Thought For The OPEN Mind - Humor From American Culture!
First Published In The Last Century - July 26, 1997!
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An Amusement Park Of Ideas! #ProfHowdy
1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, F5 rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, F6 let us be of the same mind.17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame--who set their mind on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. Philippians 3
A Cup of Rice - or a Bag of Gold It was many centuries ago in a remote village in India. Word began to spread that something was about to happen that no one had seen in their lifetime - the prince was actually coming to visit this forgotten little village. Well, everyone was excited, but no one was more excited than the village beggar. Every day he eked out another day by sitting by the road with his little cup, hoping to get enough money to buy some rice to live one more day. He actually had two cups, one for collecting money and one for his few grains of rice. But now the prince was coming. I mean, the wealthy prince! When the prince finally arrived, the beggar mustered his most impassioned appeal, "Alms! Alms for the poor!" And the prince stopped. The beggar's heart was pounding furiously."Give me your cup of rice." That was all the prince said. The beggar slumped down in disbelief. Here was the wealthiest man in the land, asking for his lousy little cup of rice. The beggar was about to refuse, but instead he reached in and he put three grains of rice in the prince's hand. The prince turned to his servant and said, "Bring me the bag of gold." The beggar could hardly contain himself as he eagerly stretched out his empty collection cup. The prince reached into his bag and placed three grains of gold in the beggar's cup. And then he disappeared, never to return but leaving the beggar to wonder for the rest of his life what would have happened if I had given him my whole cup of rice?Jesus, the Prince of Heaven, may be passing your way today with so much to give you. The forgiveness of every sin you've ever committed, a new beginning, the peace that has eluded you your whole lifetime, and an eternity with Him in heaven. He wants to make you spiritually rich. In fact, it was very expensive for Him to be able to offer you the heaven that you don't deserve instead of the death penalty that your sin does deserve. In our word for today from the Word of God, God describes the unspeakable sacrifice Jesus made to rescue you. II Corinthians 8:9 says, "You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (Grace means undeserved love), that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich." When God's Son, the Prince of Heaven, is hanging on that blood-stained cross, He is totally impoverishing Himself so you can have God's love, and God's resources, and God's heaven. It's hard for us to see that we're the beggar, but the Bible says we are spiritually bankrupt because our running of our own life has cut us off from our Creator. Only Jesus can bring us back. God says, "While we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." Your life is as big as you can make it, and it's nowhere near enough, is it? Jesus has chosen to pass your way today, asking you to turn over to Him the life that He gave you and the life He died for. If you're ready to trade what you have for what Jesus has, would you tell Him that right now? Tell Him you're putting all your trust in Him. And let me encourage you to visit our website. I've tried to lay out there briefly and in nonreligious words the way you can be sure you have begun your relationship with Jesus and that you belong to Him forever. The website is yoursforlife.net. And I'd encourage you to go there as soon as possible today. Or if you'd rather have me send you the little booklet Yours For Life just call toll free at 877-741-1200.Please, don't make the eternal mistake of hanging onto your little cup of rice and missing Jesus' bag of gold.To find out how you can begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, please visit: yoursforlife.net or call 1-888-966-7325.
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