WHEN WE KNOW WE CAN
A high school freshman wanted to join the glee club, but he was not accepted. He was told that he could not sing well enough. But he knew he could sing, and he kept on practicing. Each year he was turned down, but he practiced on. He was sure of himself and he proved that he was right. Who was he?. Opera's Lawrence Tibbett.
A budding young author worked long and hard on a western novel. The publisher he contacted turned it down with the following insult: "There is nothing in this manuscript to indicate that you have the slightest ability to write fiction." But the young man knew that he could do it, and he did. His name was Zane Grey.
A new member of Parliament stood up and made what was probably the poorest speech ever delivered to that assembly. He was hissed and booed. He was hurt, but not defeated. "It is in me," he said, " and it shall come out." It did. He was Richard Brinley Sheridan, one of the most brilliant orators England ever produced.
What was the deciding factor that made the difference between defeat and success in each instance? It was confidence in self and the willing-ness to persist in the pursuit of success. This Fall many of our young folk will be going back to school. Afraid of failure and unwilling to apply themselves to the discipline of study, many will give up and quit school as soon as they can. Happily, others will refuse to accept defeat and go on to become the doctors, lawyers, scientists or statesmen of tomorrow.
A more important area of concern than any of the above mentioned is our soul salvation and spiritual growth. The world, the flesh: and the devil tells us we can't live consistent Christian lives. Of course we can't if we depend on our own strength. But we have an assurance-yea, a guarantee of guidance and strength beyond our natural self. Paul says, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Behold, old thing pass away. All things become new." Through the new birth (here referred to) we can say with Paul, "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me."
We know that we can be victorious Christians. Everyone can be a winner in Christ by trusting Him and following Him each step of the way.
August 23, 1972
Solomon in our text is trying to point out the threat of "small things" to our spiritual welfare and growth. Now, I don't know too much about foxes, but I have learned some things about a creature that is much smaller than the tiniest fox this summer-the mosquito. This little creature has set up a guard over our garden and prevents us from cleaning out the weeds or even gathering the matured vegetables. Also, he sounds a curfew at dusk, and woe be unto the hapless person who may be caught outside. Of course you are not interested in my complaints about this tiny form of life that with his buddies is able to put to flight an adult 157 lb. Man. Indeed, there are more dangerous little things that we need to shun if we expect to have an abundance of spiritual fruit in the garden of our life. There are many so-called "little sins" that apt to creep into our life and hinder our lives from being spiritually fruitful. Some of these are: neglect of public and private worship of God, failure to read and study God's Work, neglect of prayer, failure to witness to others of our faith in Christ, being conformed to worldly ideas and ways, failure to give of our time, our talents, and means to the cause of Christ and a host of other so-called "small sins" Now, back to the mosquitoes: There is a spray or mosquito repellent that if thoroughly and often applied will prevent the mosquitoes form biting you on the protected areas of the body. Also, for the so-called "little sins" that hinder our spiritual growth and fruitfulness, God enjoins us through His Holy Word to "Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh." Isn't it wonderful that God has provided such a wonderful protection from those sins that so easily beset us and prevent us from bringing forth fruits to His honor and glory? Are you walking in the Holy Spirit?
Aug. 18, 1980
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