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Life is Short ~ Eternity Isn't


“For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.” —Psalm 36:9

“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” —1 Corinthians 12:7

Have you ever received a gift you didn’t like?

At one time or another, we have all received gifts that we didn’t like very much. But if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, the gift God has for you is a perfect gift that you’ll never want to return.

Therefore, you need to receive the gift and then develop and use that gift for the glory of God. This happens through the church.

I thank God for the church. I know we’re not perfect, but we’re still the best thing going. There’s nothing like the church. And let’s remember that Jesus started the church.

In a technical sense, it’s an organization, but it’s actually a family. As believers, as members of the family, we each have a role. Even when we can’t meet in person, we need the church, and the church needs us. It’s here that we discover and develop our spiritual gifts that we can use for God’s glory.

However, there’s a difference between spiritual gifts and natural abilities. We are all born with certain abilities. Some people are naturally athletic while others are artistic or have musical talent.

Some people are good at details or good at crunching numbers, but everyone is born with certain abilities and talents that God gave them. Although, there’s a difference between God-given talents and spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit.

Here’s what the Bible says in Romans: “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well” (12:4–6 NLT).

We are not all the same. Aren’t you glad of that? And we all have a part to play through the church with our spiritual gifts.


Know the Bible!

A knowledge of the Bible is essential to a rich and meaningful life. For the words of this Book have a way of filling in the missing pieces, of bridging the gaps, of turning the tarnished colors of our life to jewel-like brilliance. Learn to take your every problem to the Bible. Within its pages you will find the correct answer. But most of all, the Bible is a revelation of the nature of God. The philosophers of the centuries have struggled with the problem of a Supreme Being. Who is He? What is He? Where is He? If there is such a Person, is He interested in me? If so, how can I know Him? These and a thousand other questions about God are answered in this Holy Book, we call the Bible.

If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. John 8:31

Some people like to work out, citing the endorphins that are released. But I dread working out. And I complain while I’m working out. But after I’m done, I’m glad that I did it.

That’s sometimes what it’s like to study the Bible. There are times we really want to read it and look forward to it. Then there are times when we get up in the morning and think, “I’ll just skip it today.” But then we do it anyway. That isn’t legalism; that’s discipline. And there’s a difference.

Discipline says, “I’m going to read the Bible because I need to do it. I know God wants me to do it. And when I’m done, I’ll be glad I did it.”

It’s an absolute that we determine to do before anything else, even if it means that we don’t have time to check our social media or e-mails or texts. It’s something we must discipline ourselves to do.

The Center for Bible Engagement recently did a study and came up with something I find very interesting: “The ‘power of 4’ is evident when we consider that for some of these behaviors (getting drunk and sex outside marriage) examined there is no statistical difference between Christians who read or listen to the Bible two to three days a week and those who do not engage scripture at all or only once a week.”

In other words, if you’re not reading your Bible four or more times a week, then you won’t make significant choices or changes any differently than someone who doesn’t read the Bible.

Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed” (John 8:31 NKJV). We need to see the value of God’s Word. We need to long for God’s Word.

I don’t know about you, but I get a few gift cards at this time of year. And I have to say that I have quite a few In-N-Out gift cards. While I’m appreciative of these, I’ve shared a few of them with others, because I would weigh 400 pounds if I used them all myself.

According to business researchers, an estimated $2 billion to $4 billion in gift cards will go unused this year. God’s promises are a lot like of gift cards that are left unused. He has made a lot of promises to us, and we need to take hold of those promises.

In fact, Christmas has a lot to do with promises.

Going back to the very beginning, God promised Adam and Eve that a Deliverer would come one day. God promised Isaiah that a virgin would conceive and give birth to the Savior. And God promised Mary she would give birth to that Savior. The angel Gabriel even affirmed this, saying, “For the word of God will never fail” (Luke 1:37 NLT).

Evidently, God wants us to know that He keeps His promises. He certainly kept His promise with Mary, and she was surprised and humbled that God chose her.

Sometimes I’ll come across a gift card that I forgot about, for a place I really like. I’m excited to discover that I have that gift card. I’m also amazed that I haven’t used it yet.

That is what the promises of God are like. They’re just sitting there in the Bible, waiting for us to take hold of. But if we don’t read the Bible, we won’t know God’s promises. We need to read them, believe them, and start living these promises out.

Are you taking hold of God’s promises today?

MORE INSPIRATIONS ~ A couple of my favorites

Richard Ellis Talks ~ Richard Ellis CLICK HERE
Living on the Edge ~ Chip Ingram CLICK HERE
Harvest Ministries ~ Greg Laurie
CLICK HERE

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength." Corrie ten Boom
 

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