THE GOSPEL MESSAGE

    Volume 44   Number 7                                                                                     March 2002
Editor and Publisher - Thomas W. Woody

When Jesus Comes To Visit
Eugene Brush


Around the time I was added to Christ’s Church, my wife asked me if I had ever attended church. My reply was “very little”; not enough to really say that I had attended church. Then she asked, “If you never went to church, how do you know so many things from the Bible?” “Well”, I said, “I have to give that credit to my great Aunt Nora. ”(pronounced, “Nor -e”)


She was a widow of a blacksmith named Saul Perhamus, who had passed away before I came onto the scene. A short woman of a roly-poly build, she had a twinkle in her eye with a closed-mouth type of laugh. Every day at 11:30 she ate her midday meal, and then at noon she opened her Bible and read. Such was her habit until she departed from this world to be with the Lord. At 12:30 when the clock struck, she laid down the Bible and attended to a young boy. She laid the foundation of faith in God to me. A half hour is a long time to a young boy, but he knew that this was special. In her time they lived closely off of the land. I went with her many times to gather the abundance that God had provided. She taught me to notice and appreciate all of the things in God’s creation.


If a young boy was hungry, tired or just needed a hug and a good story, he knew just where to go. Her door was always open. She told wonderful stories, many from the Bible. I remember a picture which hung upon the wall that was a puzzle that had been framed. It was a cliff scene with a butterfly flying over the edge. A young girl and boy were chasing it. The boy was dressed in little Lord Fauntleroy clothes and the girl was also dressed of that time period. Hovering over them was an artist’s depiction of a beautiful angel with hands outstretched.


As usual, the world led me away from her. The last time I saw her, she was 94 years of age. Still reading her Bible and praying to her Lord. Ever since the age of man, the passing of important information from one person to another, or one generation to another, has been through stories, fables, parables, poems, or songs. The whole Bible bears this out. From such we receive ideas, concepts, our past, our future, and our Creator.


What follows in this article is a story which is not from the Bible, but it is a way at which I am familiar to deliver a message that our Lord wishes for us to remember. I think it will be a very effective way for a person to remember what the LORD wants us to never forget.


Long ago, there lived a very righteous man. He prayed every morning when he arose from bed. He prayed at midday when he ate his meal. He prayed every evening just before retiring to bed. In all of his prayers, he wanted the Lord to visit his house, so he could look upon the Lord’s face and to serve him.


One cold dark night with a snow storm raging outside, the man knelt as usual and said his prayer. He crawled into bed and covered up. As he lay there a voice came to him, saying that the LORD would visit this house tomorrow. Needless to say that there was no more sleeping for that night. He arose to prepare his house to meet the LORD. He prepared a meal fit for a king. Then he dressed in his finest clothes.


As he looked around to see if everything was in order and ready for the Lord, the dawn was just arriving. As he was sitting there thinking about the visit of the Lord and wondering at what time the Lord would come, a knock came on the door. At last the Lord had come, he could look upon the Lord’s face and serve Him.


He rushed to the door to throw it wide open to welcome the Lord. As the door opened there stood an old man. The old man was dressed in rags, with rags wrapped around his feet. The old man was bent over, and walked with a cane. The old man said, “Sir, I am cold and hungry. I wonder if I may come in and sit by the fire and have a bite to eat?” The man stood there in shock at first because he had been expecting the Lord. Then he said “Come in, sit by the fire, the Lord is to come to this house today and I have prepared a meal for Him, but I am sure that the Lord would not care if I gave you some of it. There is plenty.” So he prepared a place at the table for the old man. As the old man ate, the man noticed the condition of the old man’s clothing. The old man told that he had been on a long journey but he was getting close to the end. The old man said that he had neither time nor money to purchase better clothes. The man said “I have a good warm coat that I have no need of and a good pair of shoes to keep your feet warm.” The old man accepted the gifts, thanked the man, blessed the house and departed.


The man again straightened his house to accept the Lord. When he had finished, it was about midday. The man was beginning to wonder when the Lord was going to arrive because the day was half over. At that moment there was a knock on the door. Again the man rushed to the door to welcome the Lord. He threw open the door, there stood a woman with a heavy load of wood on her back. The woman said, “Sir, I am tired and cold. May I come in and sit by the fire and rest?” The man welcomed her and helped her put down her heavy load. He sat her by the fire and prepared a place at the table for her. As they talked she told him that she was a widow, with several children. She just lived down the road. It had snowed the night before so she had set out early to find wood to heat with. The snow made the job take longer than usual and not wanting to have to search for wood soon again, she had collected more than she should have carried. The man told her that after she had rested and warmed that he would divide the load and help carry it to her house, which he gladly did. Upon seeing her safely home he hurried back to his house in case the Lord had arrived. When the man arrived home, the Lord was not there. The man sat his house back in order for the Lord.


When he finished, it was getting dark outside. The man said to himself, “The Lord said that he would visit this house today and the day is almost over. I so wanted to look upon his face and to serve Him.” At that moment there came a knock upon the door. At last the LORD has come. He rushed to the door, threw it open. There stood a small boy, crying. The boy said “Sir, I am lost and I am cold.” The man replied, “Come in, come in!”. He sat the boy by the fire and prepared a place at the table for him. The boy told that he had went out to play in the snow, but the darkness caught him and that he did not know the way home. Upon learning the boy’s name the man said, “I know where you live and I will take you home, as soon as you are warm.” The man saw the boy safely home. The parents wanted to entertain the man for his good deed, but the man told them that the Lord was to visit his house today and he wanted to hurry home in case the Lord had arrived.


When the man arrived home, it was dark and the Lord was not there. The man set about straightening up so he could go to bed. The Lord was not coming. He knelt to pray as usual. He asked the Lord why He had tarried. “You said that you would visit this house today and I so wanted to look upon your face and to serve you. A voice came to him saying, “Three times I knocked on your door, three times you took me in, you sat me by the fire and prepared a place at the table for me. Three times you served me, you gave me warm clothes, you helped me bear a heavy load, you saw me safely home when I was lost.”


What do we learn from this story? The man in his zeal had blinded himself. Like so many of us, our self-gratification blinds us from the Lord’s presence all around us. We have so set in our minds what we are looking for, that we overlook that which we seek. We know from the Bible that the Lord will not come back to this Earth until Judgment Day. He left the Holy Spirit to do his bidding until that day.


Matthew 25: 40: “And the King shall answer and say unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’” How you treat God’s creation is the way you treat the Creator. You are of His creation.


I Corinthians 6: 19:“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” If you dishonor anybody, you are dishonoring God. But if you show love to your fellowman, then you are showing love to the Creator!


God wants us to follow His commandments and to love the ones He created as much as He loves them, and to love Him more than His creation.


What do you give a Father Who has everything? That which his Son JESUS gave Him: Love, full obedience, and the glory for all that was, is, and will be. God knows that being human, we fail at times and fall short of His Glory. But if we are honestly trying, He will forgive those infractions.


Just think how important you are to God. Think of all of the time and effort He has put into you. WHAT LOVE!


In closing, “Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength”, and, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”




~ 221 Canterbury St., Bethalto, IL 62010-1709


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