I Know Where I’m Going

30 09 2006

“And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
(John 14:4, MKJV)

Billy Graham is now 86 years old with Parkinson’s disease.

In January 2000, leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina, invited their favorite son, Billy Graham, to a luncheon in his honor.

Billy initially hesitated to accept the invitation because he struggles with Parkinson’s disease. But the Charlotte leaders said, “We don’t expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you.” So he agreed.

After wonderful things were said about him, Dr. Graham stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said,

“I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century. Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn’t find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets. It wasn’t there, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn’t find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn’t find it.

The conductor said, “Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it.”

Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.

The conductor rushed back and said, “Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry, I know who you are. No problem. You don’t need a ticket. I’m sure you bought one.”

Einstein looked at him and said, “Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.'”

Having said that Billy Graham continued, “See the suit I’m wearing? It’s a brand new suit. My wife, my children, and my grandchildren are telling me I’ve gotten a little slovenly in my old age. I used to be a bit more fastidious. So I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon and one more occasion.

You know what that occasion is? This is the suit in which I’ll be buried. But when you hear I’m dead, I don’t want you to immediately remember the suit I’m wearing. I want you to remember this:

I not only know who I am .. I also know where I’m going.”





The Wonder Of It All

29 09 2006

“Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious…”
(1 Peter 2:6,7, KJV)

Gypsy Smith preached until a ripe old age. He came into the Life of God through the ministry of D.L. Moody, having grown up among a family of gypsies and was known for his joy-filled disposition. The Lord used him greatly as he preached between Europe and America and on one such junket, as he sailed across the Atlantic on his way to yet another speaking engagement, an admirer asked him, “How do you do it, Mr. Smith? How do you stay so fresh in the things of the Lord?”

His answer itself was fresh and insightful: “Because, dear friend, I’ve never lost the wonder of it all.”

 

Once so aimlessly I wandered round the tangled paths of sin.
All about me seemed so hopeless, Doubts and fears without, within.
Then a voice so kind and gentle Spoke sweet peace unto my soul.
Gone my days of sin and wandering, Since the Savior made me whole.

 

Now my life is full of gladness, All my days are filled with joy.
I no longer walk in sadness, Happy songs my lips employ.
For I’ve learned the wondrous secret Only those in Christ can know.
‘Tis the peace of sins forgiven–Joy that makes my glad heart glow.

I have never lost the wonder of it all.
I have never lost the wonder of it all!
Since the day that Jesus saved me and a whole new life He gave me,
I have never lost the wonder of it all!
(Lyrics by Alfred Smith)





Finishing Well

28 09 2006

 

“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
(Acts 20:24, ESV)

A study at Fuller Seminary looked at one hundred people in the Bible about whom we have adequate data to evaluate how they finished. The conclusion? Only about a third of them finished well. Most of them failed in the last half of their life, which I think is rather significant.

The thing that surfaced over and over was a failure, not in their knowledge of Scripture but in failing to apply Scripture in their lives. It was the feeling that because they knew the Word, they were living it, which was as untrue for them as it is for us.

Howard Hendricks





Setting Sights Low

27 09 2006

 

 

 

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“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
(Ephesians 2:7, KJV)

Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that 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 us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a 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, “The Weight of Glory”

 





In The Arena

26 09 2006

” From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.”
(Matthew 11:12)

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Teddy Roosevelt





Without Ceasing

25 09 2006

“So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.”
(Acts 12:5)

Prayer is the link that connects us with God. It is the bridge that spans every gulf and bears us over every abyss of danger or of need. How significant is this picture of the New Testament church: Peter in prison, the Jews triumphant, Herod supreme, the arena of martyrdom awaiting the dawning of the morning. “But prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.”

And what is the sequel? The prison open, the apostle free, the Jews baffled, the wicked king divinely smitten, and the Word of God rolling on in greater victory. Do we know the power of our supernatural weapon? Do we dare to use it with the authority of a faith that commands as well as asks? God grant us holy audacity and divine confidence. He is not wanting great men, but He is wanting men that will dare to prove the greatness of their God.

A. B. Simpson

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Abandon Our Faith?

23 09 2006

” If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us.”
(2 Timothy 2:11-13)

Many years ago a small Jewish boy asked his father, “Why must we surrender our Jewish faith and start to attend Lutheran services here in Germany?”

The father replied, “Son, we must abandon our faith so that people will accept us and support our business adventures!”

The young lad never got over his disappointment and bitterness. His faith in his father and in his religion were crushed. When the lad left Germany he went to England to study at the British Museum where he formed his philosophies for life. From those intensive investigations he wrote a book that changed the world called, “The Communist Manifesto”.

From that book one-third of the world fell under the spell of Marxist-Lenist ideology. The name of that little boy was Karl Marx. He influenced billions into a stream that for 70 years ruined, imprisoned and confused many lives. Today, that system of thinking is crumbling, but only after people got a good look at its tragic consequences. The influence of this father’s hypocrisy multiplied in infamy. Without godly faith, all of us are subject to distortions in our perspectives.

(from Bible.org sermon illustrations)