I can't stand the television talk shows in which the participants use vulgar language and describe in sickening detail their immoral activities. Those who shamelessly discuss their sins in public obviously think of themselves as liberated persons because they dare to flaunt their immorality. But what a strange kind of freedom! Little do they know how enslaved they really are.
Whenever the Lord assigns us a difficult task, He gives us what we need to carry it out. John Wesley wrote, "Among the many difficulties of our early ministry, my brother Charles often said, 'If the Lord would give me wings, I'd fly.' I used to answer, 'If God bids me fly, I will trust Him for the wings.'"
Tennis superstar Arthur Ashe died of AIDS, which he contracted from a blood transfusion during heart surgery. More than a great athlete, Ashe was a gentleman who inspired and encouraged many with his exemplary behavior on and off the court.
When John became a salesman in a well-known insurance company years ago, his aim was to work effectively in his firm without compromising his Christian integrity. But there were those who considered him naive. In their view, one could possess job security or Christian integrity—not both.
It's easy to live a long life, at least in America. Look at the statistics: Out of every 100,000 persons, 88,361 reach 50 years of age, more than 70,000 make it to 70, and almost 17,000 get to 85 or more. Staying around a long time, however, should not be our primary goal. Rather, we should be concerned with giving significance and value to all our years and not letting them end in shame and disgrace.
While visiting friends who are rock collectors, I asked, "Do you believe that rock formations reveal a very old earth?" The wife answered first, saying she thinks the earth is relatively young. The husband, on the other hand, said he believes there is evidence that the earth is much older than many claim.
In the 1800s, a Frenchman by the name of Alexis de Tocqueville traveled the United States, trying to discover what made this new country work. One of his observations was that in nearly every frontier cabin he visited, he found well-worn copies of two books: the Bible and a volume of Shakespeare.
It was Abraham Lincoln who said, "God must have loved the common people, since He made so many of them." I would modify that to say, "God must have loved the common people, since He made the way of salvation plain enough to be grasped by all"—yes, even me.