THE TOUCH OF THE MASTER’S HAND

Twas battered, scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
 
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who will start the bidding for me?
A dollar, a dollar”- then “Two” “Only Two?
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
 
Three dollars once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three----” But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
touchmastershand
Then wiping the dust from the old violin, 
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As sweet as a caroling angel sings
 
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What am I bidden for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
 
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand , once; three thousand twice;
And going, and gone!”  said he.
 
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand
What changed its worth?” Swift came the reply:
“The touch of the Master’s hand.”
 
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scattered with sin,
 Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much lie the old violin,
 
A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine;
A game-- and he travels on.
He’s “going” once, and “going” twice,
He “going” and “almost gone.”
 
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul, and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.
 
-Myra Brooks Welch
 
 
 
 
 
Several years ago a group of salesman went to a regional sales meeting in Chicago. They assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for supper on Friday night. One thing led to another and the meeting ran overtime. The men had to race to the airport, tickets in hand. As they barged through the terminal, one man inadvertently kicked over a table supporting a basket of apples. Without stopping they all reached the plane in time and boarded it with a sigh of relief. All but one. He paused, got in touch with his feelings and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned. He waved good-bye to his companions and returned to the terminal. He was glad he did. The ten year old girl was blind. The salesman gathered up the apples and noticed that several of them were battered and bruised.  He reached into his wallet and said to the girl, "Here, please take this ten dollars for the damage we did.  I hope it didn't spoil your day." As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered girl called out to him, "Are you Jesus?"  He stopped in mid-stride... and he wondered.

I’ve never had that particular case of mistaken identity. Have you? Why would anyone think a person was Jesus? Could the answer be captured in words like, kind, considerate, helpful, other-people centered? We could easily pick Jesus out of a crowd. The same statement should be true of a Jesus-like person. He would be doing something nice for someone who needed it. You could hear him using kind words while others passed judgment. He would be searching for opportunities to help, not trying to find ways to avoid being inconvenienced.

The Jesus person would not be so concerned what others thought that he would feel compelled to choose the politically correct clubs and company to be associated with.

Are you Jesus?
 
“....for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily....Many of them believed...” (Acts 17:11,12)
 
Should we wish to be like the Bereans who were “more noble” than some other audiences Paul had spoken to, we would have to:
Receive the word with eagerness. One easily detects enthusiasm and interest. Jesus promised a blessing upon those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied”. Force feeding, playing hide-the-spoon, and here-comes-the-airplane, are things reserved for little children who do not know which things they need and therefore have no interest in acquiring them. The need to perform gymnastics in the pulpit, bellowing  from time to time to keep sleepers awake, and  having to insert a timely “listen to this funny story” are products of the here and now. Jesus and Paul would both stare in amazement at such tactics.

Examine the Scriptures every day. Daily Bible reading! But more. This was study with purpose. This would involve much time and energy. Of course when you read from a book or allow a speaker to tell you something you didn’t know before or you thought just the opposite was true, then purposeful study comes naturally. You HAVE to know. Is this from God or not? Have I been missing this all along or has the speaker/writer?  Make this necessary observation: When a person knows all about a subject, or thinks he does, there is no interest in checking further. Why use the energy? The Bereans were under no such assumption. They listened and ran to the Book.
Be open to change.  There is no evidence they were shifty or flighty, but the Bible says they listened to a message different from what they were accustomed to, checked it out in the Bible and then “Many of them therefore believed”.  To turn from Moses to Christ, from law to grace,  from legalism to liberty, was a change of greater magnitude than most of us can imagine. They said, in effect, “We believe that we are okay with God right now, but is there some blessing we have missed or some Scripture we have misapplied? Tell us and we will do whatever it takes to be right with God”

Let us seek to practice these commendable traits: LISTEN, SEARCH, AND ALLOW GOD TO CHANGE US.
 
Kids were asked questions about the Old and New Testaments. The following statements about the Bible were written by children. They have not been retouched or corrected (i.e., incorrectspelling has been left in.)

Enjoy!
  • In the first book of the bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world, so he took the Sabbath off.
  • Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark. Noah built an ark, which the animals come on to in pears.
  • Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night.The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with the unsympathetic Genitals.
  • Samson was a strong man who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah.
  • Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles
  • Moses led the hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened which is bread without any ingredients.
  • The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went on Mount Cyanide to get the ten ammendments.
  • The first commandment was when Eve told adam to eat the apple.
  • The seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.
  • Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the hebrews in the battle of Geritol.
  • The greatest miracle in the Bible is when  Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.
  • David was a hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. he fought with the Finklesteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times.
  • Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.
  • When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta.
  • When the three wise guys from the east side arrived, they found Jesus in the manager.
  • Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption.
  • St. John the blacksmith dumped water on his head. Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others before they do one to you. He also explained, "a man doth not live by sweat alone." It was a miracle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.
  • The people who followed the lord were called the 12 decibels.
  • The epistles were the wives of the apostles.
  • One of the oppossums was St. Matthew who was also a taximan.
  • St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage
  • Christians have only one spouse. This is called monotony.
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Grimsby Ontario
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