For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16
As a young boy, I grew up chasing fire engines and visiting burned out buildings. My dad, long before they were mandatory, installed automatic fire sprinklers. They saved many buildings from destruction by fire. We visited many sites and watched buildings burn to the ground and then took many photographs, which he used as a sales tool. He would show the photos and sometimes movies to potential customers and say, “This could be your building.”
Convincing businesses to install them was not an easy sell, so my dad came up with an ingenious plan. He went to insurance companies and got them to agree to give a “sprinkler credit” as a premium deduction. Then he hit the road selling and proposed that he would install sprinkler systems and customers would pay him annually whatever their insurance savings were until the system was paid for in full and then they would continue to get the fire insurance deduction. So, essentially their sprinkler system paid for itself and was essentially free.
It makes me think of another “free” offer, the salvation through Christ. The free offer of the Gospel is the offer of salvation in Jesus Christ to all people. We all like to get things for free, no cost, no charge and no payment. I know I do, especially when those things have some value, and even more when they are of great value.
Paul wanted to preach the gospel to the whole world, or as many people as he could reach. And in the words he wrote in his letters that now form part of the New Testament, he has preached to the whole world.
There is no greater gift we can receive for free than to receive the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ which leads us to eternal life in Him and with Him. It does not have to cost you a penny for the free gift from God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Have you received that gift? It is there for you, just for your asking.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
The “pursuit of happiness” is famously enshrined in the United States Declaration of Independence. Not that anybody was waiting for Thomas Jefferson’s permission to seek happiness for themselves. We all naturally want to do it. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
As long as it’s the right kind of happiness. Otherwise, it’s just a distraction.
See, somewhere along the way (or maybe it’s always been like this), it appears we human beings confused the pursuit of happiness with the pursuit of self. As a result, we think we’ll be happiest if we focus on ourselves, spend our resources on ourselves, and meet our own needs and desires—sometimes even at the expense of others. We see this all around us.
All you have to do is watch young children playing and observe how they monopolize their favorite toys, and you’ll know how human it is to be selfish. Nobody has to teach a child not to share.
Now, most of us aren’t absolutely selfish in our pursuit of happiness. We include our loved ones. Maybe a few other people too. But it’s a pretty small list, with “ME” at the top.
Serving ourselves comes naturally for most of us—it always has. But when we try to satisfy our desire for happiness in the pursuit of self, we fall short of the truest, most-lasting forms of happiness. The pursuit of selfish desires may offer some pleasure in the short run, but in the long term, the happiness is never lasting. Misplaced, the pursuit of happiness can become the distraction that keeps us from more meaningful pursuits.
The pursuit of self and the pursuit of lasting happiness are not the same. In fact, at times, they run completely opposite routes.
At the end of your life, would you be prouder of having spent years working and saving to buy a second home, or in doing what you can to help the poor or suffering in your community? Would you find more pride in having spent most of your spare time with sports shows and video games, or in doing the creative work that you were uniquely suited for?
The best, most direct pathway to lasting happiness and fulfillment is to look not only at your own interests but also to the interests of others.
When we begin living our lives for the sake of others, our lives immediately take on greater value. We no longer live for the benefit of one or a few; we begin living for the benefit of many. The Minimalist
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Bills that would legalize infanticide have been introduced in Maryland and in California.
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“A man’s mind is like a garden,” wrote Dee Bowman in That’s Life. “The soil, the seed for sowing, and the seasons have been provided by a gracious and benevolent Creator,” Dee Observed. “But the man must plant the seed, nourish it, cultivate it, and weed it. It’s hard work to care for a good garden. Even then when the harvest comes, a man has no right to say, ‘Look what I did!’”
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
The old mission idea was from the West to the rest. Now it is from everywhere to everyone. Max Wilkins
Jesus’ Word is for all and not just for me. Andy Ivey
Don’t focus on the resurrection of Jesus until you focus on the price. He paid to forgive the sins of all humanity, both past, present and future. Bishop Sharma Lewis
You are the possessor of a great and wonderful power. This power when properly applied, will bring confidence instead of timidity, calmness instead of confusion, poise instead of restlessness, and peace of mind instead of heartache. J. Martin Kohe
Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving. Dale Carnegie
In sports, justice is meted out at the sound of a whistle; when you hear a trumpet in the sky, I hope you have your answer ready for the Great Umpire…It’s Jesus! Dwight Short
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln
The darker the night, the brighter the stars, The deeper the grief, the closer is God! Fyodor Dostoevsky
Never ruin an apology with an excuse. Benjamin Franklin
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston Churchill
If you are too busy doing your own agenda, even good things, to spend time alone with God, then you are just too busy!!!!! Kelly Knouse
In the race of life, we see Jesus. Don’t stop until you are finished. Keep your eyes on the future. Daniel Henderson
If you want God to use you, then you must be fully accountable to Him. Jo Mo Cousins