March 2nd, 2014
The story is told of a beggar who one day asked for alms from Alexander the Great as he passed by. The man was poor and wretched and had no claim upon the ruler, no right, in fact, even to lift a solicitous hand. Yet the king threw him several gold coins.
A courtier was astonished at his generosity and commented, “Sir, copper coins would adequately meet a beggar’s need.”
Alexander responded in royal fashion, “Truly, copper coins would suit the beggar’s need, but gold coins suit Alexander’s giving!”
Just a thought when we give each Sunday morning, does our offering suit a beggar or rather suit the King in whose service privileged to be?
Luke 6:38:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
February 23rd, 2014
A fly discovered a tantalizing strip of flypaper. It looked so appetizing to him that he decided to claim it for himself. So, after chasing away all the other insects that threatened to share his find, he landed on its very edge and happily announced, “My flypaper.” Then he proceeded to partake of the tasty feast. In his desire to satisfy his appetite, he tried to walk around to get all he could, and before he knew it he was firmly attached to the sticky surface.
Realizing he couldn’t move his legs, he began flapping his wings, but they too became hopelessly mired in the goo. Finally he gave up, completely exhausted.
The flypaper proudly exclaimed, “My fly!”
This portrays what happens in real life to those who get caught in the trap of materialism.
1 Timothy 6:10: “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
February 16th, 2014
Psychologists describe a number of defense mechanisms used by people to keep from admitting they have sinned. One text lists 16 different methods of self-deception to avoid dealing honestly with our own evil thoughts and feelings.
Rationalization occurs when someone assumes that it’s all right to cheat on his income tax because “everybody is doing it.”
Projection is the reaction of a person who ascribes to others his own faults. He conveniently uses the excuse of hypocrisy in the church to account for his own unfaithfulness.
Then there is what is called displacement. He is afraid to direct his anger at his boss, so he goes home and yells at his wife and kicks the dog instead.
1 John 3:6: “No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him.”
We must own up to our sins, rather than justifying them.