Quote of the Day

In one way or another, many of us are “living in the ‘woulds’.” Consider the things some would do if they could. Beyond all the evil that is actually done, think how much more harm would be wrought if men dared or were not prevented. We quote figures on crime and juvenile delinquency, but no one knows how many more would do the same things if they thought they could get away with it. The depravity of the human heart is far deeper than statistics reveal; it boils up in thought and intention and desire. He who looks upon a woman in lust has committed adultery already in his heart. He would hates brother is a murderer. This is “living in the ‘woulds.’ ”

It works the other way. Paul would have visited the Thessalonian believers, but Satan hindered him. Some would have gone to the mission field, but could not. It was in their hearts to go and in God’s sight they really went. “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not” (II Corinthians 8:12). What would you do if you could?

Of course, some could if they would. God had to overcome the reluctance of Moses and Jeremiah who were unduly modest and timid before their duty. We can do anything we ought to do. It is as wrong to underrate as to overrate ourselves when God calls us. To say that two and two make three is as wrong as to say two and two make five.

The daily devotions are from Pepper ‘n Salt by Vance Havner. Fleming H. Revell Company, 1966.

Devotion of the Day

What Lack I Yet?

What lack I yet?
Matthew 19:20.

The rich young ruler had morals, manners and money. He would be welcomed readily into many churches today, with no questions asked. He would make a good “joiner,” but he would be a poor disciple.

Salvation is free but discipleship costs everything. Somehow, we have utterly lost sight of our Saviour’s drastic and often severe challenges to prospective disciples. Letting the dead bury the dead, denying self, hating loved ones, putting the hand to the plow—He used terms that demanded absolute obedience and unquestionable loyalty. Today we have tempered all this down and removed its sharp edge and have gathered a host of indifferent “joiners” who have not the faintest idea of what it means to “sell out” for Christ.

Jesus lost this prospect. The young man went away. Why didn’t our Lord take him on milder terms and later lead him into complete surrender? That is our techniques today, but Jesus was out for disciples, not “joiners.”

“What lack I yet?” Here is the painful lack in our churches, because it is the lack of so many of their members.

The daily devotions are from Day by Day by Vance Havner. Fleming H. Revell Company, 1953.