The Slave Girl

adult-beautiful-beauty-1435441Lester Sumrall tells an interesting story about Chen Lee who was one of China’s unfortunate girls. While still a small child and not yet old enough to remember parental care, she was sold to a foul slave market for almost nothing.

“When Mr. Howard Carter of London, England, and I were journeying throughout Southwest China, we were entertained in the home of Mr. and Mrs Wood. There we met the former slave girl named Chen Lee. We also visited the slave market where Chen Lee was purchased, and we saw two dozen girls for sale that day. In all my life I had never seen such pitiful humans as these slave girls. They were offered to us for a price ranging from 75 cents to $7.50, American currency. The poor little creatures knew the pangs of hunger, and malnutrition was evident. They had been beaten and kicked about by vile persons until some of their bodies were badly deformed; their hair was matted with filth; their bodies were caked with dirt which had been on them for some time; the filthy den in which they lived was exceedingly rich–entomologically!

As we looked at Chen Lee, a lovely refined young lady, and thought of the horrible slave market, it was almost impossible to realize that she had once been living in that very prison. However, we saw in her one of the most beautiful and most striking comparisons to conversion we ever beheld. At one time every one of us who is now a Christian was in the slave-market of the Devil; he was our task-master, driving us into sorrow, tears and despair. He mistreated us and mocked at our misfortune. One day Jesus came to the slave-market of sin and offered to pay the price of our redemption, the price was high–very high–but Christ was willing to pay it to the last farthing. While angels in heaven stood by in holy awe, the Royal Prince purchased the emancipation of the human race.

This is by no means the end of the story. While Mr. Carter and I were in Woods’ home, we were told that a wealthy businessman in the city had asked if his son might have Chen Lee for his bride. Could it be possible that a businessman had asked that a former slave-girl become the bride of his son? But what Jesus has done for us is even greater.

The Prince of heaven has chosen a former slave to be His bride. His chosen one, purchased by His own blood, is soon to be called; there is to be a royal wedding, such a wedding as the universe has never witnessed. Ten thousand times ten thousand angels (one hundred million) will witness that dazzling scene and shout for joy until the heavens ring because their noble Master has brought His bride to be forever with Him.”

Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, Write this:  Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb! . . .  Revelation 19:7-9 NIV

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Judas the Ram!

sheep-1034149_960_720Lester Sumrall tells about a large packing plant of Swift and Company in La Plata, Argentina, that had a great black ram of notorious reputation. He answered to the name of Judas, which seems very fitting for a creature in his dreadful business.

“Judas, the ram, had the responsibility of leading thousands of innocent lambs and sheep to the slaughter. Employees at Swift and Company believe that Judas realizes the deceptive work in which he is engaged and agree that he does it diabolically well. One worker told me that the way Judas goes sporting among the sheep of the corral with black wool glistening, and his head high, seems almost rational. He assumes a place of leadership and protectorship over the flock almost immediately. After walking among them and fully attracting their attention he turns and walks straight for the slaughter pen. With one backward glance Judas is satisfied — the sheep are following ignorantly. He jumps through the gate of death and is unharmed, but the unwary sheep are murdered one by one as they enter. Judas is rewarded with food for his cunning deception and is again sent on his mission to beguile another flock!

One wonders whether the sheep are able to think as they enter the gate of death, never to return, “Judas has beguiled us.”

There is a great deceiver in the world, who graphically reminds us of Judas the Ram. The Bible warns that he can appear as an angel of light to deceive the unwary; he is an instructor of the simple to make them haughty toward God. He leads thousands of millions into a gate of death from whence they never return.

Take care who you follow, and know “in whom you have believed.” (Lester Sumrall)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 NIV

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The Hard-Hearted Blacksmith!

people-2566201_960_720An old unbelieving blacksmith said that he could refute any argument that a Christian could make.  There was an old deacon there; he was a Baptist and he heard of it.  He told his wife and they got down on their knees and prayed until 3 o’clock in the morning.  That morning the old deacon hitched up and drove over to see the man.  He went into the blacksmith shop and the unbeliever was standing there. The deacon stood before him and said, “My wife and I prayed for you until 3 o’clock this morning.” Then his eyes filled with tears and he sobbed and turned away.  He couldn’t think of one of the arguments he had prepared.  He drove back home and when he got there he said to his wife, “I’ve made an old fool of myself.  It was all for nothing.  When I saw him, I just told him that we had been praying for him, then I broke down and couldn’t think of another thing and came home”.

In the meantime, the blacksmith went into his own house and said to his wife, “I heard a new argument this morning.”

She said, “What was that?”

“Why,” he said, “the old deacon drove in to see me this morning and told me that he and his wife had prayed for me until 3 o’clock in the morning.  Then he sobbed and went away.” And the critic said, “I’d like to talk to him.” They drove over and he told the deacon why he had come, and it was not long before the deacon had him on his knees and he was saved.

The strongest evangelistic tool is a broken heart for the lost.

For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Philippians 3:18 NIV

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The Killer Tree!

Matapalo_o_higuerote_(Ficus_elástica)Lester Sumrall tells of an interesting plant in Central America which is often shown to the visitor. It is known as the Mata Palo or Killer Tree and is a botanical “boa constrictor.” This parasitical growth often begins its life by being blown into the fork of a tree by the wind and takes root by clinging to the bark. It lives on the lifeblood of the tree as it starts its growth and soon sprouts tiny tendrils which grow slowly toward the ground. When it comes to live on a tree, it appears to be quite harmless, but the fact is, the moment it arrives, death begins for its victim.

The Mata Palo drops its roots to the ground and secures a permanent foundation; then begins to encircle the healthy tree and imbibes its life from hundreds of points. After a few months the parasite is flourishing with life and growing rapidly (through it is an ugly growth) and the once healthy tree begins to show signs of disease and decay. The great tree loses its leaves; its strong limbs droop from lack of life and ultimately, it perishes while wrapped around it from the base of the trunk to its top is a hideous, serpentine vine. It looks so pitiful that a stranger can scarcely realize that it was once a giant of strength and a specimen of grace and beauty. It amazes the visitor to learn that the great tree was defeated by a small, insignificant seed which chanced to fall on its bough.

In the lives of humans there are little things which, by growing in our lives, become big things. Frequently they appear to be entirely innocent but become deadly to our moral or spiritual life. They choke the fruit-bearing strength of character and virtue and become the very tentacles of Satan which entwine our souls, despoiling the once choice life. We must deal with these tiny seeds before they become strong and capable of utter destruction.

Sadhu Sundar Singh once said, “Beware of the small sins.  They are the most dangerous.  They are like germs that cause disease.”

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. Song of Songs 2:15 NIV

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Why Doesn’t He Keep His Word?

mx001-kraft-vintage-envelope-stationary-paperMark Guy Pearse tells an interesting story of a poor old woman in Scotland, whose son had come to America and was doing well. He wrote home to the widowed mother to tell her that now she would not have any troubles anymore. As long as she lived, he would send her money for her rent.

The mother was overjoyed, and carefully put his letters in an old broken teapot on the dresser and almost every night she took them out and read them with eyes filled with tears of joy. But day after day the time drew nearer for the payment of her rent. As sweet as the words of her son were, still it took more than pleasant words to satisfy her landlord. At first, she was angry with herself for the fears that whispered within her. Her son had promised and promised again in every letter he wrote. But what good were the promises if the money did not come?

At last the rent day came. Surely the postman would bring the money today. It was just like her son to calculate everything exactly, and to send it just when it was due…but to her disappointment the postman went his way and there was nothing for her. The mother tried to stay positive; there was some delay somewhere, but it was all right, tomorrow would explain it all and the landlord could wait until the next day. But day after day went by with no money from her son. The day came where the landlord could wait no longer. The money had to be paid or she must go.

Once more she put on her glasses and went through the letters. There she read it again as plain as plain could be. Her son had promised to help her.  What could have happened? Oh, if her son only knew that the very next day all her possessions would be sold to pay for her rent!

That afternoon a friend that had heard of her trouble came in to see her. “I thought your son promised to pay your rent?” said the friend.

“He did!” said the old lady, shaking her head very mournfully. “He did and I don’t understand why he hasn’t kept his word.”

“Will you let me see the letters?” asked the friend.

“Yes,” said the old woman, and she took down the broken teapot from the dresser and took them out.

The friend read them through. “Was there nothing in this letter?”

“Yes,” said the old woman, “there was a strip of paper.  I think it was some advertisement or something, but no money.”

“Where is it?” urged the friend. There it was in the depths of the teapot.

“Why, it is a cashiers check!” said the friend. “This is more than enough to pay for all your rent.”

They went to the bank as quickly as they could. There was some difficulty at first because the time limit for the check had passed, but after the matter was explained, the check was cashed. The poor old widow’s troubles had come to an end.

It is the same with all these precious promises in God’s Word.  They are useless to you unless you “cash” them as checks in a bank. Consider the promise, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out”. It has power to save every poor sinner in the world, yet it will never save you unless you come to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled. Joshua 21:45 NIV

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The Most Beautiful Valley!

1599px-1_yosemite_valley_view_zLester Sumrall tells an interesting story. “Suddenly, we rounded a curve in the pathway and a bloodcurdling signboard met my eyes. The sign depicted an arrow pointing up a path, beneath which was drawn a horrible-looking skull and cross bones. Across the sign in large black letters was written – DEATH VALLEY! This sign alone had a tremendous effect on me for I was convinced that this was real! At the sign we dismounted and walked up the path. Within ten minutes we reached a larger marker which resembled a tombstone, bearing an inscription upon it. I asked our Dutch friend why a tombstone would be raised in this jungle wilderness, and he deciphered the epitaph which I shall pass on to you.

Some years before, while a German scientist was exploring this part of the tropics, the natives had told him of a strange valley. They told him that if any living creature descended into it, it never returned. Whereupon, the scientist asked to be directed to this fabulous spot. Upon viewing the deep valley which lay between two precipitous slopes which were covered with verdant tropical foliage, he laughed at the natives and told them that it was simply one more of their foolish superstitions. To prove to them that they were wrong, he tied a rope about his waist, leaving one end in the hand of a native guide and leaving instruction with him to pull him back up if there were a sudden tug or if he were gone too long.

As the copper-colored boy watched the distinguished white foreigner descend slowly into the shadowed depths of Death Valley, he hoped that soon they would know the cause of the death of all who dared venture into the valley. After the scientist had been gone a long time there seemed to be few pulls on the rope. Therefore, the guide decided to pull him back up. There was no response at the other end of the rope as he tugged and pulled, until at last the limp body of the German was brought up – dead. Now, even scientists knew that there was real death in the valley! The scientist’s mother in Germany requested that the body of her son be buried by Death Valley, and that the story be engraved on the stone, so that everyone coming there might see his tomb and know that there indeed was real danger.

Other scientists sought to discover the death-dealing element in the valley. Soon they discovered by their tests that the bottom of Death Valley had been a volcanic crater, and though it was now extinct, poison gases still exuded from the earth. If a respiratory creature ventured deeply enough into the valley he contacted the deadly gases before they could become rarified in the atmosphere; thus being rendered helpless, he died.

This story was getting more exciting to me. I wanted to look into this mysterious valley of death which had killed animals, birds and men. We climbed a very steep incline from the tomb and upon arriving at the top of the elevation were confronted with another signboard which had two piercing words: Danger! Stop! I looked below and there was a most beautiful valley resembling a tropical gorge burdened with a riot of luxuriant growth. I mused: ‘This does not look like a valley of death; it is so lovely’. Yet I was compelled to believe because of the testimony of the tomb. Here was beautiful Death Valley!

You come to realize that there are real Death Valleys near you also. Some valleys of death are beautiful, fascinating, glamorous; others are cultured, learned and fashionable – yet the very dregs of death are there. However, greatly to your advantage, there are tombstones strewn along the way to warn the wise of the Death Valleys of sin.”  (Lester Sumrall)

Be careful what you entertain.  Sin fascinates before it assassinates.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 3:23 NIV

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An Encounter with God Changes Everything!

2_editedHe sat there deep in thought as he watched his three children playing.  The fourth baby was sleeping in his little cot.  Something was troubling him, but he was not a man to talk about his struggles.  As he looked at his children he was saying under his breath, “I am not a bad father!  I love my children and want the best for them.  A deep struggle was going on in his heart. Why was this missionary struggling so much?

A few days earlier a well-meaning friend had visited him.  As the missionary shared some of the details of the mission field, the man suddenly said to him,   “Martin, you are a responsible father.  You have to think about your children now.  Look at all the opportunity they would have if you stay home.  They would get a better education and they would not be put in the many dangers the mission field presents.  Do the responsible thing and take a pastorate here at home.” Sometimes the devil speaks through friends.

This began a deep struggle in the heart of Martin.  Again and again he could hear the words of that friend saying, “You are a responsible father…”. Was going back to the African mission field being irresponsible?  Martin began contemplating abandoning his calling to be “a responsible father” but he just could not shake the calling of God on his life.  The struggle continued in his heart for days until that one service.

Martin was invited to preach in his home church that morning.  As he stood up to preach, the glory of God came upon him.  When he had finished his message, the Holy Spirit was manifesting on him powerfully.  He left the service quickly because he just could not talk to people in his state.  He walked across the market place crying then laughing then crying again not able to walk straight.  He was drunk in the Holy Spirit.  He said later “I am sure people were saying, ‘What is wrong with that man’.”  That encounter with God brought total clarity.  He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was going to take care of his children.  Martin and his wife, Hilde, went back to Africa and were on the field for 39 years.  Many of the completely unreached tribes of Kenya were reached with the Gospel because God used them. All of their children love God and three of Martin’s sons followed in his footsteps.

An encounter with God changes everything!

These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!  No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams’. Acts 2:15-17 (NIV)

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