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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Much is written on how to succeed but little about the vanity, in the long run, that success is never the last word.  We will all die.  We will all suffer that experience.  We will all see others pass on.

Pain and sorrow are factors common to us all.  Many ways of dealing with these have been suggested during human’s lives on earth.

What is the truth and not merely the speculation of superstition?

Can we actually know the truth and have that “truth” which sets men free? (John 8:32). Jesus said that we can.

Others say that we cannot know and that we must hinge our hope on uncertain beliefs. Is our faith anchored on the real and true? “Be very sure – be very sure – your anchor holds” wrote one hymnist. Can we be that sure?

King Solomon wrote about the vanity of success. Success is never to be taken too seriously.

Christians praying for God to bring assurance and help this side of the grave are wise to realize that the most important aspect of lives lived on earth is their witness: did we really believe?

In the crisis moments, were we as those who have gone before us, as those who made up the great “cloud of witnesses” discussed in scripture?

“Though you slay me,” wrote Job, “Yet will I love you” (Job 13:15). Job suffered the loss of everything except his life. He questioned why.

Certainly in the message of Job’s life is the fact that he had not done the wrong associated with deserving such suffering. We could say that some really evil people “Got what he deserved;” but the truth about life is that it is not deserved; it is a gift of God, that’s short here and it can be very marred by suffering.

“Opportunity to all and success to those who strive,” was a motto and ideal. The truth is that what we identify as success and what God wants as success for us can be very different.

Beyond this life, whether we became children of God while here, and whether we were a witness of His reality is the true measure of success. All goals and aspiring which ignored the shortness of life here will mean nothing and actually make our life to have been vanity.

The philosopher who claimed that reproduction only continued suffering on earth was correct of those (himself included) that had not found the One who said he was “The way, the truth, and the life.”

To be born again, to have the promised everlasting life, and to express that we do so that others desire what we have found is the key purpose of life on earth. All else, as the songwriter said, “Is sinking sand.”

Yet, the major focus of many of us has been success as providers, income earners, athletes, even honoring the names of the deceased does nothing if it does not show us the way of everlasting life.

Some suffering, a severe back injury for example, can cause fear for an uncertain future which actually always was uncertain. ‘What will I do if surgery fails to restore my abilities? How will I provide? Will I ever be pain-free again?’

How confident we were just days before! We fully expected tomorrow to be as the former today but now we realize we were a bit presumptuous.

Can thanksgiving rise within us? Yes, if we have a relationship with God for, although “Time and chance happens to us all,” (Ecclesiastes 9:11). God is good. He has not abandoned us.

My friend Mike quoted words from an old hymn today. Among its words reads: “I need no other argument: I need no other plea. It is enough that Jesus died; and that He died for me.”

The Christian hymns will surface again as popular in worship; suffering will see to that.

The hymns of Christian history, including the Bible, are words that have a bite to them because they’re true: God loves us. He will never forsake us. He can easily be found when our search becomes earnest. He will soon return for the willing and it will have been more than worth it all; when we see Jesus.

Until the day of our death we will continue to thank our Pastor, who fiercely opposed hateful criticism by acknowledging the LORD in everything he did. He bore this gospel into our town that God is present, touching lives, satisfying beyond expectations – trusted and sought.

Now, in his eighties, he still ministers the same message. We want to be like him.

With every challenge we might face today, we learned through our years of his preaching to turn our eyes upon Jesus who has never and never will take His off us. He will see us through.


     “ Love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him” (1John. 4:17).

     Jesus left earth having told His disciples that if they understood, their reality, their reactions and hopes, would be much different.

     He told them that when they realized the truth then hidden to them they would rejoice and be glad.

      He also said that were they to see things as they really are, they would have been happy for Jesus to go where He was going.

     Now, some time later, this apostle who was there that day is telling us that we, those of us who have come to believe Jesus, are like Him in our day to day lives. How?

     Jesus was one of us. He was the Son of Man, the child of a woman. He did nothing of Himself, and He told us that without Him, we could do nothing of ourselves.

     He said, “Except the Lord is the builder, he that labors in vain” (Psalm 127:1).

     Many of our readers lost fortunes in the savings and loan financial debacle of the 1980s. Now, twenty years later it is the bank failure. Before that it was the great depression, and years before that, it was a crucifixion. How are we as He in the world? We have crosses to bear.

     Our strength is the same as His. Our task the same also. He came as the Potter’s son to put our broken lives back together again.

     We are to go and preach also His healing Gospel. We are, because of Him, also the Potter’s sons.

     With an earthquake comes much after–shock. With God’s judgment precedes many shocks before. His judgment is mercy. It is removal of rotten apples.

     For His sparing purpose, He must cleanse earth from time to time. Oh how we reprioritize when a rumble is felt, but boldness? It is part of re-prioritizing.

     Take courage, reader and fear not. He became as us, so we may be as He: assuredly bold.