|When Jesus Came to Dinner|
|Ruth looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark,
name and address. She read the letter one more time...
I'm going to be in your neighborhood Saturday
afternoon and I’d like to stop by for a visit.
|Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. “Why would the
Lord want to visit me? I’m nobody special. I don’t have anything to offer.” With
that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. “Oh my goodness,
I really don't have anything to offer. I’ll have to run down to the store and buy
something for dinner.”
She reached for her purse and counted out its contents - seven dollars and forty
cents. “Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least.” She threw on her coat
and hurried out the door. A loaf of french bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and
a carton of milk -- leaving Ruth with a grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt satisfied as she headed home, her meager
offerings tucked under her arm.
“Hey lady, can you help us, lady?” Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans,
she hadn’t even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman,
both of them dressed in little more than rags. “Look lady, I ain’t got a job, ya know,
and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it’s getting cold and we’re getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we’d really appreciate it.”
Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to. “Sir, I’d like
to help you, but I’m a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some
bread, and I’m having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him.” “Yeah, well, OK lady, I understand. Thanks anyway.” The man
put his arm around the woman’s shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley.
As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart. “Sir, wait!” The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. “Look, why don’t
you take this food. I’ll figure out something else to serve my guest.” She handed
the man her grocery bag. “Thank you, lady. Thank you very much!” “Yes, thank
you!” It was the man’s wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering. “You
know, I’ve got another coat at home. Here, why don’t you take this one?” Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman’s shoulders. Then smiling,
she turned and walked back to the street without her coat and with nothing to
serve her guest. “Thank you, lady! Thank you very much!”
Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through
her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox. “That’s odd. The mailman doesn’t usually come twice in one day. ” She
took the envelope out of the box and opened it.
It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the
lovely meal and thank you too for the beautiful coat.
|The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.
~ Author Unknown ~
|Who to Save?|
| After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church’s pastor once again
slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit, and gave a very brief introduction of his childhood friend. With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit to speak, “A
father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific Coast,” he began, “when a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to shore. The
waves were so high, that even though the father who was an experienced sailor,
he could not keep the boat upright, and the three were swept into the ocean.”
The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers
who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested
in his story. He continued, “Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the
most excruciating decision of his life to which boy he would throw the other end
of the line. He only had seconds to make the decision. The father knew that his
son was a Christian, and he also knew that his son’s friend was not. The agony
of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves. As the father yelled
out, ‘I love you, son!’ he threw the line to his son’s friend. By the time he pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beyond the raging
swells into the black of night. His body was never recovered.”
By this time, the two teenagers were sitting straighter in the pew, waiting for the
next words to come out of the old man’s mouth. “The Father,” he continued, “knew
his son would step into eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his
son. How great is the love of God that He should do the same for us.” With that,
the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room.
Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man’s
side. “That was a nice story,” politely started one of the boys, “but I don't think it
was very realistic for a father to give up his son’s life in hopes that the other boy
would become a Christian.”
“Well, you’ve got a point there,” the old man replied, glancing down at his worn
Bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face, and he once again looked up at
the boys and said, “It sure isn’t very realistic, is it? But I’m standing here today to
tell you that THAT story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for
God to give up His Son for me. You see, I was the son’s friend.”
~ Author Unknown ~
|15 Things that God Won’t Ask|
|God won’t ask what kind of car you drove,
but will ask how many people you drove who didn’t have transportation.
God won’t ask the square footage of your house,
but will ask how many people you welcomed into your house.
God won’t ask about the fancy clothes you had in your closet,
but will ask how many of those clothes helped the needy.
God won’t ask about your social status,
but will ask what kind of class you displayed.
God won’t ask how many material possessions you had,
but will ask if they dictated your life.
God won’t ask what your highest salary was,
but will ask if you compromised your character to obtain that salary.
God won’t ask how much overtime you worked,
but will ask if you worked overtime for your family and loved ones.
God won’t ask how many promotions you received,
but will ask how you promoted others.
God won’t ask what your job title was,
but will ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability.
God won’t ask what you did to help yourself,
but will ask what you did to help others.
God won’t ask how many friends you had,
but will ask how many people to whom you were a true friend.
God won’t ask what you did to protect your rights,
but will ask what you did to protect the rights of others.
God won’t ask in what neighborhood you lived,
but will ask how you treated your neighbors.
God won’t ask about the color of your skin,
but will ask about the content of your character.
God won’t ask how many times your deeds matched your words,
but will ask how many times they didn’t.
~ Author Unknown ~
|Several years ago a pastor friend of mine moved
to Houston, Texas. Some weeks after he arrived,
he had occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered
that the driver had accidentally given him ten cents
too much change.
|As he considered what to do, there alternately appeared to him little angelic
figures sitting on his shoulders and whispering instructions into his ears.
One said, “You better give the dime back. It would be wrong to keep it.” On the
other shoulder a voice said, “Oh forget it. It’s just ten cents. Who would worry
about this little amount? Anyway the bus company already gets too much fare.
With there millions everyday they will never miss it. Accept it as a gift from God
and keep quiet.”
When his stop came he paused momentarily at the front door, and handing the
driver the dime he said, “Here. You handed me to much change.” The driver
replied, “Aren’t you the new pastor in town? I have been thinking lately about
going to church somewhere. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave
you ten cents to much change.” When my friend stepped off the bus he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, and held on, and said, “O God, I almost sold your
Son for ten cents.”
~ Joanne Morris ~
| A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 dollar bill.
In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 dollar bill?” Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do
this.” He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, “Who still wants
it?” Still the hands were up in the air.’
“Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started
to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty.
“Now who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air.
|My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did
to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still
worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into
the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We
feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God’s eyes. To Him, dirty or clean,
crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to Him.
~ Author Unknown ~
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