Old Friends

In everyone's life, at sometime, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

Albert Schweitzer

I had the privilege of visiting an old friend the other day - old in the fact that I have known him for 30 years, and in years as well, as he has now passed 80. His name is Jack and he has been a significant influence in my life and in the lives of my family. 

Jack is a preacher. More than that, he is a Bible scholar. I have heard Jack speak on dozens of occasions, and have gleaned a wealth of knowledge and encouragement from his talks. Still, there are two things that he has said that stand out more than any other.

The first, is read your Bible every day. I started doing that very thing, almost thirty years ago, and have never regretted that decision. The word of God has led me, it has lifted me, it has shamed me, it has encouraged me, and it has changed my life.

The second thing that stands out was a comment he made in one of his sermons. He said that he prays continually that not one person from any future generation of his family will be lost - an optimistic request to be sure. Some would think that it is too optimistic, but not me. I pray continually the same thing, and I am determined to do my part in that bargain.

Anyway, I began this article to tell you how Jack lifts my spirits, and how he has made me a better servant of God because of his encouragement. When you think about it, this is the ultimate for a friend, is it not? If you have someone who lifts your spirit and who helps you draw closer to God and Christ, then you have something that many people will never have.

Why not pause for a moment or two and thank your heavenly Father for such a friend. Then, go out and be such a friend to others. It's a high calling, but one that you will never be disappointed with.

Therefore, encourage one another, and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

I Thessalonians 5:11, NIV

 

Week 1: The Journey Begins

A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Laozi

For those who are desiring real change in their lives, whether it be along the lines of finishing a degree, losing a significant amount of weight,or starting a new career or family, the fact is at some point you must start.  If you want something as significant as changing your life for God and Christ, the same truth holds: You must start!

This week we looked at 4 unchangeable truths from God's word that everyone must believe if they are to change their life for God. They are:In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.If you hold to Christ's teachings you will know the truth and that truth will set you free.Whoever believes in Jesus will have everlasting life.It is by grace you are saved.

The reasons these truths must be accepted are not difficult to understand. If you don't believe that God is the creator, then you have no foundation. If you do not believe that the Bible is the truth, that it is the only truth, and that you must obey that truth, then you will live a life of ignorance and bondage - it is the truth that sets you free. Next, eternal life is only found in Christ. Finally, it is by grace we are saved.

One word of caution as we proceed to the next 36 days: Listen to what the entire Bible says! Just believing that God is the creator and that the Bible contains His will is not enough. The demons believe in Jesus, so that is not enough. It is not grace alone that saves, so that is not enough.The idea behind changing your life for God in 40 days is not so that you can put the entirety of your faith on an index card and "feel saved". The purpose is to begin the journey.

If you want something as wonderful as a life fully lived, with an eternity with our Savior to follow, then you are going to have to work harder than you have in the past. Quality results demand quality effort! Did you think that something with the power to change the direction of your life would be easy?

I am come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. Jesus - John 10:10, KJV

 

A Quiet Walk

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir

My wife and I love to walk together. It has been that way for as long as we have known each other. When we were dating, we would walk around the parks and ponds and neighborhoods of our college town. When we were newlyweds, we would walk through the different parts of town that we thought we might like to live in someday. When we were young parents, we would push the stroller through those same neighborhoods.

And with our walks, we dreamed. We talked about the things that were important to us that day and we talked about the future. We talked about the kids we wanted to have, then we talked about the children we were blessed with. 

We talked about God.

For thirty-two years, my wife and I have gone for walks. We walk now at sunset and enjoy the beauty of the West Texas skies. We talk about our children as they enter the various exciting phases of their lives. We talk about our parents and we talk about our new grandson... and we dream... and we still talk about God.

For thirty-two years my wife and I have walked together. We have experienced a few heartaches, and many joys. We have been blessed so richly in our lives that it is hard to even begin to count those blessings. But two of the greatest blessings will always stand out in my mind: For thirty-two years we have been able to walk together - and for those thirty-two years we have been blessed with the indescribable gift of being able to walk with God.

If you are married and don't already, may I recommend that you begin to walk with your mate? Even more important, whether you are married or single, may I recommend that you walk daily with God? You will never regret either decision and they will add years of happiness to your existence here on this earth. And then, there is Heaven!

...for thirty-two years I have had the privilege of walking with my wife and for those thirty-two  years we have had the privilege of walking with God... and we have received far more than we ever could have expected.

Today is my sweet wife's birthday - and I am looking forward, with eager anticipation, to the rest of our walk together. Happy birthday sweetheart!

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22, NIV

And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8, NIV 

 

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