What’s the point of a life that goes so fast and ends so quickly?

Scientist once thought that the vertebrate with the shortest life span was the turquoise killifish. This small fish lives in seasonal rain pools in equatorial Africa and must complete its life cycle in 12 weeks before the pools disappear. But researches from Australia have now four that the pygmy goby has even shorter lifespan. It lives fast and dies young. This tiny fish lives in coral reefs for an average of 56 days. Its rapid reproductive cycle is designed to help it avoid extinction.

Significance is not found in the number of our days, but in what our eternal God says about how we have used them.

God give to us the gift of time

To use as best we can,

To live each moment in His will

According to His plan

Life is short

Goodbye 2009, live for God 2010

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In such time, we are vulnerable to wrong assumptions and conclusions about life, about God, and about prayer. In Psalm 13, David wrestled with the problem of unanswered prayer. He questioned why the world was so dangerous and pleaded for answers from God.

In the pain and struggle of living without answers, we can always find comfort in our heavenly Father.

Not ours to know the reason why

Unanswered is our prayer,

But ours to wait for God’s own time

To lift the cross we bear.

When we pray, God wraps us in His loving arms.

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The writer of Proverbs urges us far search diligently for something for more precious wisdom. In chapter 2, a father encourages his son to do whatever is necessary to get insight and wisdom. This strenuous search for wisdom is actually a search for God Himself. In fact, inner happiness comes when man attains this wisdom.

Let us devote our whole being to searching for that rare jewel of wisdom.

More valuable that diamonds rare

Is priceless wisdom from above;

With purest gold it can’t compare

Because it’s filled with truth and love

With all your getting, get understanding.

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Much about the future remains a mystery, but we can confidently look forward to being in the presence of Christ with all the saints who have gone ahead.

When we asunder part

It gives us inward pain;

But we shall still be joined in heaven

And hope to meet again.

God’s children never say goodbye for the last time

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Falling isn’t good, but for anyone who has stumbled in life, something positive can result if the fall leads to a more careful way of living.

If you have stumbled along the course of life’s journey there’s hope. First, ask God for guidance, for He uphold all who fall. Next read the word and begin to live carefully by its principles be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

We’re thankful, Lord, that when we fall

We can begin anew

If humbly we confess our sin

Then turn and follow you.

When we walk in the light we won’t stumble in the darkness.

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Aesop tells the ancient story of a boy hunting for locusts. The lad had caught quite a few when he saw a scorpion. Mistaking it for a locust, he reached out his hand to take it. The scorpion showed his stinger and said “If you had but touched me, you would have lost me and all your locusts too!”

There something you cannot embrace without losing what you have in the process. Life offers us choices, Christ graciously offers us forgiveness for what is past, and wisdom for what yet lies ahead.

Search out in me all hidden sin,

And may thy purity within

So cleanse my life that it may be

A temple wholly fit for thee.

The lessons of life are best learned when Christ is your teacher.
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Stephen Kuusisto grew up feeling a stigma about being legally blind, when he was 39 his life changed after he acquired an affectionate and carefully trained guide dog named corky. In learning to use corky to lead him, He reflected on the growing trust in their relationship. He said “Faith moves from belief into conviction, then to certainty. He admitted that he needed the help of a sighted companion, a new world of freedom and mobility opened up to him.

Many believers blindly stumble their way through the Christian life in their own strength. Seemingly, they are unaware that God has provided a supernatural guide to lead the way.

I’d rather walk in the dark with God

Than go alone in the light;

I’d rather walk by faith with Him

Than go alone by sight.

Where God guides, he provides.
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All of us have a something in our past that we regret doing. It may have been an honest mistake, a moral failure, or a foolish decision. We wish it had not happened, but it remains in our mind and often drags us down.

“Honey is sweet to your taste; so shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul; if you have found it, there is a prospect and your hope will not be cut-off. (Prov. 24:13-14)

While the past remains part of our lives, it doesn’t have to determine our future, with God’s wisdom and the forgiveness we can focus on the future with hope.

The vain regrets of yesterday

Have vanished through God’s pardoning grace;

The guilty fear has passed away,

And joy has come to take its place.

It’s better to look ahead and prepare that to look back and despair.
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As the first green heads of grain formed on the spring barley in Israel, workers would tied a ribbon around each budding stem to set them apart from the still immature barley. When this marked grain ripened, it was harvested for the temple in Jerusalem because God commanded that when they came to the feast, they should not appear before the Lord empty handed.

Some of us are so busy doing things to please the Lord that we forget to rest in what Christ has already accomplished. Because Jesus is our firstfruits, we have infinite value and will never come before him empty handed.

First I come to God in worship

Then my service I will bring

I will not be empty handed

As I come to Christ the King

When you give yourself to God

All other giving becomes natural.

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Jack, a 15 pound cat, took seriously his job of guarding his owner’s backyard. He often scared small animal intruders away, but the owners were surprised when one day the found him sitting at the base of a tall tree, looking up at a large black bear.

Jack hissed at the bear as it wandered into the yard from the nearby woods. The scared bear quickly climbed up a tree. How could a big black bear be afraid of a little kitty?

When something concerns us, what’s our perspective? It’s not what we see but how we see it that reveals our attitude. If we look at life through the lens of our powerful and good God, we’ll trust Him instead of fearfully worrying. When our perspective is right, we can see God and his faithful provision.

When fear and worry test your faith

And anxious thoughts assail

Remember God is in control

And he will never fail

Worry is a burden that God never meant for us to bear.

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What a profound privilege it is to mirror God’s love, mercy, grace, justice, and righteousness to a world whose heart is veiled to god’s truth. Our purpose is to show others less of us more of Him. That’s living on purpose with a purpose.

So let our lips and live express

So let our words and virtues shine

To prove the doctrine all divine.

The Christian’s purpose is to promote God’s plan.

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After we become His child, God desires an ongoing dialog with us and a growing knowledge of who He is and who he is ad who we can be with His help. He doesn’t want to be a Sunday only acquaintance or someone we cry out to only when we’re desperate. God wants us to have a personal relationship with Him. He also wants us to grow in our desire to please Him by obeying Him. We know that we know him if we keep his commandments.

God loves you and wants you to know him. He does answer desperation prayers. But before you start asking make sure you know him personally.

The lord wants more that platitudes

From those for whom he died

He longs for us to know his love

And in that love abide

Knowing about god may interest us,

But knowing god will change us.

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Praise not only makes us glad, it makes us wise. We begin to understand something of God’s greatness and creative design in all that He does. We gain a wisdom that is hidden from those who do not know God. The wicked may flourish and spring up like grass for a moment, but ultimately they will wither away.

Give thanks and praise to the Lord Today

Oh, render thanks to God above,

The fountain of eternal love,

Whose mercy firm through ages past

Has stood, and shall forever last.

A heart in tune with God can’t help but sing his praise.

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Years ago when Romania was under the control of Communism, Bela Karolyi coached gymnastics. He skillfully developed the talents of stars such as gold medalist Nadia Comaneci. For his success in training athletes who were brining fame to his Iron Curtain country, he was rewarded with an expensive car and many other favors. But Bela hungered for freedom, so one day, carrying only a small suitcase he resolutely walked out of Romania into penniless liberty.

Jesus calls me I must follow

Follow Him today

When His tender voice is pleading

How can I delay?

When we follow Jesus, all of life changes direction.

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Let’s do what’s right out of a heart of gratitude for His grace to us.

Our motive for obedience

Is purest when we seek to please,

To love and give Him praise.

Our desire to please God is our highest motive for obeying God.

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Today, many people will feel the absence of love as keenly as others celebrate its presence. In a world where love means so much, is there a word from the Lord for everyone, with or without a sweetheart?

Long after the cards and flowers are forgotten, there is love from God’s heart to ours!

On this the day when we express

Undying love and faithfulness,

Let’s not forget that God above

Gave us His Son in perfect love.

The more we understand God’s love for us, the more love we’ll show to others.
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Lord, lay some soul upon my heart,

And love that soul through me;

And may I nobly do my part

To win that soul for Thee

The Good News of Christ is to good to keep to yourself.

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An even greater find is recorded in 2 Chronicles. During Josiah’s reign as king of Judah, he ordered the repair of the temple. In the temple, Hilkiah the high priest four the Book of the Law that had been given to Moses by the Lord. When Josiah “heard the words of the Law”, he felt convicted and later stood before his people to make a covenant to keep all that was written in the book.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found;

Was blind, but now I see

The written word reveals the Living Word.

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Why does spiritual passion fade so easily? When we first experience God’s love, we spend hours thinking about Him, studying His word, and telling others how much He means to us. Then it happens our busy schedules slowly dampen our passion. Our longing for Jesus and our study of His character become an occasional glance. Surely the object of our affection hasn’t changed.

Have you allowed something to steal your passion? If so, it can be restored and maintained when you consistently remember. His amazing love demonstrated at Calvary. Repent of your sinful, unloving attitudes, and out of love for Jesus repeat your “first work”.

What once was filled with wonder

Lies cold within my heart;

Return, O Lord, that wonder,

And may it not depart

Devotion to Jesus is the key to spiritual passion.

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Story about a man looking for flowers for spring planting, at the greenhouse he came across a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. To his surprise it was hidden in a corner and growing in an old dented rusty bucket.
When he informed the owner about the flower, she explained “I, started to plant in that old bucket until it blossomed, but it’s just for short time. Soon I’ll transplant it to my garden”.

So we may now be “planted” in bent and battered containers for a short time while our Lord beautifies our souls. But as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. Then he will display His handiwork and our loveliness for all to see.

In bodies that will never grow old,

We’ll reign with Him through years untold;

O precious thought: We all shall be

With Christ through all eternity

While God is preparing a place for us,

He is preparing us for that place.

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But it’s easy to miss the point when we don’t stay close to God. The closer we get to Him, the more we realize how much we are lacking, and how desperately we need His far greater wisdom to direct our lives. Left to our little selves, we get everything out of sync. If we’re honest, we have to admit that our limited perspective is often wrong and sometimes can be destructive.

Wise people realize how little they know and how much they need the great wisdom of God.

Great works, you have wrought,

Exceeding deep Your every thought;

A foolish man knows not their worth,

Nor he whose mind is of the earth.

The wise will recognize their limitations and God’s unlimited power.

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A recent newspaper report indicated that young people in Singapore aspired to have the five Cs.
Connectivity to be tuned in
Choices and the more the merrier
Cheek doing things our own way
Causes because it is hip to help
Consumers who spend first and pay later

But in Bible, the writer of Proverb 30, asked for two Gs from God; his grace and goodness. He sought the grace of God to remove falsehood and lies far from me. He didn’t want to fall into the trap of believing that corrupt principles, practices, and affections are acceptable.

Goodness of God to provide what he needed no more and no less. He was concerned that poverty could cause him to become covetous and to disgrace God’s name. But he also realized how easily riches could pamper him and cause him to deny the Lord.

Let us celebrate together,

Lift our voice in one accord

Singing of the grace and mercy

And the goodness of the Lord

God’s grace is infinite love expressing itself through infinite goodness.

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In the film Cast Away, Chuch Noland, a Federal Express manager who gets stranded on a deserted island. Completely cut off from other people and modern conveniences, he must learn the primitive skills of a caveman. He puts arduous effort into harpooning fish, making fire by rubbing sticks together, and opening a coconut to get its milk and sweet fruit. The movie is rich with insights on how difficult life can become for someone who is stranded in an isolated wilderness.

Do you find yourself in a “wilderness” experience, isolated from friends and family? If so, the Lord may want to teach you lessons of faith and endurance that you could never learn in a busy crowd.

In solitude, on wings of prayer

My soul ascends before the throne;

My only hope of strength is where

My heart and His meet all alone.

God is with you in your most barren wilderness

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In the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Edmund was easily won over the side of darkness by the wicked white witch. Her method was simple she appealed to his love for rich, sweet food, as well as for status and revenge. The Turkish Delight she offered him was delicious, and lit left him craving even more. So strong was its appeal that it led him to betray his brother and sisters.

The appetites of the world and the flesh are powerful and addictive tools or the devil. He appeals to our love for what satisfies our selfish and sinful desires and uses it to tempt, control, discourage, defeat, and destroy us. We crave power or money or food or alcohol or clothes or sex, even though we are in danger of sacrificing our friends, our loved ones, and even our relationship with our Savior to satisfy our desires.

When temptation’s darts assail us,

When in devious paths we stray,

Let your goodness never fail us,

Lead us in Your perfect way.

God provides the armor to withstand temptation, but we must put it on.

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Once there was a businessman, a scientist, and a farmer who chanced upon three golden seeds of love. Enamored by its beauty, each one took a seed home.

The businessman put the seed to auction and awarded it to the highest bidder. The business man became the richest man in the world. Sadly, the seed of love remained a seed. The scientist placed the seed under the microscope, researched and analyzed. He then encased the seed in a glass case where the prize of his discovery awaited fame and admiration from the scientific community. But the seed of love still remained a seed.

The farmer, his face gentle and his hands weathered, took the seed and planted it in good soil. He tilled it with compassion and nurtured it with understanding. The farmer offered the golden seed of love to the world.

Like a seed, a Christian’s life is not his own, but an entity that awaits a form of dying so the others may live.
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Some people in the church mistakenly think of themselves as spiritual giants. These “big fish in a small pond” may feel they are superior because of their position. Of this misguided self promotion, comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

Other may feel their spiritual growth is stunted because they don’t play a visible role. This is also wrong. Sometimes those who are growing the most may feel inferior to those who maintain a hypocritical fa├žade of legalistic perfection. Spiritual comparisons are always unwise. Only the Lord is the true judge of spiritual growth.

Comparing your life with someone you see it’s not a fulfilling quest,

For Jesus own words are “Follow Me”

And that’s how to know life’s best

No deception is more dangerous that self deception.

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It’s not easy to keep up with the shorthand that accompanies today’s fast-paced, youth oriented electronic communication. In text message language “laughing out loud” becomes “lol.” “By the way” is “btw” and regrettably, some people use “omg” for “Oh, my God!”

This last phrase seems to be on the lips of many who receive startling news. But as Christians, we need to stop before we utter this or any other phrase that flippantly uses God’s name.

In every way possible, we should honor and protect God’s holy name, preserving its use for those occasions when we are speaking of Him or addressing Him in faith. Lets be careful never to turn the hallowed name of our awesome and mighty God into just another flippant phrase on our lips or in a text message.
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In the past 2,000 years of missionary effort, valiant men and women have left their homelands to proclaim Christ in remote, primitive, and dangerous settings. Many have lost their lives; others have suffered persecution. In many parts of the world today, to talk publicly about Jesus is to risk hardship, jail, and even death.

When we consider Jesus’ sacrifice for us, any sacrifice we make to bring others to Him is worth the cost.

Give me a passion for souls, dear Lord,
A passion to save the lost
O that Thy love we’re by all adored
And welcomed at any cost
When we open our heart to the Lord, He opens our eyes to the lost.
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Most of us won’t live 100+ years, we can learn from the old folks how to enjoy each day that we are given.

Laughter a merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but a sorrow of the heart spirit is broken. True happiness begins deep inside and emerges on our faces.

Lord the fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility. When God is central in our hearts, He can teach us His way through every experience of life.

Little things better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred. Maintaining loving relationships and enjoying the basic things of life are more important than wealth and success.

Not all of us will live a long time, but we can all live well each day with laughter, the Lord, and the little things in life.

The world is filled with so much good

Little things that bring us pleasure

But Christ can fill our lives with joy

Beyond all earthly treasure

Happiness is not a destination but a day by day journey.

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Can we honestly say, we are willing to give up everything for Christ, even if it costs us our lives?

There are many occasions in life that compel us to make firm decisions and stand by our convictions even if it cost us. There is a saying that when we lose some, we win some. But not everything that the world considers a loss is really that. In Christ, there is always victory. What can be more that mirrors Christ? What could be more rewarding that knowing that we are doing things that glorify him?
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Walls divided. That’s the reason they’re built. The Great Wall of China was built to keep back marauding tribes. That remarkable line of defense once snaked for 4,000 miles across Asia, and much of still stands. In contrast, the Berlin Wall kept people in instead of out. Its destruction in 1989 brought people together in a joyous celebration.

Centuries ago, the reconstruction of another wall served to bring people together. God had told Nehemiah to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. It was essential for protection but had been demolished during the Babylonian invasion. But the enemies of the Jews opposed the reconstruction project and looked for ways to sabotage their efforts. While half of the men worked, the others stood guard to protect them.

In addition to providing protection, this wall was demonstration of teamwork and unit. All the team members brought their talents and skills, blending them together to accomplish far more that they could have achieved as individuals.

God builds his church with different stones

And makes each one belong

All shapes and sizes fit in place

To make the structure strong

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress

Working together is success.

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