A former president of Moody Bible Institute, Joseph Stowell, was visiting with a consultant to some of the largest companies in the country. In the course of the conversation, Dr. Stowell asked the man about quality control. He thought he might gain some beneficial insight since ministry is a form of human quality control. The answer he received was not what he expected. The man replied, “In quality control, we are not concerned about the product. We are concerned about the process. If the process is right, the product is guaranteed.”
Although the insight was not what he expected, Dr. Stowell received a much more valuable lesson. It is a very simple and relevant lesson. We often want to see the products of righteousness but fail to remember that if we do not give attention to the process we will not receive the product. It is essential for us to live carefully each day, continually seeking to know how we can better please the Lord. That is the process. It is not something we do only when others are watching. It is not something we only do on Sundays, Wednesday nights or during revival campaigns. It is a moment by moment walk with the Lord. The Psalmist said, “Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” Verse 2 summarized the process. It is an upright walk, a daily work of righteousness, and speaking only truth from the heart.
By Dr. Gayle Woods
2:27 p.m., March 30, 1981. President Ronald Reagan, the 70-year-old president, had only been in office for a few months. After delivering a speech to leaders of the AFL-CIO he came out of the Washington Hilton. Waiting about 15 feet away was John Hinckley Jr., holding a .22-caliber revolver. The president waved to the crowd. Then he stepped toward the open door of his armored limousine.
Six shots were fired and the nation froze. Press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and D.C. police officer Thomas Delahanty were all wounded. One bullet struck the limo’s armored glass; another ricocheted off the car. Jerry Parr the lead agent pushed the President into the limousine. A command was given and the car sprung forward. Then Jerry Parr noticed that the president’s mouth was frothing blood. He told the driver to rush them to the hospital.
Proper security procedure had been followed but still we came close to losing a president. Surrounded by Secret Service agents ready to offer their lives in sacrificial protection all precaution had not been enough. And yet, it is absolutely necessary. In like manner, following the supreme command to love our neighbor as ourselves may not always been enough, but it is our responsibility as Christ followers to watch out for others. We have the message of salvation,” the battlement for the roof,” (vs/ 8) that can keep them from falling to their eternal ruin.
By Dr. Gayle Woods
It is important to help people who are in need. I have helped many. And yet, government entitlements often bother me. That was the case this particular day. I was in Save-A-Lot grocery, standing in line to check out. I had five or six items in my arms. In front of me was a lady with a grocery cart full of items. Most of the items were things that 1) I either could not afford, or 2) that were what I considered non-essential food items.
I inwardly fumed as I saw a packet of food stamps sticking out of her purse. As a pastor, my salary was low, and we were very careful in how we spent our money. It didn’t seem right. As I considered these things I noticed that her food stamps had fallen unnoticed to the floor. At that moment, my fuming turned to debate. Do I pick up the food stamps and give them to her? Do I ignore it and see what happens when she gets to the counter and can’t pay for all of her groceries? What should I do? The debate was short lived. The Holy Spirit stung my conscience. I didn’t want to grieve Him above all. Reaching down I picked up the food stamps and gave them to her explaining that she has just dropped them. The pain in the matter is that it is better to suffer what sometimes seems to be an injustice than it is to risk displeasing the One we love supremely. Helping others will not always be convenient, cost effective, or comfortable. As followers of Christ, however, we look to Him for His nod of approval as we endeavor to help others.
By Dr. Gayle Woods