Perspectives on Spiritual, Intellectual and Pastoral Issues: Host – Lowell Qualls

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name – Mark Twain – is one of the most beloved authors and humorists in America’s history.   He wrote some classics:  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and the Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and more.

I found a great story about Mark Twain at the SermonCentral website.   The story goes that Twain “… loved to go fishing, but he hated to catch fish.   The problem was he went fishing to relax, and catching fish ruined his relaxation, since he had to take the fish off the hook and do something with it.   When he wanted to relax by doing nothing, people thought he was lazy, but if he went fishing he could relax all he wanted.   People would see him sitting by the river bank and they would say, ‘Look, he’s fishing, don’t bother him.’

“So Mark Twain had the perfect solution:  he would take a fishing pole, line, and a bobber, but he wouldn’t put a hook on the end.  He would cast the bobber in the water and lay back on the bank.  That way he could relax all he wanted and he would be bothered neither by man nor fish.

“Mark Twain is like a lot of Christians I know.  They have their pole in the water, but there is no hook on the end.  They are not fishing; they are relaxing.

“Do you think this is what Jesus had in mind when He said, ‘Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’? (Matthew 4:19)”

Whoa!

By the way … Mark Twain didn’t speak well of organized religion, hated hypocrisy (especially when it was evidenced in his own life), and thought the Christians of his day were not representing Jesus at all.  He once said, “If Christ were here now there is one thing He would not be – a Christian.”

Think about that for a minute.

Now that you’ve thought about it, if you claim to be a Christ-follower, are you good at it?  Does that claim make your life different … better, more loving, compassionate, generous, and concerned about the eternal impact your life has on others?  Do you look like Jesus in any way (and I’m not talking about robes and sandals)?  Do you sound like Him?  Good questions, aren’t they?

If you aren’t a follow of Jesus Christ, consider this:  Jesus didn’t come to this world to create a religion or philosophy.   He came to build a bridge to God, His Father.  He came to make it possible for us to have a close and eternal relationship with God … something God wanted!  Jesus was crucified by the people of His day, not just because He was so different, or that He pointed the religious people of His day as hypocrites.  His death on the Cross was part of God’s plan to save Mankind from a lost, God-less eternity … and to give us LIFE, here, and now.

Think about that for a minute.

Now … what are you thinking?

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