Devotional #337, May 24, 2020

Devotional #337
May 24, 2020
“Mr. Eternity”
 
If there was one word that you could share with others, what would it be?  For Arthur Stace, that one word was “eternity.” 
 
Arthur was born in 1885 in Sydney, Australia.  His home life was far from perfect.  He was raised in a family of alcoholics, including his parents, and his siblings. He became one as well, and his life was a series of arrests and failures.  This life style went on for years, “drunk and broke”.  He couldn’t hold a job, and stealing became a necessity.  He wandered into a Christian meeting because of the promise of a free meal, and was instantly impressed with the people there.  He is quoted as saying to the man next to him, “Look at them and look at us. I’m having a go at what they’ve got. I got down and prayed for God to be merciful to me.  That night a sinner was saved.” 
 
In 1932, John Ridley preached a sermon that included the words: “Eternity, eternity, I wish that I could sound or shout that word to everyone in the streets of Sydney.”  These words inspired Arthur to spread that message, in the only way he knew how: in chalk handwritten on the sidewalk.  For the next 30 years, he wrote the message over 500,00 times all over the city.  The Sydney Morning Herald carried a story about him that included this quote from Reverend Thompson, “Arthur’s one word sermon has challenged thousands. No one will ever know how many lives it has influenced, perhaps as dramatically as Arthur Stace’s own life was influenced on August 6, 1930.  
 
The aspect of this story that touched me the most was this man’s reaction to the Christians he came in contact with, and how quickly he noticed that there was something different about them.  I would hope that someone watching all of our lives would be able to determine that as well.  As Christians during these trying times, there may be many that are watching our reactions and responses like never before.  My prayer would be that our actions would point them to the One who can make their eternity in paradise, a certainty. 
 
“He has made everything beautiful in its’ time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart…”  Ecc 3:11