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THE TURNING POINT….by Robert Beike

The score was 63-0 at halftime. The year was 1916 and little Cumberland College of Lebanon, Tennessee was being steamrolled by mighty Georgia Tech. Cumberland’s coach was doing more coaxing than coaching. His players were deserting en masse. Two Cumberland players had left the field to seek refuge behind a fence. A frightened halfback discovered them when he ran off the field to avoid a host of Tech tacklers. Not feeling safe enough out of bounds he scaled the fence surrounding the gridiron landing in the laps of his terrified teammates. Another Cumberland player sought safety on Georgia Tech’s bench, hoping to remain undetected by the opposition. Others grabbed their arms or legs and feigned injury so the coach wouldn’t put them in the game. The situation was hopeless. The most lopsided game in college football history ended with a 222-0 score.

2,000 years ago mankind faced a similar situation. Hopelessly overwhelmed by the enemy, they were being terrified by evil and steamrolled by sin. Fear and suffering dominated the day. All humanity was effected. All were searching desperately for refuge and safety, but to no avail. Satan was running up the score. The end result seemed certain, and the situation appeared hopeless.

But, then came the turning point. Just when all seemed lost, a substitute was sent into the fray and turned the tide of battle. A substitute willingly took the field and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. When the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4). Jesus, whose birth we celebrate each Christmas, is that turning point. From cradle to cross He paved the way to victory. With the whole world condemned to die for their sins, Jesus became our substitute, because “God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Jesus is still the way to victory. If you feel like life is steamrolling you, sin holds the upper hand, and evil is running up the score, don’t despair. Turn to Jesus. He can be the turning point in your life.

REAL THANKSGIVING DAYS….by Robert Beike

On September 8, 1860 the Lady Elgin, a crowded passenger steamer sank off the shore of Lake Michigan. Among those who gathered on the shore was Edward W. Spencer, a student at Garrett Biblical Institute. He saw a woman clinging to some wreckage far out in the breakers. Edward threw off his coat and swam out through the heavy waves, succeeding in getting her safely to land.

Sixteen times that day young Spencer braved the fierce waves, rescuing seventeen persons, before collapsing exhausted and delirious. Ed Spencer recovered slowly, but never completely, from the exposure and exertion of his efforts. With broken health he lived quietly, unable to fully pursue his chosen lifework of the ministry. He died in California at the age of eighty-one. In a notice of his death, one paper said not one of those seventeen rescued persons ever came to thank him.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have all been rescued. Our Savior spent His life that ours might be spared. Have you properly thanked Him? The Apostle Paul spells out the only proper thank you in his letter to the Romans; “I urge you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1). Real thanksgiving requires nothing less than committing all we are and have totally to the Lord. Does your life say, “Thank you?” Let’s make everyday a real thanksgiving day.

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