A good story is told of old Thomas K. Beecher, who could not bear deceit in any form. Finding that a clock in his church was habitually too fast or too slow, he hung a placard on the wall above it, reading in large letters: "Don't blame my hands—the trouble lies deeper." That is where the trouble lies with us when our hands do wrong, or our feet, or our lips, or even our thoughts. The trouble lies so deep that only God's miracle power can deal with it. Sin indeed goes deep; but Christ goes deeper.—Christian Witness.
A sweet little six-year-old girl looked up suddenly at her mother and said, "Mother, I think Jesus was the only one who ever dared to live his inside out!" The mother was fairly dazed by the little one's thought. Well she might be. It carried one of the profoundest thoughts suggested by lifelong study of that divine character. But here it was out of the mouth of almost a babe. She had heard His story. She had seen that He was so pure in all His soul that there was nothing there that He needed to conceal from anybody. Was not He the only one in all the history of mankind of whom that could be truly said?—Onward.
I saw about a peck of counterfeit dollars once. Did I go to the window and throw away all my good dollars? No. Yet many reject Christianity because there are hypocrites or counterfeit Christians.—W. E. Biederwolf.
On certain sections of the earth there grows a tree which has been named the Judas Tree, because of its deceitfulness. This tree, it is said, has most beautiful crimson blossoms. These appear before the leaves. Their flaming beauty attracts innumerable insects. The busy bee, ever on the lookout for honey, is drawn to the flowers. But every insect, and every bee, that alights upon the blossoms imbibes a fatal opiate, and drops dead from among the crimson blossoms to the earth. Beneath the Judas Tree the earth is strewed with its victims.
How marvelously this tree illustrates the deceitfulness and the danger of sin! The poisonous insect and the useful bee, alike, were enticed and met a similar fate—death. So it is with sin. Even with the best of intentions, one may meet disaster by approaching sin; and only the wisdom of the Holy Spirit can discern, sometimes, between the good and the evil, true and false, in these last days.
We need not only to pray for guidance, for strength, but for wisdom to discern these deceitful "Judas trees" which Satan has planted all about us.—Gospel Herald.
There is a story of a Nova Scotia sailor who has the Lord's Prayer tattooed on his back. He says that his dying mother asked him never to part with the back cover of a family Bible, on which the Lord's Prayer was printed in letters of gold. For many years he carried this cover on all his cruises; but one day, having a tussle with a sailor, he lost it overboard. Bad luck pursued him after that; and finally a companion who had heard him lament the loss of the talisman suggested his having the prayer tattooed on his back. He did this, though he suffered very much during the process.
Alas! There are many who are making the mistake of this poor, ignorant, superstitious sailor. There are multitudes who are putting their religion on the outside rather than on the inside.—John and His Friends.
Dr. Robert E. Speer tells the story of an old sculptor who was cutting a figure that was to stand in a niche in the wall so that its back would never be seen. Yet he was working with the same painstaking care on the back as on the front. Someone asked, "Why are you working on the back of that figure? No one will see it." "Ah," replied the sculptor, "God will always be looking upon it." "I am not so sure," continues Dr. Speer, "that it is not on the obscurities of our lives that God looks far more than on what we regard as our real life upon which men look. What He looks at after all is what is back of the life."—Courtesy Moody Monthly.
Saul has done everything except the most important thing of all—obey God's commands. A captain of a ship crossed the deck in a hurry, seemingly very much perplexed. A lady stopped him and asked what the trouble was. "The fact is, madam," he said, "our rudder's broken." "Oh, I shouldn't worry about that," she replied: "being under water all the time, no one will notice it."—Youth's Companion.
Aesop speaks in one of his fables about a time when the beasts and the fowl were engaged in war. The bat tried to belong to both parties. When the birds were victorious, he would wing around telling that he was a bird; when the beasts won a fight, he would walk around them assuring that he was a beast. But soon his hypocrisy was discovered and he was rejected by both the beasts and the birds. He had to hide himself, and now only by night can be appear openly. One is our Master, even Christ. Serve Him!—Sunday School Times.
A man met with a severe accident and was taken to the hospital. When the doctor was examining his injuries, he noticed that the name of Jesus was beautifully tattooed across the man's breast. A nurse, standing by, said, "I wonder if it is deeper than the skin." Our religion, if it is to be fruitful, must be sincere—deeper than the skin; it must reach the heart.—Christian Herald.
The General Electric Company uses every year more than one and a half million sapphires for bearings in meters and other delicate apparatus, and it becomes necessary to detect synthetic gems and separate them from the natural ones. For this purpose a cathode ray tube has been developed by a member of their research staff. If, in a dark room, the rays from this tube are thrown for a few seconds on a tray of stones, they all glow, and when the rays are turned off, the artificial sapphires continue to glow and may be picked out of the tray, while the natural sapphires cannot be seen. Diamonds, under these rays, turn brown if they are artificial, but remain unchanged if natural. So let every one of us be certain that whatever is unreal in his life and character will be disclosed by the analysis of Heaven. —Christian Herald.