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Don't Clutter Your Life

One of our attorneys told me a story about when he was in law school years before and was given an assignment to write a paper. When he turned the paper in, he thought it was rather good. But he got a “B” on the paper when he expected an “A.” He went back to talk to the professor. The professor said, “Here is an ‘A’ paper. Tak...

Putting a Premium on Simp...

Dr. Carl Barth, the great Swiss theologian, once came to the United States. He was talking one day with theological students. They asked him this question: “Dr. Barth, in your lifetime you have read and studied as deeply into theology as any man who has ever lived. Could you summarize for us in just a few sentences what you believe to be the essence of Christian...

Honesty, the Only Policy

Several years ago I read a striking statement by Ron Hubbard in the Los Angeles Times. He was at that time a fiction writer. He wrote these cheap novels—just pulp paper. Many sources quote him as having said, “Writing a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way to do it is to start his own religion.” So...

Don't Give Up on God

In the TV miniseries Wallenberg: A Hero’s Story, a story is recounted about Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish foreign minister who worked to help save Jews from Nazi terrorism in Hungary during the days of World War II. In the movie a young Jewish man who had never been a very good Jew and a Jewish rabbi were talking about German atrocities against the Jews. The young...

No Retreat

During the Civil War, a 13-year-old boy was a bugler for a band of soldiers. They found themselves in the midst of a bloody battle and it seemed that they would all die. In the midst of the fighting, the commander yelled, “Tell the bugler to sound the retreat!” Nothing happened. Then in a few moments the orderly reported, “The bugler said he doesn&rs...

A Traffic Jam of Wills

The most important thing in the whole world is to know the will of God. It gives life meaning and purpose, which is necessary for a rich and full life. Animals can exist, but we must have purpose. How can we find it? E. Stanley Jones’ testimony helps me:  “When I was deciding the quest for my life’s work, I received a letter from a college pres...

Uncomplicated Lives

When Dr. Carl Barth, the great Swiss theologian, came to the United States, he met with some theological students. They asked him this question: “Dr. Barth, in your lifetime you have read and studied as deeply into theology as any man who has ever lived. Could you summarize for us in just a few sentences what you believe to be the essence of Christianity?”...

Hypocrisy in Missions

Years ago in a church I pastored, we had a faithful member. She was there every time the doors were opened. In a previous church she had been the president of the Women’s Missionary Union. As the leader of that ministry she had often led that church to pray for missions—for the conversion of the heathen and for the church to send missionaries to distant la...

Jesus Is for Everyone

Charles Drew was one of the great black American surgeons and scientists. He made a principal contribution to the American Red Cross blood program in learning and discovering that blood plasma, as opposed to whole blood, was not only acceptable but preferable in blood transfusions. Up until his time, if you wanted a blood transfusion, you could use only whole blood. W...

Today's Devotional

Applied Christianity

I once talked with a man who was convinced that Christianity was a failure. His conclusion was based on the fact that while our cities are full of churches and preachers, our world is getting worse and worse.

If you think about this criticism, you must agree that there is much religion in America that has little effect on the daily lives of people. While the number of church members may grow each year, so does lawlessness and immorality. But does this mean that Christianity is a failure? No. At the close of World War I a soap manufacturer, walking down the street with his pastor, was bemoaning the “failure” of Christianity. He said to his pastor, “After 19 centuries of preaching and teaching Christ, there is still so much evil in the world. I don’t see how you can go on preaching the Gospel.” 

“I don’t see how you can go on manufacturing soap,” retorted the pastor. “Look at the little urchin playing in the gutter. Neck and ears filthy. There’s still so much dirt in the world. Soap is such a failure.”

“But,” countered the soap manufacturer, “If people will just apply the soap, they’ll be clean.”

“Yes,” concluded the pastor, “and if men will but apply Christ to their daily living, they will also be clean.” 

The evil of today’s world is not due to Christianity’s failure, but to our failure to apply our Christianity. As writer G.K. Chesterton said, "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and not tried."

Attend church Sunday, listen to God’s word, then apply it to your daily life and you and the world will both be better because of it.

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