Verse of the Day

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Alexander de Seversky, U. S. aviator and engineer, was once visiting a fellow flyer in the hospital. The young man had just lost his leg; de Seversky, who had had an artificial leg for some time, tried to cheer him up. “The loss of a leg is not so great a calamity,” he said. “If you get hit on a wooden leg, it doesn’t hurt a bit! Try it!” The patient raised his walking stick and brought it down hard on de Seversky’s leg. “You see,” he said cheerfully. “If you hit an ordinary man like that, he’d be in bed for five days!” With that he left his friend and limped into the corridor, where he collapsed in excruciating pain. It seems the young man had struck de Seversky on his good leg!  (from Today in the Word, October 29, 1992)

I wonder if de Seversky, when entering this man's hospital room, intended to get hurt.  Well, no he didn't.  His intention was to try and help this man by encouraging words.  Those words resulted in a different outcome - for de Seversky at least anyway.  That brings me to the topic of choices.

Even with intentions are good, choices can result in a different outcome.  In Luke 14:28-30,  Jesus talks about careful decision making during an illustration.

"For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?  "Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'  Luke 14:28-30 (NASB)

A lesson in counting the whole cost before taking action is what we must learn.  However good they may be, our intentions can not be seen.  After all, we have had much more time to formulate those intentions before starting our 'action'.  While during the event, other people can only see actions - current actions.  So, that leads me to benefit of the doubt.  What does this idiom mean?  Thanks to an internet search, I found, "to believe something good about someone, rather than something bad, when you have the possibility of doing either."  Wow, the possibility of doing either - ouch.  I'm guilty of not thinking about the possibilities during an event.  I have some people to apologize too.  But is not that how things go?  We are in the middle of some event where we are thinking of ourselves?  Yes, we are all selfish creatures at times and some more than others, but that is another topic for another post.

Intentions are not a means to an end - in other words -  a means to achieve your goal.  Look at it this way, that left de Seversky with his only good leg in a lot of pain.  Bad for de Seversky - good for the man in the hospital bed - in that story.  But, how many times does the coin land on its other side and the outcome hurts others?  "...sit down and calculate the cost..." (from Luke14:31) sitting down with people around us and explaining our intentions is the only way intentions become external.  But as my three-year-old is learning, consequences still apply.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

God's Call

Can you remember a time when God called you? Summarizing, the apostle Paul explained God's call to salvation in Christ with a few words. "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me," Galatians 1:15-16. He reveals Christ in us. The call of God to salvation is through the gospel by His grace.