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Archive for September, 2011

Today’s Grace Gems devotional (emphasis in original):

Little Sins

(J.R. Miller, “Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ” 1890)

“Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same–will be called least in the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:19

A great many people are careful about breaking large commandments and committing heinous sins–while they commit ‘little sins’ continually and without scruple.

They would not tell a direct lie for the world–but their speech is full of little falsehoods!

They would not steal money from the purse or drawer of another–and yet they continually commit small thefts! For example, by mistake the grocer gives them a penny too much change–and they do not think of returning it. Through the carelessness of a postal worker, the postage stamp on a letter is left uncancelled–and they take it off and use it a second time.

They would not purposely try to blacken a neighbor’s name or destroy his character–and yet they repeat to others the evil whispers about him which they have heard, and thus soil his reputation.

They would not swear or curse in the coarse way of the ungodly–but they are continually using such minced oaths such as, Gosh! Gees! Heck! and other mild, timid substitutes for overt swearing.

They would not do flagrant acts of wickedness to disgrace themselves–but their lives are honeycombed with all kinds of little meannesses, impurities, selfishnesses, and bad tempers.

We need to remember, that little disobediences–harm our witness for the kingdom of Heaven.

Little sins–mar the beauty of our character.

Then, little sins are sure to grow! The trickling leak in the dike–becomes a torrent deluging vast plains!

Ofttimes, too, little sins are infinite in their consequences.

We ought never to indulge even the smallest faults or evil habits–but should aim always at perfection of character, and perfection is made up of ‘littles’.

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From the Grace Gems daily email devotional (emphasis in original):

Study the ‘two pictures’ together–to see what grace can do for a man!

(J.R. Miller, “Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ” 1890)

“He appointed the Twelve: To Simon, He gave the name Peter” Mark 3:16

In an art gallery in Europe are shown, side by side–the first and the last works of a great artist. The first is very crude and most faulty; the last is a masterpiece. The contrast shows the results of long culture and practice.

These two names–are like those two pictures:

“Simon” shows us the crude fisherman of Galilee, with all his rashness, his ignorance, his imperfectness.

“Peter” shows us the apostle of the Acts and the Epistles; the firm and secure rock; the man of great power, before whose Spirit-filled eloquence, thousands of proud hearts bow; the gentle, tender soul whose words fall like a benediction; the noble martyr witnessing to the death for his Lord.

Study the ‘two pictures’ together–to see what grace can do for a man!

It is not hard to take roses, lilies, fuchsias, and all the rarest flowers–and make forms of exquisite beauty with them. But to take weeds, dead grasses, dried leaves, and trampled and torn and faded flowers–and make lovely things out of such base materials–is the severest test of skill.

It would not be hard to take an angel–and train him into a glorious messenger. But to take such a man as Simon, or as Saul, or as John Newton, or as John Bunyan–and make him into a holy saint or a mighty apostle–that shows great power and ability!

Yet that is exactly what Christ did with Peter–and has been doing ever since. He takes the poorest stuff, despised, worthless and vile–ofttimes the outcast of men; and when He has finished His gracious transforming work–we behold a saint whiter than snow!

The sculptor beheld an ‘angel’ in the rough, blackened stone, which had been thrown away. And when he was finished–behold! men saw an angel cut from the rejected block!

Just so, Christ can take us, as rough, as unpolished and as vile as we are–and in His hands, our lives shall grow into purity and loveliness, until He presents us at last before the celestial throne, faultless and perfect! “For those God foreknew–He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son!” Romans 8:29

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The 9/11 boatlift

Here’s a bit of American history for you:

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