Writing in The Sunday School Times many years ago, Newman Hall told about a Christian friend who was invited to debate publicly with some men who had no use for the Lord or the church. The believer said, “When you can find me twelve families who were once Christians but by embracing your views have become more virtuous, useful, contented, and happy, I will think it worthwhile to argue with you and not before.” Then he said, “I can find you one hundred families who were once living only for this present world, but who because of Christ have become better husbands and wives, better parent and children, more virtuous, and sober, and happy.” Hall concluded, “Yes, let religion be tested by its purifying power.”

 



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In her book It
Only Hurts When I Laugh
, Ethel Barrett tells about a king of Sparta in ancient
Greece who boasted to a visiting monarch about the mighty walls of Sparta. But
the guest didn’t see any walls, and finally he said to his host, “I’d like
to see those walls. Show them to me!” The Spartan ruler pointed with great
satisfaction to some disciplined and well-trained troops, part of Sparta’s mighty
army, and exclaimed, “There they are! Those are the walls of Sparta!”

Just as each Spartan
soldier was viewed as a brick in a mighty way, so we are to think of Christians
as “living stones…built up a spiritual house” (1 Pet. 2:5). And
because it is built by Christ Himself, it can never be destroyed.

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A young seminary
graduate came up to the lectern, very self confident and immaculately dressed.
He began to deliver his first sermon in his first church and the words simply
would not come out. Finally he burst into tears and ended up leaving the platform
obviously humbled.

There were 2 older
ladies sitting on the front row and one remarked to the other, “If he’d
come in like he went out, he would have gone out like he came in”

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