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For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

1 Corinthians 4:9

He is tall and dark with wild hair. He always wears a T-shirt with holes in it, faded jeans and sandals. These clothes were his attire for his entire four years of college. His skin reveals he is from a minority race. But he is brilliant and kind of Sibylline. He became a Christian in the first semester of his fourth year.

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Across the street from the campus is a well-furnished, very conservative church. One day the young man decides to go there. He walks in with sandals, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started, so Bill starts down the aisle, looking for a seat. He cannot find a seat in the fully packed church. By now, people are looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit, and when he realizes there are no seats, he decides to squat down on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behaviour at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church before!

By now, the people are uptight, and the tension in the air is thick. About this time, the minister lifts his eyes. He realizes that from the way to the church’s back, an Elder is slowly making his way toward the visitor. This Elder is in his eighties. His silver-grey hair sits properly just above the neck of a shining blue three-piece suit. He is a godly, exquisite, dignified, and courtly man. He walks with a cane. As he walks toward this visitor, everyone is saying to themselves – you can’t blame him for what he’s going to do.

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How can you expect a man of his age and background to understand some college kid on the floor? It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man’s cane.

All eyes are focused on him. You can’t even hear anyone breathing. The minister can’t even preach the sermon until the Elder has done what he must do. And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty, he lowers himself, sits down next to the visitor, and worships with him so he won’t be alone.

Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister gains control, he says, “What I’m about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget. Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read[1].” 

This engaging story is not mine but adapted from the Empowered Speaker. It is indeed very touching. It is a clarion call to all professing Christians that God expects them to help others know Him. 

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Think about it. How many have opened your pages today? What did they find? Lies? Or honesty? Petulance? Or consideration? Insults? Or calmness? Harshness? Or grace? Backbiting? Or support? What about yesterday? Last month? Last December 14? Can you remember any day? When have you ever gone out of your way and responded positively to the Holy Spirit? When last did you do so? Constrain the rest of your life to be a good Bible. Ask God for forgiveness and true repentance. Give the rest of your life to Jesus! God never stops sending people to read His children (Job 1:8; 2:3). For you and I have been made a spectacle unto men and angels as our text says (1Corinthians 4:9).


[1] Adapted from Be Careful How You Live… (empoweredspeaker.com)