For His Highest Glory

Note: Navy ships often sail under sealed orders. Before leaving port, the captain is given an envelope. After the vessel embarks, he opens it. It contains only longitude and latitude coordinates. The captain sails to this nautical intersection, then radios the commander for his next instructions. He doesn't know his destination, but follows orders from point to point.
       The sight of two naval officers entering the Mission Church in Calcutta during the Second World War was so unusual that it attracted every eye. Only front seats were vacant, but the uniformed men marched unhesitatingly forward and sat down.
       After the service, the minister asked those who wished to accept Christ to come forward and pray for salvation. The two officers instantly knelt and began praying earnestly. Evidently they knew what they were doing, and meant business.
       When they stopped praying, the pastor asked, "Is there anyone who wishes to testify that God has heard his prayer?"
        Immediately the Senior Officer (the Captain of the ship) arose, saying: "Friends, I am the commander of a vessel which has just reached Calcutta. One of our sailors, whom we call Buddy, is a Christian. He never hesitates to talk to officers or men about Christ, and spends much time praying for their salvation. We used to think him crazy, and we made fun of himeven though we had genuine respect for him.
        "Recently we were in the Bay of Bengal, headed for an unknown destination. At a designated spot, I was to open my sealed orders. The Japanese were destroying shipping in the Bay of Bengal and were threatening Calcutta, and no one knew where they would strike next.
        "One day Buddy was praying for his shipmates, and had a vision while praying: In the vision, he saw a Japanese bomber flying from the east. It flew right over us and dropped a bomb. Our ship blew up with all on board.
       "In an agony, Buddy continued to plead, "Oh, God, you cannot allow the ship to sink now with my mates unsaved. I've prayed for them, and you must hear my prayer, for your Word promises it!"
       "While praying, Buddy seemed to hear a voice: 'If you will persuade the Captain to stop the ship, I'll save it.'
       " 'But, Lord, he will not listen to me. He will think I'm crazy.'
        " 'Get the Captain to stop the ship, and I'll save it,' the voice seemed to persist.
       " 'Lord, please save us anyway. You know the Captain is under orders not to stop the ship. He would never listen to me.'
       "''Persuade the Captain to stop the ship, and I'll save it,' was the only reply Buddy got. Reluctantly, he decided to see me.
        "Getting permission, he came to the bridge. After saluting, he said, 'Sir, you know that I am a Christian, don't you?'
       "'Why Buddy, what's the matter with you? We all know you are a Christian.' 'But, Sir, you know I'm a real Christian, don't you? You know I always tell the truth and act my religion, don't you?' 'Out with it, Buddywhat do you want? I know you never lie.'
       "Then Buddy told me of his vision, and pleaded with me to stop the ship.
       "'Why, Buddy,' I said, 'that's impossible. My oath as an officer, my sealed orders why! It is unthinkable!'
       "He argued with me passionately, and I must confess I was terribly impressed, but my orders gave me no alternative.
       "Finally Buddy said, "Well, Sir, if a Japanese plane comes toward the ship, will you stop the ship? If you stop the ship, God will save it.'
       " 'I can't promise, Buddy,' I said as I dismissed him, 'but I will keep it under consideration.'
       "Hardly had he gone before a plane was reported on the horizon. A few minutes later, we saw it was a Japanese bomber.
       "I gave orders immediately to reverse the engines, and come to a dead stop. I knew the ship would be a 'sitting duck' out there in the ocean, but something in my heart told me to obey God rather than my superiors.
       "The ship had hardly ceased moving when out of nowhere a mist began to gather, and an impenetrable fog surrounded us. You know what a miracle that is at this time of the year, in the Bay of Bengal, where there is never a trace of fog.
       "We heard the plane droning towards us, then passing directly overhead, and then disappearing toward the west. When the sound had ceased, the cloud lifted, and my fellow-officer and I dropped to our knees and promised that if God brought us safely to land, the first thing we would do would be to go directly to a church and accept Christ as our Saviour, and give our lives to Him. That is why we came here tonight."
       My missionary friend is still in touch with that Captain, and knows he has been true to his word. He has had to suffer; for his wife turned against him because he became a Christian. (Reported by Emma Morris, the friend of the missionary in touch with the Captain of the ship.)

       Dear Reader, If you are still traveling on life's treacherous sea without Christ, will
you be wise, as was this Captain, and take heed to God's warning and provision of
escape from the judgment to come? Here is God's message to you: "There is none
righteous, no, not one: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
(Romans 3:10,23)
       "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
       "For He (God) made Him (Jesus) to be sin for usWho bore our sins in His own
body on the tree," (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24)
       "The blood of Jesus Christ, His (God's) Son, cleanses us from all sin." (l John 1:7)
       "Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." (Isaiah 1:18)
       "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication,
uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath,
strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such like: of
the which I tell you . . . that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of
God." (Galatians 5:19-21)
       "For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men." (Romans 1:18)
       "Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)
       "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (l John 1:9)

(The above article was originally published by the Pilgrim Tract Society, Randleman,
NC 27317)

                         The Homeless Boy and the Millionaire

        The rain was coming down in sheets, and the chauffeured limo was speeding through town. The millionaire in the back seat was day-dreaming as his limo sped through the nearly deserted streets. Just before they came to Broom Street, the millionaire glanced out the window, and he saw a boy sitting on the curb weeping. The millionaire ordered his chauffeur to stop. He got out and walked over to the boy. He said to the boy: "Hello! You're getting soaked sitting on the curb in this rain. Let me give you a ride home." The boy replied: "I don't have a home. Both my parents have died and this curb is my only home." The millionaire's heart was moved with compassion, and he said: "Would you like to come home with me and be my son?" The boy was shocked, and he replied: "You want me to be your son?" The millionaire replied: "Come home with me to my house." So the boy climbed in the limo, and off they went to the millionaire's house. Upon reaching the house, the millionaire told his butler, "Bring out some food. This young boy is starving." The boy then had his first full meal in several weeks, and was overjoyed at the thought of becoming the millionaire's son. The millionaire then showed the boy the room that was to be his. The boy was shocked at the size of the bedthe biggest bed he ever saw in his life. The next day, the millionaire then had his servant take the boy to a department store and bought for the boy a full set of new clothes. The boy was overjoyed and couldn't believe the kindness of the millionaire to him. The millionaire then enrolled the boy in a private boy's school, where the boy studied hard and got mostly A's in his courses.

        One day, while straightening up his room, the boy heard music coming from downstairs. The boy climbed down the stairs and heard music coming from the library. He walked to the door of the library, and saw the millionaire playing a violin. The millionaire noticed the boy standing at the door of the library and asked him to come in. Noticing the boy's interest in his violin, he asked him: "Would you like to learn to play the violin?" The boy replied: "Would I ever! I'd love to learn to play the violin." So the millionaire showed the boy how to hold the violin and gave him his first violin lesson. And every day after school, the boy begged the millionaire for another lesson. The boy showed tremendous talent, and soon learned everything the millionaire knew to teach him. So the millionaire enrolled the boy in a music academy, where the boy rapidly increased in skill. Soon the boy was playing in various recitals before bigger and bigger audiences. After much quick improvement, the boy was scheduled to perform in a large theater in the city, and many people showed up for the performance, so that the theater was holding a large crowd who had come to hear the boy play the violin.

        A number of newspaper reporters had come to witness the boy prodigy play the violin. One of the newspaper reporters noticed that the boy was looking up as he played, and wondered what the boy was looking at as he played the violin. So the newspaper reporter climbed up to the first balcony which was full, and looked down at the boy. He noticed that the boy was looking even higher, so the newspaper reporter climbed up to the next balcony which was nearly full and again looked down at the boy as he played the violin. But, no, the young boy was yet looking even higher. So the newspaper reporter climbed up to the third balcony. And the only one seated in the third balcony was the millionaire. The boy was playing FOR HIM, AND FOR HIM ALONE!

Please also see The Vine and the Branches.


                                                      STAR OVER EDEN

    Two promises from heaven to two women of earth restore hope to mankind.

"'. . . I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed
and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel....'
And unto the woman He said, 'I will greatly multiply thy sorrow, and thy
conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children . . . .'"

   I have come again to the tomb of my son--to the low stone mound on the
seaward-looking hill. Since his death the trees about the grave have with-
ered, bloomed, and died again, but the day of his dying is still too near.
   I remember the faces of my sons that morning: one proud, like a beast is
proud in his rage, and one as calm as the face of the lambs that played at
my feet in the Beginning.
   On that morning of brightness, they descended again to the fields. Later
I followed, taking them food. As I came near to the place of the noon meal,
I heard a shout, and felt a great pain, and for a moment the sun was pale
and the sky became thin. Then my eldest came running past me. He looked
once into my face: his eyes were full of guilt and grief, and his hands were
bloody. He ran towards the wilderness, and was gone.
   I climbed the little hill and found my other son, dead against the altar
he had built. On his face was love, and his blood mingled with the blood of
the fresh sacrifice. I wept, and my husband came, and we buried him.
   Where now, O God, is the hope of peace? Twice I have lain in the pain of
bearing; two sons have grown in my womb and walked on the earth, but none
has crushed the Evil. One is dead, and lies under stone, and one is cursed
and wanders in the desert. The evil one grows and the shadow spreads in my
soul. There is no hope. What strength is there in the fruit of my womb, in
the strong sons who were promised? They too have fallen. The evil grows,
and the emptiness, and I am tired.
   Night comes. My husband is alone, and I will go to him. I will leave
our dead son to the weight of the stone, leave our dead hope in the tomb on
the hill. We could have chosen no more holy place. The wind strokes the
bare trees and they move, and sing, and almost speak. The wind is from the
west, from the sea in the west, and the fragrance on the wind is a memory of
the Beginning.
   Beyond what seas, beyond what stars is a garden beyond evil? The garden
is lost, and the glory, and my sons and my hope.
   But I will still hope, and pray for yet another son . . . yet what son of
mine can stand against the Evil One--what fruit of my womb can live beyond
death? To conquer the serpent will take greater strength than comes from my
flesh. No, till one as strong as God shall come, there shall be no victory,
and no rest. But should I hope for such a victory, and rest in the hope of
such a miracle?
   You stars, will you yet see a child born--from my daughters, or my daugh-
ters' daughters, who will stand against evil, and triumph?

   ". . . And the angel answered and said unto her, 'The Holy Ghost shall
come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; there-
fore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the
Son of God . . . .'"

(By Loren Wilkinson. Reprinted from Wheaton Record of Dec. 17, 1964, pub-
lished by Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill.)

 A prayer and a beautiful hymn entitled Submission sung by Brother Vitello:  

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