Friday, July 24, 2015

From Fame to Shame

In the 84th Boston Marathon in 1980, Rosie Ruiz (pictured) was the first woman to cross the finish line. As she climbed to the winner's podium to accept her wreath, officials noticed that she looked remarkably fresh and sweat-free for having run two hours and 32 minutes.

Upon investigation, no one could remember seeing her during the race. Monitors at the race checkpoints hadn't seen her, nor had any of the runners. Finally, a few members of the crowd came forward to reveal that they had seen her jump into the race during the final half mile and sprint to the finish line. Rosie was disqualified, stripped of her title, and became another member of the Hall of Shame.

Before we condemn Rosie for cheating, let me ask if you have ever cheated on a test? What about cheating at golf? Cheated on your taxes? Cheated on your spouse? Kept the extra change the cashier gave you? Probably so. We have no right to cast stones. We’re all members of the Hall of Shame. We've all done things we're ashamed of. "There is none righteous, not even one." (Romans 3:10).

The good news is God can forgive cheaters. "If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee." (Psalm 30:3-4) If you need forgiveness, call out to Jesus with a sincere heart. He will wipe the record clean and give you a new start—so you can finish running the race of life as a winner.  

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Monday, July 13, 2015

In the Line of Fire

A couple of men were in the wilderness when they found out someone had set a fire that was out of control. The winds whipped the flames toward them and they knew they could not outrun the fire. It looked like there was no way to escape and they would surely die.

One of the men prayed for wisdom. Then he pulled out a match and set the grass in front of him on fire. 
The other man said, “You fool! Now we’re surrounded by fire!”
The man said, “We won’t die. Wait until this fire burns down and then step over here on the burned-down place.”
“I still don’t understand what you are doing.”
“The burned-down grass is a safe place for us,” he explained. “You see, the fire cannot come where the fire has already been.”

The fire of God’s judgment fell on Jesus when He died for your sins on the cross. If you want to be safe from God’s judgment, you must stand where the fire has already fallen—for the fire cannot come where the fire has already been. Jesus has already paid for your sins, and when you receive Him as Lord, you will be safe on the Day of Judgment. The fire cannot touch those who stand with Him.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Monday, July 6, 2015

When the Light Turns Green and Cars Don't Move

A number of years ago my friend Max Wilkins had stopped at a traffic light and was waiting for it to change. An elderly woman with a walker started hobbling across the street in front of his car just before the light turned green. The driver behind Max couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t go with the green light, so he started honking his horn.

As Max continued to wait for her, the man behind him stuck his head out the window and started yelling. Max got out of his car and walked back to the angry driver. He stuck out his keys and said, “If you want to run over her, then go ahead!”

By this time the hothead could clearly see the elderly lady inching her way across the street. He finally realized what kept Max from moving forward. Max could see something that the other driver couldn’t.

When we’ve prayed and are waiting for the answer to come, we can’t understand why God isn’t moving forward. From our perspective we see a green light. So we start honking our horn at God, never realizing He can see things that we can’t.

The Lord will often delay the answers to our prayers for reasons we don’t fully understand at the moment. It’s during these times that we must place our trust in the all-wise God who cares for us and knows what He’s doing—even when it might not make sense to us.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174