This Means You

While we are getting better acquainted with the ancient sayings, I should mention that this is a book full of various kinds of people facing a variety of common challenges. Years ago I completed an in-depth analysis of Proverbs and was surprised to discover that the book includes more than 180 types or categories of people.

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Cool Skepticism

Nine-year-old Danny came bursting out of Sunday school like a wild stallion. His eyes were darting in every direction as he tried to locate either his mom or dad. Finally, after a quick search, he grabbed his daddy by the leg and yelled, “Man, that story of Moses and all those people crossing the Red Sea was great!” His father looked down, smiled, and asked the boy to tell him about it.

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Newborn

Two hours away from our own front door we traveled completely around the world. We didn’t miss a continent. From Paraguay to the Congo. From the Serengeti Plains of Tanzania into the tropical rain forests of Malagasy, across the Indian Ocean to mysterious Malaya. Then it was the tundra of the Arctic Circle, Scandinavia to Mesopotamia, Egypt to China, Manchuria to Siberia.

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A Parable: Saving Lives

On a dangerous seacoast notorious for shipwrecks, there was a crude little lifesaving station. Actually, the station was merely a hut with only one boat . . . but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the turbulent sea. With little thought for themselves, they would go out day and night tirelessly searching for those in danger as well as the lost.

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Be Ready and Make It Clear

ONE OF THE TOUGHEST assignments in life is to communicate clearly what happened during a time when emotions were high. People who “fall in love” can hardly describe the details of the moment. Those who’ve endured a sudden loss or witnessed a tragic accident often convey the information in a confused manner.

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Stay in Circulation

DURING THE REIGN OF OLIVER CROMWELL, the British government began to run low on silver for coins. Lord Cromwell sent his men to the local cathedral to see if they could find any precious metal there. After investigating, they reported: “The only silver we could find is the statues of the saints standing in the corners.” To which the radical, outspoken soldier and statesman of England replied: “Good! We’ll melt down the saints and put them into circulation!”

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Grace to the Saved

Paul’s message emphasized the gospel to the lost and grace to the saved. That is a wonderful paradigm for any minister or ministry to adopt. As I’ve studied the life of Paul, . . . I find two prominent themes.

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Unexpected Opportunities

Paul and Barnabas arrived at Pisidian Antioch, weary and aching from their perilous march through the mountains. Still, they wasted no time in making their way to the synagogue early enough to find a good seat.

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God Wins

God goaded and prodded the stubborn pride of Saul—that Pharisaic ox. Day after day he kicked against those goads, until finally he got the message. There would be no more running. No more hiding. The fight was over.

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A Quick Turnaround

The essence of genuine repentance is that the mind does a turnaround. The Greek word is metanoia, meaning, literally, “to change one’s mind.” That’s precisely what happened to the once-proud Pharisee on the road to Damascus.

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