Big "I"

Ray Ferris
Elgin, Illinois


" . . . I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds." Acts 26:29.

Perhaps many of us recognize these words as those spoken by Paul to Agrippa when he told Paul that he had almost been persuaded to become a Christian (KJV). Have we ever stopped to think of what it would require for us to be able to make the same statement that Paul made to Agrippa? It would mean much more than being just a member of the church. It would mean that I could examine the type of life that I am now living, and yet be able to say the world would be a much better place to live in, even if every other person in the world were living that same type of life! It would mean that the universal church of Christ would be more like what the Lord would have it to be, even if every other Christian lived and served the same way that I do! It would mean that the local congregation of the body where I worship would De more active and more zealous in doing that which is pleasing to the Lord, even if every other member of that congregation attended the services, gave of his money, and helped to do that which must be done just as I do. Remember, Paul said " . . . I would to God, that ... all that hear me this day, were ... altogether such as I am . . . " What a sobering thought!

But now, let us apply the thought. Are you a member of the Lord's church? Then ask yourself this question: "If every other person in the local congregation where I am a member worshipped, labored for, and served the Lord as I do, what would this church be like?" We all think it is wonderful for the church to do very great things, but when the time comes to do, oftentimes "Big I" am not to be found.

April 5, 1973