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ARE YOU JESUS? Several years ago a group of salesman went to a regional sales meeting in Chicago.

They assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for supper on Friday night. One thing led to another and the meeting ran overtime. The men had to race to the airport, tickets in hand. As they barged through the terminal, one man inadvertently kicked over a table supporting a basket of apples. Without stopping they all reached the plane in time and boarded it with a sigh of relief. All but one. He paused, got in touch with his feelings and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned. He waved good-bye to his companions and returned to the terminal. He was glad he did. The ten year old girl was blind. The salesman gathered up the apples and noticed that several of them were battered and bruised. He reached into his wallet and said to the girl, "Here, please take this ten dollars for the damage we did. I hope it didn't spoil your day." As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered girl called out to him, "Are you Jesus?" He stopped in mid-stride... and he wondered. I’ve never had that particular case of mistaken identity. Have you? Why would anyone think a person was Jesus? Could the answer be captured in words like, kind, considerate, helpful, other-people centered? We could easily pick Jesus out of a crowd. The same statement should be true of a Jesus-like person. He would be doing something nice for someone who needed it. You could hear him using kind words while others passed judgment. He would be searching for opportunities to help, not trying to find ways to avoid being inconvenienced. The Jesus person would not be so concerned what others thought that he would feel compelled to choose the politically correct clubs and company to be associated with. Are you Jesus? George Mansfield

NOT BY MIGHT... POWER BUT BY MY SPIRIT

A minister had among his congregation an eminent lawyer who was an unbeliever. The minister had long desired the salvation of the skeptic, and one day, knowing that he was to be present in the meeting, he prepared a sermon especially for him, hoping and praying that through it he would be converted. The infidel came. It was an icy winter's day; he listened to the sermon, and went his way, and not long after confessed his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The minister rejoiced, and in conversing with him inquired of him what portion of the sermon it was which especially affected his mind, and led to such a desirable result. The man informed the preacher that it was not his sermon at all; he even admitted to not hearing it. The unbeliever had been preparing notes for the next day’s meeting during the pastor’s message. But after the meeting closed, as he was leaving he saw old Aunt Chloe trying to get down the slippery steps. He explained, “ I stepped

forward and helped her down over the ice to the crossing, and as I left she looked up in my face and said: `Oh! massa, I wish you loved my dear Jesus.' Those words rang in my ears, and I could not get rid of them, until I went to my office and bowed myself on my knees and gave myself to Christ. It was not your sermon, but it was old Aunt Chole's words that led me to the Savior." "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, declares the Lord of hosts," is the
constantly recurring lesson which God teaches us by circumstances like this. Shall we ever appreciate the Divine instruction, and learn to make the Lord our confidence and trust, believing that in Him alone is victory and strength?

Who can measure the worth of a life lived in devotion to our great and

compassionate God?

George Mansfield

AN APPLE IN JUNE- a reminder for discouraged saints A farmer was giving a friend from the city a tour of his apple orchard. In response to the urban dweller’s inquiry, “How is you crop?” the farmer said, “It is a great year. I have perfect apples.” With that he pointed to a small, round, hard, green apple and said, “Here is a healthy specimen.” Taken aback, his friend replied, “But that is a tiny green marble-sized fruit. How can you think of it as perfect?” The wise farmer answered, “My friend, I have been raising apples for many years. This is the month of June, and this apple will be ripe in September. I see perfection in it now.” All who try their human best to serve a magnificent God find themselves discouraged with their progress from time to time. We get down on ourselves assuming that God is displeased with our good intentions but slow growth. For all of us who “have been there and done that,” allow me to point you to a passage of Scripture that will help. It is found in Ist John 2. John the Apostle is declaring the will or God when he writes, “My little children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.” But before the ink has dried, he continues, “But if anyone does sin, we have One who

speaks to the Father in our defense- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.” Because of this assurance those who belong to Jesus need not worry about what they see as failures in themselves, if they are striving to be faithful to Him. Brother or sister, long before you are showing signs of perfection, God looks down and sees what you can only hope to be. He sees this in June. And remember, the harvest is not until September. George Mansfield

THE MOST VALUABLE AWARD- a lesson on finishing well

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the

Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8

Henry C. Morrison, after serving for forty years on the African mission field, headed home by boat. On that same boat also rode Theodore Roosevelt.

Morrison was quite dejected when, on entering New York harbor, President

Roosevelt received a great fanfare as he arrived home. Morrison thought he should get some recognition for forty years in the Lord's service. voice came to Morrison and said, "Henry you're not home yet." Then a small

In the 1980 Boston Marathon, a young unknown runner named Rosie Ruiz was initially declared the winner in the women's division of the 26-mile race. An

investigation followed and it was discovered that this was only the second marathon in which she had ever run, she had no coach, she trained on an exercise cycle (others did 120 miles of road work per week), and she had not been seen by any of the other women runners in the race. It was speculated that she probably rode a subway for 16 miles to get near the finish line. Rosie was

disqualified and lost the reward not just the prize for finishing first, but the more lasting satisfaction of attaining a difficult goal.

In the verses above there are nuggets for our exploration. The Apostle Paul’s selfdescription is of one less than perfect but faithful to his calling. As we grow older we begin to consider the end- and what lies beyond the grave. Because of his consistent faithfulness, Paul could speak of his honest expectations. He had confidence that soon he would wear a crown, not a diamond studded crown but a simple olive twig, bent to fit the head, which signified completion and victory. The climax is the exciting part, he does not believe this is limited to an Apostle of Jesus, but “to all those who have longed for His appearing.”

Are you living and looking for the reward? God has plenty of crowns. Be faithful unto death.

George Mansfield