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Limiting God

Israel’s problem was that it did not have believing faith. The end result was that they did not take the Promised Land but rather wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. They preferred the security of slavery to the risk of freedom. Consequently they tied the hands of God. He wanted to give them the land, but they did not believe enough to attempt to take it, s...

Take the Initiative in Ev...

I had the opportunity to spend some time with Harrell Cushing, a fellow pastor, who is the chairman of the Foreign Mission Board of the SBC. He told us what God is doing in China. He has firsthand information as a result of his position in our convention. Thirty years ago, our missionaries were driven out of China. That had long been one of our great mission fields. W...

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...

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...

When Jesus Struck Out

We must understand that Jesus failed often in his public ministry. You remember when he went to his hometown of Nazareth. The Bible says that he could do no mighty works there because of their unbelief. He struck out in his own hometown. Then he went into the region of Gadarenes and he cast the demons out of the man into the pigs, and then the pigs plunged over the cl...

What We Really Want to Do

You could go on and on with the excuses, the reasons that people give for not witnessing. But the bottom Iine is that if we do not share our faith with other people, we simply lack the motivation that we ought to have. I am persuaded that witnessing and sharing your faith with another person ought to be the spontaneous result of being converted to Jesus Christ. When w...

An Open Door to Share Chr...

Sam Shoemaker, the great Episcopalian preacher and evangelist, used to say, “Every man is like an island and if you will row around him several times you will find a place to put in.” In every person’s life there is a problem or a need or they live near one. If you can identify that need and begin to talk to them about that need and how God and Chris...

How to Win an Audience fo...

I have been reading a book entitled Marketing the Church. The author of that book asks a question that I think is worth asking to every one of us. He said, “How many of you have ever met an unsaved person who is craving for a sermon? Or how many of you have ever met an unsaved person who has sought diligently a place where they can sing ‘The Old Rugged Cro...

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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