HAVE YOU SHARED THE GOSPEL WITH SOMEONE LATELY?

HAVE YOU SHARED THE GOSPEL WITH SOMEONE LATELY?The following story came across my desk this past week. I thought it had such a punch to it that you might be encouraged to share the gospel with someone after reading it. “A Holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, ‘Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.’ “The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table.. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, ‘You have seen Hell.

“They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. ”The holy man said, ‘I don’t understand. ‘It is simple,’ said the Lord. ‘It requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other. The greedy think only of themselves.’ When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you.”

What a story this is! I fear we do not share enough. We are so often motivated out of selfishness. We long to have and to be praised and to gain for ourselves whatever we can. We often do not think of others and their feelings and their needs. We fail to show one another the love we have for one another for we just do not consider one another as we should. May God help us to think, not of self but of others. Love them. Want what is best for them. Sacrifice for them. Edify them. If we really enrich others we will truly be enriched ourselves and our lives will be meaningful. I fear we do not love God enough and therefore fall short in our worship and service to Him but we also fall short in our love for one another and our service to each other. May God give us wisdom to see how we may help each other and also the fortitude to busy ourselves in the doing of such. God has been so good to us and other people mean the world to us and have done so much for us. Let us bow our heads and thank God and rise to live for Him and for others, the first two commandments fulfilling. Have you taught someone the gospel of late? There is no love you can show others that is greater than bringing them to salvation.

 

Stan Caldwell

Please Judge Me

Please Judge MeThat’s right, it’s time we flipped the script on the overused and misused slogan of so many — “don’t judge me.” Me personally, I want to know when I’m wrong — in any area of my spiritual life. I do “examine (my) own work” (Gal.6:2); I do “judge” myself (1 Cor.11:31), but I may be blind to what others can clearly see. Just to be clear, I’m not talking about the “command fire to come down from heaven” spirit of judgment displayed by James and John (Luke 9:51-56). Final judgment belongs to the Lord, but you can help me get ready for that judgment by judging me now — by pointing out my sins.

I would urge you to not judge me too hastily, to “not judge according to appearance, but…with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). But if you know the facts, and the facts point to my guilt, please love me enough to rebuke me (Rev.3:19), because “open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed” (Prov.27:5). “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Prov. 27:6), so don’t be afraid to wound me.

I would also prefer that you not judge me hypocritically, that you not be guilty of the same things of which you accuse me (Matt.7:1-5; Rom. 2:1-3). Not for my sake, because your hypocrisy doesn’t change my innocence or guilt, but for your sake. Make sure you humbly apply the same standard (the gospel) to yourself that you apply to me, and let’s both be willing to repent.

And yes, it would be easier on me (and you) if you come to me, at least initially, “in a spirit of gentleness” (Gal.6:1). Circumstances may call for a sharper rebuke (Titus 1:13), and if that’s the case, it’s on me to respond with a “broken and a contrite heart” (Psalms 51:17). Bottom line — be careful in your approach, but from my standpoint, how you speak to me doesn’t change the facts. If I’m guilty of sin, that’s my biggest concern, not the manner in which you spoke.

It could be that my actions call for a public rebuke, much like Peter received at the hands of Paul (Gal.2:13-14). And though I have no intention to do so, if I publicly teach false doctrine, I shouldn’t be surprised when you feel the need to warn others about me. Public teaching invites public scrutiny, and if necessary, public rebuke — I understand that, and I also understand that if I listen to correction along the way, it should never come to that.

“Don’t judge me” — here’s what God says about that approach: “He who refuses correction goes astray” (Prov.10:17). “He who hates corrections is stupid” (Prov.12:1). “He who hates correction will die” (Prov.15:10). “He who disdains instruction despises his own soul…” (Prov.15:32).

“Please judge me” — here’s what God says about that approach: “He who regards a rebuke will be honored” (Prov.13:18). “He who receives correction is prudent” (Prov.15:5). “The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise…he who heeds rebuke gets understanding” (Prov.15:31-32). So, which is the better approach? You be the judge.

Bryan Gibson

HE MADE NO MISTAKES

No MistakesHe made no mistakes, took no wrong road,

No, never fumbled the ball.

He never went down ‘neath the weight of a load,

He simply did…NOTHING AT ALL!!!

 

He lost no hard fight in defense of the right;

Never bled with his back to the wall.

He never felt faint in his climb to the light,

He simply did…NOTHING AT ALL!!!

 

So death came nigh for life slips by,

And he feared the judgment hall.

When they asked him why, he said with a sigh,

“I simply did…NOTHING AT ALL.”

 

God will pardon your mistakes, my friend,

And regard with pity your fall;

But the one big sin that He will not mend

Is simply to do…NOTHING AT ALL.

Selected

 

Could it be that many of us are falling in the trap of the poem on this page. There are so many things we need to be actively doing. Are you serving the Lord or are you DOING NOTHING AT ALL? What can you do, you say?

 

  1. Visit the sick or shut-ins
  2. Invite your neighbors to attend the services with you
  3. Pray and read your Bible
  4. Visit slothful brethren
  5. Count your blessings
  6. Reach out to help others
  7. Attend all services
  8. Prepare for our classes
  9. Write an encouraging letter
  10. Encourage the brethren

Stan Caldwell