Sunday, February 27, 2011

Who Are You Calling?

I had a friend in Chicago whose name was Maurice. He was a major drug dealer and a fence. For those of you who may not know what a fence is, he is a person who buys stolen property. Maurice was a high roller. He owned two nightclubs and was into some of everything on Chicago’s West Side.

In September of 1985, some detectives came to my house and took me to jail. I needed $50,000 cash to get out. The only person that I knew that had that kind of money was Maurice. I called him, but he wasn’t there. A week or so later, I called him again, but he still wasn’t there. I tried calling him again and again. But every time I called, they said he was not there. Finally, I gave up.

When I went to court, I was given 2-year sentence. When I was on my way to the bus that would take me to the penitentiary, guess who I saw? That’s right, I saw Maurice. He was getting on the same bus. I had been trying to call him because I was in trouble, but he was in more trouble than I was!

Sometimes we put our trust in the wrong people. We put our trust in our friends, our family members, our classmates or our politicians. But we should put our trust in the Lord. He is the one that we should call on in times of trouble. God loves you. No matter where you are. No matter what you have done. No matter what you have become. God loves you and you can call on Him.
Justice and Mercy had scheduled a very important meeting. Justice arrived at the appointed place exactly on time. He was dressed sharply and looking good. He didn’t have one hair out of place. His robe was so white, it seemed to glow. Even his sandals were spit shined. He paced back and forth, glancing at his hourglass, as he waited for Mercy to arrive.

When Mercy got there, he didn’t look anything like Justice. His hair was all over his head, and his robe was dirty, ragged and scorched. His sandals were run down and had holes in them. He said, “I’m sorry for being late, Brother Justice, but I have been on one assignment after another. Three young boys were in a fiery furnace, and I had to see about them. Then, there was a young man that was in a lion’s den. I had to see about him. I was on my way here when I learned that there were two men in a Phillipian jail. God was so impressed with their prayer and their praise, He sent me to see about them.

Just then, Mercy’s cell phone rang. When he finished with his conversation, he turned to Justice. He said, “I know that we have a lot to talk about, but we will have to do it at another time. Someone else is in trouble. They are saying, ‘Lord, have mercy.’ I have to go and see about them”
Are you the one that is calling on the Lord right now? Or are you calling Maurice?

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Bridge Builder

Two men owned farms that were across the road from each other. They had been friends and neighbors for as long as either of them could remember. One day they had a disagreement that led to a very heated argument. When it was over, they vowed to never speak to each other again.

Some time later, a stranger knocked on the door of one of the farmers. He said that he was a builder by trade and was looking for work. He asked the farmer if he needed any help around his property.

The farmer said that he had the perfect job for him. He pointed to the road that divided his property from that of his former friend. He said, “I want you to build a huge wall at the end of my land. I want the wall to be so big that that I will never have to see that man over there, or his house, or anything that belongs to him ever again.” Then he said, “I have a few errands to run. There should be enough wood in the shed for the wall. I’ll pay you when I get back.” Then he got into his truck and drove off.

When the farmer finished with his business, he headed home so he could see his new wall. But when he got there, what he saw completely blew his mind. Instead of a wall that divided the two properties, there was a bridge that connected them.

He ran to the builder as he was putting his tools away. He said, “What is this? I told you to build a wall, not a bridge.” While he was talking, he saw his neighbor running towards him, laughing and crying at the same time. His neighbor told him how sorry he was about their terrible misunderstanding. He said, “When I looked out my window and saw the bridge that you had built, it made me realize just how valuable your friendship really is, and how much I missed fellowshipping with you.” The farmer looked at his friend and realized how much he had missed their fellowship as well.

He turned to the builder and said, “Thank you for bringing two stubborn old friends together. There are a lot of things that need fixing around here. There is enough work around here to keep you busy for a long time. Please stay.”

The builder smiled and said, “I appreciate your offer, but I must be on my way. I have more bridges to build.”

God is looking for some bridge builders. Are you one?

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Get Off Of The Bus

We just witnessed one of the coldest spells that I can remember experiencing since I moved to St. Louis. I felt like I was back in Chicago or Detroit. As I was driving down the street one day, I noticed people at various bus stops, all bundled up and shivering as they waited for the bus. It reminded me of something that happened to me on one very cold winter day in Chicago.

I had been waiting for my bus for several minutes in the freezing cold. When the bus finally arrived, I climbed aboard, paid my fair and took a seat. I was glad to be out of the bitter cold and on a nice, warm bus. I leaned back in my seat, glancing out of the window while enjoying the ride. All of a sudden, the bus made a left turn instead of going straight. When I looked around, I realized that I was on the wrong bus. The bus was headed downtown, but that is not where you want to go. I started to get off, but it was so warm, cozy and comfortable I decided to ride a little while longer. It felt so good; I think I dozed off for a while. Before I knew it, I was at the end of the line. I was in the heart of downtown because I didn’t get off of the bus when I had the chance.

A lot of men and women are riding the wrong bus. Satan is the driver, and he is taking them where they don’t want to go. He is taking some of them to the penitentiary. He is taking some of them to the cemetery. He is taking some of them to divorce courts. He is taking some of them to maternity wards or abortion clinics. He is taking some of them to the pits of hell. They know they are going the wrong way, but they are comfortable and they just want to ride a little while longer before they get off. All the while, God is saying, “Get off of the bus.”

What about you? What bus are you riding on?

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Aim High

I once read a story about flea trainers and how they train their fleas. First, he places them in a jar. When he puts them in there, they jump out, because fleas are incredible jumpers. But the training begins when he puts a lid on the jar. The fleas continue to jump, but when they do, they bump their heads on the lid over and over again. After a while, the fleas continue to jump, but they no longer jump as high as they can, because they don’t want to bump their heads anymore.

Now the trainer removes the lid from the jar. When he does, the fleas continue to jump, but they do not jump out of the jar. Actually, they don’t jump out because they no longer can jump out. They cannot jump out because they have conditioned themselves to only jump so high. Now, that is all they can do.

Some of our people have conditioned themselves to only jump so high. Every time they tried to jump any higher, they bumped their heads. They have bumped their heads on racism. They have bumped their heads on peer pressure. They have bumped their heads on people telling them what they could not do, and what they could not be. They have bumped their heads over and over again because Satan has placed a lid over their dreams.

I want to tell you something. When Jesus died on the cross, Satan thought he had shattered His dreams. But early that Sunday morning, when Jesus stepped out of the grave, not only was the stone removed from the entrance to the tomb; the lid was removed from above your dreams. That is why the Apostle Paul was able to say, "I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me."

Don't be afraid to aim high. Aim as high as you can. One of my former Pastors used to say, "Always aim for the moon. If you fall upon the stars, you will still be on higher ground." Put your trust in God and aim high.

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