We are all accustomed to contracts. We are often required to sign them, whether with a builder to construct our house or with the department store when we purchase an appliance. Contracts, formal or informal, specify what happens if one of the parties fails to live up to an agreement.
The best correspondents for Life magazine were sent all over the world to ask the question, “What is the meaning of life?” They talked to philosophers and children, taxi drivers and Nile River boatmen. More than 100 premier photographers provided images.
A boy with a badly disfigured face was the target of many unkind remarks. One day he said to his mother, “I hate people.” Realizing he had become despondent, she took him to a canyon and told him to shout, “I hate you!” The echo came back, “I hate you!” Then she told him to call out, “I love you!” The echo came back, “I love you!” His mother explained that usually we receive from people what we first send out.
A newspaper article told about a California mathematician with a life-threatening brain tumor who wants to have his head quick-frozen while he is still alive. The process is known as cryonic suspension. The man believes that scientists will discover a way to cure his tumor and attach his head to a healthy body. He is quoted as saying, “Everyone should be immortal. I am dying and want to continue to live.”
Geoffrey, a dedicated believer, took seriously our Lord’s command about turning the other cheek, yet he misunderstood the meaning of what Christ taught. When a man struck him, for example, he turned the other side of his face to his assailant and allowed him to hit it again. He said, “I have now fulfilled the Lord’s command.” Then he proceeded to pound his foe into submission. That’s quite obviously not what Jesus had in mind.
Unbelief, indifference, busyness, and laziness are some of the excuses people give for not reading the Bible. Gamaliel Bradford, a renowned American biographer who explored the lives and motives of famous individuals, candidly admitted, “I do not read the New Testament for fear of its awakening a storm of anxiety and self-reproach and doubt and dread of having taken the wrong path, of having been traitor to the plain and simple God.”
I looked at my watch. To my dismay, it was 1:45 in the afternoon. I had promised my daughter Lisa, who was playing the piano in a competition for college scholarships at 1:30, that I would pray for her. I got busy, though, and forgot all about it. By 1:45 I knew she had already finished.
The apostle Paul had never been to the church in Colosse, but he had heard all about it from Epaphras. He knew it was a church under attack by false teachers, so he prayed fervently for this congregation (1:9-14; 2:4-7).