Archive for September, 2013
For the sun rises with scorching and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business. (James 1:11)
Wealth does not protect you from sickness and death. Rich people die. So what good is your money? Decide today to do something with your wealth that makes a difference forever.
I had never even heard of an olinguito until a couple of months ago. Of course, neither had you. No one had. That is because they were just “discovered”. The olinguito is a newly recognized species of carnivorous mammal found in the Andes. Scientists believe there may be around ten million various species found in our world. Of these, they have identified about two million. So there are perhaps eight million species yet to be identified by man. Plants, insects, and animals like the olinguito just waiting for us to find them.
So maybe we do not know everything about our world.
Our world is complex, fascinating, wonderful, and awe inspiring. Every year we learn new things about it that we had not known. Scientists freely admit that we do not know, or understand, many aspects of nature. So clearly we could not have created a world like this. It was either a random accident or it was purposely created by someone far greater than us.
I believe in a creator. I believe it was God. I admit it takes a certain amount of faith to claim that there is a God that created this world. It is faith because I cannot explain it or understand how all this came to be.
But it also takes a certain amount of faith to believe that this amazing world happened by accident. That is inconceivable to me. If this is all some sort of cosmic accident, then what is the point? No plan, no purpose, no reason for being.
But if there is a Creator who made all this, then everything is different. There is a purpose. We are not an accident, but an intentional creation. Everything does not have to be understood or known by us. There is a God who understands and knows it all.
He made an olinguito. It existed even though no one knew what it was. But God knew. God made us. We are known by him. We have a purpose.
Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:7)
Take a moment right now to pray for the city and country where you live. Ask God to prosper them so that his people living there will be prospered also. Then use what God gives you for his kingdom.
But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. (Hebrews 10:12)
Jesus is the priest that gave himself as a sacrifice on the cross for your sins. And now he sits at the right hand of God. You can join him in heaven. All it takes is faith.
I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. (Ecclesiastes 3:12)
Be sure that you do something good for someone today. It will help them and be good for you. And enjoy today. It is a gift from God.
57 years earlier they stood before a minister and repeated the vows, their vows, to each other. “For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part.”
During the course of their life together they were partners: in the home, at work, at church, almost always together. In fact, when people talked about them it was always “BillandJean” as if it were one word.
He knew that he would die first because of the heart surgeries and related medical issues.
But five years ago that began to change. There were the hip replacement surgeries, the falls, the hospital stays that seemed to be longer each time, the numerous trips to the ER, sleepless nights, the washing of bedding after the “accidents.” She grew increasingly frailer, almost blind, and finally two years ago, because he wasn’t physically able to lift her, he placed her in a nursing home. Every day he made the 40 mile round trip to spend the day with her. Even on Sundays when he asked others to cover his responsibilities at his church. He told people that “taking care of Jean is the most important thing I do.”
The final two months were almost overwhelming and each day he drove to see her. Now totally blind and her mind viewing things from her childhood, she would cry out: “Daddy? Daddy where are you?” And he would hold her hand, caress it, and speak to her. While she no longer recognized him, his voice was able to calm her. His world was his house and her nursing home room. He knew that he was losing her a little more each day.
Jean died around 7 am on Monday morning.
I was honored to be asked to help with her funeral. While her body was still present, we all knew that Jean wasn’t there but was claiming the promise that Paul talked about in 2 Timothy 4:8: “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
I also reflected on Bill and all that he had done in the last five years and especially that last few months.
He had demonstrated what those vows to each other meant and entailed. And the rest of us are better because of that example.
So is there ever a situation within a marriage when the vows are null and void?
What does Scripture say about the marriage commitment?
If you could what would you say to Bill?
“But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?”” (Nehemiah 6:2–3)
If you are doing something, really working for God, then you will receive criticism. You will face accusations and be challenged to stop and debate about what you are doing.
Remember Nehemiah. Don’t be afraid to say, “Sorry, I’m doing God’s work. I don’t have time to stop and argue with you.”
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars — their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
There is a heaven of eternal life. There is a hell of eternal death. You get to decide whether you live or die forever. Choose life.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20–21)
United, loving Christians present the greatest testimony to God that the world could ever have. Divided, bickering Christians destroy that testimony.
“That they may be one.”
Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man? Why do you boast all day long, you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God? (Psalm 52:1)
Listen to what you brag about. Consider what you are proud of. Realize that what you boast of reflects your relationship to God. So what are you talking about today?