The inspiration for this website came from a Scripture song I heard over 10 years ago at a ladies retreat:

Like Apples of Gold in pictures of silver
A word fitly spoken shall be,
Like Apples of Gold in pictures of silver
Let my life bring glory to thee.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 25:11

Although some of the "stories" listed are made up, the Scriptural truths they illustrate are very real and can be of great benefit in a Christian's walk with the Lord and as illustrations for the lost.

It is my heart's desire that amongst the pages of this website, the Christian find words of encouragement and be spurred on to service for our Lord, and that seekers of the truth find Salvation in the timeless truths of God's Word for these troubled times.

- Angela

Posts Tagged ‘love’

The Matchless Pearl

The Matchless Pearl

A heavy splash was followed by many ripples and then the water below the pier was still. David Morse, a missionary, crouched low on the pier, his eyes riveted where a stream of little bubbles rose to the surface from deep under the water. In a moment his old friend Rambhau, an Indian pearl diver, appeared and clambered onto the dock, grinning.

“Look at this one, sahib,” said Rambhau, taking a big oyster from between his teeth. “I think it will be good.”

Morse took it and pried it open with his pocket knife. “Rambhau! Look!” exclaimed Morse, “Why it’s a treasure!”

“Yes, a good one,” shrugged the diver.

“Good! It’s perfect isn’t it? Have you ever seen a better pearl? ” cried Morse, turning the pearl over in his hands.

“Oh, yes, there are better pearls, much better. Why, I have one…” his voice trailed off. “See here–the imperfections–the black speck here, this tiny dent. It’s not even round, but good enough as pearls go.”

“Your eye is too sharp for your good, my friend,” lamented Morse. “I would never ask for a more perfect pearl!”

“It is just as you say about your God,” answered Rambhau. “To themselves people seem without fault, but God sees them as they really are.” The two men started down the dusty road to town.

“You’re right, Rambhau, but God offers a perfect righteousness to all who will simply believe and accept His free offer of salvation through His beloved Son.”

“No, sahib. As I’ve told you so many times, it’s too easy. That is where your religion breaks down. Perhaps I am too proud, but I must work for my place in heaven. Do you see that man over there? He is a pilgrim, perhaps to Bombay or Calcutta. He walks barefooted over the sharpest stones–and see–every few paces he kneels down and kisses the road. That is good. The first day of the new year I shall begin my pilgrimage. All my life I have planned it. I shall make sure of heaven this time. I am going to Delhi on my knees.”

“Rambhau! You’re crazy! It’s nine hundred miles to Delhi! The skin will break on your knees and you will have blood poisoning or leprosy before you ever get there.”

“No, I must go to Delhi. The suffering will be sweet, for it will purchase heaven for me.”

“Rambhau, my friend, you can’t! How can I let you do this when Jesus Christ, by His death and resurrection, has already done all to purchase heaven for you?”

But the old man could not be moved. “You are my dearest friend on earth, sahib Morse. Through many years you have stood beside me. In sickness and want you have been sometimes my only friend. But even you cannot turn me from this great desire to purchase eternal bliss. I must go to Delhi.” It was useless. The old pearl diver could not understand, could not accept the free salvation of Christ.

Later one afternoon Morse answered a knock at his door to find Rambhau there.

“My good friend!” exclaimed Morse. “Come in.”

“No,” said the pearl diver. “I want you to come with me to my house, sahib. I have something to show you.”

The heart of the missionary leaped. Perhaps God was answering his prayers at last. “Of course I’ll come.”

Inside Rambhau’s home, Morse was seated on the chair where many times he had sat explaining to the diver God’s way of salvation, Rambhau left the room to return with a small but heavy strongbox. “I have had this strongbox for years,” he said. “I keep only one thing in it. Now I will tell you about it. Sahib Morse, I once had a son.”

“A son! Rambhau, you never said a word about him!”

“No, sahib, I couldn’t.”

As the diver spoke, his eyes were wet with tears. “Now I must tell you, for soon I will leave, and who knows whether I shall ever return? My son was a diver, too–the best pearl diver on the coasts of India. He had the swiftest dive, the keenest eye, the strongest arm, the longest breath of any man who sought for pearls. What joy he brought to me! He always dreamed of finding a pearl beyond all others. One day he found it, but in his desire to get it, he stayed under too long. He lost his life soon after. All these years I have kept the pearl, but now, my friend, I am giving it to you.”

The old man, shaking with emotion, worked the lock on the strongbox and drew from it a carefully wrapped package. Gently folding back the cloths, he picked up a mammoth pearl and placed it in the hand of the missionary. It was one of the largest pearls ever found off the coast of India, and it glowed with a luster and brilliance Morse had never seen. It would have brought a fabulous sum in any market.

For a moment the missionary was speechless and gazed on the pearl with awe. “Rambhau! what a pearl!”

“That pearl, sahib, is perfect,” he replied quietly.

The missionary looked up quickly with a new thought.

“Rambhau this is a wonderful pearl, an amazing pearl. Let me buy it. I will give you ten thousand dollars for it.”

“Sahib! What do you mean?”

“Well, I will give you fifteen thousand dollars for it, or if it takes more I will work for it.”

“Sahib,” said Rambhau, as his whole body stiffened, “this pearl is beyond all price. No man in all the world has enough money to pay what this pearl is worth to me. I could never sell it. You may only have it as a gift.”

“No, Rambhau, I cannot accept it that way. Perhaps I am too proud, but that is too easy. I must earn it.”

The old pearl diver was stunned. “You don’t understand at all, sahib. Don’t you see? My only son gave his life to get this pearl, and nothing you would do could ever earn it. Its worth is in the life-blood of my son. Just accept it as a token of the love I have for you.”

For a moment the missionary could not speak. Then he gripped the hand of his old friend. “Rambhau,” he said in a low voice, “don’t you see? That is just what God has been saying to you.”

The diver looked long and searchingly at the missionary and slowly he began to understand.

“God is offering salvation to you as a free gift. It is so great and priceless that no man on earth could buy it–millions of dollars are too little. No man can earn it–in a thousand pilgrimages you could not earn it. It cost God the life-blood of His only Son to make the entrance for you into heaven. All you can do is accept it as a token of God’s love for you, a sinner.

“Rambhau, of course I will accept the pearl in deep humility, praying God I may be worthy of your love. But won’t you accept God’s great gift of eternal life, in deep humility knowing it cost Him the death of His only Son to offer it to you?”

Great tears were rolling down the face of the old man. The veil was lifting. He understood at last. “Sahib, I see it now. I could not believe that His salvation was free, but now I understand. Some things are too priceless to be bought or earned. Sahib, I accept His offer of salvation.”

Author Unknown

“God commendeth His love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us”

(Romans 5:8).

“For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him
should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

(John 3:16).

“For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: not of works,
lest any man should boast”

(Ephesians 2:8,9).

I Found Jesus There

I Found Jesus There

The surgeon sat beside the boy’s bed; the boy’s parents sat across from him. “Tomorrow morning,” the surgeon began, “I’ll open up your heart…”

“You’ll find Jesus there,” the boy interrupted.

The surgeon looked up, annoyed. “I’ll cut your heart open,” he continued, “to see how much damage has been done…”

“But when you open up my heart, you’ll find Jesus in there.” The surgeon looked to the parents, who sat quietly.

“When I see how much damage has been done, I’ll sew your heart and chest back up and I’ll plan what to do next.”

“But you’ll find Jesus in my heart. The Bible says He lives there. The hymns all say He lives there. You’ll find Him in my heart.”

The surgeon had had enough. “I’ll tell you what I’ll find in your heart. I’ll find damaged muscle, low blood supply, and weakened vessels. And I’ll find out if I can make you well.”

“You’ll find Jesus there too. He lives there.”

The surgeon left. The surgeon sat in his office, recording his notes from the surgery: “…damaged aorta, damaged pulmonary vein, widespread muscle degeneration. No hope for transplant, no hope for cure. Therapy: painkillers and bed rest. Prognosis:” here he paused, “death within one year.”

He stopped the recorder, but there was more to be said. “Why?” he asked aloud.

“Why did You do this? You’ve put him here; You’ve put him in this pain; and You’ve cursed him to an early death. Why?” The Lord answered and said, “The boy, My lamb, was not meant for your flock for long, for he is a part of My flock, and will forever be. Here, in My flock, he will feel no pain, and will be comforted as you cannot imagine. His parents will one day join him here, and they will know peace, and My flock will continue to grow.”

The surgeon’s tears were hot, but his anger was hotter. “You created that boy, and You created that heart. He’ll be dead in months. Why?”

The Lord answered,

“The boy, My lamb, shall come home to My flock, for he has done his duty: I did not put My lamb with your flock to lose him, but to retrieve another lost lamb.”

The surgeon wept.

The surgeon sat beside the boy’s bed; the boy’s parents sat across from him. The boy awoke and whispered, “Did you cut open my heart?”

“Yes,” said the surgeon.

“What did you find?” asked the boy.

“I found Jesus there,” said the surgeon.

Author Unknown

The Old Refiner

The Old Refiner

He sat by a fire of seven-fold heat,
As He watched by the precious ore,
And closer He bent with a searching gaze
As He heated it more and more.

He knew He had ore that could stand the test,
And He wanted the finest gold
To mould as a crown for the King to wear,
Set with gems with a price untold.

So He laid our gold in the burning fire,
Tho’ we fain would have said Him ‘Nay,’
And He watched the dross that we had not seen,
And it melted and passed away.

And the gold grew brighter and yet more bright,
But our eyes were so dim with tears,
We saw but the fire–not the Master’s hand,
And questioned with anxious fears.

Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow,
As it mirrored a Form above,
That bent o’er the fire, tho’ unseen by us,
With a look of ineffable love.

Can we think that it pleases His loving heart
To cause us a moment’s pain?
Ah, no! but He saw through the present cross
The bliss of eternal gain.

So He waited there with a watchful eye,
With a love that is strong and sure,
And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat,
Than was needed to make it pure.

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

Our Father, who seeks to perfect His saints in holiness, knows the value of the refiner’s fire. It is with the most precious metals that the assayer takes the most pains, and subjects them to the hot fire, because such fires melt the metal, and only the molten mass releases its alloy or takes perfectly its new form in the mould. The old refiner never leaves his crucible, but sits down by it, lest there should be one excessive degree of heat to mar the metal. But as soon as he skims from the surface the last of the dross, and sees his own face reflected, he puts out the fire. — Arthur T. Pierson

The Silversmith’s Reflection

The Silversmith’s Reflection

While reading Malachi chapter 3, a group of women in a Bible study came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: “And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”

One woman spoke up and said the verse was intended to convey the sanctifying influence of the grace of God. Then she said she would visit a silversmith and report to the other women what he said on the subject.

She went accordingly and, without telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which the smith described to her.

“But, sir,” she said, “do you sit while the work of refining is going on?”

“Oh, yes, ma’am,” replied the silversmith. “I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining is exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured.”

The woman at once saw the beauty and comfort of the expression, “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” God sees it needful to put His children into a furnace: His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random: “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

As the woman was leaving the shop, the silversmith called her back and said he had forgotten to mention that the only way to know when the purifying process is complete is . . .

. . .when he can see his own image reflected in the silver.

Author Unknown

*********

And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Malachi 3:3

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:10

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

The Eye of Faith

The Eye of Faith

It was a Wednesday afternoon. Shrouded in a dense fog, a large steamer edged slowly forward off the coast of Newfoundland, its foghorn crying out somber notes of warning. The captain–near exhaustion from lack of sleep–was startled by a gentle tap on his shoulder. He fumed and found himself face-to-face with an old man in his late seventies.

The old man said, “Captain, I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec on Saturday afternoon.”

The captain pondered for a moment, and then snorted, “Impossible.”

“Very well,” the old man responded, “if your ship can’t take me, God will find some other means to take me. I have never broken an engagement in 57 years.”

Lifting his weary hands in a gesture of despair, the captain replied, “I would help if I could–but I am helpless.”

Undaunted, the old man suggested, “Let’s go down to the chart room and pray.” The captain raised his eyebrows in utter disbelief, looking at the old man as if he had just escaped from a lunatic asylum.

“Do you know how dense the fog is?” the captain demanded.

The old man responded, “No. My eye is not on the thickness of the fog but on the living God who controls every circumstance of my life.”

Against his better judgment, the captain accompanied the old man to the chart room and kneeled with him in prayer. With simple words a child might use, the old man prayed, “O Lord, if it is consistent with Thy will, please remove this fog in five minutes. Thou knowest the engagement Thou didst make for me in Quebec on Saturday. I believe it is Thy will.”

The captain, a nominal Christian at best, thought it wise to humor the old man and recite a short prayer. But before he was able to utter a single word, he felt a tap on his shoulder. The old man requested, “Don’t pray, because you do not believe; and as I believe God has already answered, there is no need for you to pray.” The captain’s mouth dropped open.

Then the old man explained, “Captain, I have known my Lord for 57 years and there has never been a single day that I have failed to gain an audience with the King. Get up, captain, and open the door, and you will find the fog is gone.” The captain did as he was requested, and was astonished to find that the fog had indeed disappeared.

The captain later testified that this encounter with the aged George Muller completely revolutionized his Christian life. He had seen with his own eyes that Muller’s God was the true and living God of the Bible. He had seen incredible power flow from a frail old man–a power rooted in simple childlike faith in God.

The late pastor Ray Stedman once delivered a sermon in which he said, “Faith has an apparent ridiculousness about it. You are not acting by faith if you are doing what everyone around you is doing. Faith always appears to defy the circumstances. It constitutes a risk and a venture.”

That is the kind of faith George Muller demonstrated decade after decade in his long and fruitful life. During the final year of his earthly sojourn, he wrote that his faith had been increasing over the years little by little, but he emphatically insisted that there was nothing unique about him or his faith. He believed that a life of trust was open to virtually all of God’s children if only they would endure when trials came instead of giving up.

Author Unknown

The Cost of A Miracle

The Cost of A Miracle

Tess was a precocious eight-year-old when she heard her Mom and Dad talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she knew was that he was very sick and they were completely out of money. They were moving to an apartment complex next month because Daddy didn’t have the money for the doctor bills and our house.

Only a very costly surgery could save him now and it was looking like there was no one to loan them the money.

She heard Daddy say to her tearful Mother with whispered desperation, “Only a miracle can save him now.”

Not yet understanding what a miracle was, Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall’s Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief above the door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too intently talking to another man to be bothered by an eight year old at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter.

That did it! “And what do you want?” the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. “I’m talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven’t seen in ages,” he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

“Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,” Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone.

“He’s really, really sick…and I want to buy a miracle.” “I beg your pardon?” said the pharmacist. “

His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?”

“We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help you,” the pharmacist said, softening a little. “

Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn’t enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.”

The pharmacist’s brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, “What kind of a miracle does you brother need?”

“I don’t know,” Tess replied with her eyes welling up. “I just know he’s really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can’t pay for it, so I want to use my money.

“How much do you have?” asked the man from Chicago. “One dollar and eleven cents,” Tess answered barely audibly. And it’s all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.”

“Well, what a coincidence,” smiled the man. “A dollar and eleven cents-the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.” He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said “Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the kind of miracle you need.”

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn’t long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

“That surgery,” her Mom whispered, “was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?”

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost…one dollar and eleven cents… plus the faith of a little child.

A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law…

Author Unknown

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