Life’s Little Lessons XXV
Remembering the Sermon
“Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 6:27). Several years ago the British Weekly printed a letter to the editor: “Dear Sir: I notice that ministers seem to set a great deal of importance on their sermons and spend a great deal of time in preparing them. I have been attending services quite regularly for the past thirty years and during that time, if I estimate correctly, I have listened to no less than 3,000 sermons; but, to my consternation, I discover I cannot remember a single one of them. I wonder if a minister’s time might be more profitably spent on something else? Sincerely…”
That letter triggered an avalanche of angry responses for weeks. The value of preaching was belittled and defended by many, but eventually this single letter closed the debate: “My dear Sir: I have been married for thirty years. During that time I have eaten 32,850 meals — mostly of my wife’s cooking. Suddenly, I have discovered that I cannot remember the menu of a single meal. And yet, I received nourishment from every one of them. I have the distinct impression that without them, I would have starved to death long ago. Sincerely…”
Remembering the Son
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21). The story is told of a wealthy man who lost his wife when their only child was young. A housekeeper was hired to take care of the boy, who lived only into his teens. Heartbroken from this second loss, the father died a short time later. No will could be found; and since there were no relatives, it looked as if the state would get his fortune. The man’s personal belongings, including his mansion, were put up for sale. The old housekeeper had very little money, but there was one thing she wanted. It was a picture that had hung on a wall in the house — a photo of the boy she had loved and nurtured. When the items were sold, nobody else wanted the picture, so she bought it for just a few pennies. Taking it home, she began to clean it and polish the glass. As she took it apart, a paper fell out It was the man’s will, and in it he stated that all his wealth should go to the one who loved his son enough to buy that picture. The legacy of heaven and the inexhaustible riches of God’s love belong to all who trust and love His Son. (From Bible Illustrator)
Remembering the Significant
“He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25). “A real Christian is an odd number, anyway. He feels supreme love for One who he has never seen; talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see; expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another; empties himself in order to be full; admits he is wrong so he can be declared right; goes down in order to get up; is strongest when he is weakest; richest when he is poorest and happiest when he feels the worst. He dies so he can live; forsakes in order to have; gives away so he can keep; sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passeth knowledge” (From A.W. Tozer). He who loves life (who selfishly seeks to please himself) will lose it, but he who hates his life (who denies himself and willingly takes up his cross and follows Christ) will keep his life for the eternal rest.
Seeing the Possible
“And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.’ Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, ‘Are we blind also?’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains” (John 9:39-41). An athlete was blinded in a freak boxing accident. The doctors told him, “You’ll never see again.” The social workers said, “Learn braille, stay home, accept the fact that you will be dependent on others for the rest of your life.” But, Morris Frank fought to regain his independence. The result was the development of “The Seeing Eye,” the organization that trains Seeing-eye dogs for the blind. If we will acknowledge that we are poor, blind sinners and in need of Christ, we will see. But, but if we say we are full of light and have need of nothing, we shall remain blind.
Seeing the Potential
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'” (John 8:12) “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned” (Matt. 4:16). A woman named Rose Crawford had been blind for 50 years. “I just can’t believe it!” she gasped as the doctor lifted the bandages from her eyes after her recovery from delicate surgery in an Ontario hospital. She wept for joy when for the first time in her life a dazzling and beautiful world of form and color greeted eyes that now were able to see. The amazing thing about the story, however, is that 20 years of her blindness had been unnecessary. She didn’t know that surgical techniques had been developed, and that an operation could have restored her vision at the age of 30. The doctor said, “She just figured there was nothing that could be done about her condition. Much of her life could have been different” (From Bible Illustrator). Today, millions of people unnecessarily remain in spiritual darkness. If only they would come to the Great Physician – in accord with His truth – and He would give them the light of life!
Seeing the Protection
“Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.’ This He said, signifying by what death He would die” (John 12:31-33). “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:14-15). While on a trip to the zoo one day, a boy and his father saw a huge lion. The lion was prowling around his enclosure and letting out chilling roars. The boy became very frightened and screamed in terror, but his father remained calm and unafraid. Why? The boy was frightened because he saw only the lion, while the father was unafraid because he saw the cage enclosing the lion. Satan walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. However, through the work of Christ, he has his limitations. A way of escape will always be provided for those who seek it (1Cor. 10:13).