DO WE UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MIND???


Matthew 22:37 – “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’”  NKJV

Over the years I have become convinced that many believers have little or no concept of the importance of the mind in our Christian walk.  This passage describes three areas with which we are to love the LORD:  All our hearts, all our soul, and all our mind.  There are a number of words used in the New Testament for ‘the mind’ and the one used in this passage speaks of the ‘entire thought process.’  The idea is that as all our ‘thoughts’ are passing through our ‘minds’ we are to turn them over and reflect upon them.  It is a process of looking at our life and we call that ‘thinking’.

It is a process of turning thoughts over and over in our minds.  I have become firmly convinced that we do not really live the Christian life fully UNTIL we love God with all our minds.  I have encountered some in the Christian faith who seem to believe that the ‘less you think’ the better Christian you are.  We even sing songs that suggest that.  Remember when your first accept Jesus?  You were filled with doubts, fears, problems, and questions and many of us were told:  “It’s not important for you to understand.  Just take it by faith.”  That is true to a degree but also presents a problem.

Romans 12, declares that we are to be TRANSFORMED in our lives by the ‘renewing’ of our minds not the ‘removal’ of our minds.  It is in the renewal of my mind that my transformation is developed.  We begin to think about what God would have us be after which we talk and live it.  It is a process.  Unfortunately, some have tried to ‘live it’ outwardly and failed miserably then come back to try again not understanding that the problem is not in our words or deeds but our minds!  I am not suggesting ‘mind over matter’ or any such thing but stressing the importance of our thoughts.

We ‘are’ today, the result of what we ‘thought’ yesterday and before.  In a great sense, we are our thoughts in action.  Our lives are the concreting of our thoughts.  The outside of the cup is not nearly as important as the inside.  Unless my walking out the Christian life begins in my ‘thought processes’ I will realize little but frustration and failure.  We want to do one thing but we are thinking another and the two never seem to come together so we become trapped in a cycle that never seems to end.

If we are going to walk in what the New Testament calls the WAY, TRUTH, and LIFE we must bring our minds into subjection to the Lordship of Christ.  It is not possible to fully understand the end until you understand the beginning.  We have a body, which is a phenomenal machine.  Inside that machine lives ME and that ME is made in the Image of God.  That was the plan that God would be seen in man but the Fall presented a colossal problem.  To determine who or what I should be I have to look at God.  It is in seeing God that I can comprehend what man was supposed to be. 

In the Garden, Adam and Eve choose to be ruled by their feelings rejecting God’s thoughts and superimposing their own thoughts over His.  It was the choice, not the fruit that was the problem.  Their choice was the result of their thoughts for when they rejected God’s thoughts for their own, they fell.  If you remember the Genesis account, the process moved from what Eve ‘saw’ to her ‘feelings’ to her ‘desire’ to be wise, and then the devil’s suggestion came questioning God and she thought about it.  Their thoughts were governed by ‘what they thought’ rather than ‘what God said.’ 

No wonder Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10 that we are to bring ‘every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.’  If our minds are to be renewed and we are to be transformed by that renewal our thoughts MUST become totally submissive to Christ.  You are not what you think you are but you are what you think.

May the Lord be with you as you go through this day!

SET YOUR MIND ON CHRIST…


Colossians 3:1-5 – “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.  5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”  NKJV

This is a very interesting passage!  I would like for you to consider several words in this passage.  They are words that link sentences.  I am not attempting to give a treatise on English grammar.  If you can accept it, God speaks to us in normal language so that we understand.  He uses grammar that obeys the laws of grammar thus it becomes important for us to notice the grammar as we study scripture. 

Two words stand out in this passage.  In v. 3 the word ‘for’ and in v. 5 the word ‘therefore.’  These two words are incredibly important because they link us back to the previous.  I find it amazing how sometimes the smallest things hold a vital key to understanding.  Listen carefully to what is being said.  Paul writes, “If then you were raised with Christ…”  Think with me about what is being said.  IF that is the case!  That is not the IF of a question but the IF of ‘since.’  Simply, since you have been raised with Christ!  If that is the case, then what are you to do?   In verse 2 you find the answer: “Set your mind on things above.”

Therefore, if it is the case that you have been ‘born again’ or ‘raised with Christ’.  If that is the case, then you have to do something.  You have to ‘set’ your mind on Christ. In verse three we find For.  This is not a new idea this is an explanation.  Do you know why you have to set your mind on things above?  FOR or BECAUSE you have died and now your life is hidden with Christ in God! 

I hope you are tracking with me? When Christ, who is our life comes, we have to change our thinking, because we have a different life.  We are no longer the person we once were and no longer in the place, position, or condition we once were, For we have died!  We left Egypt, passed through the Red Sea, and died.  We said ‘farewell’ to the world. We ‘announced’ our burial.  We have been buried and It is Over!  We are now Alive unto God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Christ is now our life!  That is why you have to ‘set’ your mind on things above, And the fact that you have set your mind on things above; Therefore! 

In light of the fact that you have died, risen, and Christ is your life, you Must adjust your thinking.  It is at that point we must consider the members of our earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, greed, etc.  You now, think about yourself and everything else in a different way for your mind is ‘set’ on things above not on things of earth.  WHY?  Because you are a new person in Christ dead to sin and alive to God! 

Honestly, if you are not ‘born again’ all the self-help books you can read will do little to truly change your life.  They tell you that you can change your life by changing your thinking but leave out something vital.  We do not begin in our ‘thoughts’ we begin in our ‘spirits.’  When a person’s spirit is dead all the positive thinking in the world will only result in them being positively dead and none of that thinking will make them whole.  We are United with Christ and in that, we are united to Love, Gentleness, Joy, and Peace.  We cease traveling the religious road looking for virtues we have been united with Virtue Himself.  Christ in us is the Hope of Glory.  The life we now live in the flesh we live in and through Him. 

God bless you as you go through your day!

GOD DID NOT BRING YOU THIS FAR TO ABANDON YOU…


Hebrews 13:5-6 –“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”   6 So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”   NKJV

If this were the only place, we could find the Promise that God will NEVER leave or forsake us it would be enough!  But it is not an isolated promise.  It is repeated numerous times in Scripture.  It goes to the heart of God’s desire and purpose for our lives.  God did not inspire us to get in this race and begin this walk only to abandon us in the process.  Heaven forbid for that would be a picture of God totally foreign to the biblical view of His person, nature, and character.

In Deuteronomy 31:6, God spoke to Joshua as he was charged with leading the nation of Israel into the Promised Land, “Be strong and very courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave your nor forsake you.”  NEVER!  Take it to the bank, God will not abandon you.  People may but God will NEVER do so.  God repeats the promise in verse 8 and we read it again in Joshua 1:5.  We find the same promise that God will never abandon us in 1 Kings 8:57, 1 Chronicles 28:20, Psalm 37:28, Psalm 94:14, Isaiah 41:17, Isaiah 42:16, and here in Hebrews.  We are instructed that out of the mouth of two or three witnesses let everything is established and we have more than two or three occasions in which God has promised to NEVER LEAVE nor FORSAKE us!

I do not know what situation you are now facing or might face in the days to come.  I do not know what might be around the next corner of life.  I do not know the future but I do know the one who controls the future and am 100% satisfied and confident that He is a Promise Keeper and if He said He WILL NOT leave or forsake us He WILL NOT leave or forsake us!  Therefore, take heart and comfort no matter what you face God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and HE WILL NOT FAIL!

If the vision He placed in your heart still seems to be light years away from fulfillment it is not a sign that He has abandoned, you.  It might be you have not launched out into the deep as you should.  It might mean that the time is not yet.  It could mean any number of things including the possibility that the devil is hindering, and you need to defeat him in prayer to allow the breakthrough to come.  IT DOES NOT MEAN that God has abandoned you! 

If He put it in your heart, He will provide that which is needed to achieve the purpose and vision He gave.  Therefore, be patient, be faithful, and be confident – HE IS STILL GOD!  If He said it, He will bring it to pass, that you can bank on.  

Remember the account of Daniel 10 when the angel of the Lord appeared to Daniel in his time of prayer and said, “Do not fear, Daniel, for, from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.  But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia…”   There was a spiritual demonic hindrance and if you realize that God will do whatever it takes to fulfill His promise to NEVER LEAVE or FORSAKE you your heart will endure the trial and rise to victory!

God bless you as you go through this day!

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE IN TIMES OF DANGER???


Ezekiel 33:1-6 – “Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, 3 when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.'”  NKJV

In times of heightened danger from terrorism and anarchy, there has been the encouragement for the public, “See something say something.”  That is something that is practiced in Israel and other parts of the world and has proven to be instrumental and valuable in protecting against an attack.  Yet, I have been told many times from a spiritual standpoint, “Well, it is none of my business” or “I don’t want to meddle.”  

How valid are those arguments when it comes to DANGER?  Would you consider it meddling to warn a parent or a child if the child was in danger of running into a busy street?  Would you consider it none of your business or meddling to warn residents if their house was on fire?  Would you consider it meddling to inform your neighbor if you saw someone break into their house and cart off their goods?   I suggest that we are quite selective in what we deem “meddling” or “none of our business” and tragically consider it good citizenship to sound a warning in the natural on many fronts but unacceptable in spiritual matters.

This passage suggests multiple responsibilities in times of danger.  If we see danger or the sword coming and sound the alarm of warning.  If that warning is heeded, people are saved or better prepared to deal with the present danger.  However, if we sound the alarm and it is ignored then their blood is on their heads not our hands.  It is a grave matter, biblically, to ‘see danger’ and not ‘sound the alarm’.  That would be knowingly and deliberately allowing harm to come to others when we could have, at least, warned them of the impending danger.  God does not take that lightly nor should we. 

Although we often declare that our system or code of laws have their roots in the Bible, we might not realize just how clear that is.  In Deuteronomy 22:8, if someone falls from your roof, and you failed to install a safety fence around the edge, you would be held liable for the death of that individual.  It may have been gross negligence on their part, but you had an obligation to warn or take steps to prevent the danger. 

In Exodus 21:29-31, if a man owns an ox that is prone to harming people, the owner is held liable if he fails to confine the ox and it harms or kills someone.  If the ox harms someone the owner is fined, but if it kills someone, the negligent owner was to be put to death.  You might say, “That is incredibly severe” and I agree it is, but it speaks to the seriousness God has regarding “warning of danger” whether that danger is “eternal hell” or “physical danger”.  God holds us accountable for SOUNDING THE ALARM! 

I believe that one of the assignments I have from God is to be a “Watchman on the Wall” and to sound the alarm of any impending danger that I see.  Therefore, if I remain silent when I see danger I have violated a commandment of God and could never justify or argue that I was not guilty of “he that knows to do good and does it not to him it is sin.”  If I SEE IT and do not SAY IT in sounding the alarm, I become accountable before God for the harm that comes.  However, if I do sound the alarm, then the responsibility shifts from me to those being warned.  In keeping with this reality, we must also understand that the messenger, as well as the message, maybe rejected and we should always seek God for ways to make the message palatable, so it is understood, received, and heeded. 

God bless you as you go through this wonderful day in Him!

DO WE REALLY BELIEVE THE BIBLE???


Psalm 55:22 – “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”  NKJV

David said in Psalm 37:25 – “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.”  In verse 24 he is speaking of the righteous he said, “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand.”  I do not believe there is any conflict in the three passages cited here or in the remainder of the biblical message. 

Is this a guarantee that we will not have problems or that we could not as Paul described in 1 Corinthians 9:27 become a ‘castaway’ or ‘disqualified’?  Is this a guarantee that we will not or cannot as described in Hebrews 10:35 – “…cast away our confidence…”?  Is it a compilation of the promise in Romans 8:28 that “all things” are working together for our good?  I believe, strongly, that God has promised to keep us against that day, and nothing can separate us from His love.  Although I am very aware that circumstances, conditions, events, and assaults on our lives can bring us to the brink of despair that God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.  I also believe that this is descriptive that IF we ‘cast our burden on the LORD’ He will sustain us.  Do you see one small caveat or possible problem here?

The instruction is to cast our burden on the LORD and that is a requirement for the remainder of the promise.  If we refuse to gather under the shelter of his wings as Psalm 91 describes and we trust the Arm of flesh rather than coming to him, taking His yoke upon us and allowing Him to be supreme in our lives we place ourselves outside the scope of the promise of the second portion of the verse.  But if we do Cast our burdens on Him then we are assured that He will not permit us to be moved!  That is a powerful promise!

Therefore, IF we believe the Bible then would that not be an encouragement for each of us to be obedient in casting our burdens on the LORD?  In my humble opinion, IF one believes that by turning to the LORD, rolling our cares on Him, and allowing Him to engineer the course of our lives according to His plan would afford security, safety, and victory what sense would it make to not do so?  The only reason we would not is that we do not truly believe the Bible, nor do we truly trust God’s promise.  I know that is a bit harsh and strongly stated but examine it before rejecting it.

When I consider the life of David, I can readily understand how he would have developed a mentality of trust toward the LORD.  God repeatedly demonstrated His faithfulness to David and David either trusted or repented for failure and ran to the LORD.  Most of us, if not all of us, have experienced God’s faithfulness.  I know that in the times I have truly cast my burden on Him He has proved His Promises!  It did not always transpire as I thought it should or even in the time frame, I had in mind, but God Never Failed and He Never Will.

May God be with you as you go through this day!

CONSIDER A BENEFIT OF DIFFICULTY…


2 Corinthians 1:3-4 –“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  NKJV

Most of us are aware of the declaration of James that we are to rejoice in trials and few of us give consideration to the benefits that come out of our trials and tribulations.  I am not trying to advance a doctrine that encourages or desires trouble but suggesting that trouble is going to come and if we can embrace it, there is a benefit to be gleaned.

Paul declared that our Heavenly Father is the Father of mercies and comfort!  Our Heavenly Father comforts us in ALL our tribulations with an objective in mind beyond enabling us to make it through the trial.  He comforts us That we may be able to comfort others who are experiencing trials and tribulation. 

Therefore, when the enemy comes in like a flood and God raises up a standard against him and brings you through to the other side of the trial rejoice.  Rejoice in the deliverance and comfort of God and rejoice in the reality that because you have experienced you will be better able to comfort others facing trials.  A man or woman who has been through battle can comfort those enduring trials far better than one who has lived in an ivory tower with no difficulties.  I am far more drawn to a person with a limp than a novice in a time of trouble.

We comfort others with the comfort we received from God.  We communicate His love, patience, longsuffering, guidance, wisdom, and mercy.  We testify of God’s keeping power. We testify of God’s undying love.  We testify of God’s fulfillment of His promise to never leave nor forsake us.  We are living epistles known and read among men examples of God’s love, grace, and power.

Therefore, next time the enemy targets you and it seems that everything that can go wrong does, lift up your voice and your eyes, and Rejoice!  Rejoice knowing that God will not fail and rejoice knowing that one day in the future you will be able to extend that comfort you are receiving from God to a brother or sister in this life.  Philippians 3 speaks of the “power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.”  We want the resurrection power without the suffering.  We want the crown without the Cross, but it will not come. 

I do not know what you are experiencing at this time but if you are suffering consider the additional benefit of that suffering that you will be able to comfort another along the way.  If there is a lesson to be learned in the trial diligently attend to it but above all rejoice in God’s provision and protection and rejoice in the joy that you will be able to be a helping hand to another along the journey.

God bless you as you go through this day!

THE ONLY TRUE FREEDOM…


John 8:31-36 – “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”  34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.  35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.  36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”  NKJV

A person can in chains and not be a slave or be without bonds and be enslaved.  Chains do not determine Freedom. The heart, mind, soul, and spirit do!  Unfortunately, nothing we do will eradicate human bondage and men will enslave other men against their wills in the natural.  I can only imagine the physical, mental, and even spiritual torture that being captive brings.  My heart breaks for anyone who has endured that condition either as a prisoner of war, a human slave against their will, a hostage, or anything of the like. 

I know two men who, although captives, were never enslaved in their hearts and minds.  One was a Japanese prisoner during WWII and escaped the other held in Hanoi by the Vietnamese and endured years of horrific inhumane torture and abuse.  Both professed that their faith in God and belief in the Word of God kept them Free although in chains.  They were and are examples of True Freedom! 

The only True Freedom is through the shed blood of Jesus and the Grace of God.  If we receive the forgiveness of sin and are born again, we experience True Freedom.  A person that is thusly free can be imprisoned, chained, and otherwise enslaved physically but they will Never be a Slave in their heart or mind because the Son has set them free!

In America, we celebrate our Independence and yet multiplied thousands are still enslaved in some form.  Enslavement of the mind is possibly worse than being enslaved in the flesh for if a person’s mind is captive the attitude and actions will reflect that condition.  Breaking free and living life to the full is virtually impossible because the mind is in chains to wrong thinking, victimization, and false promises.  But if we receive the Freedom that Jesus came and brought to us, we cannot be enslaved.  Remember, if God is for who can be against us or as a friend always says what difference does it make who is against us if God is for us.

God bless you and Be Free in Jesus. 

AS GOOD AS THE NEXT FELLOW…


Proverbs 20:6 – “Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?”  NKJV

Through the years I have met many people who, when asked about their relationship with Christ, declare “I am a good person.”  They usually will tell me what they do not do, and some will tell me their acts of benevolence, civic contributions, or something of the kind.  Some will tell me that they go to church regularly and others relatively regularly.  I have found this passage to be incredibly true that most people view themselves as basically good or as good as the next fellow, as I was once told.  The man was a regular in church but had a propensity to hit the nightspots and cavort with the ladies while his wife and children remained at home.  He made little secret of his lifestyle but because he considered himself “as good as the next fellow” he felt little reason to change. 

In the many conversations with this individual, he would point out the flaws in other people in the community and church and especially those in leadership.  It was mostly comparing apples with turnips but nonetheless, it was his justification for allowing his conscience to become calloused guarding against conviction.  I understood his argument for I too held those views at one time.  The rural church I grew up in had flawed people (as to all churches) and I wrongly determined that if some of those people were going to heaven God could not send me to hell because, after all, I was “as good as the next fellow”.  I went to Vietnam with that mindset.  It was terribly wrong, but it was the view I adopted because it allowed me to not deal with the pricks of the Holy Spirit.

On one occasion talking to this individual in the course of the conversation the account in Mark 10 came up. I read to him the words of Jesus when He was called “Good teacher or Good master” and Jesus stopped the individual and said, “Why are you calling me good?  No one is good except God alone.”  He was shocked and I continued the account of how this rich individual had proclaimed his personal goodness when Jesus told Him to keep the commandments.  Jesus then informed the rich young man that he still came up short and this individual was a captive audience at that point.  I read to him the words of Jesus, “One thing you lack, go, sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  The ruler was heartbroken and turned away because his possessions held his heart and his personal goodness was insufficient to save him. 

While many, if not most of us, would like to compare ourselves with others and declare that we are “as good as the next fellow” if we are honest, we know that is insufficient.  Salvation is never earned it is by Grace through Faith.  God does not measure my life against your life, but His standard is Himself, the Lord Jesus, and His Holy Word.  In that light, everyone knows we have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.  If we understand the standard, we know all have sinned and come short of God’s glory.  If we understand the standard, we know that the invitation of Jesus to “Come unto Me” is our only Hope of Salvation!

May God be with you as you go through this day!

THE BIG “IF”…


Colossians 2:20-23 – “Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations —  21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using — according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.”  NKJV

Paul begins this passage with two important words “therefore” and “if”.  If we are to grasp and receive the full benefit of the promises of God and the life that He has come to bring both these words must be reconciled in conjunction with the words of this text.

Therefore – If you truly died with Christ.  If you truly died from the basic principles of the world, Why is that important?   Why do you continue living as though you were subject to the regulations of the world?  Why do you continue to subject and subordinate your faith to the regulations of this world?  Why do you allow ‘self-imposed’ religion to mandate what you can eat, wear, think or do?  Why become ensnared with that which the enemy of our soul advances whether through unbelievers in some governmental regulations or unsuspecting church officials?  Why continue in things that have no value in helping you to war against the indulgence of the flesh?  WHY?

The Big IF is the key.  If we have truly died in Christ and risen to newness of life through the applied blood of Jesus, by grace through faith that life is not our life.  Why allow things that are temporary and passing control your life?  You are a citizen of a new kingdom and your genealogy has changed from whatever you were to Christian!  You are now an heir of God and a joint heir with the Lord Jesus Christ.  You are now a Kingdom of Priest.  You are now a Royal Priesthood.  You are now a New Generation.  You have passed from death to life so why allow death to have supremacy over life?

IF – If we are who we claim to be through our profession of faith then Christ is “in us” and if He is “in us” He will live His life Through Us and manifest Himself in our thoughts, words, and deeds.  Therefore, it is imperative that we turn or focus from those things that are earthly to Him who is at the Right Hand of the Father and declare our members now dead to the things that destroy and alive to the eternal things of God.  We put off the garment of flesh and put on the garment of faith.

IF – If we are born-again believers it is time that we live like what we declare we are and allow the manifestation of Christ through the Holy Spirit to make us epistles known and read among me.  It is time to demonstrate, Christ in us the hope of glory!  It is time to walk out into the Abundant Life that Jesus came, lived, died, rose, and ascended for.

God bless you as you Become that which He declares you to be!  Blessings!

OUR MORTALITY SHOULD HELP GUIDE US…


Hebrews 9:27 – “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment…”

Proverbs 27:1 –“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”

James 4:14-16 – “…whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.”  NKJV

We should never allow the Fear of Death to control our lives, but we should always be conscious of our mortality.  Do not understand me to say that you should live every day with the thought of dying as an overriding thought for if you do it will dominate you, control you, paralyze you and eventually shipwreck you.  However, if you live as though you will never die (naturally) you face the danger of becoming complacent and neglect your assignment in life.  There is a balance that we should all strive for.

When I was in High School, death was a reality, albeit something that was relegated to older people although I had seen some of my peers meet that fate.  In Vietnam, death became a more current and visible reality and paralyzed some so they were doomed to meet that fate because they attempted to save their own lives.  In my 30’s and ’40s, death was a reality, but not something I even considered on a personal level.  I was young, strong, and in pursuit of my dreams and destiny.  In my 50’s and 60’s I have once again become conscious of the brevity of life and the need to live every moment as though it could be the last.  It does not dominate my thinking, but it plays a role in the decisions I make.  Being conscious of the reality of natural death creates a desire within my heart to Live and encourages me to savor life.

We will ALL die (naturally) according to Scripture.  We do not know what tomorrow holds and most who meet untimely and sudden death was not expecting it.  Natural life can truly be compared to a ‘vapor’ or a ‘puff of steam’ for even if we live into our 80’s, 90’s or 100’s it is only a wisp of smoke on the eternal clock of God. 

If we are conscious of our mortality without succumbing to the morbidity of dwelling on it in fear, I believe we will be more careful in our decisions, associations, words, deeds, and the life we choose to live.  We will be more conscious of the opportunities to share our faith with others knowing this opportunity might be that person’s last chance to hear.  We will treasure our relationships in a new light and with a new zeal and vigor.  Like the commercial:  “You only go around once in life so grab all the gusto you can…”  I realize it was a beer commercial and not talking about what I am but in a small way it is applicable.  You pass through this life one time and where you are now you have never been before and will never be again so Treasure the Moment and Seize the Opportunities Before You! 

If you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior having received the forgiveness of sin you are Alive Eternally although this physical tabernacle will perish one day.  As I prayed just the other day, tears welled up in my eyes, and my heart was broken as I sought the Lord in David’s Prayer, “Create in me a clean heart, renew in me a right spirit and do not take the Holy Spirit from me.”  I want to be a vessel the Master can and does use!  I want to fulfill my purposes in my generation!  I want to be a deposit of God in this present world and when my time to depart comes what I leave behind will live in hearts elevating them to greater heights and a fuller life! 

            May God be with you as you go through this day!  LIVE LIFE!   God bless you!