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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Christians Should Be …

Albert BarnesAlbert Barnes:

Christians should be grave and serious, though cheerful and pleasant. They should feel that they have great interests at stake, and that the world has too. They are redeemed—not to make sport; purchased with precious blood—for other purposes than to make men laugh. They are soon to be in heaven—and a man who has any impressive sense of that will habitually feel he has much else to do than to make men laugh. The true course of life is midway between moroseness and levity; sourness and lightness; harshness and jesting. Be benevolent, kind, cheerful, bland, courteous—but serious. Be solemn, thoughtful, deeply impressed with the presence of God and with eternal things—but pleasant affable and benignant. Think not a smile sinful; but think not levity and jesting harmless.

The Incontrovertible Truth

Winston ChurchillWinston Churchill:

The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.

Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on [in ignorance].

What Will They Say About You?

Our family recently attended the memorial service for my mom’s sister, Aunt Madge. Aunt Madge was a widow whose husband, Austin died many years ago. She reared one daughter and three sons.

Aunt Madge was an elementary school teacher who taught in both public and Christian schools. She also sang in the choir, taught Sunday School and Disciple Training. She served on the Board of Trustees at Campbell University for four years, as well, and the General Board of the Baptist State Convention.

Aunt Madge not only reared her own four children in her small home, but also invited in many others over the years for various periods of time. If you needed comfort, encouragement, or help, Aunt Madge was the person to see. “Mom”, as she was called by her young visitors, encouraged many young men to become Ministers of the Gospel in that small home.

I laughed heartedly as one of those young men, who is now a minister, told the story of how he and some other boys plotted to get “mom” to say something bad about someone in the church. They bet each other five dollars to make sure their commitment to this effort was sincere. Each boy offered up his true story about the misdeeds of someone in their church. Aunt Madge would agree that the people were wrong in what they did, but then she would go on to explain that person’s situation and how the love of Christ should be ministered to him or her. Obviously, none of the boys won that bet and left with the profound feeling that they should have prayed for these people all along.

This minister also told us about his trip to the Philippines. He had brought along his new expensive camera to make pictures of the trip. In a short time he lost his camera and decided that someone had stolen it. When he returned home, he laid out all his theories and disappointments concerning his lost camera to Aunt Madge. To make a long story short: By the time he left Aunt Madge’s house he felt like he had ministered to the people of the Philippines by losing that camera there.

There were other stories and many wonderful things said at the service about Aunt Madge. As I listened to the sincere comments about my Aunt, I could not help but think how far behind I am in committed service to the God my Aunt loved. I thought about my own funeral sometime in the future and about what people would say about my service to God and what God had accomplished through my life.

I’m not saying Aunt Madge was perfect. None of us are until we are glorified in His kingdom. We do not all have the same calling in our lives and work. Yet, even in the small things – we have the opportunity to glorify our God. What will people say at your funeral about you and the life you lived?

Honestly, I think my Aunt would have been embarrassed by the words of praise bestowed upon her memory. She, however, sought the affirmation of only One when she entered the gates of Heaven: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21 ESV) What will God say to you?

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