Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Man Most Unlikely...






"But from those who seemed to be
influential, whatever they were makes
no difference to me; God shows
no partiality...well, those
influential ones added 
nothing to my message."
Galatians 2:6





One of the toughest tasks a church faces is choosing
a good minister. A member of an official board undergoing
this painful process finally lost its patience. He'd watched
the Pastoral Relations Committee reject applicant after
applicant for some fault, alleged or otherwise.
It was a time for a bit of soul-searching on the
part of the committee. So he stood up and read
a letter purporting to be from another applicant.



"Gentlemen:

Understanding your pulpit is vacant, I should like
to apply for the position. I have many qualifications.
I've been a preacher with much success and also have
had some success as a writer.  Some say I'm a good
organizer. I've been a leader most places I've been.

I'm over 50 years of age. I have never preached in one
place for more than three years. In some places I have
left town after my work caused riots and disturbances.
I must admit I have been in jail three or four times,
but not because of any real wrongdoing.

My health is not good, though I still get a great deal
done. The churches I have preached in have been small,
though located in several large cities.

I have not gotten along well with the religious leaders in
towns where I have preached.  In fact, some have threatened
me and even attacked me physically. I am not too good at
keeping records. I have been known to forget whom I
have baptized.  

However, if you can use me, I shall do my best
for you."




The board member looked over the committee.
"Well, what do you think? Shall we call him?"
(He asked.)
The good church folks were aghast.
Call an unhealthy, trouble-making, absent-
minded ex jailbird? 
Was the board member crazy?
Who signed the application?
Who had such colossal nerve?
The board member eyed them all
keenly before he answered.
"It's signed,  'the Apostle Paul."*




 "... and he fell to the ground and
 heard a voice from heaven saying to him,
 “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting and oppressing Me?”
Acts 9:4



Conversion of Saint Paul
Caravaggio
(1601) 





“His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain.”
 1 Corinthians 15:1



Sweeter than all is the love of the Savior,
Dearer by far than earth’s jewels so rare,
Flooding my soul by the grace of His favor,
Filling my heart with the spirit of prayer.


Pardoning grace the Master has spoken,
Pardoning grace has now made me whole;
On Calv’ry’s brow His poor heart was broken—
Pardoning grace for my sin sick soul.


Wonderful thought! how it fills me with singing!
Jesus has spoken, His word is divine;
I can rejoice, for His mercy is bringing
Life that is bless├Ęd and sweet into mine.


I am content, for I know He is near me,
Keeping me pure by His wonderful grace,
Whispering words full of comfort to cheer me,
Lighting my soul with a glimpse of His face.


There is a refuge beyond pain and sorrow!
When He shall call me to dwell with Him there
I shall behold, in a brighter tomorrow,
Jesus my King, all His glory to share.

"Pardoning Grace"
Words By Alfred H. Ackley
(1904)
Music By Bentley D. Ackley








*"The Apostle Paul"
from the book,
"Dear Abby's Keepers"
Author Unknown

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