Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin spoke of communists as “dead men on furlough.” Those dedicated followers of the atheistic philosophy were willing to die for the cause, and each new day was simply a reprieve.
Buying a new car is a major investment. We want to be sure we are getting our money’s worth. We also want to be certain that the vehicle won’t cause us trouble. So we carefully file the manufacturer’s warranty, confident that if something doesn’t work right we can take our car back to the dealer. Not only are we sure they have trained people who can troubleshoot the problem and fix it, but we know they have all the manufacturer’s specifications and the parts that may be needed.
In his book The Fisherman and His Friends, Louis Albert Banks tells about a man who was spending a summer near the shores of Lake Superior. One day he came upon an old pine that had been blown down by a recent storm. Knowing something about trees, he was intrigued by that huge evergreen lying on the ground. He examined it closely and figured that it was at least 250 years old. What impressed him most, however, was what he discovered when he stripped away the bark. It was evident to him that on the day the tree fell it was still growing.
I felt fear when I thought of going home. Because of my carelessness, our lovely console TV had fallen out of the trunk of my car and was badly marred. No, I wasn’t afraid that my wife would yell at me or hit me. What I feared was the look of disappointment I would see in her face. Yet home was the place I wanted to be.
When Jesus told people to pray in secret, He didn’t mean that praying in public is wrong. What He condemned are insincere prayers made only to impress people. We may all sense that subtle temptation at times.
My poor computer had gotten overloaded. I had been adding programs to it, storing tons of information, and working on several big projects. Finally it sent me a clear message, informing me that it was incapable of taking any more. If I didn’t relieve it immediately, it was going to “crash.”
Covetousness is one of those overstuffed words in our religious vocabulary that has lost its cutting edge. Many don’t take it seriously. Some even suspect that when God was putting together the Ten Commandments He had nine good solid ones, but then to round out the list threw in one about coveting (Ex. 20:17).
A missionary writes about her field of service: “We have been forced to close some of our stations because of lack of funds and lack of missionaries. This is the cry everywhere today. The largest denominations—faced with a growing deficit in their missionary effort—will have to call home a great number of workers from the different fields next year. With all the luxury that we have, must the cause of Christ thus suffer loss?”