Monday, October 13, 2014
Three weeks ago I wrote about the importance and significance of numbers when they appear in the Bible. Sometimes they are noteworthy in our lives also. Well, the two particular numbers that I chose for today’s title will forever be etched in my memory because they first remind me of two funny experiences in my life and secondly, they both point me to some sound advice concerning the presentation of the gospel. Here is the first: Years ago during my postal career, one of my fellow workers whose name is Juan, happened to be the gopher or right hand man of the supervisor in our unit. Juan was a mail handler and would basically load and supply the mail for the clerks on our work team for distribution. From a distance, the supervisor would call out Juan’s name several times in a day and always with these same words, “Ey, tú, Juan!” The workers in our team who didn’t know Spanish thought the boss was saying “Eight-Two-One.” Needless to say, from that point on we no longer called our friend by his real name. To everyone in our unit he became 8-2-1.
The second number came about this way: One day, as we were buying some ice cream products from a local specialty store which supplies most of the ice cream for the street vendors in San Antonio, my wife asked the price of a certain box of ice cream treats. The manager of the store replied, “8.50.” She asked about a second and a third flavor, and again he replied for each, “8.50.” When she held up the box with the last flavor available, he replied, “8.50 too!” To that, my wife asked “Why is this one 8.52 while the others are 8.50?” I quickly interrupted and told her “I think he means 8.50 also.” When he heard me and realized his failure to communicate properly, the man burst out laughing. Guess what we call that store today?
This very same gaffe can occur when we are trying to share the gospel message, so it is important for us to always keep things as clear and as simple as we can when we relate it to others. In many cases, this confusion, whether it comes from a pastor or a certain church’s doctrine, is the product of someone who does not have a right understanding of the simple gospel message. Here is one example: When convinced that he was in the presence of two genuine servants of God, a Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas this question: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied: “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you and your house will be saved.”(See Acts 16:30-31) If you were to pose the same question to many pastors and churches today, their answer could be something like this: “Start living differently. Start coming to classes at this church. Read you bible every day. Become a member and start giving your tithes.” They may add more steps or rules than these, but I think you get the picture. The simple but correct answer continues being the same one. To be saved, all one has to do is to believe in Christ. The formula is so simple, even children can understand it.
Memory verse for the week: (Matthew 11:25) “At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”
Note: A simple “yes” reply on your part ,and we will continue emailing you these thoughts and meditations after October 31. For those who have responded already, thank you.