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Sacrificial vs. Superfici...

One of the signs of the decadence of our church is that people have to be coaxed so much into giving what they ought to give freely. If you want to see the church coax people for gifts, turn on the television. You think I’ve got a thing against television preachers nowadays—and I am one. Write in and get TV Offer #37. Send us an extra gift, and we will sen...

What’s in Your Heart?

How do we know what’s in a person’s heart? We know what’s in a person’s heart by what they do with that which is in their hand. David was not able to build a house of God, but he went as far as he could in building the house of God. He raised the money. He collected the material. He had the plans drawn. He went as far as he could possibly go to...

Not Too Late to Serve the...

The parable of the laborers in Matthew 20 reminds us that it is not too late for you to go to work in God’s vineyard. He hired workers until the 11th hour. And the 11th hour was the last hour before quitting time. And even though they had failed up until that moment to find employment, when the Master called they answered that call and until the last hour our Lo...

Patron or Partner?

I read some time ago that one of the directors of the Rockefeller Foundation said that the members of that organization are either patrons or they are partners. A patron is a person who lends his name and his support to an organization. He occasionally will attend one of the annual meetings. There is some kind of slight attachment to that organization. A patron intend...

Partnering with God

I had the privilege this week of meeting Stanley Tam, the president of US Plastics in Lima, Ohio. He is a Christian businessman. I would have said a few years ago, and he would have said too, that he was the owner of US Plastics. But now he is only the president of US Plastics, because he has given his business to God. In fact he has written a book about his life enti...

A Good Investment

Pat Neff, who was at one time governor of our state and then president of Baylor University, said in all his life he had heard people, preachers in particular, say, “Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven.” But nobody ever told him how. Until one day he figured it out for himself. If you want to lay up for yourself treasures in heaven, then you must inve...

Negativity Toward Giving

Some years ago I was preaching on stewardship and there sat in the service two men who had two entirely different responses to the sermon. One of them was angered and incensed. The other one was moved and blessed and helped by it didn’t say anything to me that day, but later pointed to that day and that sermon when he shared his testimony about tithing years lat...

Who Owns It?

A wealthy member of a small congregation invited the preacher home for lunch. And after lunch they went for a walk through this man’s vast ranch. They saw the lush green meadows, the fat cattle, the fruit trees, and beautiful buildings and after they had looked at all that this man owned, the rancher turned to the preacher and said, “You said today that al...

Financial Counsel in the...

Let’s just suppose by some stretch of the imagination that you have financial problems and you need some help. It’s not the kind of help that a loan would fix. Most people think that if they are having financial problems, all they need to do is to get a loan and that solves their problems. Sometimes that complicates the problem. The problem started at the...

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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