; therefore it is a year and a day since our last annual meeting.\" After the meeting, he mounted his house to ride home. Next morning, his horse was found grazing quietly by the roadside. A few yards away lay the corpse of Archibald Boyle. The strange guide had claimed him at the appointed time. Paul Lee Tan. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Commentary and Devotional It was F.B. Meyer, I believe, who once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are two things we do not know: First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin. And second, we do not know the power of the forces that assailed him or her. We also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances. Stephen Brown, Christianity Today, April 5, 1993, p. 17. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Statistics and Research More than four out of every five Americans agree that \"we all will be called before God at judgment day to answer for our sins,\" says a poll conducted for the Times Mirror company. National and International Religion Report, quoted in Signs of the Times, August, 1993, p. 6. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------