The Brevity of Life

As I get older I realize my time on this earth is getting shorter.  Last week a friend of mine died from colon cancer.  I visited him in the nursing home two days before he passed.  He was a shell of his former self.  Without being disrespectful, the cancer had so emaciated his body he looked like a Holocaust survivor. He was sixty one years of age

Today I heard from an old school friend that one of our classmates from high school passed away last February from heart disease. He was one of my best friends in high school, though we had lost touch over the years.   We had a penchant for getting in trouble together.  Our escapades always bring a smile to my face.  It is hard for me to accept the fact that he is gone.

The Bible teaches us in James 4:14:

1yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

Psalm 103:15-16E  (ESV)

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more.

As a Christian I believe we will spend eternity somewhere.  For those who put their hope in Christ our future is secure in HIM.  For those who do not believe Jesus is our Savior then their’s is an eternity in eternal darkness.  I will be honest with you, I do not know where my high school buddy is spending eternity, but I do know where my friend who died of cancer is today.  He is in heaven with our Savior Jesus.

Hebrews 9:27-28  (ESV)

27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

The last day I saw my friend in the nursing home we both prayed that God would take him home.  His cancer ravaged body was in extreme pain.  In four short days he had lost at least 20 pounds, yet he had never lost hope.  His only physical solace were the morphine shots and patches that helped to control his pain.  In HIS mercy God took him home the next day.  I miss my friend, but I know that I will see him again.

60 years, 80 years, 100 years may seem like a long time to many of us, but it is nothing compared to eternity.  Please consider your eternal future carefully. 

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Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV)

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

So what do you desire to do? What do you really want to do as a person? You need to stop and document that; write it down; make a plan; and then God says, ‘I’ll direct your steps.’ Myles Munroe

Most everyone knows that God has a plan for our lives, but have we realized the plans God has for us have been ordained long before we were even born.  The scriptures listed above declare it as so.

The issue is that many of us are not living out the plan God has for us.  We all have a specific purpose and reason for being here on earth.  We are not accidents.  We have just not discovered what God has for us.

Much can be said on this subject, so I will be brief. Here are some things that can help you discover God’s purpose and plan for you.

God’s plans are:

Detailed and Specific

If you read Genesis 6: 11-22, and Exodus 26: 1-6  you will see the plans for the ark and the tabernacle are detailed and specific.  God gives Noah and Moses explicit directions.  Both men follow His instructions to the letter.  If God uses strict detail in the building of a boat, and the making of a tent, how much more detail will He use in the plans he has for us.

Personal

The plans God has for us are unique for us.      He called Moses to liberate the children of Israel, and not Noah.  He called Noah to build the ark, and not Moses.  He called Jesus to die for our sins.  He does not require us to atone for them.  God’s purpose for you is personal and unique.

Known to us by Prayer (communication with Him)

To fully know our purpose we should communicate with God.  Prayer will prevent us from going down the wrong road.  The prophet Samuel wanted to anoint every son of Jesse to be king of Israel except David.  It was communication with God that resulted in David being anointed king (1 Samuel 16: 1-13).  Noah got his directions from communication with God.  i.e. prayer (Genesis 6: 11-22)

There is so much to be said and written about the topic of purpose.  I will leave with the following:

  1. Everyone of us has a purpose for existing.  We are not accidents
  2. God had a purpose and plan for us before we were even born.
  3. His plans are detailed, specific, and personal
  4. Through prayer we can discover His purpose for us.

Until next time, be blessed, go and live your purpose

Formed, Known, and Consecrated

Jeremiah 1:5(ESV)

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

From today’s message.  This verse tells us that God indeed has a purpose for our lives.  We are not to go drifting through life without meaning.

The verse says he:

  • Formed us in the womb, thus we are his handiwork and creation.  We are created in his image.
  • knew us before we were born.  The bible declares from before creation he created good works for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)  We have a purpose.
  • consecrated us.  He has set apart for a specific purpose.

It is therefore our duty to seek God in prayer so we can know our purpose.  We may not like our life right now, but give it to God, and He will make something of it.

Go and live out what God created you to be and do

Yours in Christ

Pastor Greg

My Weight Loss Journey So Far

Philippians 4:13(NLT)

13 For I can do everything through Christ,[a] who gives me strength.

 About six months ago I weighed 261 pounds.  I have type two diabetes, and my doctor wanted to put me on insulin.  Shocked and scared, that news became my wake up call.  I asked my doctor for one more cycle to improve.  If I showed no improvement, I would go on the insulin.  Reluctantly she agreed.
I joined a place called:  “The Gym” in Del Rio Texas where I live.  My wife joined also for support, and to lose weight.  I would like to give all glory to God for the transformation I am going through.
In those seven months through the grace of God I have gone from a 44 inch waist to a 38 inch waist.  I no longer wear XXL shirts.  I now fit into an xl.  I am stronger and can run 3 miles without any problems.  My weight has gone from 261 lbs to 233 lbs.  It is my goal to lose  23 more pounds.
I will not lie to you it has not been easy.   I have had to change my diet, and focus more on a healthy lifestyle.  The rewards have been worth it.  God is so good.