Failure to come clean with God â€¦
In his book I Surrender, Patrick
Morley writes that the churchâ€s
integrity problem is in the misconception
"that we can add Christ to
our lives, but not subtract sin.
It is a change in belief without
a change in behavior." He
goes on to say, "It is revival
without reformation, without repentance."
Quoted by C. Swindoll, John The
Baptizer, Bible Study Guide, p.
The sure test of the quality of
any supposed change of heart will
be found in its permanent effects.
â€By their fruits
you shall know themâ€
is as applicable to the right
method of judging ourselves as
of judging others. Whatever, therefore,
may have been our inward experience,
whatever joy or sorrow we may
have felt, unless we bring forth
fruits meet for repentance, our
experience will profit us nothing.
Repentance is incomplete unless
it leads to confession and restitution
in cases of injury; unless it
causes us to forsake not merely
outward sins, which others notice,
but those which lie concealed
in the heart; unless it makes
us choose the service of God and
live not for ourselves but for
Him. There is no duty which is
either more obvious in itself,
or more frequently asserted in
the Word of God, than that of
M. Cocoris, Evangelism, A Biblical
Approach, Moody, 1984, p. 65.
Trying to make a good impression
with false motives â€¦
Some years ago a remarkable picture
was exhibited in London. As you
looked at it from a distance,
you seemed to see a monk engaged
in prayer, his hands clasped,
his head bowed. As you came nearer,
however, and examined the painting
more closely, you saw that in
reality he was squeezing a lemon
into a punch bowl!
What a picture that is of the
human heart! Superficially examined,
it is thought to be the seat of
all that is good and noble and
pleasing in a man; whereas in
reality, until regenerated by
the Holy Ghost, it is the seat
of all corruption. "This
is the condemnation, that light
is come into the world, and men
loved darkness rather that light."
Asking God for what we have no
right asking â€¦
In his book Why Prayers are Unanswered,
John Lavender retells a story
about Norman Vincent Peale.
When Peale was a boy, he found
a big, black cigar, slipped into
an alley, and lit up. It didnâ€t
taste good, but it made him feel
very grown up. . . until he saw
his father coming. Quickly he
put the cigar behind his back
and tried to be casual. Desperate
to divert his fatherâ€s
attention, Norman pointed to a
billboard advertising the circus.
"Can I go, Dad? Please, letâ€s
go when it comes to town."
reply taught Norman a lesson he
never forgot. "Son, he answered
quietly but firmly, "never
make a petition while at the same
time trying to hide a smoldering
Refusing to believe that God will
answer our prayer â€¦
When her husband, Edmund Gravely,
died at the controls of his small
plane while on the way to Statesboro,
GA, from the Rocky Mount-Wilson
airport, NC, his wife Janice kept
the plane aloft for two hours
until it ran out of fuel. During
this time she sang hymns and prayed
for help. As the plane crossed
the South Carolina-North Carolina
border, she radioed for help:
"Help, help, wonâ€t
someone help me? My pilot is unconscious.
help me?" Authorities who
picked up her distress signal
were not able to reach her by
radio during the flight because
she kept changing channels. Mrs.
Gravely finally made a rough landing
and crawled for 45 minutes to
a farmhouse for help. How often
cry out for help to God, but switch
channels before Godâ€s
message comes through. They turn
to other sources for help, looking
for human help. When you cry out
to God for His intervention, donâ€t
Denying the reality of spiritual
Recently National Geographic ran
an article about the Alaskan bull
moose. The males of the species
battle for dominance during the
fall breeding season, literally
going head-to-head with antlers
crunching together as they collide.
Often the antlers, their only
weapon are broken. That ensures
defeat. The heftiest moose, with
the largest and strongest antlers,
triumphs. Therefore, the battle
fought in the fall is really won
during the summer, when the moose
eat continually. The one that
consumes the best diet for growing
antlers and gaining weight will
be the heavyweight in the fight.
Those that eat inadequately sport
weaker antlers and less bulk.
There is a lesson here for us.
Spiritual battles await. Satan
will choose a season to attack.
Will we be victorious, or will
we fall? Much depends on what
we do now--before the wars begin.
The bull-moose principle: Enduring
faith, strength, and wisdom for
trials are best developed before
Craig Brian Larson.
Discrediting the worth of our
1 Peter 3:7
A young theology student walked
into the campus library. "Iâ€m
look- ing for a book titled, â€Man,
Master of Woman,â€"
he said. The librarian thought
for a moment, then replied, "Try
the FICTION shelf over there."
Overconfidence in our spiritual
Golf immortal Arnold Palmer recalls
a lesson about overconfidence:
It was the final hole of the 1961
Masters tournament, and I had
a one-stroke lead and had just
hit a very satisfying tee shot.
I felt I was in pretty good shape.
As I approached my ball, I saw
an old friend standing at the
edge of the gallery. He motioned
me over, stuck out his hand and
I took his hand and shook it,
but as soon as I did, I knew I
had lost my focus.
On my next two shots, I hit the
ball into a sand trop, then put
it over the edge of the green.
I missed a putt and lost the Masters.
You donâ€t forget
a mistake like that; you just
learn from it and become determined
that you will never do that again.
I havenâ€t in
the 30 years since.
Carol Mann, The 19th Hole (Longmeadow),
quoted in Readerâ€s
Attempting to rip off God â€¦
When God getâ€s
hold of your heart he also get
hold of your wallet.
Failure to submit to biblical
In the summer of 1986, two ships
collided in the Black Sea off
the coast of Russia. Hundreds
of passengers died as they were
hurled into the icy waters below.
News of the disaster was further
darkened when an investigation
revealed the cause of the accident.
It wasnâ€t a
technology problem like radar
malfunction--or even thick fog.
The cause was human stubbornness.
Each captain was aware of the
presence nearby. Both could have
steered clear, but according to
news reports, neither captain
wanted to give way to the other.
Each was too proud to yield first.
By the time they came to their
senses, it was too late.
Closer Walk, December 1991.
Unwilling to forgive or to be
In "The Christian Leader,"
Don Ratzlaff retells a story Vernon
Grounds came across in Ernest Gordonâ€s
Miracle on the River Kwai. The Scottish
soldiers, forced by their Japanese
captors to labor on a jungle railroad,
had degenerated to barbarous behavior,
but one afternoon something happened.
A shovel was missing. The officer
in charge became enraged. He demanded
that the missing shovel be produced,
or else. When nobody in the squadron
budged, the officer got his gun
and threatened to kill them all
on the spot . . . It was obvious
the officer meant what he had said.
Then, finally, one man stepped forward.
The officer put away his gun, picked
up a shovel, and beat the man to
death. When it was over, the survivors
picked up the bloody corpse and
carried it with them to the second
tool check. This time, no shovel
was missing. Indeed, there had been
a miscount at the first check point.
The word spread like wildfire through
the whole camp. An innocent man
had been willing to die to save
the others! . . . The incident had
a profound effect. . . The men began
to treat each other like brothers.
When the victorious Allies swept
in, the survivors, human skeletons,
lined up in front of their captors
(and instead of attacking their
captors) insisted: "No more
hatred. No more killing. Now what
we need is forgiveness." Sacrificial
love has transforming power.
Don Ratzlaff, "The Christian