Friday, October 14, 2005

Witnessing - Stay at It!

Today's Scriptures:

Witnessing - Stay at It!

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will
reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have
opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who
belong to the family of believers.

Galatians 6:9,10 NIV

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye
will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

John 15:7,8 KJV

Those who sow in tears
shall reap with joyful shouting.
He who goes to and fro weeping,
carrying his bag of seed,
Shall indeed come again
with a shout of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.

Psalm 126:5,6 NASB

And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth
has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Matthew 28:18-20
Thanks be unto God for His wonderful gift:
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God
is the object of our faith; the only faith
that saves is faith in Him.

Read the Bible in One Year:

October 14: Revelation 14, Esther 5:1-6:13, Psalm 106:24-48

Today's Meditation:

Faith & Patience

Dear friends, even though we are talking like this, we really don't
believe that it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant
for better things, things that come with salvation. For God is not
unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how
you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians, as you
still do. Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving
others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you
hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and
indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are
going to inherit God's promises because of their faith and patience.

Gods Promises Bring Hope

For example, there was God's promise to Abraham. Since there was no
one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying:

Hebrews 6:9-15 The NLT


CEV - Contemporary English Version
ESV - English Standard Version
KJV - King James Version
MSG - The Message
NASB - New American Standard Bible
NIV - New International Version
NKJV - New King James Version
NLT - New Living Translation
RSV - Revised Standard Version

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Monday, October 10, 2005

Have You Any Rags?

I just found one of the greatest illustrations of our Lord and Messiah Jesus Christ from the Heart To Heart Blog on BlogExplosion and it is an awesome message worth sharing with anyone you love.

Have you any rags?

I saw a strange sight. I stumbled upon a story most strange, like nothing my life, my street sense; my sly tongue had ever prepared me for. Hush, child. Hush, now, and I will tell it to you.

Even before the dawn one Friday morning I noticed a young man, handsome and strong, walking the alleys of our City. He was pulling an old cart filled with clothes both bright and new, and he was calling in a clear, tenor voice: "Rags!" Ah, the air was foul and the first light filthy to be crossed by such sweet music.

"Rags! New rags for old! I take your tired rags! Rags!"

"Now, this is a wonder," I thought to myself, for the man stood six-feet-four, and his arms were like tree limbs, hard and muscular, and his eyes flashed intelligence. Could he find no better job than this, to be a ragman in the inner city?

I followed him. My curiosity drove me. And I wasn't disappointed.

Soon the Ragman saw a woman sitting on her back porch. She was sobbing into a handkerchief, sighing, and shedding a thousand tears. Her knees and elbows made a sad X. Her shoulders shook. Her heart was breaking. The Ragman stopped his cart. Quietly, he walked to the woman, stepping round tin cans, dead toys, and Pampers.

"Give me your rag," he said so gently, "and I'll give you another."

He slipped the handkerchief from her eyes. She looked up, and he laid across her palm a linen cloth so clean and new that it shined. She blinked from the gift to the giver.

Then, as he began to pull his cart again, the Ragman did a strange thing: he put her stained handkerchief to his own face; and then HE began to weep, to sob as grievously as she had done, his shoulders shaking. Yet she was left without a tear.

"This IS a wonder," I breathed to myself, and I followed the sobbing Ragman like a child who cannot turn away from mystery.

"Rags! Rags! New rags for old!"

In a little while, when the sky showed grey behind the rooftops and I could see the shredded curtains hanging out black windows, the Ragman came upon a girl whose head was wrapped in a bandage, whose eyes were empty. Blood soaked her bandage. A single line of blood ran down her cheek.

Now the tall Ragman looked upon this child with pity, and he drew a lovely yellow bonnet from his cart.

"Give me your rag," he said, tracing his own line on her cheek, "and I'll give you mine."

The child could only gaze at him while he loosened the bandage, removed it, and tied it to his own head. The bonnet he set on hers. And I gasped at what I saw: for with the bandage went the wound! Against his brow it ran a darker, more substantial blood – his own!

"Rags! Rags! I take old rags!" cried the sobbing, bleeding, strong, intelligent Ragman.

The sun hurt both the sky, now, and my eyes; the Ragman seemed more and more to hurry.

"Are you going to work?" he asked a man who leaned against a telephone pole. The man shook his head.

The Ragman pressed him: "Do you have a job?"

"Are you crazy?" sneered the other. He pulled away from the pole, revealing the right sleeve of his jacket - flat, the cuff stuffed into the pocket. He had no arm.

"So," said the Ragman. "Give me your jacket, and I'll give you mine."

Such quiet authority in his voice!

The one-armed man took off his jacket. So did the Ragman - and I trembled t what I saw: for the Ragman's arm stayed in its sleeve, and when the other put it on he had two good arms, thick as tree limbs; but the Ragman had only one.

"Go to work," he said.

After that he found a drunk, lying unconscious beneath an army blanket, and old man, hunched, wizened, and sick. He took that blanket and wrapped it round himself, but for the drunk he left new clothes.

And now I had to run to keep up with the Ragman. Though he was weeping uncontrollably, and bleeding freely at the forehead, pulling his cart with one arm, stumbling for drunkenness, falling again and again, exhausted, old, old, and sick, yet he went with terrible speed. On spider's legs he skittered through the alleys of the City, this mile and the next, until he came to its limits, and then he rushed beyond.

I wept to see the change in this man. I hurt to see his sorrow. And yet I needed to see where he was going in such haste, perhaps to know what drove him so.

The little old Ragman - he came to a landfill. He came to the garbage pits. And then I wanted to help him in what he did, but I hung back, hiding. He climbed a hill. With tormented labor he cleared a little space on that hill. Then he sighed. He lay down. He pillowed his head on a handkerchief and a jacket. He covered his bones with an army blanket. And he died.

Oh, how I cried to witness that death! I slumped in a junked car and wailed and mourned as one who has no hope - because I had come to love the Ragman. Every other face had faded in the wonder of this man, and I cherished him; but he died. I sobbed myself to sleep.

I did not know - how could I know? - that I slept through Friday night and Saturday and its night, too.

But then, on Sunday morning, I was wakened by a violence.

Light - pure, hard, demanding light - slammed against my sour face, and I blinked, and I looked, and I saw the last and the first wonder of all. There was the Ragman, folding the blanket most carefully, a scar on his forehead, but alive! And, besides that, healthy! There was no sign of sorrow nor of age, and all the rags that he had gathered shined for cleanliness.

Well, then I lowered my head and trembling for all that I had seen, I myself walked up to the Ragman. I told him my name with shame, for I was a sorry figure next to him. Then I took off all my clothes in that place, and I said to him with dear yearning in my voice: "Dress me."

He dressed me. My Lord, he put new rags on me, and I am a wonder beside him. The Ragman, the Ragman, the Christ!
posted by Himself | 10:09 PM
Orikinla Osinachi said...
The last blog to visit of 92 blogs today and the only one that made my day so complete and I thank God for keeping awake till 11.45 pm in Nigeria to read this awesome illustration of the Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53) by whose bleeding stripes we are healed. Our Lord and Messiah Jesus Christ.

With your kind permission, I blogging this message right away on my Christian gospel blog
The Rhema
12:47 AM