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Heaven By Grace

Keep Hope Alive

With God’s Help

Direction Of Life

Will Not Get Involved

Just For One Day

Never Pray Again

Paul And Grace

Important To Communicate

Hold The Rope

His Son’s Art

Join Hands

Heaven By Grace

A man dies and goes to heaven.
Of course, St. Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates.

St. Peter says, "Here's how it works.
You need 100 points to make it into heaven.
You tell me all the good things you've done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item,
 depending on how good it was.
When you reach 100 points, you get in
."

"Okay," the man says. "I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart."
"That's wonderful," says St. Peter, "that's worth three points!"
"Three points?" he says.

"Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service."
 "Terrific!" says St. Peter. "That's certainly worth a point."

"One point? I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans."
"Fantastic, that's good for two more points," he says.
"Two points!" the man cries.

"At this rate the only way I get into heaven is by the grace of God."
 
"Congratulations. That'll do it."

Keep Hope Alive

Every now and then you can hear someone say that another person is hopeless.
When we hear that, we must cry out "That is not true!"

The most profane word in the English language is the word "hopeless."

To say a person is hopeless, or a situation is hopeless, is a direct denial of the power of God.
In Psalm 42:5, we read this powerful statement: "Hope thou in God."

God has given:
     ·   Healing for all your hurts.
     ·   Insights to build a better life.
     ·   Love to give away.
     ·   New dreams to dare you to reach beyond where you have been.
     ·   Obstacles to overcome.
     ·   Scars to turn into scars.
To you, God has given possibilities unlimited!

What matters is not where you have been, but where you are going.

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With God’s Help

In one of our large a lady employee of a bus company was interviewed over the evening TV newscast.
Her job was to answer the phone all day and take people's comments and complaints.
This is one job not many people would want.
Who would want to listen to complaining people all day long.

Because this lady had done such a great job of being warm and friendly in the midst of some pretty difficult conversations, the TV station had singled her out for honor in a news story.

In the midst of the day on conversations, the reporter asked her how she kept her cool with people
who were usually upset.

This charming lady simply pointed to a plaque on the wall and read it aloud:
"Whatever the mind can conceive,
And I will dare to believe,
With God's help, I can achieve
."

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Never Pray Again

Charles Spurgeon tells of an eccentric minister, who was taking a morning walk, and met a man going to work.
The minister said, "What a beautiful morning! How grateful we ought to be to God for all His mercies!"

The man replied that he didn't know about that.
 
The minister said, "Why, I suppose that you always pray to God for your life and for your children -- don't you?"

The man answered, "No! I never pray!"

Then the pastor said, "If you never pray, I'll tell you what I'll do.
I'll give you $50 if you will promise me that you will never pray as long as you live."

The man took the $50: "Sure, I'll take the $50. $50 is $50.
I promise never to pray again."

The man went to work. After a while, he began to think about the bargain.
"That's an odd thing I have done.
I took money and promised never to pray as long as I live
."

He thought it over and over. He began to feel wretched.
He went home and talked it over with his wife.

His wife said, "You sold yourself to the devil."

Then, it began to torment him. He sold himself to the devil.
He began to attend different places of worship and thought that it was just futility
for he had sold himself to the devil.

Then one night, feeling very wretched and ill, he walked into a church and listened to the message.
The text was, "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul!"

Then, the preacher stated that he met a man one morning who sold his soul for $50.
The man quickly got up and rushed to the front, crying: "Take it back! Take it back!"

The pastor said, "You promised that you would never pray. You took $50.
Are you saying that you now want to pray
?"

"O yes, I would give the world to be allowed to pray."

Many in this service are probably thinking what a fool that man was to sell his soul for $50.
But there are probably many here who are bigger fools.
They have never taken $50, and they do not pray -- and maybe never will.

There are those who will go to an everlasting hell without ever seeking God.

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Will Not Get Involved

We are told first to seek God's kingdom and his glory.

Sometimes, we can't find the more excellent way because we are afraid of getting involved.
Maybe your faith has been as tired as the man who spoke to the pastor after church about becoming a member.

But the man said that he was rather busy, "I don't want to be called on for any committee work
or teaching in the Sunday school or singing in the choir.
I would like to be spared from anything that would take my time."
Then he added, "And one more thing, don't expect me at worship too often."

The pastor thought for a moment, and then replied, "I believe you are in the wrong church.
The church you are looking for is down the street."

The man decided to check out the other church and went down the street to find it.
He came to it and was dumbfounded to find that it was abandoned and had been boarded up.
That man did not want to get involved.
He was afraid to let God use him.

Some people never find the right way because they refuse to take even in the first step.

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Just For One Day

In the Old Testament God sent the manna which fed the children of Israel in a time of great need.
They gathered it fresh every day.
It was good for one day at a time.
The load of tomorrow, added to that of yesterday, carried today, makes the strongest falter.

So never be troubled about tomorrow.
Jesus said: "...Tomorrow will take care of itself.
The day's own trouble is enough for today
." (Matthew 6:34, Moffatt)

ONE DAY AT A TIME!
     ·   Anyone can carry his burden until night comes.
     ·   Anyone can do his work for one day.
     ·   Anyone can live patiently until the sun goes down.
     ·   Just For One Day

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Paul And Grace

Paul is preeminently the apostle of grace.

Out of 155 New Testament references to the word, "grace," 130 are Paul's directly or indirectly.
 
     ·   Grace opens and closes his books.
     ·   Grace is the keynote of his teaching.
     ·   Grace was the secret of his life.
     ·   Grace is the characteristic of Christianity.

"Grace! 'Tis a charming sound,
Harmonious to the ear;
Heaven with the echo shall resound
And all earth shall hear."

In order to have a true and clear understanding of what it is that makes us Christian,
we must learn the truth of this statement: " By grace are you saved."

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Direction Of Life

Halford Luccock tells about a man who was attempting to catch a bus.
He ran as fast as he could and then he jumped on the bus.
The first thing he asked was, "Where is this bus going?"

That was a good question to ask before he jumped aboard.

This is a question that we should ask before we jump.
Where is this  bus going? Where is my life really going?

Am I going in the direction that I should?

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Join Hands

A magazine contained a series of pictures of one of the saddest stories that one could imagine.
The first picture was of a vast wheat field in Western Kansas.
From horizon to horizon, as far as the eye could see, the field was covered with wheat.
The second picture was of the distress of the mother who was in the farmhouse which was situated
in the middle of the wheat field.

She had a small boy who somehow had wandered away from the house into the wheat field.
She tried to find him and could not.
So she called for her husband, and they searched for their small son without any success.
They finally called for the neighbors who also began looking.
They searched and searched through the vast wheat field for the little boy, but they could not find him.

The next picture depicted all the people who heard of that little boy being lost,
Let us join hands and let us go through this wheat field and comb it from one side to the other
until we find that little boy
.”

The last picture would break your heart.
It was the picture of the father standing over the body of his little boy.
They had finally found him, but the boy was dead.

Underneath the picture were the words of the father as he cried, “O God, that we had joined hands before.
The mother asked, “Why didn’t you join hands sooner?”

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His Son’s Art

Robert Strand tells the story of a wealthy English baron named Fitzgerald who had only one child.
The child, a boy, was the center of his family’s attention and love.
Fitzgerald and his wife doted on the boy.
In his early teens, the boy’s mother died.

If anything, it made his father only the more determined to see to his son and provide him
the very best of everything.
With his immense wealth, nothing would be withheld.
Yet his millions could not keep the beloved son from falling ill and dying before he reached his twentieth birthday.

Baron Fitzgerald devoted his energy and wealth for the rest of his life to art.
He bought any number of the great “masters” and came to possess one of the finest
and most valuable art collections in the world.

When he died, his will gave explicit instructions for the disposition of his estate.
There was to be an auction to dispose of all his holdings.
The day for the auction came.
Museum curators and private collectors were on hand and ready to bid.
Breathtaking works of art were everywhere in view.

When the announced time arrived, an attorney read from the will and informed the crowd that the baron’s will stipulated the first painting at auction would be a portrait of Fitzgerald’s beloved child — a rather poor quality piece
that had been done by a local artist whose name had long ago been forgotten.
There was silence as a request for bids was made.

One and only one bid was offered.
An old man who had been a servant to the Fitzgerald family for years bid on the painting for its sentimental value. Eyes rolled and impatient bidders kept silent, waiting for the real auction to start.
So, without objection or other bids, the painting was sold for the only bid received — a mere pittance.

Bringing down his gavel to close bidding on the first painting, the auctioneer yielded once again to the attorney. Unusual as it may have seemed, the buzz of the excited crowd was hushed again,
and the attorney read from the will of Baron Fitzgerald:
Whoever buys the painting of my son gets all my art collection.
The auction is over
.”

With an extravagance that defies logic, practicality, or anything unbelief can fathom, give yourself unreservedly
to God’s Son today.

And do so knowing that the one who loves Jesus with the self-forgetful, self-emptying love
Mary modeled for us that day in Bethany is the one who receives the affirmation and blessing of His Father.

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Important To Communicate

The War of 1812 almost failed to take place – and when he did, it almost failed to stop.
One of the major causes of irritation at that time between our nation and England was
that country’s blockade of France.

However, on June 16, 1812, the English lifted the blockade on American ships entering French harbors.
But the news failed to reach the enraged American Congress before they voted a declaration of war
on England, June 18, 1812.

Three years later on January 5, 1815, the Battle of New Orleans, the last major engagement of the war,
was fought.
But it need not have occurred!
For the Treaty of Ghent, declaring an end to hostilities, had been signed on December 24, 1814!

This is typical of many of life’s battles.
A feud between neighbors or fellow Christians is usually carried on reluctantly by both parties.
Each would be happier if the battle had never happen – and the reason it continues can be traced usually
to the lack or the unwillingness of either to communicate a truce.

The Bible says, “Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him.”
It may not be easy to give in to our adversaries until we remember it was said of Jesus,
He was bruised for our inequities, and the chastisement of our peace was upon him.”

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Hold The Rope!

Through the quiet streets of a fishing village that lay at the mouth of a turbulent river, a cry rang out,
 “Boy overboard!”

Quickly a crowd gathered, and anxious eyes looked out over the rushing water to the figure of the drowning boy.
Each anxious mother’s heart was asking, “Is he my boy?

A rope was bought, and the strongest swimmer in the village volunteered to swim out and try to rescue
the drowning boy.
Tying one end of the rope to his waist, he threw the other among the crowd, and plunged in.
Eagerly they watched him fight the turbulent tide with strong, sure strokes,
and a cheer went up when he reached the boy and grasped him safely in his powerful arms.

Pull in the rope!” He shouted over the swirling waters.
The villagers looked from one to another, “Who is holding the rope?” They asked.
But no one was holding the rope!

In the excitement of watching the rescue, the end of the rope had slipped into the water.
Powerless to help, they watched two precious lives go down to their death because no one had made it
his business to hold the end of the rope.

Must millions be left to perish because there is no one to hold the end of the rope?

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