My Friend Just Died, And This Is What His Daughter Wrote

EndOfLesMiserables

My friend David Serry just died. This is what his daughter Amy wrote.

My dad died last night.

*********
This is going to be Continue reading

Things I Heard In Church: The Answer To The Question, “Are only a few people going to be saved?”

Things I Heard In Church: The answer to the question, “Are only a few people going to be saved?”

What a question. And the answer I heard surprised me. (If you’re interested in hearing more, click on Dave Teixeira’s great teaching entitled, Squeeze On In, 02/28/2016, 11 AM.)

Things I Heard In Church: God catches your tears in a bottle

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” (Revelation 21:5)

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

Continue reading

You Are Not Condemned

Hell

Last post on the book of John we saw how God so loved us, that He allowed His Son to suffer a horrible death, to pay the price for our sins, so we could be reconciled to Him in heaven. That’s the message of John 3:16. And then in John 3:17 we saw how God’s purpose isn’t to condemn anyone, but instead His purpose is exactly the opposite, His purpose is to rescue everyone from condemnation. (John 3:17, 2 Peter 3:9, See previous post For God So Loved You)

Today we’ll explore the next verse after John 3:16-17. Speaking of himself Jesus says,

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3:18)

Suffering, Evil, And Condemnation

You know, among atheists, the number one objection to the God of the Bible is Continue reading

Your Life Story (As Told To God)

What happens when I dieGod’s telling a story with your life. But at the same time He’s given you free will to write that story pretty much any way you want to. So when it’s over, when you die and you stand before God, and you’re reading your life story back to Him.

What do you want Him to hear?

Can I give you my best advice? Continue reading

A Matter of Life and Death: The Kingdom of Heaven is Near

kingdom of heaven is near

“Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” -Jesus Christ, Matthew 4:17 (NLT)

Young man: “I just found out my favorite college professor has cancer.”

Old man: “I am so sorry to hear that. You know, I just spoke with my best friend from high school and learned he lost his brother, his mother, his sister-in-law, and his father–all in one year.

Life is so much more fragile than we realize. Life is so much shorter than we recognize. The kingdom of heaven is near.

Turn your heart toward God our Father.

While you still can.”

[Image via mayakamina – Creative Commons]

The Consequences of Calling Your Own Shots–Genesis 49:29

God and selfishness

Jacob said: “I am about to be gathered to my people.” -Genesis 49:29

Jacob was about to die. He found himself in the same position every single one of us will find ourselves. Jacob was about to be gathered to his people.

And of course, so will you. The question is: Where are your people gathered?

I Have A Confession

I have a confession to make. I have this tendency–I tend to change my worldview to accommodate my own selfishness. Reflecting back I realize I had a desire for personal glory in a variety of arenas. At various times those areas in which I sought my own honor included work, running, hang gliding, and basketball–to name a few. At my core, Continue reading

Prepare Yourself for What’s Ahead: Genesis 47:14-27

To see the previous post on Genesis go to Financial Feast and Famine.

Read Genesis 47:14-27.


Joseph’s Choices and Consequences

So here we see Joseph, after his preparation for these years of famine that have come upon Egypt and Canaan. And now he’s experiencing the consequences of that preparation. You know, God gives us the freedom to make choices, but He doesn’t give us the freedom to choose the consequences of our choices. That’s just the way His universe works. If you jump off a 100 story building, that’s your choice, but you don’t get to choose whether or not you’ll experience the consequence of gravity. That’s how it is with everything. A whole lot of pain can be avoided if you can just understand that one principle.

Because Joseph chose to prepare for the famine, the consequences of his choice put him in a position to receive tremendous blessings:

He collects money from those in Egypt and Canaan, in payment for the grain they were buying.

When the money ran out, he gathered up livestock as payment.

When the livestock ran out, he exchanged land for payment.

Ultimately he received 20% of their crop production every year.

Everything listed above was on behalf of Pharaoh. But he also found himself, personally, in a position to establish his family, the Israelites, in the land of Goshen, where they acquired property, and became fruitful, and grew in number.


Individual Choices and Consequences

Often times, wisdom is simply doing now, what you will be glad you did, one, or seven, or ten, or thirty years from now. Joseph was able to receive all these blessings, and enjoy all these benefits, as a result of his preparation according to the leading of God’s Spirit, beginning seven years before.

Any individual living in Egypt or Canaan could have done the same, on a smaller scale. They could have recognized the time of plenty, and they could have anticipated a time of economic correction. They could have saved their grain. They could have put themselves in a position to receive great blessing during the time of famine.

But they chose not to. And they had to live with the consequences.


Your Choices and Consequences

Preparing for hard economic times is important. But infinitely more important is preparing for eternity. Every single one of us will die. And we know this time on earth is the briefest of time compared to our eternal life on the other side of the door of death. David asked God, “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days…” And the answer came, …the span of David’s years was as nothing before God. “Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure,” David said. (Psalm 39:4-5)

As important as it was to prepare for the seven years of famine, it was only seven years. When it comes to preparing yourself for death we’re talking about eternity. There is no more important preparation to be made. Not for school, or for marriage, or for work, or for retirement. Nothing compares in importance to your preparation for eternity.

Nothing.

So prepare for it. Right now. Recognize you’re a sinner. You’ve made wrong choices in your life. Those wrong choices alienate you from God. There’s no way to save yourself. But God provided a way. He sent His Son to die on your behalf, to pay for your wrong choices. He says, yes, if you insist, you can spend eternity in hell, but it will have to be over my Son’s dead body!

God doesn’t want that!

He wants to spend eternity with you. He wants that so bad He sacrificed His Son to provide you a way, a path, to get you there, to get you to heaven, to spend eternity with Him.

So do it. Ask Him. Ask God to forgive you for your wrong choices. Tell God you know you’re a sinner. Tell Him you know you need a savior. Tell Him you accept the sacrifice His Son Jesus made on your behalf. Tell Him you’re opening your heart up to receive His Son into your life. Tell Him you’re giving your life over to Him.

Surrender yourself to God.

And live…

…for eternity…

…with Him…

…in heaven.

Do it now.

He’s waiting.

Peter cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.

Matthew 14:30-31

 

 

Ephesians 5:15-16 Redeeming the time

I was scrounging around the house yesterday, looking for a highlighter when I came across this old 2 3/4″ x 4″ calendar booklet I used in 1990. I looked through some of my appointments and as I did I thought about other calendar booklets I’ve maintained: my running log calendar, and my cycling log calendar, and my tennis calendar, and my hang gliding log calendar. It struck me that I’ll be held accountable for all that time logged into all of those calendars.

Imagine with me that you’re before Christ, the moment after you die. He breaks out your calendar book, or your Google Calendar, or Outlook Calendar, or whatever, and starts to page through it.

“So, I see you watched quite a bit of TV, you played softball, you followed a few blogs… looks like you did very well at World of Warcraft…”

The realization that sinks in is that there’s no way to go back! Looking through my own 1990 calendar made me wish that I’d spent my time differently. It made me wish that I’d devoted myself more to my relationship with Christ and with the people around me — investments that last, investments that are eternal. But I can’t. 1990 is gone forever.

Life is short. I spoke with a friend today who has only a few more years to live. Even if you’re not battling a terminal disease, the fact is, life is terminal. It flies by and before you know it, you find yourself wishing you had spent your time differently.

1990 is gone forever but you and I can still live differently, from this point in time forward. I can live with Christ in mind, you can draw closer to God. We can live lives that love God better.

You can’t go back but you can go forward, making the most of every opportunity, living your life for Him.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16