What John 3:16 Did

Shortly after the Korean War, a hungry waif wandered the darkened streets trying to find shelter from the bitter cold of winter. A night watchman noticed his plight and said, “GoMa (child), go to yonder house and say to the one who answers the gate, ‘John 3:16.’ ” “But I do not know what John 3:16 is,” replied the lad.

Nevertheless, desperation took him to the gate and brought that strange expression to his lips. He did not understand, but he whispered, “John 3:16.” The lady smiled and took him into her warm home. The lad was puzzled as he thought, “I do not know what this John 3:16 is, but it sure makes a cold Korean boy warm.”

Seeing his gaunt cheeks, the lady soon had him seated before a steaming bowl of soup. As he ate, the lad thought again, “I do not know what this John 3:16 is, but it sure makes a hungry Korean boy full.”

After a bath, he lay there on the warm bed with tears flowing down his cheeks, “I do not know what this John 3:16 is,” he thought, “but it must be the most wonderful thing in the whole world. It makes a strange lady love a lonely Korean boy.”

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Bruce Lee often…

Bruce Lee often told students that if they already thought they ‘knew’ everything, they should leave his class. “If your cup is full, you cannot fill it. So first, empty your cup.”

If you already think you know better, you ain’t gonna learn anything… say goodbye to personal growth. Self-directed learning, without limits, is the path to a better future. Like Trans4mind’s motto: “Minds, like parachutes, function better when open.”

The Problem of Greed

For a greedy person is really an idolater who worships the things of this world. (Ephesians 5:5)

A seventy-one-year-old woman in West Palm Beach, Florida, was found dead in her apartment. The cause of death was malnutrition. She’d lived in the poorest section of the city’s low-rent district for as long as anyone could remember. Neighbors described her as a pitiful and forgotten widow who spent most of her days digging through Salvation Army bins for clothes. When she wasn’t doing that, she was begging for food at the back alley entrances of local restaurants. The woman had no family or friends to be found. She was given a pauper’s grave and forgotten. 

But an investigation into her death would soon prove enlightening. Two keys turned up in her apartment that led to two safety deposit boxes in different banks. The first contained over $200,000 in cash, along with a host of valuable bonds and financial securities. The second box contained only money. Lots of it—$600,000, to be exact. 

The woman whose life of poverty brought pity from all who knew her was in reality a millionaire widow who would rather starve than spend a penny of her monthly Social Security checks. She was completely consumed with greed.

Greed is perhaps the deadliest of the seven deadly sins. Peter calls its victims “an accursed brood … springs without water” (2 Peter 2:14, 17, niv). Greed “drives us to compromise principles of justice, yield on the canons of morality, and even to lose our souls,” writes Tony Campolo. But it is Paul, I think, who says it best. “You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God” (Ephesians 5:5). 

Simply stated, a lust for possessions and a life in Christ cannot coexist. A person can have one or the other but not both. Either we love God or we love money. The chasm between greed and Jesus is so wide that we can’t possibly have a foot on both sides at the same time. This is one fence that simply can’t be straddled. 

Today’s Reading  Ephesians 5:5-6

Reflection  Do you struggle with greed in your life? What have you done to release your grip on the things of this world?

Quote  “That kind of money gets a man’s attention. He becomes willing to make concessions for it.” (Left Behind, 296)

Copyright : © 2004 by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. All rights reserved. Electronic Edition STEP Files Copyright © 2004, QuickVerse, a division of FindEx.com, Inc.

Started Too Late

How many more days do you want to spend in rebellion against God?

I am reminded of that little boy who ran to the train. Just as he reached the platform the train moved off and left him. He stood there panting and watching the train, now in the distance. A man said to him: “You didn’t run fast enough!” “No,” said the boy, “I ran with all my might, but I didn’t make it because I didn’t start soon enough.”

Many a man will rush up and find the gates of heaven closed, and say, like the boy, “I didn’t start soon enough.”

HE WHO LOSES HIS LIFE FINDS IT

On one occasion Sadhu Sundar Singh and a companion were traveling through a pass high in the Himalayan Mountains. At one point they came across a body lying in the snow. Sundar Singh wished to stop and help the unfortunate man, but his companion refused, saying, “We shall lose our lives if we burden ourselves with him.”

But Sundar Singh would not think of leaving the man to die in the ice and snow. As his companion bade him farewell, Sundar Singh lifted the poor traveler onto his back. With great exertion on his part, he bore the man onward, but gradually the heat from Sundar Singh’s body began to warm up the poor frozen fellow, and he revived.

Soon both were walking together side by side. Catching up with his former companion, they found him dead—frozen by the cold. In the case of Sundar Singh, he was willing to lose his life on behalf of another, and in the process found it; in the case of his callous companion, he sought to save his life but lost it.