During the Cold War, I directed several study tours of Europe. Our itinerary took us from Amsterdam to Berlin, which meant that we had to go through Communist East Germany. At the border we had to show our passports, have our luggage examined, and let the guards check the bus. We waited about 3 hours for clearance. "Remember," one official told me, "there is no American Consulate in East Germany, so do not lose your passports or entry papers."
An old sailor repeatedly got lost at sea, so his friends gave him a compass and urged him to use it. The next time he went out in his boat, he followed their advice and took the compass with him. But as usual he became hopelessly confused and was unable to find his way back. Finally he was rescued by his friends.
No matter where Jesus went during His ministry in the region of the Sea of Galilee, He caused a stir. But most important, He led people to action. Those who observed Him firsthand were moved to do something.
Lloyd Ogilvie, the chaplain of the US Senate, tells about a time when he was having lunch with a prominent businessman. A woman, who recognized the executive, walked over to their table and greeted him with a hefty slap on his back, causing him to spill coffee on his suit. Then with a flamboyant gesture, she tossed her fur stole over her shoulder, brushing Dr. Ogilvie full in the face. "Oh, I'm so sorry," she apologized. The executive looked her straight in the eye and said, "Ma'am, don't be sorry, be different!"
The 17-year-old young man is nearly everything a parent could ask for in a son. He is loving toward his siblings. He chooses good friends, and he shows concern for those who are not part of his inner circle. He does his share of the work at home, and he holds down a parttime job, while keeping up his grades.
If I had been among the early Chris tians forced to leave Jerusalem because of persecution (Acts 8:1), what would I have said to my new neighbors? Would I have reminisced about how much I missed my home church? Would I have complained about how hard it was on the kids to start over in a new place? Probably!
A professing Christian was entangled in an addiction to pornography. He came to me for help, but when he learned that I had never struggled with his particular problem he didn't think I was qualified. I assured him I didn't need firsthand knowledge or experience in a sin to know how to overcome it.
You have a full day of activity lined up—washing, shopping, errands—when your neighbor calls and invites you over for coffee. You don't think she's a believer in Christ, and you've been praying for a chance to talk with her. You know she's been having a rough time. Do you go?