As I was about my duties, I noticed while driving on the highway, a sign on a beautiful building I had not seen before. “Hey,” I said to myself, “this might be just what I have been looking for. They might have what I need.”
So I pulled in and walked to the entrance of this magnificent and most beautiful building. The entrance door was open, so I entered. . . .
As I enter, a Salesman walks up to me and says,
“May I be of help to you, sir?”
He looks to be very out-going, personable and has an air of competence. I say,
“Yes, you just might at that. I am a law enforcement officer, dealing with criminals every day. I need something to show them who they are, what they are, how bad they have become, and what they need. If they knew all that, I am sure it would be easier for us all. I know that is a tall order, but can you help?”
“Well,” said the salesman, “we have different products at this manufacturing facility, but I am sure we can help you. When I say ‘different products,’ you know the saying, ‘different strokes for different folks.’ ”
“I hear that!” I said. And he continued:
“We have this old stand-by, the original has been used for years. It is still as good as ever, for its purpose.”
I was interested. I asked, “What is it called?”
He hesitated. “This, I must say, was developed by the Founder and President of our company.
It is and always will be a good product, especially for it primary intended use.”
My curiosity was getting the best of me, and I said, “But what does it do? What is it called?”
The Salesman replied: “It is called The Law-Shower, or The Sin-Revealer. It shows a person what is wrong—with himself and with the world. Your criminals know a little something about evil and sin, or they would not be in your hands.”
“That sounds interesting,” I replied, “but why do I need a product for that? Does not everyone already know right from wrong without this product? I think if is called a “conscience,” that people are born with. It seems that at least some of the criminals already know something about what is right and wrong.”
“You are right,” said the salesman. Our great Creator made people with that conscience. And it does tell you much about yourself. But it can get rusty and hard, losing its pliability and soft tenderness. It gets seared like with a hot iron. You know how it is. If you hold a hot iron on a certain piece of fabric too long, the fabric will begin to melt and get as hard as a rock. The conscience can get seared and hardened, too.”
“I see,” I said, “so you are telling me that I need this product to supplement the ‘conscience,’ or to make it more effective when a conscience has become hardened.”
“You are beginning to get the idea,” answered the Salesman. In the hands of the Holy Spirit, who was present when this ol’ world was first made, this product, called Law, or Sin-revealer, will definitely teach a man what he is, how bad he is, and that his need is great. This product in its original, stable form will be just as effective as any stern schoolmaster you could imagine! Why, it has been known, as the Holy Spirit uses it, to cause criminals to weep, and weep, and weep when they begin to see what they really are in God’s sight and what a high standard He requires for a holy and good life.”
“Amazing,” I said. But, come to think of it, even if my criminals realize all that, and lose much of that hateful rebellion, even toward me, where do they go from there? So they learn of their need by seeing this product, but how does that help them if they don’t know where to go from there? I assume this product can’t do everything. I would hate to just leave them hanging if they want and need something more. Especially when this, a-a- —this ‘Mr. LAW’ makes them feel so BAD about themselves. I see I just might need something else for them.”
“You are so right and discerning,” replied the Salesman. This product WILL show them in black and what just what IS black and white. No pun intended. It will show the criminal that he IS a criminal, and he will be taught of his great need. It will show him also the very High Standard of the Creator, what it takes to live with Him for ever with Eternal Life. It will always show that. But you are right. Though ‘Mr. LAW,” as you call this necessary product, will always do that and it always shows the eternal truth of what God holiness and righteousness requires, it will never GIVE the criminal that holiness and righteousness for himself. It will not meet THAT need. You are right.”
“Then,” said I, “I came in here for one thing, and I see I need so much more.”
“Well,” said the happy Salesman,” that is what we are here for. Whatever your need, I am sure we have it.”
“Oh?” said I, a bit apprehensively. Just what do you have to help in such an extreme case?” “With such great need?”
“What can you possibly have to help with such a great need?”
“Ah, YES!” replied the Salesman exuberantly. This is my specialty and I am most happy to tell you about it.”
“This is my specialty and I am most happy to tell you about it.”
“Well . . . ?”
“You know Mr. Law here will ALWAYS show you what the Creator requires, even to the point of perfection for perfect acceptance in holiness that NO MAN can ever attain to. And, you are right, that can leave a criminal hanging, but not on the gallows. We hope he does not go there under your care. But it does leave him hanging, not knowing how to be accepted with God, even how he can live forever WITH such a holy God. Just wait. Here . . . let me show you this small but most powerful product. I will call it ‘Mr. Love.’ And its power is infinite! To live with God, one must be perfect, and holy as He is holy. ‘Mr. Law’ in the hands of the Spirit of God will bring you to see that, but it stops there. Mr. Law is still good, and He continues to show the most HIGH STANDARD of God, that even your ‘thought life’ must reach, but ‘Mr. Law’ cannot give it to you. I am glad to show you ‘Mr. Love.’ This product has as all that ‘Mr. Law’ has, and so much more.”
“This ‘Mr. Law’ seems a bit large and clumsy,” said I. “But this ‘Mr. Love’ is so small and compact. How can it be that valuable as you seem to say it is?”
“Ah! That is the mystery of HIGH Technology!” answered the Salesman. He continued, “You know that the Creator wants His people to live with Him forever. He calls them ‘His people.’ He declares they will be a bride for His Son. This ‘Mr. Love’ has all they will need. And that is a lot! You know God’s Word says even the heavens are impure in His sight. And He is so holy He cannot behold evil—it can NEVER live with Him, or be near His Presence. So this ‘Mr. Love’ has everything needful. It has everything ‘Mr. Law’ has because the bride must always know the High Standard of her Husband, God the Son, and the High Standard of God the Father who gave the bride to His Son. The Standard is NEVER in conflict with God who made it. It will always depict His holiness and righteousness. But the Standard, or the Law cannot make the bride to actually BE like the Son. Yet the bride MUST be conformed to exactly the form and character of the Son, her Husband. ‘Mr. Love’ does that, because it is God’s Love. Are you with me so far? I am trying to make it simple.”
“But, but . . .”
“STOP!” shouted the Salesman. “Billy goats butt. That is goat language. Hopefully we are dealing with sheep.”
“O. K., I get it. What I meant to say was when the criminals realize what they are and that
“Oh,” I replied humbly. (I hope it was humbly.) “O. K., I get it. What I meant to say was when the criminals realize what they are and that they need help, does this ‘Mr. Love’ product help them keep or fulfill the Law and live the High Standard of the Creator. I know the product is High Tech, but it is so small!?”
“Absolutely,” said the Salesman. “Of course, of course! I am glad you asked. You would not believe the High Technology we have here. I mean, you MUST believe it, but it is incredibly awesome and wonderful! See here. . . . This very tiny cell phone will do what it would formally take a house-full of computers to do. You know that is true, though your mind can’t grasp it. Well, ‘Mr. Love’ does infinitely MORE than that. And this product fits right into a criminal’s heart, You know how humans can put a computer chip under your skin, well, ‘Mr. Love’ goes only in one place, in the person’s heart. And look, it even has three blinking and flashing lights—green for ‘go,’ yellow for ‘caution,’ and
and red for ‘STOP!’ You see, now with ‘Mr. Love,’ the LAW of God is in his heart, and his conscience has been made ever so soft and tender. He does not want to break God’s law, because with God’s LOVE in him, he fulfills everything
the Law requires. Well, in the flesh he still sins, but with the new man, Christ in Him, He fulfills the law by love. When he falls short, ‘Mr. Love’ is there with his flashing lights, like a monitor on his life.” His new man or new heart subdues his flesh.”
I was getting beside myself with excitement. I said, “What a beautiful product!” As I was contemplating, I was feeling its smooth-as-silk lines. “You say you call this ‘Mr. Love’?”
“Yes, indeed,” answered the Salesman. “And what a beauty it is. NOTHING is more beautiful, and nothing in itself is beautiful without it. It works NO ILL to its neighbor at all. It fulfills all the Law of God. It would not dare to work any ill to a neighbor. Listen: The answer to LAW is LOVE. Love meets every requirement of LAW. When one does not walk “in the Spirit” with Love, then the law is still there to show him he is sinning and falling short of the glory of God. But walking with LOVE, you might say you are above the law and not underneath; you are fulfilling the LAW with LOVE.”
“It does sound incredible and awesome. But tell me, how expensive is this product you call ‘Mr. Love’?” was my next question.
“More than you can ever pay. It is VERY costly?”
“WHAT! You have been telling me all this that I need to meet the need of my criminals, and yet
it cost more than I can ever pay? How does that help? What good is it for me to even be talking to you, though you have been very gracious and kind?” (I was somewhat exasperated.)
“Never fear,” replied the kind Salesman. It is very costly. It cost a Man His very life, or we would never be able to have it. It is costly indeed and no price would be too much to pay for what it gives you back. But you can’t buy it. If you really WANT it, I am here to tell you that you can have it for FREE!”
“You don’t mean it!” I cried.
“Yes, I DO mean it with all my heart. It is free to those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, and who desire this great LOVE!”
WOW! Now I really was getting excited. I said, “I have never heard of anything so wonderful. Tell me, who was this Man you speak of that died that we might enjoy and have our needs met by ‘Mr. Love’?”
The Salesman that I was getting very fond of said, “His name is Jesus, who came to earth to save His people from their sins. He is the One who died. He is the Christ of God, the Son of
God, even God manifest in the flesh. He died to take the due punishment for His bride. He was the Supreme Sacrifice offered to God the Father to meet the demands of divine justice.”
‘But,” I said, “If Jesus died, then He is dead, right?”
“No! Wrong!” exclaimed the good Salesman. “By the power of God He came back to life after 3 days and nights in the tomb. It is called the Resurrection and showed us that God the Father was satisfied and accepted the Sacrifice of God the Son on behalf of the bride. Because the bride is now justified before God, her sins covered with His blood, she is on her way to becoming a most suitable and perfect bride without spot or blemish. Not even a wrinkle.”
It was getting more interesting all the time. So I said, “You know I told you I was a law-enforcement officer. In my profession you don’t see much LOVE. I am used to hardness, but don’t like it. As for this Person you call Jesus, my mother used to speak of Him when I was very small. But then she went to Heaven when I was but a child. So I have not seen this Jesus. What does he look like?”
“Well,” replied the Salesman, from what you say, though I don’t know who your mother was, if she has indeed gone to Heaven, I would say that your mother looked like Jesus. Do you remember how she looked.”
“Only vaguely,” I cried with tears.
“Well, right now, since I see no one else is
around, and I know I want to look like Jesus, I will humbly say to you, Look at me. Jesus looks like me!” (And as the Salesman said that, tears were in his eyes.) *This story chooses a different setting, but this part alludes to an experience Richard Wurmbrand had in a communist prison.*
I responded, “You really mean that, don’t you?”
“Yes, by God sovereign grace alone, I mean that.”
“I knew there was something about you that I did not have but I wanted. If JESUS looks like you, then I want Him. I want Him to love, and I want Him to love me. I want Him to control my every step. If He is LOVE, then I would love to follow Him anywhere!” And NOW it was ME doing the crying. And I blubbered out, “Is the sight of such goodness and love supposed to make a man like me cry like a baby—such raw goodness?”
“Yes,” the Salesman replied, as he came closer and gave me a big “bear-hug.” And I went on—
“This Jesus, while I am here, can you tell me more about Him?”
“It would be my privilege and pleasure. Come, let us sit down in my office before I begin.”
I was impressed. The office was simple but not dinky. There were computers and printers. Someone must spend a lot of time here. “Have a seat,” the Salesman said. “I want to briefly tell you a story that began in eternity past and goes to eternity future. Are you ready?”
“Yes,” I answered. “And I have both ears turned on.”
“O. K. First of all,” the Salesman started, “this company is called “God-Made Manufacturing” for a reason. It is because God made the products. And all His products are pronounced as GOOD. That starts in the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, which your mother was familiar with, I am sure. Now the book of Genesis speaks of the Spirit of God, God as God the Father, the Creator, and the Word of God, which we learn in the Gospel of John is Jesus the Son of God. All Three are the Triune God, where One is Three and Three is One. A mystery that is not meant for man to fully understand. Yet in the beginning, even before man was created, or before the foundation of the earth were laid, God the Father chose a bride for His Son. God is such a God of Love that He wants to spread LOVE around and He wants to see a return of that Love. God IS Love. So He also wanted a bride for His Son to love and who would love Him back, like a super-loving bride. So He chose a people before the world began to become this bride. But some things were first necessary before all this could happen.”
“Yes, go on,” I urged eagerly as he hesitated.
“Well, God the Father could have made a bride
from angel dust, or even gold dust, or diamond sparkles—anything, even a heavenly element instead of out of fallen, sinful, filthy, rebellious, human beings who had come to hate Him. After they had rebelled against Him, He could have reserved them for judgment, as He did the fallen angels, not saving a single one of them. But, of all things, He chose out of the fallen race a number of them to become the bride for His Son. Why them, of all people and of all other possible options? Because He wanted a bride for His Son that would appreciate His love and even return to Him the love that was bestowed on her, the bride. And who in all the universe would thus quality better than fallen humans?”
“This is getting interesting, but why so?” I asked.
“Just this,” the Salesman said. “No one could
really know what the GRACE and LOVE of God was all about and appreciate it, unless it was someone who had been FORGIVEN and the meaning of that LOVE of God realized to the uttermost. An angel would not qualify, for there is nothing to forgive in an angel of God. A bride made out of something pure would not qualify because it would but make a cold bride who knew not the meaning of love or even redemption or salvation in any suitable sense.”
“But this bride would be from a race that was ‘dead in trespasses and sin’; a race that were ‘children of wrath even as others.’ This bride was to be made alive, washed with water and with blood—the very blood of Jesus who was to come to earth as God manifest in the flesh, and was to be called the Almighty God, the Father, the Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, and other such names. He was called JESUS, who is The Savior of His people, God the ONLY Savior.
But think . . .”
“Yes, go on,” I urged, as the Salesman choked up and his voice began to crack. “Go on, don’t stop now.”
“I was saying, just think, This bride had to be made alive because she was dead in trespassed and in sin. She had to be washed from her filth and made clean. She was to be decked with jewels and made beautiful in every way. (Study Ezekiel 16.) In short, the Savior, the Redeemer, the heavenly Husband of the given bride was to DIE and shed His blood so that His bride would become a holy and pure bride, one that knew and could fully appreciate what love and forgiveness was all about, and thus be able to RETURN that love back to her Husband. In order to this, the Husband had to come to her in the form of her own fleshly body. Her own flesh and blood. Like her!
“She had been created before the Fall of Adam in the image of God, and now, she was fallen, and her Husband had to be created in HER image to suffer oneness with her in her suffering and to die for her so she might live. So He comes to earth in her image, IN ORDER TO do what was necessary by His LOVE, to make her to conform back to His image, and live with holiness of life and in righteousness, being conformed as a suitable bride, TO LOOK LIKE and to BE like her heavenly Husband. Both take each other’s form, for full identity. Yes, even ‘double identity.’ He like her and she like Him. That is the story of Redemption, that is the song of Redemption that even the angels can’t sing. Only the bride can sing that song and LOVE as no other in all the universe but God Himself. No one can love like she can. That is why SHE was chosen to be the bride of the Son of God. His love is planted in His bride at the new birth. That is why JESUS taught Nicodemus, that to even see the Kingdom of God you must BE born again. He did not say GET born again, you one must BE born again, or from Above, by the Spirit of God. It is His work. And He gets ALL the glory. Also, God shows LOVE by GIVING; His bride does the same thing.
“I will conclude by saying what Paul the great apostle says about ‘Mr. Love’: LOVE ’suffereth long,’ ’is kind,’ ‘envies not,’ ‘vaunts not itself,’ ‘is not puffed up,’ ‘doth not behave unseemly,’ ‘is not easily provoked,’ ‘thinketh no evil,’ rejoiceth not in iniquity’ [sin], ‘rejoiceth in truth,’ ‘loves his neighbor as himself,’ ‘worketh no ill to his neighbor,’ ‘therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the LAW.’ And in Romans 13, Paul even names part of the ‘moral 10’ of the LAW to show what he mean by LOVE fulfilling that law! It is a double identity. Again, God GIVES; so does His loving bride.”
“Thank you, my friend, and I hope I am your brother, for this wonderful time I have had with you in you showing me something of the Love and God and of our Savior with whom my mother is now living. She must be rejoicing in that love in full perfection. I see how God shows criminals their need, how He Himself meets that need by giving His life for their sins, and then making them so they can live holy, loving lives before Him, in following Him as sheep follow a shepherd. . . . And, and returning His love to Himself as every husband wants from a bride. And the bride of the Son of God must be that perfect bride in all fullness.
“Thank you for sharing this with me. Maybe some of the criminals at least, who I know and deal with will experience this very LOVE of God. I feel that both of us together can say a hearty and prayerful AMEN. It is strange, but now I feel a love toward God I have not felt before, and even a love toward the criminals under my care.”
“That is so true,” said the Salesman. “I, too, feel I have met a new brother with whom I can now rejoice.” (END)
Love in India
and It Goes Around the World
Amy Carmichael felt called to help in love as a youth in Northern Ireland. In her twenties she ended up serving the Master and poor people in India for some 52 years without a furlough back home.
This sister in Christ had so much of the LOVE of God that she spent a life-time rescuing slave children from Hindu temples and giving them a loving Christian home—as many as 900 children at one time! The following are some of her writings, taken from a biography, “Amy Carmichael—Beauty for Ashes” by Iain H. Murray, published by Banner of Truth Trust.
Iain Murray says, “Increasingly, for her, prayer is worship and adoration.” Here are Amy’s words:
“In the hush of that nearness we shall not speak anything for ourselves, not even help, or light, or comfort; we shall forget ourselves, ‘lost in wonder, love and praise.’ ”
Her own prayer was—
“My Father, quiet me,
Till in Thy holy presence, hushed,
I think Thy thoughts with Thee.”
Iain Murray explains: “Two main features stand out in Amy Carmichael’s life and in her writings. The first is the place of quietness in the life of the Christian.” Amy says,
“I do not think there is anything from the beginning of our Christian life to the end, that is so keenly attacked as our quiet with God, for it is in quietness that we are fed.”
“Jesus, Lord of quiet . . .
With adoring wonder,
I would seek Thy face.”
Then Iain Murray continues, “The second feature of her life was love. If there is a predominant concern in her writing it is the desire to help Christians raise their standard of discipleship by living more closely to God. This she did, not by promoting some special teaching, or instructions in rules to practice, but by showing how love is foundational to being a Christian. . . . But love starts on God’s side: ‘We love Him because He first loved us’ (1 John 4:19). The gift of a new nature in the rebirth is the cause of love: ‘Let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7). Amy says—
“All our love flows from His heart of love. We are like little pools on the rocks at Joppa. You know how we have watched the great sea washing over them and flooding them till they overflow. That is what the love of God does for us. We have no love in ourselves, and our pools would soon be empty if it were not for that great, glorious, exhaustless sea of love.” (Page 348 of Houghton’s biography.)
“Love through me, Love of God,
Make me like Thy clear air
That Thou dost pour Thy colors through,
As though it were not there.”
“To abide in His love is the key to all: If love weakens among us, if it ever becomes possible to tolerate the least shadow of an unloving thought, our Fellowship will begin to perish. Unlove is deadly. It is a cancer. It may kill slowly but it always kills in the end. . . . If unlove is discovered anywhere, stop everything and put it right, if possible at once.”
“Nothing is sweeter than love; nothing is stronger, nothing higher, nothing broader, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in heaven and in earth; for love is born of God, and can rest only in God above all things created.
“Love is the answer to all things: love ends all questions. Lord, ever more give us this love.”
“Her use of the prayer of Jeremy Taylor was life-long:
“Lord, do Thou turn me all into love, and all my love into obedience, and let my obedience be without interruption.”