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What Might Have Been

John Greenleaf Whittier once wrote, “For all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’” Those words are the sad commentary on many a life. People start with such great promise and have such golden opportunities. But they make the wrong choices and miss their opportunities and so never reach their potential. Their...

Tell Children What God Is...

A little girl came to her mother one day and said, “Mother, what is God like?” The mother was cooking in the kitchen and didn’t have time to talk to her, so she said, “Ask your father.” The girl went to her father, “Father, what is God like?” And he answered gruffly from behind the paper, not wanting to be disturbed, “As...

Going to God with Open Ey...

When Dr. Samuel Johnson was ill with his last illness, he asked if doctors would tell him honestly if he could recover. The doctor said that he could not recover without a miracle. “Then,” said Johnson, “I will take no more [medicine], not even opiates, for I have prayed that I may render up my soul to God unclouded.” When Jesus arrived at Golg...

For People Like This

Golgotha is an Aramaic word that means “the place of the skull.” Today a bus depot stands beneath it. It is almost ironic that the smell of carbon monoxide, the sound of honking horns, and the sight of short tempers should surround the place where Jesus died. It was for people like this and things like this that he died in the first place.

Getting into Heaven

I like the story about the fellow who died and appeared before St. Peter at the gates of heaven. He said, “I’ve come to get in.” And St. Peter said, “You can only get in here by the point system, and it takes a thousand points to get in.” Well, that’s no hill for a stepper, so he said, “I think I can make it. I was active in m...

What Makes Jesus Differen...

Dr. Emil Grubbe was a pioneer in the use of x-ray technology for the treatment of cancer patients. In fact in 1896 he was the first physician ever to use an x-ray beam in the treatment of a cancer patient. Because of Emil Grubbe, even though you may have never heard of him, many of you have found hope for a new life and an extended life because of what x-ray technolog...

Centuries, Cultures, and...

When I read about yet another official in a place of public trust being found guilty of wrongdoing, my first inclination is to despair. I think, “People are worse than ever before.” Then I get it all back in perspective. It’s not that people are worse—the news coverage is just better. One writer said about youth, “Our youth now love luxu...

The Cross

15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.  It is doubtful that many, if any of us, understand the true meaning of the cross. To us it is a piece of costume jewelry, an ornament on top of the steeple of a church, or the theme of our mother’s favorite song. Al...

The Rending of the Veil

37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.  39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. Introduction We had a good service this morning. We had four people join...

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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