Vanished From the Human Race

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Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
    those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
    they flatter with their lips
    but harbor deception in their hearts.

—Psalm 12:1-2

Does this sound like a prayer that you might hear right now, today?

Newspapers, magazines, internet.

Television.

Radio.

Alarming reports of crime, violence and dishonesty are an everyday occurrence.

Does it seem possible that these words were penned over two thousand years ago?

The human condition after Adam and Eve’s decision to disobey God has always been tainted by sin.

Yet, there are times and the there are the people of those times who have chosen to be faithful.

They have chosen to be loyal.

They have chosen a path of honesty.

Their hearts have been a place of transparency and truth.

Even though “things” may seem bad in the world, we can pray.

We can be encouraged that God hears us and that there are still those alive today who are choosing to follow Him.

Faithfully.

Loyally.

Truthfully.

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deception

The Fountain of Life

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The ocean’s vast waters glow with the brilliant light of the evening sun.

Bursting from the horizon, it’s reflection marks a pathway across the waves in blazing intensity.

I watched as a man traveled alone across the waves, heading for the light.

Am I heading for God’s light, where true life is found?

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Indeed, the fountain of life is with you. In your light we see light.

—Psalm 36:9

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fountain frame

Whoever Rejects

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John the Baptist, in speaking about Jesus, said,

For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

–John 3:34-36

Jesus speaks the words of God.

Everything has been placed into the hands of Jesus by the Father.

If anyone—anyone-–believes in Jesus, they will have eternal life.

If anyone—anyone—rejects Jesus, they will not have eternal life.

If anyone—anyone-–rejects Jesus, God’s wrath remains on them.

It’s up to us.

God’s wrath.

God’s forgiveness.

Which one do you want?

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rejects

All Things Are Possible

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The Bible contains the account of a man who once came to Jesus asking how to receive eternal life.

Jesus spoke to him about keeping commandments.

Further in the conversation, Jesus told the man to sell all his possessions and to come and follow Him. The man was saddened and went away.

He was a wealthy man.

The scriptures then read:

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

—Matthew 19:23-26

With God.

Is anything impossible if God wills that it be so?

What in your own life seems impossible?

Rich men can leave their riches and turn to God.

Men and women can leave their old ways of living behind and begin living a new life with Jesus as their Lord.

The journey we are on is rife with seeming impossibilities.

God is with us, however, on every part of the path.

It is He who renders the impossible possible.

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possible

Humble and Repentant

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While I was driving home today, I was listening to music.

Even though it’s not Christmas anymore, I still listen to Christmas music sometimes.

“The Little Drummer Boy” came on.

The story is of a little boy who was orphaned when robbers came and broke into his home at night, taking the lives of his parents.

He alone escaped, along with some dear animals, one of which was a lamb.

Shortly before the intruders’ attack, the boy had been given a drum by his parents for his birthday.

He had that with him, as well.

Wandering the dessert and finding himself angry and bitter about his parents’ fate, he began to feel hatred toward all people.

Toward the end of the story, he finds himself in Bethlehem, with crowds everywhere, due to the census that had been proclaimed.

A speeding wagon accidentally hits his little lamb.

He is heartbroken, once again.

People are gathering around a certain place, looking at a mother and her newborn baby.

Gifts are being brought to the child.

The boy approaches, having nothing to give.

Quietly, he takes out his drum and begins to play.

His talent and his heart are all he has to give.

As he plays, the baby Jesus smiles at him.

Then, one of the three wise men who had also come bringing a gift, speaks to the boy.

He tells him that Jesus must have liked the boy’s gift best of all.

Hearing this, he sees that his little injured lamb is completely well.

At this point, so is the boy’s heart.

The song lyrics state,

“I have no gift to bring, pa rum pa pum pum
That’s fit to give our King…”

What gift does our King desire today?

What do you have to bring to Jesus?

If your talents and your heart are all you have to give, isn’t that what will make Him smile?

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My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God;
    you will not reject a humble and repentant heart.

—Psalm 51:17

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repentant heart

About Such Things

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Does it matter to God what words we say?

Does it matter to God what thoughts we think?

Does it matter to God how we treat others?

Does it matter to God how we treat ourselves?

Does it matter to God what we allow ourselves to listen to?

Does it matter to God what we choose to bring into our minds through our eyes?

Does it matter to God if we are obedient to Him?

Does it matter to God if we are respectful to other people?

Does it matter to God?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

—Philippians 4:8

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think on these

Their Lack of Faith

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There is a certain scripture passage that is very sad to me.

Matthew 13:58 reads,

“And He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”

Here is more of the passage in context:

Coming to His hometown, He began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked.  “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t His mother’s name Mary, and aren’t His brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all His sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”  And they took offense at Him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”

 And He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

—Matthew 13:54-58

The people were “amazed,” yet many must not have believed.

Think of all the accounts in the Bible of Jesus healing people.

Blind people.

People who couldn’t walk.

People with demons.

People with fever.

Jesus even brought people back from being dead.

But in His hometown?

Not so much.

He would have, but instead of everyone running to Him, bringing their loved ones to be healed, they had a lack of faith.

Is it any different today with some?

Jesus is ready and willing to bring many facets of healing into every life that believes.

Does everyone who hears about Him take advantage of that truth?

Not so much.

Instead of running to Him, bringing their broken hearts and broken lives to be healed, they have a lack of faith.

Jesus is ready and willing.

Are you?

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lack of faith correct

If the Son Sets You Free

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The swallow-tailed kite soared above me.

These birds travel from North America to South America for the winter and then back again.

They are free.

Free to go where they want to go and where they need to go.

God has given them this freedom and the desire to make the journey each year.

With Jesus, we can have freedom, too.

Spiritual freedom.

Freedom to live the life that God wants for us.

An abundant life.

A life no longer in slavery to sin.

Are you free today?

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So Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you live by what I say, you are truly my disciples.  You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

 They replied to Jesus, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and we’ve never been anyone’s slaves. So how can you say that we will be set free?”

 Jesus answered them, “I can guarantee this truth: Whoever lives a sinful life is a slave to sin.  A slave doesn’t live in the home forever, but a son does.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be absolutely free.

—John 8:31-36

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A Record of Sins

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The tiny white flowers were beautiful, but too numerous to count.

Even though there were a great many blossoms, I would’ve had more sins than that even in a relatively short period of time.

Wrong attitudes?

Unkind words?

Neglecting what God wants me to do?

Selfishness?

The list is long.

The Bible tells us these words in Psalm 130:3-4:

If You, Lord, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand?
 But with You there is forgiveness,
    so that we can, with reverence, serve You.

Knowing that God has forgiven us should soften our hearts to forgive others.

We want to be forgiven by our heavenly Father.

Isn’t that what others want from us?

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record

Lifted Up

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Jesus had this to say:

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.”

Jesus is the Son of Man. He was speaking about Himself.

He knew that He was going to be lifted up on a cross.

He knew that He would be paying the price for all our sin.

He knew that anyone who believed in Him and accepted this gift would have eternal life.

He knew that if you believed, you would live forever with Him someday.

If you believed.

Many people pass churches where crosses are fully visible.

They walk or drive past reminders of the love of Jesus.

He knew that if you believed, you would live forever with Him someday.

If you believed.

And now, the most important question—

Do you believe?

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eternal life

In This House

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As I walked up to the old house, I knew immediately that I wanted to photograph it.

Constructed of wood, the porch was suspended by some large stones on the corner.

The weathered roof was a wavy metal and the windows were plain, yet serviceable.

If we consider our bodies to be like a house that is getting older, we might wish that we could get a new one, except we are accustomed to who we are right now.

God knows we are fragile and wearing.

He has a plan.

One day, those who know Jesus as their Savior will have a new house–a new body–that will not grow old or ill.

This new body will live forever, as death will have been forever swallowed by life…

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For as we are now in this house, we are made to groan by its weight, and we do not want to strip it off, but to put on over it, that its mortality may be swallowed up by life.

–2 Corinthians 5:4

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mortality

Unless You Are

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The leaves have fallen to the wooden deck below.

The old leaves will be soon replaced with the new.

The old must be replaced with the new in our lives, as well.

We must be born again.

Once is not enough.

The Holy Spirit gives us a new life—a new birth.

Without it, we will never get into the Kingdom of God.

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After dark one night a Jewish religious leader named Nicodemus, a member of the sect of the Pharisees, came for an interview with Jesus. “Sir,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miracles are proof enough of this.”

Jesus replied, “With all the earnestness I possess I tell you this: Unless you are born again, you can never get into the Kingdom of God.”

“Born again!” exclaimed Nicodemus. “What do you mean? How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”

Jesus replied, “What I am telling you so earnestly is this: Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.  Men can only reproduce human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven;  so don’t be surprised at my statement that you must be born again!

—John 3:1-7

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Great Sea Creatures

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God made everything.

All the animals.

All the birds.

All the insects.

Apple trees.

Holly bushes.

Grass.

Creatures in the sea.

I think each creation pleased Him.

I think He knew that we would someday look at dolphins and say, “They look like they’re smiling!”

I think that pleased God, too.

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Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
 lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
    stormy winds that do his bidding,
 you mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars,
 wild animals and all cattle,
    small creatures and flying birds,
 kings of the earth and all nations,
    you princes and all rulers on earth,
 young men and women,
    old men and children.

—-Psalm 148:7-12

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great sea creatures

Open Your Eyes

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There are more than 7 billion people in the world.

I have read that there are just over 2 billion Christians in the world.

Consider this passage of words spoken to Jesus’ disciples:

 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.  Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.  Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.  Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true.  I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

A crop for eternal life.

5 billion people.

Sowing.

Reaping.

Planting.

Harvesting.

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harvest

The Streams of God

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You care for the land and water it;
    You enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
    to provide the people with grain,
    for so You have ordained it.

You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
    You soften it with showers and bless its crops.
 You crown the year with your bounty,
    and Your carts overflow with abundance.

—Psalm 65:9-11

You crown the year with Your bounty….

2015.

A new year.

The first month of the new year.

What will we see in the coming days and weeks?

I have faith that we will see the bounty of God.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines bounty this way:

“good things that are given or provided freely and in large amounts”

Everywhere we look, even in difficult situations, there are blessings from God.

Things given.

Things provided.

Things that are bestowed willingly to us.

Things from the loving heart of God.

2015.

A new year.

The first month of the new year.

What do you think you will see in the coming days and weeks?

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streams

To the Throne of Grace

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Below are some of the lyrics to a popular Christian song:

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay

(from “Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher)

Lately, the words, “And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You” have gone to a special place in my heart.

How precious to even consider that during our greatest weakness, God is there for us to fall on.
In recent weeks, several people that I know have faced extreme circumstances.
In fact, some of them are still facing these trials today.
This song, when changed to an intercessory prayer, is a comfort to me concerning them:

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Lord, they come, they confess
Bowing there, they find their rest
Without You they would fall apart
You’re the One that guides their heart
Lord, they need You, oh, they need You
Every hour they need You
Their one defense, their righteousness
Oh God, how they need You
Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, they are free
Holiness is Christ in them
Teach their song to rise to You
When temptation comes their way
And when they cannot stand let them fall on You
Jesus, You’re their hope and stay
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My heart is solemn as I yearn for healing of every situation in the lives of my each of my friends who are facing troubles.
God is the only One who can take care of each of the needs.
What a precious privilege to have the gift of prayer.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.—Hebrews 4:16

 

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Throne of Grace

Troubled, Neither Let It Be

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Jesus said,

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

—John 14:27

Jesus is able to to give me peace, even when those I love are ill.

My cousin is in ICU tonight.

Jesus is able to give me peace, even as I realize that I am not in control of others’ lives.

Those I love must make decisions for themselves.

Jesus is able to give me peace, even when I realize that I cannot know the future.

God alone knows the future and the past in its entirety.

In the passage above, Jesus told His disciples not to have troubled hearts or to let their hearts be afraid.

Instead, He wanted them to have peace.

I think this is what He wants now, for me and for you.

Does your heart need His peace tonight?

Are you troubled and afraid?

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peace

Blessed is the Man

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He was all alone on the boardwalk.

Just a single black bird, visible through the opening in the deck rails.

The lake below him, the blue sky above him, and a couple of trees growing nearby.

No other birds.

Just him.

Psalm 1:1-3 reads,

“Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.”

Sometimes, in order to keep from walking in the counsel of the wicked, we have to choose to walk alone.

Sometimes, in order to keep from hanging around people who indulge in sinning, we have to choose to be alone.

Sometimes, in order to keep from being with people who enjoy scoffing at others, we have to choose to be alone.

Even if we are alone, we can be blessed by God.

We can think about what God would want in our lives.

We can pray day and night and He will always hear us.

Pleasing God is what’s important, even if it means we are far away from the crowd.

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blessed is the man

With His Feathers

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As I was walking, I noticed the white feather on the ground.

Looking at my photograph now, I see water droplets adorning it like spheres of ice on a snowy meadow.

Feathers intrigue me.

Perfect in form and perfect for the animals who possess them.

The psalmist speaks of God protecting us:

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

 Surely He will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
 He will cover you with His feathers,
    and under His wings you will find refuge;
    His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

—Psalm 91:1-4

I don’t remember ever having thought of this before, but tonight, “Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare” stood out to to me.

A fowler is someone who hunts for wild birds.

A snare is something they would use in order to catch them.

So, it is saying that God will save us from whatever the bird catcher is coming after us with.

The very next sentence says, “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge;”

I understand that this is metaphorical, but I don’t remember ever thinking about myself as a bird that was being hunted and that God, who is being pictured as having feathers and wings like a bird, is protecting me.

The divinely strong feathers and wings of my heavenly Father will protect my weak and spindly feathers and wings as I take refuge in Him.

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feathers

The Path of Life Known

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The traffic was called to stop as the guard arms came down into place by the railroad.

Red lights flashed.

In the near distance, I could hear the sound of a train whistle.

Seconds later, a train came, crossing in front of me.

Where was it going?

I will never know, but the conductor of the train knew just exactly where it was going.

He also knew that the train would get there on the rails.

Not on the paved highway where I was.

Not by traveling on vast fields.

Not on dirt roads.

It would get there on a train track that had been laid out to take them there.

That was really the only way possible.

If we want to live forever in Heaven, there is just one way.

Not on the paved highway of good works.

Not by traveling on vast fields of humanism.

Not on dirt roads of self-sufficiency.

We will have to go on a path that has been laid out to take us there.

This path can only be traveled by those whose passage has been secured by faith in Jesus.

Psalm 16:11 reads,

“You make the path of life known to me. Complete joy is in your presence. Pleasures are by your side forever.”

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path of life

Into the Wilderness

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My friend has a lovely house nestled in the trees near a swiftly moving river.

Visiting there this weekend, I sat and watched as the water moved past, never stopping, always traveling.

The back yard has branches that canopy over the ground, filtering the setting sun with a warm glow that travels through windows onto the walls within her home.

A chair sits in the yard, inviting.

Almost as if to say, “Come, sit awhile.”

Solitary places, devoid of the rush-rush, hurry-hurry business of life allow quiet moments that can be filled with prayer.

With distractions reduced to the chirping of birds and the occasional scamper of an inquisitive squirrel, listening for God’s voice becomes easier.

Jesus went  to places like this to pray, as we see in this account of His healing of an afflicted man:

And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

 And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.

 And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

 But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.

 And He withdrew Himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

—Luke 5:12-16

Whether I am sitting near a river, sitting alone in my car or sitting alone in my home, I can pray.

I can talk to God.

I can also listen for what He has to say to me.

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prayed dusk

One Will Be Taken

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From across the lake, I could see two birds who were almost identical.

The bird on the left wanted to look one way, while the bird on the right wanted to look another.

They were completely opposite.

What each one could see directly ahead of them was totally different, yet they actually stood so close together that their feathers looked like they were touching.

We can be so much like another person—a friend, a spouse, a parent—but there can be one huge difference of the utmost importance.

No matter how alike you may be to someone else, if one of you is not a believer in Jesus Christ, no other characteristics are significant.

You both may be very generous people.

You both may be kind.

You both may have lived honest, upstanding lives, caring for your families and being good citizens.

But if Jesus should return during your lifetime, one of you will be left, if you do not know Him.

Jesus said,

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.  For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,  and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left.  Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left.  Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”

—Matthew 24:36-42

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two men

Swallowed Up

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People we love and care about pass from this life.

We cannot keep it from happening.

Because Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, we do not have to enter eternity without hope.

If we accept His gift of eternal life and believe in Him, we are promised life after death.

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I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,

nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Behold! I tell you a mystery.

We shall not all sleep,

but we shall all be changed,

in a moment,

in the twinkling of an eye,

at the last trumpet.

For the trumpet will sound,

and the dead will be raised imperishable,

and we shall be changed.

For this perishable body must put on the imperishable,

and this mortal body must put on immortality.

When the perishable puts on the imperishable,

and the mortal puts on immortality,

then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
 “O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

1 Corinthians 15:50-55

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swallowed

Of Wisdom and the Knowledge

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Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
    teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
    and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

—Proverbs 9:9-10

What if I were to take this passage and replace “wise man” and “righteous man” with my name?

Being personalized in that way, how would that speak to you if you inserted your name?

If instruction is given to me, will I be still wiser?

If I am taught, will I increase in learning?

It may seem to be a given, yet there are those who pay no attention to instruction.

There are those who are in the presence of teaching, yet they learn nothing.

I don’t want that to be the case with me.

Knowing God is the most important thing.

At the end of life, is there anyone who could be called wise if they had never acknowledged God?

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insight

More Than Anything Else

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Why should we guard our hearts?

Proverbs 4:23 tells us why.

There are several translations of this verse, each giving us insight into the wisdom of this statement.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.


Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.


Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.


Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.


Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.


Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life.


Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it are the sources of life.


Keep your heart with all caution because from it is the outgoing of life.


Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it.

If our hearts need guarding, it must be that there is something to protect them from.

If anything can draw our hearts and minds away from God in any measure, we must put up our guard against it.

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guard your heart final

The Finest the Moon Can Yield

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The 33rd chapter of Deuteronomy begins with this verse:

This is the blessing that Moses the man of God pronounced on the Israelites before his death.

As the chapter unfolds, we find separate blessings.

This is part of the blessing for the tribe of Joseph from verses 13-16:

About Joseph he said:

“May the Lord bless his land
    with the precious dew from heaven above
    and with the deep waters that lie below;
 with the best the sun brings forth
    and the finest the moon can yield;
 with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains
    and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills;
 with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness
    and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
    on the brow of the prince among his brothers.

I don’t hear much about people blessing others anymore.

Why couldn’t we?

Not just when we are dying, but throughout our lives?

What about praying for good things for our children, even when they become teenagers and adults?

Prayers that ask the Lord to bless them.

Prayers about blessing them with wisdom.

Blessing them with hearts that are tender toward God.

Praying for their faithfulness.

Praying for their purity.

Praying for their strength.

Can’t we bless our own children when we pray for them?

Shouldn’t we?

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deep waters

What You Will Eat

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Walking along the sidewalk of the park yesterday morning, I saw a squirrel not far from me.

Securing an acorn in his paw, he began to eat without fear of my presence.

The trees in my own yard yield a great many of those same acorns.

On any given day, I can see squirrels scampering in my yard, enjoying life.

God provides them with the food they need.

He can provide for us, as well.

Jesus said,

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.”

Matthew 6:25

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eat or drink

Beautiful In Its Time

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It’s January now.

The leaves are turning brown and falling off the trees.

For most of the country that I live in, this happened a few months ago.

It appears that autumn has finally arrived, but what about winter?

There’s also another twist–

Even though the leaves are turning colors and falling to the ground, the ground is quite likely to be covered in green, as though it was spring or summer.

Since I live in a subtropical climate zone, all is as it should be.

No one is concerned.

Leaves are falling.

Plants are still blooming.

The high temperature today was probably around 84 degrees.

It’s the right time for all of that.

There’s a right time for everything, even in our lives.

God is in control of that, just as He is in control of the climate.

We can get impatient or worried because we don’t see things happening in our lives like we see in others’ lives.

If the “trees” are turning beautiful colors of red and gold in the life of someone we know, we may question why everything is still green for us.

God knows exactly what we need when we need it.

He knows when to introduce opportunities.

He knows the perfect timetable for every aspect of our journey.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

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To Rescue a World

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Yesterday, I purchased a new Bible.

It is The Voice translation.

Here is a passage to consider:

John 3:16-21

For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. 17 Here’s the point. God didn’t send His Son into the world to judge it; instead, He is here to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction.

18 No one who believes in Him has to fear condemnation, yet condemnation is already the reality for everyone who refuses to believe because they reject the name of the only Son of God. 19 Why does God allow for judgment and condemnation? Because the Light, sent from God, pierced through the world’s darkness to expose ill motives, hatred, gossip, greed, violence, and the like. Still some people preferred the darkness over the light because their actions were dark. 20 Some of humankind hated the light. They scampered hurriedly back into the darkness where vices thrive and wickedness flourishes. 21 Those who abandon deceit and embrace what is true, they will enter into the light where it will be clear that all their deeds come from God.

If you do not know Jesus as your Savior today, please don’t wait.

It’s not too late to choose everlasting life…..

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Whose Own Strength

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God describes a ruthless people known as the Chaldeans in the Old Testament book of Habakkuk.

As I was reading the description, a line stood out to me–

“Then they sweep past like the wind and go on– guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”

–Habakkuk 1:11

They were a people who were feared because they would go out in war and conquer other nations.

Becoming so powerful, I suppose their ability to achieve and maintain this reputation might have been the thing they were most proud of.

Their own strength being their god?

They must have been consumed with their own importance and presumed greatness.

I heard someone reading the other day.

They read, “God helps those who help themselves.”

In pondering those words this afternoon, I thought how this is not correct.

God helps the helpless.

He helps you.

He helps me.

Our frail strength should never be something we trust in.

Any of our successes are blessings from God.

We need to look to God for all our strength.

We should praise Him for all our successes—always.

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own strength