By Mike Riley

The story is told of a farmer who one day decided to plow the south forty acres in his field. However, his tractor needed oil, so he started for the barn to get it, but on the way, he noticed that the pigs hadn’t been fed.

As he neared the corncrib, he saw a pile of sacks which reminded him that the potatoes were sprouting. On the way to the potato pit, he passed the woodpile and remembered that the kitchen stove was burning low and needed wood.

While picking up the wood, he saw that one of his chickens was ailing, so he dropped the wood to tend to the chicken ….. and so distraction after distraction came along until the end of the day — and he still hadn’t oiled the tractor or plowed the south forty.

Brethren and friends, the only way we will ever “get to the barn” of Christian service is to get our priorities in order (Matthew 6:33). The farmer in the above story didn’t have any priorities — he just “rolled with the flow” of events occurring around him.

Our hope must be shared with the lost. Peter told us, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15). As Christians, we should be giving hope to the hopeless by giving life to the spiritually dead by means of the gospel (Mark 16:15-16).

We need not go into the jungles of foreign lands, nor cross the oceans of the world, to find those without that most glorious hope. Over two hundred million people are presently without hope in the United States.

Lost, hopeless, and dying people are living in the shadows of our homes and church buildings. Can we say along with Paul, “Wherefore I testify unto you this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men” (Acts 20:26 ASV).