What Occupies Your Mind?

In the space of one week there are one hundred and sixty-eight hours. If you sleep for eight hours each night you will be asleep for fifty-six hours, leaving another one hundred and twelve hours. God claims twenty-four of those hours to be kept as a Sabbath and that leaves you with eighty-eight hours of your own time each week to do as you will. Possibly half of that time is taken up with employment, but how do you spend that free time and what is it that you do to occupy your mind during those hours each week?

The world today, especially the Christian world, seems to be in a condition very similar to that into which Jesus came as a baby. The minds of the people were engrossed in the common place matters of daily life in this world. This was just as Satan had designed to keep people so busy in their temporal affairs that they would not notice the arrival of the One sent from Heaven, who alone could deliver them from sin. Satan well knew that sin and love of the world would have to be expelled from the hearts of the people in order for the love of God to accomplish its work and make a people ready for salvation. For this reason, all manner of distraction has been invented to blind the eyes of the people and for many centuries the devil has had overwhelming success in his evil deeds.

One of the chief purposes of Jesus in coming to this world was to remove from the heart of man his love for material things and his love of sensual pleasure and replace it with a heart of love for God, which had been lost since our first parents sinned in the Garden of Eden. But the world that Jesus came into did not receive Him because His teaching did not harmonize with that of their man-made religion.

The religion of the Jews in the time of Christ consisted of forms and ceremonies and the offering of sacrifices. These sacrifices, intended to prefigure the great sacrifice that would be offered on the cross of Calvary, were an abomination to God, because they had lost their meaning and were not offered with contrition and humility and in faith of the coming Messiah. Instead, their religion was useless. Jesus told them that their religion was in vain and that they taught for doctrines the commandments of men.

Jesus came to bring an adjustment, a transformation, and He foresaw that at the end of the world the situation would be very similar to the way it was at His first coming. He talked to His disciples about this: “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly, For it will come as a snare [a trap] on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth, Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34–36).

Some manuscripts read in verse 36, “Watch therefore, and pray always, that you may have strength to escape all these things that are to come, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

So, what is it that occupies your mind? The choices you make on a daily basis will determine your eternal salvation. It is not enough to have a shallow experience, expecting your religious belief to save you. Unless your religion changes your heart into the likeness of Jesus, that religion will be a trap and a snare.

The Bible describes those at the end of time as having a marvelous religious experience and having the greatest revival of all time. But the majority will meet with a dreadful disappointment when Jesus comes.

Matthew 7:21 to 23 says,

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ”

This passage of Scripture is describing religious people. Remember Cain. He was a religious person. In fact, it was religion that got Cain in trouble. In Genesis 4:3 and 4 it says, “In the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering.”

We read in Patriarchs and Prophets, 62, that Adam and Eve and their children came every Sabbath day, the seventh day, to the entrance of the Garden of Eden. There an angel guarded the way and they were prohibited from entering the garden because of sin. However, they came to the entrance where they conducted their worship service. It was on one of these Sabbath days that Abel brought a sacrificial offering and God had respect to Abel and his offering. However, though Cain brought an offering that was valuable, God did not have respect to his offering. It was easy for Abel to bring a lamb for his offering because he was a shepherd. His business was keeping sheep. But Cain was a tiller of the soil and he brought produce from his business.

The problem here was that Abel’s offering showed that he believed not only that he was a sinner, but that he needed a sacrifice, a blood atonement, to pay the price of his sin. The animal sacrifices all were a figure or type of the coming Saviour. Each time an animal was sacrificed at the hand of the penitent one, he saw that animal die at his own hand. The sacrifice was designed to teach the lesson that though we are all sinners and deserve to die, God has made a way that the price has been paid for us. Every animal sacrifice represented the fact that someday the real sacrifice, the Son of God, would pay the price for our sins.

It was known that animal sacrifices did not pay the price of sin. Our first parents knew the sacrificial lambs were just representative of the Savior to come. Cain’s offering made no confession of his sinful condition or acknowledgment that he needed the sacrifice of Christ for him to be given pardon and eternal life.

Cain determined to worship God in his own way, demonstrating his self-sufficiency. Throughout history, and even today, there are many people just like Cain who look and depend on their own achievements for salvation. The Bible teaches that we are helpless to do anything to save ourselves. Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Our eternal salvation depends on a sacrifice. Before Christ died, the people looked forward to the Saviour to come, Jesus, the true sacrifice. Today, we look back dependent on Jesus, the sacrifice that has been made.

What this sacrifice represents and has achieved and what it has established is a huge subject of study. Ellen White says in the first few pages of The Desire of Ages that both the unfallen angels and the redeemed will study the subject of the cross of Christ throughout all of eternity. In fact, she said that eternity itself can never totally reveal the immensity of this subject. Even though it will never be exhausted, we need to study to understand as much as we can because it establishes some things that we must learn if we are going to be saved.

The cross establishes an immutable accountability of the whole human race. Accountability is an unpopular subject in today’s society, but a necessary subject for those preparing for the kingdom of heaven. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, all have obligations that cannot be evaded. Paul wrote, “You were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20).

If we were bought at a price, we no longer belong to ourselves. The whole race was lost and has been bought from the bondage to Satan and sin. “For by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage” (2 Peter 2:19). “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men” (Romans 5:12).

Because of Christ’s sacrifice the human race no longer belongs to the devil. We are Christ’s possession even if we do not acknowledge the fact. He purchased us so we would no longer have to be slaves to sin. Accountability is needed in this generation. A whole generation of youth and young people are being raised without understanding the concept of accountability. As a result, our country and this world are headed toward a time of trouble like we have never seen or heard of before.

Ellen White wrote in The Review and Herald, September 22, 1891, a few things about accountability. She said, “The life He has given us is a sacred responsibility, and no moment of it is to be trifled with; for we shall have to meet it again in the record of the Judgment. In the books of heaven our lives are as accurately traced as in the picture on the plate of the photographer. Not only are we held accountable for what we have done, but for what we have left undone.” This should bring us to our knees to ask if there are things that have been neglected.

“We are held to account for our undeveloped characters, our unimproved opportunities.” Ibid. God provides people opportunities which He expects to be taken and used. Remember, “There is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known” (Matthew 10:26, last part).

Moses said, “But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). Never think you can sin without meeting it again. No, we are accountable. If you respond to the Holy Spirit and repent and confess your sins and be converted, Jesus Christ will forgive you and your sins will be covered. Later, at the cleansing of the sanctuary, your sins will be blotted out. No sin is ever committed alone in the depth of the night that nobody else in the world knows, for God knows. The wise man said, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

1 Timothy 5:24 says, “Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later.” Those sins that “follow later” are those that are not confessed, not repented of, and not forsaken. One of the biggest games in this world is the attempt to cover sin.

Sins that are not covered cannot be forgiven and will not be blotted out. They will be met again at the Judgment. That judgment of the lost will occur at the end of the millennium and those sins will be revealed. (See Revelation 20:11–15.) Those who are saved will have already been in heaven for a thousand years.

We have no idea what kinds of books or records God has. In this age we have electronic books ourselves. God’s ways are beyond our imagination, but we can be sure His records are exact and there is a time coming when those who have refused the gospel invitation will give an account. Then they will be without excuse, for the evidence will be overwhelming. Every thought and feeling, every motive and comment, every deed done will be laid bare.

Today is the day to learn the lesson of accountability and take hold of the invitation for salvation. We are not only accountable to God, but also to those whom we have wronged. For some reason to admit to our sins is a really hard lesson to learn.

“We must deny self, take up the cross, and follow Jesus. Not one of us can reach heaven, save by the narrow, cross-bearing way. …

“The cross is not to please self; it lies directly across the path of the pleasure-lover, and cuts through our carnal desires and selfish inclinations. The cross rebukes all unfaithfulness in your labors. If you bear the cross of Christ, you will not shun responsibilities or burden-bearing. If you are abiding in Christ, learning in His school, you will not be rude, dishonest, or unfaithful. The cross of Christ cuts to the root of all unholy passions and practices.” The Review and Herald, September 22, 1891.

Notice that those abiding in Christ and learning in His school will not be dishonest, or rude, or unfaithful. Unfortunately, often a person who finds it necessary to tell the truth about something that is unpleasant for a person to hear is considered rude.

The Bible talks about a person who rebukes sin being considered hateful or an undesirable person. However, the Bible teaches that if you are a follower of God, not only do you have love in your heart, but you will have a hatred for sin. Solomon said, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate” (Proverbs 8:13).

“Whatever the nature of your work, you will carry the principles of Christ into your labor, and identify yourself with the task given into your hands. Your interest will be one with that of your employer. If you are paid for your time, you will realize that the time for work is not your own—but belongs to the one who pays you for it. If you are careless and extravagant, wasting material, squandering time, failing to be painstaking and diligent, you are registered in the books of heaven as an unfaithful servant.

“Those who are unfaithful in the least of temporal affairs, will be unfaithful in responsibilities of greater importance.” The Review and Herald, September 22, 1891.

Jesus said, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much, and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own” (Luke 16:10–12)?

Our talents belong to God and should be devoted to His service. If we do nothing for our employer except that which is commanded, knowing that the prosperity of the work depends on extra exertion on our part, we fail in being faithful servants.

“There are many things not specified that wait to be done, that come directly under the notice of the one employed. Leaks and losses occur that might be prevented if painstaking diligence and unselfish effort were manifested.” The Review and Herald, September 22, 1891. Ellen White elaborates on this theme of honesty and how it carries over into a person’s service for God. Ephesians 6:6–8 about servants is quoted: “Not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.”

If you are a faithful worker, you will be rewarded by the Lord someday. The real reward is not the wages you may receive in this world, but eternal life. Never forget that you have been bought at an incredibly high price and have an obligation to be a faithful servant.

The question that comes to mind is how will you respond.

Paul’s prayer for the church was, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” (Ephesians 1:17–19).

“That He [God] would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:16–20).

God wants to do something in you that is beyond anything you can ask or think. Do you appreciate what has been done for you and are you willing to respond to His appeal?

It may not look like it at the present time, but the time is soon coming when the cross of Christ is going to triumph over every opposition in this world. When that happens, will you be a soldier of the cross and triumph with it? Notice what Paul says about this in Philippians chapter 2 verses 9 through 11: “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

There is no neutral ground. Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matthew 12:30).

There is a war raging between good and evil—righteousness and wickedness. The war is between the government of God and the government of the devil. There are no fence-sitters. Either you are lending your time, your influence, and your money on the devil’s side or putting your energy to the Lord’s side. At the end of time many people will call themselves Christians who will find out when it is too late that they were on the wrong side of the great controversy. You either support God’s side or you are hindering it.

The Christian religion is not a pretend or fairy-tale religion. It deals with reality every passing moment every day of the week and not only the few hours of worship on Sabbath mornings and at prayer meeting. The religion of Jesus Christ permeates every decision you make and everything you do. When that is your experience you will look forward to the day when Satan, the “accuser of the brethren,” will be silenced and you will hear the words of Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matthew 25:23).

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at: historic@stepstolife.org, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Children’s Story — A Fjord a Ferry and a Lesson

My name is Elen and I come from Norway. Do you know where Norway is? Norway is a country in northern Europe, in the part of Europe called Scandinavia. Norway looks very different than Kansas. We have hills and fjords.

A fjord is where the ocean water has cut a big lake into the land. It is similar to a bay, but normally it reaches farther into the land and has high banks around the sides. To cross a fjord you must either take a ferry that will bring you and your car over to the other side, or drive all the way around, and that could take several hours.

This story happened one day when my daughter and I went down to take one of those ferries. When we got near the ferry, I took out my purse to get the money to pay the toll. When I took the money out it fell and went down in a crack in the car. Now I did not have enough money left to pay for the ferry ride. I had to get the money out. My daughter and I got down on our knees searching for a way to retrieve the lost coins. We tried using a spoon and a knife and anything else we could find to pry it out, but nothing worked.

My daughter was a teenager at that time. I do not know what teenagers are like here in America, but teenagers in Norway are really shy. They get embarrassed very easily if their parents do something stupid. And my daughter was a teenager just like that.

I said to her, “Well, we if cannot get the money back, we better tell the ferryman what happened. Maybe the ferryman will feel sorry for us and let us go over for the money that we have.”

But she said, “Oh, no Mom, I will not have you to tell that story. It is so embarrassing, and he will not believe it anyway. He will think that you are lying because that story is so stupid.”

“I am not lying and I know that I am not lying,” I replied.

“But He will think you are lying.” She felt so embarrassed that she did not want me to tell the ferryman.

Then she suggested, “Why not tell him that someone stole your purse. He would believe that.”

But I said, “I could not lie.”

Do you know what I do every morning before I open my eyes? When I wake up I always pray that God will help me that day not to break any of His commandments. And if a temptation comes that He will remind me of my prayer, and help me not to break the law.

I told my daughter this, and I said, “I could not break one of His commandments now.”

But she said, “Oh, but I feel so uncomfortable. What if I go and hide in the back of

the car? He would not see me, and you would only have to pay for yourself and the car. Then you do not have to lie.

“That would be lying too,” I said. I would be pretending something that was not true.

What could we do now? My daughter did not want me to tell the truth, and I would not tell a lie, so there was only one thing to do. And that was go all the way around the fjord, even though it would take two hours. My daughter agreed that we must go all the way around. So I turned the car out of the line of all the cars that were there, and we drove back up the hill and started to drive around.

Then my daughter said, “I am so thirsty and tired and it is such a long drive all the way around the fjord. Let’s go back and you can tell that stupid story anyway. I will sit there in the car with my eyes closed and pretend I am not there.”

“Ok,” I said, “We will go back.” We turned the car around and went back again to the ferry. I pulled up to the ferryman and told him the whole story. He looked at me closely and said, “Isn’t there something wrong with your leg?”

“No,” I replied, “My leg is perfectly fine.”

“But no, your legs look bad,” he said. I only charge half price to the handicapped, and so you can pay half price.”

“But I am not handicapped,” I objected.

“Well anyway,” He said, “I am only going to charge you half price.”

So we went on the ferry for half price, and we even had enough money left over to buy my daughter something to drink. Isn’t the Lord good? When we got to the other side I said to my daughter. “Did you learn something today?”

She nodded her head and said, “Yes, I did.”

My young friend, you see if you are honest the Lord will always be with you. Sometimes it can be difficult when you are honest, you might even get into trouble, but remember, God will be there. He has promised that He will be there if you always do His will.


Children’s Story – Honesty Pays Off

Over the front door of a certain house in Warsaw you will see an iron tablet with a very unique engraving in it. The house was built in the late 1700s by King Stanislaus for a peasant named Dobry. The engraving, along with a few sentences below it, tells this story.

Dobry’s grandfather had trained a raven which he later set free. The raven flew into the front door just as Dobry had opened it to see if the landlord’s hired men were coming to throw him, his wife and family, and their meager possessions out into the cold.

Dobry had been out of work for some time. Their money had been spent and they were now in arrears with the rent. He had gone to his landlord three times to appeal for mercy, but in vain. This was the last day they could remain in the home despite the fact it was the middle of a very severe winter.

Having heard very little about God, it seemed very strange when Dobry suggested that they ask this God to help them. He knelt on the cold, hard floor and poured out his broken heart to the “God who answers prayer.”

After he had finished his pleadings, his wife told him that she had a tablet on which she had copied some parts of a hymn her mother had sung a few times before her death. Together, shivering as they sang, the words filled the tiny home, “Dein werk lann neimand hindern,” which means “Nothing thy work suspending.” The rest of this Lutheran pastor’s old hymn went like this, “No foe can make Thee pause When Thou, Thine own defending, Dost undertake their cause.”

After singing the few verses, they sat down and said nothing to each other. Then Dobry spied the raven once again.

“He’s got something in his beak!”

He took the object from the bird’s grasp and held it up for closer examination. It was a beautiful and very expensive ring.

“God has answered our prayers,” his wife said excitedly. “He sent us this valuable ring.”

“But, the ring isn’t ours,” Dobry said. “We don’t know where that raven got it. Maybe we should see if we can find the owner.”

“Dobry!” his wife almost shouted. “You just prayed for God to help us. Here is the answer! Let’s sell the ring and get the money God sent us.”

As Dobry looked at the emaciated faces of his little babies, and his crying wife, he tried to decide what was best to do.

“If we go and try to find out who lost this ring, we’ll come back to find our things piled up in the snow. God sent us this ring. Let’s sell it and live!”

Dobry was torn apart with mixed emotions. “If God did indeed send the ring, He could have just as easily have sent the raven with a bag of gold,” he told himself. “Was this the answer to my prayer?”

His mind was whirling. “I just cannot believe God would want me to have something that belonged to someone else.”

He decided that it was better to be poor than to be a thief. So, he trudged the long snow-filled road to the heart of Warsaw. He went to see the Christian minister.

When he had told the minister of his condition, his prayer, and of the raven, he showed him the ring. The minister stunned Dobry as he said, “I believe I know who this ring belongs to. It looks exactly like one I saw King Stanislaus wear. As you know, there aren’t many men around who can afford such an expensive ring.”

Dobry thanked the minister and left. Once again his mind was flooded with all kinds of thoughts as well as fears. “If I tried to sell it, I would have been arrested for stealing it.”

After a long interrogation by several guards, Dobry was allowed to wait in a chamber while someone went to discuss it with the king. Dobry was terrified with the thought that the king wouldn’t believe that a pet raven had brought the beautiful ring to him in his beak.

To Dobry’s surprise, the king agreed to see him. Dobry was even more surprised to see the minister there, too.

“I have heard all about you, Dobry, and I’m proud that there is a man in my kingdom who would allow his family to be thrown out into the snow before he would keep my ring.”

Dobry’s heart was pounding faster than it ever had in all his life.

The king gave Dobry a large sum of money with which to pay his rent, buy food and clothing, and live on until the summer came. Then came a surprise that almost took Dobry’s life through disbelief.

The king had ordered a new home built in Warsaw for Dobry and his family where he lived comfortably the rest of his life.

The iron tablet with the unique engraving, of course, stands over Dobry’s front door. The engraving? A picture of a raven with a ring in its beak.

W.A. Spicer and Helen Spicer Menkel, The Hand That Still Intervenes, Concerned Publications, Inc., Clermont, Florida, 1982.

The Polish peasant knew how the prophet felt. “God will provide; He who fed Elijah by the brook, making a raven His messenger, will not suffer His faithful ones to want for food.” The Review and Herald, September 21, 1876.

Children’s Story – Ned’s Trust

“Boy wanted.”

That was the neatly written sign that had hung so long in the window of Mr. Drake’s grocery store that people wondered why it was that it seemed to be so difficult for him to secure a boy, when the place was such a good one, with chances of promotion. But Mr. Drake could have told them that there were plenty of boys anxious and ready for the position, but that it was hard for him to find one with all the necessary qualifications.

In the first place, Mr. Drake required exceptional references, and in addition to that, good security for the boy’s honesty; and though most of the applicants for the position could bring references, none of them were able to furnish the necessary security.

Ned Bown’s face lighted up with hope one morning when he saw the notice on his way down town. Here was just the very chance he had been looking for, and he determined to apply for the vacancy at once.

“Mr. Drake, I want a place very much,” he said, as the merchant looked up from the newspaper he was reading when the boy entered the store.

“And I want a boy very much.” Mr. Drake answered. “So perhaps we can make a bargain. Can you bring me any references and security?”

“I can bring you references Sir,” Ned answered, his hope beginning to diminish at the mention of security.”

“That is good, but I have resolved never to take a boy unless some one has confidence enough in his honesty to be willing to go his security.”

“I am afraid I couldn’t furnish any security, Sir,” Ned answered sadly, as he realized that he had no friend from whom he would like to ask such a favor.

“Then I am afraid we can’t make any bargain,” and Mr. Drake took up his paper again, as if the matter was conclusively settled.

Ned walked slowly out of the store, thinking regretfully of the position he would have been so glad to obtain, and wondering whether in any way it would be possible to get the needed security.

He had almost forgotten about the matter two weeks later, when he went to a confectioner’s store with a school-mate who wanted to buy some candy.

It was a warm day, and the boys were heated with their walk. Presently Ned’s companion exclaimed,– “Wouldn’t this be a good time to get some ice-cream? Let’s get some . I haven’t enough money myself, but can’t you lend me some?” Ned shook his head.

“I only have the club money in my pocket, and of course I couldn’t use that.”

“Why not?” Harry asked. “It wouldn’t be any harm just to use it for a little while, and you could put it back again afterwards. You’re the treasurer, so it wouldn’t matter if you did use it, as long as you put it back again. Come on, like a good fellow, and stand treat. Some ice-cream would cool us off nicely,” and he made a move for the door of the ice-cream saloon that was at the end of the store, shut off by lace curtains.

But Ned shook his head resolutely.

“No, I can’t use it,” he answered firmly. “I don’t want to be disobliging, Harry, but it wouldn’t be right of me to touch a cent of this money. I’m sorry, for I would like some ice-cream as well as you, but indeed I can’t.”

“I think you’re altogether to particular about a few cents,” grumbled Harry. “Any one would think I was asking you to steal it to hear you talk. You can replace it as soon as you go home if you like, so what can possibly be the harm, I would like to know?”

“Well, you see it’s a trust fund,” Ned answered. “It’s money that has been put in my care, and I must be worthy of the trust. Mother says that’s just the way people begin, that end up stealing large sums. They take just a little at first, and think they will only borrow it and then put it back; and so they keep on taking a little more every time, until at last they take so much that they can’t replace it, and then they are disgraced. Now, if I don’t ever take the first step, I shall not go on to anything worse; and so though I could replace this money long before it will be wanted by the club, yet I would not touch a penny of it for anything. I’ll keep my trust.”

“I suppose I’ve got to go without the cream then, since you’re so mighty particular,” Henry answered rather ill-humoredly. “But you’ll find out that you won’t gain anything by being so much more honest than other people.”

A gentleman who had been sitting in the ice-cream saloon, hidden from the boys by the lace curtains looked after them as they passed out of the store, while a satisfied look rested on his face.

The next day, when Ned was passing Mr. Drake’s store, he was surprised at being called in, while Mr. Drake inquired,–

“Well, my boy, do you still want to work for me?”

“Yes, Sir, indeed I do,” Ned answered eagerly. “But I can’t furnish any security.”

“Well, I have determined not to wait any longer for the right boy to make his appearance, and I have made up my mind to give you a trial, and see how you suit me. I have reason to feel satisfied as to your honesty since I overhead your conversation with a friend in the confectioner’s yesterday. A boy who will not violate his trust in the smallest particular, may be trusted without any other security than his own word.”

“Don’t you think it pays to be honest, now?” Ned asked Harry, when he saw him a few hours later, and told him that Mr. Drake had engaged him.

“Well, maybe it did this time,” Harry grudgingly admitted, “but it won’t always.”

He had to confess his mistake, as he found that Ned was soon promoted to a position of responsibility, because his employer learned that he always kept his trust, and could be relied upon.

I think all boys may learn a lesson from Ned. Remember that a trust fund should always be held sacred, and never appropriated to any other uses. If this lesson was only deeply implanted in the hearts of all our boys, we would not hear so much about the dishonesty of those who hold positions of trust.

The End