Start Early!

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Wise counsel

Commencement speakers often speak of goals, success, hard work, serving others, etc.

But how many include this passage in their remarks: “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth . . .” (Ecclesiastes 12:3)?

Are we accidents, or are we here on purpose? There’s no question how the Bible answers: “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth . . . .”

Alexander Maclaren wrote, “If ever you turn to God in your older days, nothing will be so painful as the remembrance that you forgot Him so long” (Maclaren’s Expositions of Holy Scripture, Vol. 3, 405).

Wise response

God wants to be far more than our Creator. He longs to become our Redeemer and Father as well.

For this to happen, we must let Him.

And the sooner the better.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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“Not One Word”

Trustworthy then

Just how reliable is God? Can He be trusted?

What percentage of His promises does He keep? 50%?  75%?  99.99%?

Looking back more than 400 years, Joshua told Israel, “. . . you know in all your hearts . . . that not one word of all the good words which the LORD your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed!” (Joshua 23:14, emphasis added).

Fast forward several hundred more years. Solomon says, “. . . not one word has failed of all His good promises, which He promised through Moses His servant . . .” (1 Kings 8:56).

Still trustworthy?

Has God failed to keep any of His promises to date?

Considering His “track record,” should we have any doubt that He will keep His promises yet to be fulfilled?

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Working Together

Combined effort

As the crew removed a section of concrete, three workers used jackhammers, one a pickax, while one cut rebar. Teamwork.

The Pyramids, the Panama Canal, and the moon landings were all team efforts.

Teamwork began with God.

The family—His idea—is a team if there ever was one, with each member assigned a vital role.

Divine/human synergism

The church is another of God’s team ideas.

Jesus both died for the church and serves as its glorious Head, empowering each member.

“. . . the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:18, emphasis added).

Teamwork! Are you on God’s team—doing your part?

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Does it really matter?

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Lives at risk

Would you submit to the scalpel if you knew your surgeon was not overly concerned about a sterile operating environment?

Would you want nurses attending you who were known to switch one patient’s medications with another’s—accidentally, of course?

Would you book a flight on an airline with a reputation for careless pre-flight maintenance?

Souls at stake

Many today think doctrinal differences are matters of indifference.

The word “doctrine” means “teaching.” Biblical doctrine is what God wants us to know, believe, practice, and teach.

He does not intend for us to deviate from the standard of teaching He has revealed (Galatians 1:6-9).

Satan also has his doctrines (1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:1-4; 2 Peter 2:1-3).

Who says doctrine doesn’t matter? God or Satan?

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The Value of Perseverance

Difficult, but do-able

A golden wedding anniversary. Graduation. Crossing the finish line.

Each requires perseverance—so valuable in business, athletics, and countless endeavors.

The Christian life is an obstacle course toward heaven.

Considering what we have to gain—and lose—can we let obstacles become barriers?

God provides His word to guide us, His promises to motivate us, His Spirit to strengthen us, and His church to encourage us.

Hang in there!

One day will be our last day. May that day find us in our place and at our task.

“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised” (Hebrews 10:35-36).

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Taking the Long View

Looking ahead

Serious students study hard today so someday they’ll have the credentials to enter their selected profession.

Business people plan years ahead, designing each day’s work to contribute toward the ultimate objective.

Athletes preparing for the Olympics determine their daily regimen by their distant dream.

Looking way ahead!

If we’re willing to make short-term sacrifices to achieve long-term benefits, shouldn’t the same principle work for us in the spiritual realm?

“. . . one thing I do,” wrote Paul, “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

“Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable” (1 Corinthians 9:25).

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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The Voice from the Other Room

A treasured heritage

I recognized the voice coming from another room as that of my father, who at the time had been dead for eight years.

Was I surprised? Not at all.

Monte and Susan, our youngest two, were listening to their grandfather’s oral autobiography, recorded before they were born.

In his story he often makes reference to the church and his involvement in it. He loved, served, and helped lead the church.

A lasting legacy

Many parents provide well for their children’s physical/intellectual/social growth, but little if anything for their spiritual.

Oh, how we need parents and grandparents who pass on to their children the brightly-burning torch of a godly example and biblical teaching (Psalm 78:5-7; 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:14-15).

Pity the child who doesn’t have this!

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