Saturday, June 13, 2009

Missing the point

Was at dinner the other night with Hardtail.

Sitting next to us was a table of men also enjoying the wonderful flavors of Dunston's Steak House.

Heard one gentleman tell a story to the table that saddened me.

"I have been thinking about joining the prison ministry at church. I think that would be interesting. But then it occurred to me that one day these folks get out of jail. So I won't be joining the prison ministry."

Oh, sir, how you've missed the point. Paul went to prison and saved his fellow inmates and the guard. The purpose of the prison ministry is not to provide an interesting activity for you. The purpose of the prison ministry is to change people's lives so that they come to know the Lord. So that when they get out, you will not have to fear them.

Oh, sir, if you call yourself a Christian, take heed of this story about Alexander the Great.

Alexander the Great, one of the greatest military generals who ever lived, conquered almost the entire known world with his vast army. One night during a campaign, he couldn't sleep and left his tent to walk around the campgrounds.

As he was walking he came across a soldier asleep on guard duty - a serious offense. The penalty for falling asleep on guard duty was, in some cases, instant death; the commanding officer sometimes poured kerosene on the sleeping soldier and lit it.

The soldier began to wake up as Alexander the Great approached him. Recognizing who was standing in front of him, the young man feared for his life. "Do you know what the penalty is for falling asleep on guard duty?" Alexander the Great asked the soldier.

"Yes, sir," the soldier responded in a quivering voice.

"Soldier, what's your name?" demanded Alexander the Great.

"Alexander, sir."

Alexander the Great repeated the question: "What is your name?"

"My name is Alexander, sir," the soldier repeated.

A third time and more loudly Alexander the Great asked, "What is your name?"

A third time the soldier meekly said, "My name is Alexander, sir."

Alexander the Great then looked the young soldier straight in the eye.

"Soldier," he said with intensity, "either change your name or change your conduct."

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