A story was told of a man who decided to send two thousand dollars cash to a man who was in need and thinking it was too much to send all at once by mail; he decided to send two hundred dollars in a letter, along with a note which said, “More to follow.” In a few days, the man again received a letter in the mail containing two hundred dollars and a note with the same message attached, “More to follow!” Soon every few days, the man received one letter after another, each with the same promise attached, “More to follow,” till the entire sum had been received made all the more familiar with the cheering words, “More to follow.”
But isn’t that how each blessing that comes from God is sent? Each with the same message attached, “And more to follow.” I forgive your sins, but there is more to follow.” “I justify you in the righteousness of Christ, but there is more to follow.” “I adopt you into my family, but there is more to follow.” “I educate you for heaven, but there is more to follow.” “I give you grace upon grace, but there is more to follow.” “I have helped you even to old age, but there is still more to follow.” “I will uphold you in the hour of death, and as you pass on, my mercy shall accompany you, and when you enter heaven, you will still find that there is and will always be…more to follow.” Because His faithfulness and unfathomable love never ends!
Soon Easter Sunday will be upon us, and we will once again celebrate the gift of life that Jesus offers the world through his death and resurrection. Eternal life is the gift offered that allows us to experience the abundant life that Jesus promised us (John 10:10) but for many, the gift and the life lie untouched and unopened.
In upstate New York, a man was visiting a friend and decided to see if he could walk the distance to see Niagara Falls. After walking quite a while, he estimated he was within a couple of miles of the Falls, and thinking he could hear the roar of the falls in the distance, he called out to a man working in a field and asked, “Is that the roar of Niagara Falls?” The man replied, ‘I don’t know, but I guess it may be.” “Don’t you live here?” he asked. With a surprised look, the man answered, “Born and bred here.” “And yet you don’t know whether that thundering noise is from the waterfall?” He exclaimed! “No, stranger, I have never seen those falls; I’m busy looking after my farm.”
There are still those who can hear in the distance the ringing of church bells on a Sunday morning, drawing the faithful and reminding the lost of the cross and its promise of eternal life. Others whose hearts were once receptive to the call of eternity have ignored it for so long that their hearts have become hardened and have become cold and indifferent to the call of the cross. They continue to go about their daily activities subconsciously, hoping everything will turn out all right in the end, but they live for the here and now, trying not to think of eternal things or allow them to enter their conscious thoughts. They live as if this is all that life has to offer and because their minds are consumed by the immediate they think little of the eternal.
We were all like that at one time, consumed by the world with its choices and possibilities. But our heart desires more, and if God is not enough, our heart will continue its search for something…anything that will satisfy its hunger. A hunger that this world can never completely satisfy, leaving us to be committed only as long as it meets our immediate need, and when that passes, we look with hungry eyes at what more there is that will satisfy our hunger.
Just a glance at the hunger that drove four of the world’s most gifted leaders and how they ended will give us insight into how the world and its possibilities can consume us.
· First, look at Alexander the Great, who after completely conquering the known world, wept because there was nothing more to conquer. At last, he set fire to a city and died in a drunken stupor.
· Second, take Hannibal, the great general who ravaged Italy, who filled three-bushel baskets with gold rings taken from the hands of slaughtered knights. Then in a fit of depression committed suicide by poisoning himself.
· Third, take Caesar, who conquered 800 cities and dyed his garments with the blood of a million foes, only to end up being stabbed by his best friend in the court where he witnessed his greatest triumph.
· Fourth, take Napoleon, the scourge of Europe, who was finally defeated and banished and died a captive in a strange land. God says, “The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked shall rot.” Proverbs 10:7
The note said…‘The bells are ringing…‘MORE TO FOLLOW’
Over forty years have passed since I gave my heart to Jesus, but I will never forget the time when Lois’s parents came to visit us in Montana during Easter. Their being with us was all it took for us to accompany them to church. I believe they ‘intentionally planned’ on coming at that time so that we would attend church with them. The plan worked; first, Lois recommitted her life to Jesus, then I accepted Jesus into my life. But there was ‘more to follow’ because our daughters, husbands, and six grandchildren are all following Jesus. Their plan did make a difference!
The sound of ringing bells mirrors the work of the Holy Spirit, who is continually reminding fallen humanity of its lost condition. Along with the Holy Spirit, our Father in Heaven always encourages His children to take the initiative and approach a person and speak the words of life that will lead them to know His great sacrificial love for them and receive eternal life.
Years ago, I remembered reading about a hard-working physician who was taking a vacation, and in order not to be disturbed, he sought to hide his identity as a physician. But, while his ship was docked in a tropical port, a boy fell overboard. Finally, they brought his body out of the water and laid it on the dock. The crew worked hard on the lad while the traveling doctor watched, but from a distance. Finally, through curiosity, he drew near and saw that it was his very own four-year-old son. Suddenly everything changed. Throwing aside his careless indifference, he worked with all his might until his son was restored.
As children of the King of Kings, we cannot afford to be indifferent about the call on our lives to share the Good News! I wonder, like the physician, if we often find ourselves hiding our identity from others instead of rushing to minister life to those who are in desperate need of help.
Our prayer for you as you celebrate His Resurrection is that all of us will open our eyes once again and ask God for opportunities to lead someone to the well of life. John 4:4-26. May you capture our hearts and bring the good news to all that are seeking!
Please keep the Ukraine-Russian war and world events in your prayers! We need the Holy Spirit to come and to help guide us in every way to bring people to where they need to be right now. He is our Savior and Lord and He is the faithful one!