Who will go for us?

http://bible.com/116/isa.6.1-13.nlt
It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple.
Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.
Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”
I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
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I am guilty

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I live in a world that points their accusing fingers directly at me,  and they are right.

I hear people everyday (and occasionally myself) – pointing fingers at such and such for doing this and that and every time,  when I think about what they are saying, I can remember something similar that I have said or done – and those fingers point directly at me.

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No fear? Is that the problem?

Ecclesiastes 8:9-13 NLT
I have thought deeply about all that goes on here under the sun, where people have the power to hurt each other. I have seen wicked people buried with honor. Yet they were the very ones who frequented the Temple and are now praised in the same city where they committed their crimes! This, too, is meaningless. When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong. But even though a person sins a hundred times and still lives a long time, I know that those who fear God will be better off. The wicked will not prosper, for they do not fear God. Their days will never grow long like the evening shadows.

If we are not convicted of our own sins – if we say,  that XYZ is not a sin when the Word of God says that it is – how can we say that we are a humble servant of the Lord? The wicked argue over what is sin and what is not sin,  blinded by the curse of the law,  looking for a way to escape the conviction by saying,  “No, that isn’t sin. The law is of no use.”

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Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!

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Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 NLT
And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.

Contentment truly is a gift from God.

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Watch me, but don’t see me

I don’t know that I can explain Christ to you with my words alone.

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But look at me closely,
and see the tears of joy,
listen to the songs of praise,
feel the touch of the helping hand,
contemplate the faith during trials,
experience the gentle forgiveness –
And you might catch a glimpse,
Of Christ who lives in me,
Because these are His.

But you must look past me,

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Discipline and Instruction

Psalms 94:12-13 NLT
Joyful are those you discipline, Lord , those you teach with your instructions. You give them relief from troubled times until a pit is dug to capture the wicked.

Discipline and teaching.
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These two things are supposed to go hand in hand, because together they lead to wisdom. But one without the other is folly.

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Holy Spirit fill us

Acts of the Apostles 1:8 NLT
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

John 15:16-17 NLT
You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.  This is my command: Love each other.

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Teddy’s Favorite Teacher

Emily Parker stood in front of her fifth-grade class on the very first day of school in the fall and told the kids . Like most educators, she took a gander at her pupils and said that she adored all of them the same, that she would treat all of them alike. And that was impossible because there in front of her, slumped in his seat on the third row, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Emily Parker had watched Teddy the year before and the prior year and saw he didn’t play well with the other youngsters, that his clothes were unkept and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy was unpleasant.

It got to the point during the first few months that she would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then marking the F at the top of the paper biggest of all. Because Teddy was a sullen little boy, nobody else appeared to appreciate him, either.

At the school where Mrs. Parker taught, she was required to review each child’s records and put Teddy’s off until last. When she opened his file, she was in for a surprise. His first-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is a bright, inquisitive child with a ready laugh.” “He does his work neatly and has good manners…he is a joy to be around.”

His second-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student well-liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”

His third-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy keeps on buckling down yet his mom’s passing has been a significant challenge for him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken.”

Teddy’s fourth-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class. He is tardy and could become a problem.”

By now Mrs. Parker realized the problem, yet Christmas was nearing quick. It was everything she could do, with the school play and all, until the day before the holidays began and she was suddenly forced to focus on Teddy Stoddard.

Her children brought her presents, all in beautiful ribbon and bright paper, except for Teddy’s, which was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper of a scissored grocery bag. Mrs. Parker took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents.

Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of cologne. She stifled the children’s laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume behind the other wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed behind just long enough to say, “Mrs. Parker, today you smelled just like my mom used to.”

After the youngsters left she sobbed for 60 minutes. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing, and speaking. Instead, she began to teach children. Emily parker paid particular attention to one they all called “Teddy.”

As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. On days where there would be an important test, Mrs. Parker would remember that cologne. By the end of the year he had become one of the smartest children in the class and…well, he had also become the “pet” of the teacher who had once vowed to love all of her children exactly the same.

After a year she discovered a note under her entryway, from Teddy, advising her that of the considerable number of instructors he’d had in grade school, she was his top pick. Six years passed by before she got another note from Teddy.

He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still his favorite teacher of all time.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Parker she was still his favorite teacher.

At that point four more years passed but another letter came. This time he clarified that after he got his four year college education, he chose to go somewhat further. The letter clarified that she was still his most loved instructor, yet that now his name was a bit longer. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.

The story doesn’t end there. You see, there was yet another letter that Spring. Teddy said he’d met this girl and was to be married. He explained that his father had passed a couple of years ago and he was wondering…well, if Mrs. Parker might agree to sit in the pew usually reserved for the mother of the groom. And guess what, she wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And I bet on that special day, Emily Parker smelled just like…well, just like the way Teddy remembered his mother smelling on their last Christmas together.

THE MORAL: You never can tell what type of impact you may make on another’s life by your actions or lack of action. Consider this fact in your venture through life.

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Origins: This touching tale is a work of fiction penned by Elizabeth Silance Ballard in 1974 and printed that year in HomeLife magazine, a Baptist family publication, where it was clearly labeled as fiction and presented as such, not as an account of a real-life student.