“Look in the Mirror!”

Remember that ubiquitous comeback line when we were children?  Usually from a sibling (and accompanied in rapid succession with the sticking out of the tongue).  Sometimes (cringe) to a parent or teacher or maybe babysitter, or anyone who said something to us which we didn’t particularly like:  “Look in the mirror!”

In a very different take on that line, I want to talk about one of my all-time favorite verses in the entire Bible which has been such a blessing and practical, tangible benefit in my life.

I actually referenced it in a recent post, as a side note, but I’d now like to circle back and give it the focus and spotlight it deserves.  It’s Proverbs 14:8.

  • “The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, but the folly of fools is deceit.”

The more I look around at current-day society, the more and more deception and self-deception I see floating around.  This should come as no surprise to anyone:  “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (NKJV/KJV)  The NASB translates it thusly:  “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?”

The plain and simple – and firsthand 🙁 – truth is that ALL of us are prone to self-deceit, to self-deception.

While not dealing with issues as they arise from time to time in our lives is bad, what’s even worse is NOT SEEING THEM in the first place, right?  Because the former is IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT the latter.  To state the obvious, we can’t resolve an issue we don’t see.

“12-step” plans have been all the rage in the recovery sector for decades. so no disrespect to those, if someone finds them to be a helpful aid in getting their life back on track, fantastic, but I’m going to give you a TWO-step plan to resolve ANY issue or problem that may arise in life:

STEP #1:  Look into the MIRROR of the Bible to see which qualities and conduct should and shouldn’t be in your life

  • “But be DOERS of the word [Bible], and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (NKJV)
  • “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.” (James 1:22-24, NASB)

STEP #2:  Then DEAL WITH THEM, right away, without dilly-dallying around

  • “But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and ABIDES by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does [i.e., issues resolved!]… let everyone be QUICK to hear…” (James 1:25 then verse 19, NASB)

That’s all there is to it.  This really is all that’s needed.  To look at what the Bible says, then look at our lives and get the latter in line with the former as needed.

In other words… the Bible:  read it then heed it.  Read then heed… or bleed.  Your choice, my choice, the choice of each and every person (Romans 14:12).

We tend to complicate and indeed over-complicate the Christian life.  To largely spin our wheels.  And thus needlessly waste so much time and opportunity.  I’ve certainly been guilty of this throughout my life.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – and many times in the future:  I’ve been the biggest sinner I know, I’ve been the biggest sinner I’ve ever known, and I’ve been the biggest sinner you’ve  probably ever known, at least that’s my perspective, having 24/7 awareness of my past sins and utter sinfulness.  But praise the Lord I can honestly say that such has kept decreasing and decreasing dramatically, constantly with only little blips here and there which, like the first flames of a forest fire, should be put out immediately lest it spread (otherwise it will) – ever since I started memorizing the Bible on a regular, systematic basisPsalm 119:11 is true!  Colossians 3:16-17 is true!  The Bible – and maximally, memorizing and reciting  it regularly… not just as a part of your daily life but AS your life daily, as a lifestyle – is the antidote for sin.  The antidote.  Prayer is great in this regard, too, but is informed by Bible memory and recitation, which greatly, greatly, greatly (in extent and essence) frees and unleashes and expands the capacity for the Holy Spirit and prayer in our life.

In another recent post I discussed how important, indeed how crucial and imperative it is to “examine ourselves” and “test ourselves” and “be all the more diligent to MAKE CERTAIN about” our salvation, that it’s genuine and not just a figment of our self-deception or mere guessing or hopeful wishing (2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Peter 1:10).  I mentioned many specific “tests” the Bible itself clearly and plainly provides for us to do just that, including the entire books of James and 1 John which themselves are just such a checklist and written for that main purpose. (James 1:4; 1 John 5:13)

So to end this post, I’ll reference those very specific tests but add a general guideline or “key” to grade the test.  A way to confirm the validity and genuineness of our salvation “at a quick glance” as it were.  Two verses:

  • “To the pure, ALL THINGS are pure; but to those who are undefiled and unbelieving, NOTHING is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defile.  They PROFESS to know God, but by their DEEDS they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed.” (Titus 1:15-16)  This does NOT refer to an utter lack of sin in one’s life, or we’d ALL FAIL the test every time; rather, it’s about what characterizes a life, the overall, overarching pattern.  I.e., if your innate, “first instinct” and default desire is to NOT sin, to avoid and reject sin, you pass the test; yes, you’ll stumble from time to time, but not fall, not stay down (Romans 11:11).  However, if one’s knee-jerk reaction overall, in most cases, is to sin, to indulge and give into temptation, a rigid and immediate self-testing and spiritual evaluation with self-honesty should be administered at once, without delay, as that would be a huge “caution flag” and warning… in soccer lingo, a “red card” like no other.
  • “But the path of the righteous [saved, believers, Christians] is like the light of dawn, that shines BRIGHTER AND BRIGHTER until the full day.” (Proverbs 4:18, which is echoed in 15:24 — “The path of life leads UPWARD for the wise”… the overall pattern is up, up and away, brighter and brighter for the rest of one’s post-salvation life, ever-increasing righteousness)  That very first word, “But”, signals a contrast – just like Titus 1:15-16 – so I’ll go ahead include all six verses of this passage so you can see the dramatic contrast:  “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not proceed in the way of evil men.  Avoid it, do not pass by it; turn away from it and pass on.  For they [unsaved, unbelievers, non-Christians] cannot sleep unless they do evil; and they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.  For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.  BUT the path of the RIGHTEOUS is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.  The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.” (Proverbs 4:14-19)

Resolving and affirmatively settling and confirming one’s genuine salvation will remove any and all “big picture”, overarching anxiety in one’s life.  Guaranteed.  Not some of the “small picture” episodes (Bible memory will take care of those!) but ALL of the big-picture variety.  Because each of us instinctively knows that eternity, the life to come, is the ONLY thing that really matters in this  life. (Ecclesiastes 3:11; Romans 1:19)

We’ve grown up and come a long way, yet ironically the key to this life and the one to come is this:  “Look in the mirror!”  Then comb our hair, promptly, if it’s out of place.

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Plan Ahead!

I’m sure we’re all very familiar with an adage I used to love as a kid and ever since:  “Plan ahead.  It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark!”

So true.  And indeed something that garnered him entrance into the “hall of faith” in Hebrews 11.

But in this post I’d like to look at a New Testament example and discuss two aspects or applications of this time-tested truth.  (There’s a reason an adage, well, becomes an adage.)

First, the New Testament example of this general application.

I love the Apostle Paul.  Other than the Lord Jesus Himself – with whom none  can even begin  to compare – Paul has always been at the top of my list of biblical heroes.  (Along with David, Daniel, Joseph, Abraham, Job, and Samuel and Ruth and Rahab, and pre-decline Solomon [Proverbs Solomon, not Ecclesiastes Solomon], among others.)  I love everything about him.  His utter tenacity in fulfilling what he believed to be right.  (His view was of course diametrically opposite of God’s before a certain meeting on the road to Damascus, but even then nobody can say he wasn’t tenacious and dedicated.  Misguided, yes, but totally tenacious and dedicated.)  His love for others — sometimes, when called for, tough love (e.g., 2 Corinthians and especially Galatians) – which surpasses anyone I’ve ever seen or heard of other than the Lord Jesus Himself, when in Romans 9:3 he says that he loved his fellow Jews so much that, if it were an option, he’d give up his own salvation in exchange for theirs.  That he’d put himself under the eternal curse of hell if it meant they would go to heaven.  Ladies and gentlemen, that is a level of love I can’t even imagine much less say I possess.  I’m a very loving person — always have been in a human, social sense but even exponentially more so since I started memorizing the Bible on a regular, systematic basis — but I’m quite sure I’ll never reach the point where I’d be willing to give up my salvation for anyone else’s.  But that’s exactly the level of love which the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22) had sewn in Paul’s transformed heart and life.  Amazing.  Stunning.  And so admirable.

But one aspect of the Apostle Paul I’ve come to appreciate especially in recent years is his sense of practicality and attention to details.  Wanna see what I’m talking about?  Just read what he wrote near the end of his life:  “Only Luke is with me.  Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service.  But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.  When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments.” (2 Timothy 4:11-13)

At first glance there might not seem to be much in these three short verses.  But upon closer inspection we can learn a LOT about Paul.  His personality and nature.  Social, connected, great leader shepherding his fellow workers like a great army general would on the battlefield.  Delegating various tasks to various people, as best suited.  More concerned about the churches he had planted and people he had led to Christ (in this case, at Ephesus) than his own emotional comfort, i.e., I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of people nearing the very end of their life (verses 6-7) would seek to surround themselves with as many of their loved ones as possible.  But not Paul!  No sir, no ma’am, he kept just one by his side at that time (Luke) so the others could continue on in ministry and spreading the Gospel and watering the growth of new believers and churches.  What selflessness!  He clearly had internalized what the Holy Spirit had led him to write in Philippians 2:3-4.  Always thinking about the interest of others, not his own, under the umbrella of always thinking about the interests and desires and will of God.

His sense of practicality is also demonstrated in this passage and downright palpable.  He saw that Mark could be useful to him in ministry and didn’t hesitate to put those wheels into motion.

His love for the Bible is also demonstrated in that “the books” and “parchments” likely refer to the Old Testament.  We’ll have to wait until heaven to find out for sure but I’m 99.99% certain that Paul also internalized what the Holy Spirit had led him to write in Colossians 3:16, that he had memorized and regularly recited huge portions of the Bible at the time, the Old Testament.  (I also often wonder and can hardly wait to find out from him personally if he knew or at least had a sense, had any inkling that many of his penned letters to churches and individuals would comprise a huge part of the Bible’s New Testament.  I.e., it’s possible that under the miraculous umbrella of “dual” authorship – human and divine – the human author was referring to the Old Testament when he wrote 2 Timothy 3:16 while the divine Author was of course, we know now, referring prophetically to the entire Bible, the whole of Scripture.)  But what’s 100% known is that he loved the Bible, the Word of God, EVERY word of God, with all his heart and mind and soul.  [I wish there were far more ways in which my life imitated Paul’s but praise the Lord this is definitely one of them, a deep and abiding love and respect for His Word, which is why I’ve dedicated literally the rest of my life to memorizing the entire Bible, every word of the Word, so I can recite His own words in that greatest (and longest =) of all love letters BACK TO HIM as a unique and indeed historic love/thank-You gift for all He has done for me and us, all He does, all He intends to yet do, and just for who and how He is!]

But wait, there’s more!  Another thing demonstrated in this passage, in these three short verses, is that Paul – like Noah – planned ahead.  Did you catch that phrase “bring the cloak”?  A cloak was a piece of garment which doubled as a coat and blanket.  He makes clear in verse 21 that “winter” was coming, and he wanted Timothy to come before winter and bring Paul’s coat/blanket so he’d be fully prepared.  Planning ahead!  (On a side note, that was TWO THOUSAND years ago yet isn’t it interesting that in many ways he and the people of that time weren’t much different from us.  Don’t we shop for or unpack our winter clothes in advance of its expected arrival?  Indeed we do.  Paul was doing the very same thing, but was tied up at the moment so asked Timothy to do so for him.  Thinking ahead, planning ahead.)

But my other favorite example of this is also near the end of one of his penned-letters-turned-New-Testament-book:  Romans 15:22-25.  It’s clear from the people and places mentioned in Chapter 16 that he wrote the letter from Corinth.

Here’s where the “planning ahead” comes in.

You see, if you were to look at a map of those times, you’d see Corinth then to the left/west you’d see Rome and then further to the left/west of that you’d see Spain.

Do you know what that means?  Not only that Paul was planning (ahead) his trip to Spain in advance, but also made the necessary arrangements, like sending this letter via Phoebe (16:1-2), far enough in advance that they’d have time to make the necessary preparations for his “in passing on his way to Spain” visit “for a while” (verse 24), and also enough time to “help him out” financially on that journey.  He left nothing to chance.  Very detailed.  Very organized (probably the most EVER).  Always planning ahead!

And that brings me to the second aspect or application of that wise practice I’d like to discuss here.

It’s very important and beneficial to PLAN AHEAD in life.  But you know what’s infinitely more importantTo plan ahead for the NEXT LIFE, the life to come, ETERNITY.

For one reason, unlike winter, our physical death often doesn’t give ANY WARNING or ADVANCE NOTICE – so it’s absolutely imperative to do all of our planning for such NOW, while we still can.

One sad but perfect example is 9/11.  Those tragic terrorist attacks against our country in 2001.  I think about that throughout the year but inescapably at the end of every summer, with each passing anniversary of that horrific day.  And you want to know one of my main takeaways from it?  The fact that around THREE THOUSAND people simply went to their office or hopped on a plane as they no doubt had countless times before.  It was just a regular, normal, average day.  UNTIL IT WASN’T.

Those killed on that somber day had years and years and years to get their eternal destiny in order.  To plan aheadBefore it was too late.  Because just like when that door on Noah’s Ark closed as the rains fell and flooding of historic proportions commenced, and it was too late for those people to change their mind and board that boat – i.e., to be saved – so also when a person dies and departs this physical world, it will be too late to reserve one’s place in heaven.  No my friends, that’s a reservation which can only be made in this life, while one is still alive, before the rains and flood of death occurs.  And I just want to urge each and every one of you to “be all the more diligent to MAKE CERTAIN” (2 Peter 1:10; also 2 Corinthians 13:5, per that recent post) that you’re saved and have a room waiting for you in heaven long before that day comes and this life ends.

But HOW, you might ask?  Simple.  Literally.  Simple faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone:

  • in His perfect, sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22)
  • in His substitutionary death on our behalf, for our sins (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 John 2:2)
  • in His subsequent burial and resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-28)

That’s it, nothing else. (John 3:16)  By the pure grace of God through faith in His appointed mediator, Jesus Christ. (1 Timothy 2:4-6)

You don’t have to go to church (though you’ll want to – John 2:17; Hebrews 10:24-25).  You don’t even have to do good works (though you will – Ephesians 2:10).  We need simply to acknowledge that we’re sinners and therefore unable to be let into heaven, into the physical presence of the infinitely holy and righteous God, and then to put our faith in the fact that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins so we CAN and WILL spend eternity in heaven.  The substitutionary, propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus and subsequent resurrection totally resolves that otherwise conundrum!  God can let sinners into heaven, into His holy presence, because those sins have been replaced with the righteousness of Jesus Christ! (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Unlike Paul, I would never trade my salvation and willingly spend eternity in hell so someone else could spend it in heaven instead.  (Sorry, I’m very loving but not that  loving. =)  But I would  trade my physical  life so someone else could go to heaven, if that were possible.  Gladly.  But it’s not.  Why?  Because if I sacrificed my life so you could go to heaven, it wouldn’t do any good – because I’d merely be paying the price for my OWN sins (Romans 6:23; also 5:6-10).  But that’s where Christ is different than ANY OTHER person.  While Adam’s sin has been passed down to everyone else since creation and the fall of man in the garden of Eden (Romans 5:12), Christ avoided that since He was conceived not by a man (Joseph or any other) but rather by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18).  So He WAS able to offer His own body as payment for the sins of others, of everyone, of “the whole world” as 1 John 2:2 puts it.  He literally traded places with us (2 Corinthians 5:21more on this in a future post, incredible, the great “switcharoo”, the ultimate “no-brainer slam-dunk”!) and went to hell in our stead (Ephesians 4:9-10; 1 Peter 3:18-22) so we don’t have to, so we can go to heaven!  So when you and I leave this world and stand at the gates of heaven and are asked why we should be let in, there’s only one right, acceptable, accepted answer:  because of what JESUS did FOR US and that ALONE.

And praise the Lord that if indeed this is what ANY person is wholly, fully, and solely relying and depending on, I’m telling you right now on the full authority of the Bible and thus God Himself (it’s HIS Word, not mine) that you can KNOW with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that your reservation for a room in heaven has indeed been arranged beforehand.

May we be wise – like Noah, like Paul – to PLAN AHEAD.  Not just for matters of this life but also and far more importantly for the life to come.
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“He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him.” (Proverbs 27:14)

What an amazing verse and truth, just like the other one from this very same Chapter discussed in the previous post.  Blessing someone is a good  thing.  And doing so loudly is even better  if you ask me.  But timing is so important in life that if even just that one aspect is off, it can turn an otherwise triply-positive thing into a BAD thing, into a curse.

I don’t have much time for games but balance is very important in life and that includes spending at least a little time each week on playing a game or two and I prefer ones that sharpen the mind so my favorite are Tetris and FreeCell.  In both, and particularly the latter, it’s not just what move you make, it’s when you make it, in what order.  And so it is in life:  it’s not just what you do, it’s when you do it.

So before you do anything, always take a nanosecond to just ask yourself if it’s the right time.

Yes my friends, timing is everything.  Just ask any surfer.


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Perspective is EVERYTHING!

“A sated [satiated, satisfied, full-stomached] man loathes honey, but to a famished  man any BITTER thing is SWEET.” (Proverbs 27:7)

What an amazing verse and truth.  One man, who’s full, deems even honey to be undesirable, but a man who’s starving deems even a BITTER thing to be sweet, to be desirable.

It reminds me of a drawing that I saw on the internet years ago.  It has two scenes.  Or more accurately, one scene from two, opposite perspectives/angles.

The first image is of a man who has been stranded on an island who finally sees a boat approaching and thinks he’s about to be saved from his dire situation.

The second is of a man who has been stranded at sea who finally sees land and thinks he’s about to be saved from his dire situation.

So the next time you catch yourself feeling a bit ungrateful or taking your blessings for granted (I’m sorry to say that this happens far too often with me and is probably my biggest, most frequent sin), just remember that there are (literally) billions of people who would (literally) give their right arm (or both) to be in your shoes.  So no matter how bad or dire your situation may seem from time to time, just keep in mind (a) that NONE of us DESERVES ANYTHING good, that it’s “all gravy” and could be much worse (1 Peter 5:8), (b) that there are people suffering far more severely than you (1 Peter 5:9), and (c) that such times in our life serve a very distinct and marvelous purpose far more grand and joyful than the circumstance itself and, by the way, are ONLY TEMPORARY and won’t last forever (1 Peter 5:10) (but the benefit they produce will!).

Ah, yes, perspective is everything.


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Never Sit in This Seat.  (And Avoid  Those Who DO!)

You might think I’m talking about the seat “at the head  of the table” referenced in Luke 14:7-11.  And that’s also a seat to be avoided at all cost.  The seat of selfish pride, of self-honor.

Or you might think I’m talking about “the seat of scoffers” referenced in Psalm 1:1, at the very beginning, in the very first verse of that longest of all biblical books and constant “love song” to the Lord and His Word.  And that too is a seat to be avoided at all cost.

But I’m talking about trying to place oneself in the seat of God Himself, as referenced in 2 Thessalonians 2:4.

You might not immediately think that you have anything in common with the Antichrist of end-times fame, and certainly it’s on a different scale, on both a prophetic and actual basis, but did you ever realize that any time we try to control things or other people, we are absolutely putting ourselves in HIS seat?  Since He – and He alone – is sovereign, since He shares  control with no one?  And every time we exhibit pride – like the Antichrist or those dinner guests in Luke 14 – that’s tantamount to placing ourselves in the seat of Him for whom alone “pride” and “Self” aren’t wicked and indeed, in His case, are utterly appropriate and fitting and righteous?  Pride is something of which He COULDN’T ever be guilty because He is worthy of all glory and honor and power and praise and worship, is He not?  Indeed He is.

He is worthy, YOU AND I ARE NOT.  Distinctly not.  (That statement should garner me an Oscar nomination for Biggest Understatement in a Supporting Role.)

We look at the Antichrist’s conduct described in 2 Thessalonians and Revelation and Daniel (among other passages) and immediately realize how foolish and silly and repulsive it is, yet we are guilty – in essence if not extent – of the very same thing whenever we would seek control over anything but ourselves (Galatians 5:23) or – “with all dignity” – one’s children (1 Timothy 3:4) during that temporary phase of their lives.  Whenever we let pride creep in by deeming ourselves better than others — than anyone else — or by seeking honor and glory for ourselves versus “putting the spotlight on others” and overarchingly on the Lord Jesus Christ.

So instead of unknowingly and unintentionally following the example of none other than the Antichrist, let us determine this day, here and now, to instead – and very knowingly and intentionally – follow the example of Him who loved others so much that He laid down HIS OWN LIFE that they might live (1 Timothy 2:5-6; 1 John 3:16; Romans 5:18-19), who was so humble that he didn’t regard even ACTUAL AND LITERAL EQUALITY WITH GOD something to be grasped or counted as gain in terms of human self (Philippians 2:3-11), and when suffering didn’t turn that onto those inflicting such but rather entrusted Himself to God (1 Peter 2:23; 3:9; 4:19).  And so should we.

“EVERYONE who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; assuredly, he will not be unpunished.” (Proverbs 16:5)
“For EVERYONE who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)
“And WHOEVER exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12)
“Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (James 4:10)

Or as Charles Haddon Spurgeon would put it, each of us has a choice to be HUMBLE or be HUMBLED.  May we choose the former.  Like that wise dinner guest in Luke 14:10.  I gladly do so since even in the human/horizontal realm it’s just far more flat-out fun.  And if it was good enough for “God in flesh appearing”, how much more fitting for sinners and mere mortals like us?

Lastly, there’s one more takeaway, one more way to apply this truth.

In sports lingo, everything discussed above primarily pertains to “offense”.  But this is also imperative for a strong, healthy “defense” in life.  Here’s what I mean.

What we do is very important.  For instance, James 2:14-17 and 1 John 3:17-18 are crystal clear that qualitative to any genuine Christian is the consistent practice of meeting the needs of others.  Same with the broader category of loving others, to the point that 1 John 4:7-8 says “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” and again at the end of that very same Chapter, verse 20 says this:  “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he HAS seen, CANNOT love God whom he has NOT seen.”  Whoa!  And James 3:9-12 echoes that very sentiment when it comes to how we speak to or about others:  “With it [our tongue] we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing [of God] and cursing [of others].  My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.  Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh AND bitter water?  Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs?  Neither can salt water produce fresh.”  And while our first human priority is toward other believers, this definitely extends to ALL people, which is why the beloved Apostle Paul says, “and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, AND FOR ALL MEN [i.e., mankind, people, everyone]” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).

Yes, what we do is very important – but so is what we DON’T do.

Meaning, that while it’s crucial that WE never try to sit in the seat which belongs wholly, fully, and solely to GOD (i.e., trying to control others/circumstances, pride, etc.), neither should be populate our life’s relationships with people who do try to sit in that seat.  I’m not talking about strangers or reaching out to share the Gospel with people who exhibit such a pattern in their life but rather whom we do – and don’t – give a regular role in our own life.

While the Bible makes this clear on a general, overarching level, it also makes it clear in several very specific areas of life or patterns of conduct.  Here are just a few, the ones which are always at the forefront of my mind when discerning which relationships I should or shouldn’t be allowing into my life so as to be in full compliance with Scripture and wisdom:

  • Did you know that the Bible forbids us from giving fools a place in our lives?  One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 14:8 [interesting side note:  this verse says, “The wisdom of the prudent is to UNDERSTAND HIS WAY” and was written by Solomon who lived and ruled in the 900’s BC, but sounds a lot like Socrates’ famous quote “Know thyself” who came FIVE HUNDRED YEARS AFTER Solomon, i.e., I don’t know whether to view him as guilty for plagiarizing and pawning it off as his own or as blessed for spreading the Word of God but in any case this is but one of many popular quotes and adages which are known and heeded in all the world but actually come from the Bible!  I’ll do a separate post about those at some point, stay tuned…] but the one right before it is equally important and even more pertinent to this discussion:  it says, “LEAVE THE PRESENCE of a fool, or you will not discern words of knowledge.”  (I’ve already begun writing a more detailed post about the items/verses in this section so stay tuned for that, too, I think you’ll find it literally life-changing.)
  • Did you know that the Bible forbids us from giving people with an unresolved anger issue a place in our lives?  “DO NOT ASSOCIATE with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, lest you learn his ways and find a snare for yourself.” (Proverbs 22:24-25)
  • 2 Peter 3:17 says not to let purveyors of false teaching into our lives:  “You therefore, beloved, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of UNPRINCIPLED MEN, you fall from your own steadfastness” and in the previous Chapter gives a great example of this, referring to Sodom and Gomorrah and the effect it had on Lot (2:6-8)
  • And more broadly 1 Corinthians 15:33 instructs us to AVOID “BAD COMPANY” because such “corrupts good morals.”

I’ll elaborate far more in that future post but I’m sure you get the point, that not only should we make sure WE don’t try to sit in God’s seat but also not to spend time or focus or allow relational proximity with people who DO.  And as we know from football and basketball and baseball and hockey and tennis and golf and any sport, it’s crucial to have both a strong offense and defense, and the Bible has just taught us that exact same principle in regard to the spiritual and relational aspect of our life.  Much more about this in that future post, but simply starting to implement this biblical filter in your current relationships will have a huge effect and change your life in ways you can’t even imagine.  More emotionally liberated and free.  More wise.  Much more happy.  Stay tuned!
If you sense that the Lord might be leading YOU to support the historic event unfolding in real-time here at BibleMemory.ORG and thus become my fellow worker and thus share in all of the fruit and blessings (3 John 8) and literally MAKE HISTORY together, here are the best ways to do so:

1. Become a one-time or monthly partner by making a donation via PayPal’s fully-secure Bible Memory page!

2. Encourage as many people as you can to support this historic event by having them go to BibleMemory.ORG/support (please make sure they understand that it’s .org, not .com) – doing so by word-of-mouth is great, and to do so with a single click on your social media simply click here then scroll down a few inches to the green box and select your platforms, it’s that quick and easy!

3. Add your name to my Prayer List!

4. Encourage as many of our fellow Christians as you can to pray for this historic event by having them go to BibleMemory.ORG/pray (please make sure they understand that it’s .org, not .com) – doing so by word-of-mouth is great, and to do so with a single click on your social media simply click here then scroll down a few inches and select your platforms, it’s that quick and easy!

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Don’t forget to add some AIR!

That word, air, always makes me think of Michael Jordan.  Air Jordan.  Who earned that nickname by gliding ten feet in the air from foul line to rim, seemingly without effort, capped-off by an imaginative slam-dunk rarely seen by anyone else before.  Or since.

But in this post I’m talking about actual air.  You see, as discussed in previous posts, when the Lord called me to quit my job to devote full-time to memorizing the ENTIRE BIBLE and commit my life savings to this historic project and building this website to chronicle the journey and then using this history-making event to help others in the areas of Bible memory, spiritual growth, additional happiness in this life and eternal treasure and reward in the one to come, and even in physical healing based entirely on simply ingesting (“finding”) the words of God, the Bible (per 1 Timothy 4:8 & 6:6 and especially Proverbs 4:22 – it doesn’t get any clearer than that!), I sold my only car and started relying on my bike and own two feet to get me around town as needed.  While it’s a LOT more work than merely pushing a gas pedal, there have also been some great benefits, like getting back to my high school weight and far more importantly finding that it has been during those walks and bike rides that the Lord has opened my eyes and ears to some amazing truths which I’ll be sharing with you via this online journal (a.k.a., “blog”).

Anyway, I had gotten frighteningly low on groceries so today I rode my bike to the store so I could make it through the next week without dropping to my fetal weight. =)  I hadn’t gotten more than 30 seconds into the trip when I noticed that my bike was far tougher to pedal than before.  Way tougher.  To the point that I was barely movingExpending SO MUCH energy and effort but not getting anywhere.

I’m usually extremely careful about biking.  To obey all rules and laws and ordinances, to avoid getting hit by the smartphone/can’t-go-ten-seconds-without-texting crowd of drivers these days, and to maintain its mechanical fitness.  Well, I was quite intent about getting to the store so as to stave off starving tomorrow so I left without doing one thing on the preparatory checklist:  I neglected to check the air in my tires.

And that’s when it hit me that this is EXACTLY how it is in the Christian life, in our walk with the Lord.  How many of us “expend a lot of energy and effort but don’t get anywhere” to speak of, don’t really grow all that much?

The Bible in general and Bible memory in specific is the “air” in the Christian life.

Oh, sure, a bike will move if the tires are low.  But not very much.  And not very effectively or efficiently.  But if you try Bible memory on a regular, systematic basis, you’ll find that you will GLIDE through life.  Like Michael Jordan used to do on the basketball court.  EVERYTHING will become easier, more effective, more efficient.  And bear greater – and tangible – fruit.

So before you leave your home next time to go to work or the store or run some errands, do yourself the biggest favor and DON’T FORGET TO ADD SOME AIR!  Memorize a verse or two, and then recite it throughout the day.  Let it baste beautifully in your brain, in your body, in your heart and soul and mind.  And I assure you that you’ll start to go through life like Michael Jordan on a basketball court.

P.S.  If you aren’t sure how to best memorize Bible verses, stay tuned because the more books of the Bible I memorize, the EASIER it becomes and the greater CAPACITY for even more because of the very specific memory method it is revealing to me, to my mind’s eye, which (believe it or not) also makes it EXCITING AND FUN, and which I can hardly wait to share with you here when that process is complete or at least 95% complete, something like that.  I expect such to occur in the coming months so stay tuned, it’ll CHANGE YOUR LIFE – not just spiritually but also intellectually and emotionally, just watch and see!  (NOTE:  If you’d like to automatically be notified by email when that and other future posts are published, you may do so in “3.” in the Side Panel near the top of this page and at the very bottom.)

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Quick Thought:  Best.  Attorney.  EVER.  I highly recommend availing yourself of His services.

Imagine this scenario:  a person commits a crime, is guilty as sin (literally!) but when going to trial, when entering the courtroom, sees that his defense attorney is also the judge and jury!

Sounds silly in light of how our legal system actually works, but did you ever realize that this is EXACTLY how it is for YOU AND ME in the spiritual/eternal system of justice?  That’s right.  We are the defendant/accused (Romans 3:23; 5:12), God is the judge (James 4:12), the devil is the prosecutor (Revelation 12:10), and Jesus Christ is the defense attorney:  “And if ANYONE sins, we have an Advocate [defense attorney] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).

That’s right.  It’s TOTALLY RIGGED – but in OUR FAVOR in this case!  IF we select the right defense attorney.

As referenced in the previous post:  “To sum up, each and every one of us is born into sin by default (Romans 5:12) but then compound the situation by our own actual sins (Romans 3:23) which carry the spiritual penalty of death (Romans 6:23).”  BUT made available to each person is the greatest defense attorney ever, who has never lost even a single case for a client.  Not by proffering clever legal arguments.  No, the Lord Jesus Christ is unlike any other defense attorney because He wins our freedom by offering to SERVE THE SENTENCE for our crimes on our behalf, in our stead, in our place:  “and He Himself is the propitiation [substitute] for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)

Yeah, I think I’ll take HIM as my defense attorney in spiritual court, thank you very much.  Talk about a no-brainer!  Talk about a slam-dunk!  Talk about a rigged system – but praise God, this one is indeed in our immense and infinite favor.  We simply need to choose the right Attorney.

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Talk About SCARY!

I’m writing this on October 31.  While the world wilts at the thought of ghosts and goblins and other mythical creatures, I’d like to share with you what I think actually is THE SCARIEST thing in the universe.  Bar none.

You might think I’m talking about hell, about spending all eternity in fiery torture and utter darkness and isolation and separation from God (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9) but would you believe that there’s something – one thing – EVEN SCARIER than that?  And that’s this:  a person’s spending all eternity in hell after being fully convinced for YEARS and even DECADES here on earth that he or she would be spending it in heaven.

The other day I turned on the TV for a few minutes to see what was going on in the nation and world, to keep up with the news, and I came across a commercial with former President Ronald Reagan’s son and namesake, Ron Reagan (which is the only reason I stopped to, you know, actually watch a commercial – a very rare, nay, unheard-of event for me personally, but he was one of the most beloved presidents so I waited a few seconds to see what his son would say).  Perhaps you’ve seen it:  he promotes atheism and ends by saying something to the effect that he’s “looking forward to burning in hell.”

Okay, that’s the OPPOSITE of what I’m talking about here.

I’m not referring to people like him who think eternity itself is a joke or myth or even that they’ll have fun in hell.  And I’m not even talking about the exponentially greater number of people who rightly realize and view that notion as utter folly, who don’t mock hell but also don’t know whether or not they’ll avoid that grimmest of fates.

BOTH of those thoughts are scary, to be sure.  Very scary.  At least to any sane person.  But what I find to be scariest is the fact that many, many, many people who are absolutely convinced that they’ll go to heaven will wake one irreversible day, when it’s too late, in the fiery lake of hell.  The Lord Jesus Himself could not have been any clearer about this in Matthew 7.

Just the thought of that breaks my heart.  Breaks.  My.  Heart.  And brings tears to my eyes.  So it’s no surprise that this is one of THE BIGGEST, STRONGEST motivating factors of my life and very existence, to spend virtually every second of every minute of every hour of every day doing everything I can (the Lord through me) to help people KNOW and MAKE SURE they are indeed headed for heaven, not  hell.

I do not desire at all to breed doubt in anyone.  Just the opposite:  blessed and blissful certainty about this most important of all matters.  Nor does the Bible desire at all to breed doubt, but given said all-importance it does URGE us in two passages in particular not to doubt but rather to REMOVE any and all doubt about our eternal status and destiny.

  • “TEST YOURSELVES to see if you are in the faith; EXAMINE YOURSELVES!” (2 Corinthians 13:5 – and please note the explanation point there, quite rare in the Bible, i.e., we should render rapt attention to EVERY WORD, every jot and tittle of Scripture… but the Holy Spirit – and I suspect the Apostle Paul – doesn’t ever waste His breath, even down to something like punctuation, so it would behoove us in that sense to pay 110% attention in this case, if you get my gist, i.e., it’s almost as though the Bible is “waving its hands” to get our attention, knowing that this matter perhaps more than all others is prone to getting swept under our collective rug and out of our minds)
  • And He takes a similar approach in 2 Peter 1:10 in saying, “Therefore, brethren, be ALL THE MORE DILIGENT to MAKE CERTAIN about” our salvation, adding that we “will never stumble” if we simply practice the qualities in verses 5-7, namely:  faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love

Hmm, that sounds very familiar.  Probably because it’s a virtual mirror of the “fruit of the Spirit” listed in Galatians 5:22-23.  And also similar to the list in Romans 5:3-5.  And Ephesians 5:18-21.

Yes, beloved, the standard, the “key” for grading the test is very clear in the Bible – not just these passages but also the entire books of James and 1 John which in essence were written for this very purpose, so that the reader “may KNOW that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13) simply by “looking intently” into the mirror of the Bible and abiding by what we see versus being “like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror” and then simply “goes away” and “immediately forgets” what he saw (James 1:22-25).

So why did these two warnings in 2 Corinthians 5:13 and 2 Peter 1:10 even need to be given much less twice?  One word:  deceit.

You see, not only do we have the external factor of the devil always seeking to deceive us with his various “schemes” (Ephesians 6:11) but we also have the internal factor of our fallen flesh (Jeremiah 17:9).  But wait, there’s more!  Believe it or not.  Just what we needed, right?  Yeah, like an eighth hold in the head.  But be that as it may, along with being prone to the deceit of the devil and our own flesh, there’s also the additional deceit produced by sin itself (Hebrews 3:13).  That’s right, it’s already as though each of us is trying to walk UP the DOWN escalator, but when we let sin into our lives, when we give into temptation, it’s as though the operator pushes the “2x speed” button.

This is the reason for that exclamation point (urgency) in 2 Corinthians 13:5 and the phrase “ALL THE MORE DILIGENT” in 2 Peter 1:10 and “applying ALL DILIGENCE” in verse 5.

But that’s easier said than done.  Why?  It goes back to the devil’s deceptive”schemes” of Ephesians 6:11.  The Lord Himself called him the “father of lies” (John 8:44) and said that the self-righteous religious leaders of the time wanted “to do the desires” of the devil, to carry out and fulfill what THE DEVIL wanted them to.  But did you know that this is the case with EVERYONE who hasn’t put their faith in Christ?  “… those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from THE SNARE OF THE DEVIL, having been HELD CAPTIVE by him to DO HIS WILL.” (2 Timothy 2:25-26)

Wow!  Double-wow!  Just to think that there are literally billions of people on earth who are headed for an eternity in hell but don’t even realize it.  Why?  Well, if we had been thrown out of heaven and cursed to spending all eternity in the fiery lake and darkness and torture of hell and wanted as many people as possible to suffer that fate with us (per the time-tested adage that “misery loves company”), what would be the BEST way to accomplish that?  Exactly.  To make people headed for hell THINK THAT they’re going to heaven.  In other words, the devil’s main desire and goal in life – and ultimately his only desire and goal – is to take as many people with him to hell.  WHAT BETTER WAY TO DO THAT THAN TO MAKE THEM THINK THAT THEY’RE GOING TO HEAVEN?

You see, people who are searching out and seeking the truth are far more likely to find it, right?  But by convincing so many people, by making and keeping them so convinced that they’re going to heaven, his job is made a thousand times easier and more effective, more productive, more successful.  Talk about warped!  Talk about evil genius!  Talk about psychological/spiritual warfare!  He’s playing for keeps.  For eternity.  But thankfully God in/through the Bible has given us all the weaponry we need to combat and overcome him and his tactics and wicked intent.  The “armor of God” as noted in that very same verse, Ephesians 6:11, and consummated in verse 17 by “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” – the Bible!  Isn’t it amazing how everything always comes back and down to the Bible?!  This is why I’ve committed the rest of my life (literally) to memorizing it.  Reading it is right, studying it is super, but memorizing it is max, ingesting it is incomparable, irreplaceable, and imperative for maximum victory over the devil and sin and our own human propensity for being deceived.  1 John 2:14 – “because you are strong, and THE WORD OF GOD ABIDES IN you, and you have OVERCOME THE EVIL ONE.”  It’s right there in black and white, the only question is whether or not we’ll walk through that wide open door.

To sum up, each and every one of us is born into sin by default (Romans 5:12) but then compound the situation by our own actual sins (Romans 3:23) which carry the spiritual penalty of death (Romans 6:23).  BUT by accepting that “free gift of God” of “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” by placing our faith and foundation for entering heaven wholly, fully, and solely in Him (John 14:6) by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) which comes via the Bible (Romans 10:17; James 1:18) and will be confirmed by a characterizing pattern of good works in that person’s life (Ephesians 2:10; James 2:14-26; Romans 5:15-19; entire book of James; entire book of 1 John) which also comes via the Bible (1 Peter 2:2; John 17:17).

Therefore, it’s absolutely imperative that each of us examine our own life to see, to “make certain” that it does indeed demonstrate such a pattern and if it does, then we can KNOW for a FACT that we will indeed spend eternity in heaven, not hell.  “Even so, EVERY good tree bears good FRUIT; but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” (Matthew 7:17)

But if we fail to do that, to make certain of that most important of all matters, the Bible makes clear that we run the risk of merely thinking  we’re on the road to heaven, of being in the very same boat of the people Jesus addressed later in that Chapter, in verses 21-23, which in my view is indeed the SCARIEST passage in all of Scripture and scariest thought in the universe.  May we be wise in this matter and heed the instruction and implied warning of 2 Corinthians 13:5 and 2 Peter 1:10 – not for the purpose of making us doubt but rather to REMOVE all doubt about our true eternal destination and spiritual status.  In other words, don’t question your salvation, clarify it; don’t doubt it, definitely do confirm it by taking a close look at your life on a regular basis to make sure that what you see if in line with what you read in the Bible:  if it IS then KNOW that you are indeed saved and heaven is in your future, not hell.  But if the overall, characterizing pattern of your life isn’t in line with the Bible then it would be wise to stop wandering through life with a guess and come to a clear conclusion in the matter – and quickly.  Because tomorrow is guaranteed to nobody, only today, indeed only right now.  If your examination suggests that you’re in this second camp, please don’t put it off for another day, hour, or even minute.  I don’t want you to find yourself in the same situation as undoubtedly so many of those unsuspecting 9/11 victims did, startled to awake in hell when they thought they were going to heaven, or never took the time to nail down that most important of matters.  And then next thing they knew, it was too late.  “NOW is the acceptable time, TODAY is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Today is the day.

If you sense that the Lord might be leading YOU to support the historic event unfolding in real-time here at BibleMemory.ORG and thus become my fellow worker and thus share in all of the fruit and blessings (3 John 8) and literally MAKE HISTORY together, here are the best ways to do so:

1. Become a one-time or monthly partner by making a donation via PayPal’s fully-secure Bible Memory page!

2. Encourage as many people as you can to support this historic event by having them go to BibleMemory.ORG/support (please make sure they understand that it’s .org, not .com) – doing so by word-of-mouth is great, and to do so with a single click on your social media simply click here then scroll down a few inches to the green box and select your platforms, it’s that quick and easy!

3. Add your name to my Prayer List!

4. Encourage as many of our fellow Christians as you can to pray for this historic event by having them go to BibleMemory.ORG/pray (please make sure they understand that it’s .org, not .com) – doing so by word-of-mouth is great, and to do so with a single click on your social media simply click here then scroll down a few inches and select your platforms, it’s that quick and easy!

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Let’s Give A Big Hand…

… to Sunday school teachers.  Are they THE BEST or what?!

They don’t do it for money or praise (since they get the latter so infrequently, and the former almost never) but rather give a good deal of their precious time for one reason:  to help others, often the next generation, often children.

I remember my Sunday school teachers like it was yesterday.  Most of them didn’t have impressive jobs or incomes or titles, yet I’ve remembered them regularly as I’ve journeyed through life ever since.

One in particular had an outsized impact on me, on my life and especially my future (now my present).

As noted on the home page and in other posts, ever since I heeded God’s call for my life to memorize the ENTIRE BIBLE, I’ve found that He and/or it – the Bible itself – has been revealing to me, to my mind’s eye, a very specific method to accomplish that.  How true it is that God’s calling NEVER LACKS God’s provision, so I’m not surprised by this development at all but nor was I expecting it.  But I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful and blesses I’ve been by it, as it hasn’t just made this historic goal actually doable but has literally revolutionized my life, because it has revolutionized my mind, my entire way of thinking, my entire thought process.

And I’m 99.99% sure that it’ll have the exact same effect on countless others when He finishes revealing it to me and I can thus share it.  My sense is that I’m around 75% of the way there so I expect this to occur in the not-too-distant future and what a total GAME-CHANGER and (literally) world-changer it’ll be, no doubt about it.  It will make it EASY (and, believe it or not, FUN!) for virtually ANYONE to memorize and retain unthinkably-large amounts of text.  My hope and strong recommendation of course will be for them to use it 90+% for Bible memory but the fact is that it works for everything else, too.  Just like EVERYTHING in the Bible does!  (1 Timothy 4:8 – “For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for ALL THINGS, since it holds promise for the PRESENT LIFE and also for the life to come.”)

I am so excited about this!  Please be praying that the Holy Spirit and the Bible itself will keep it coming, will keep revealing this to me, will keep filling in that final 25% so I can share it with everyone and have the great pleasure and honor of seeing it benefit them as it has me.

But back to that childhood Sunday school teacher.  Before I had any inkling that decades later God would call me to be the first person in known human history to memorize the ENTIRE BIBLE, He used that Sunday school teacher to give me my very first taste.  I remember it as though it were yesterday.  He was teaching us the books of the New Testament and helping us memorize them so we could turn to a passage quickly whenever the Bible was being taught, and he gave a very common but unknown-to-my-young-brain-until-then mnemonic device of acronyms.

USA, CIA, FBI, DOD, TSA, ICE – the government certainly hasn’t been bashful about using it, that’s for sure. =)  And he was in the military so that all fits perfectly but the way he used it with us, with that church room of around 15 kids, was to remember the correct order of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, and he did so via “General Electric Pepsi Cola”.  (A friend later said his Sunday school teacher used this variation:  “General Electric Power Company” – that’s good, too, probably even a little better… whatever works best for you  as I often say.)  And that was all I needed!  I had been memorizing Bible verses for a few years at that point thanks to BMA and AWANA (can we also give a big hand for all AWANA workers?!  What a great ministry that is!) but this seemingly small aid took it to a whole other level.

I hope that ALL of the teachers reading this will never forget that even the smallest statement out of your mouth, even what might seem like a “throwaway line” can make a HUGE difference in your students’ lives and even effect change on the whole world as I think will be the case in this instance.

To all teachers – and especially Sunday school teachers – thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart (and I’m sure your students’, if not now then certainly when they’re older).  Lord bless you richly for investing your time and energy and insights for eternal dividends.  Indeed, “your labor is not in vain…” (I Corinthians 15:58).  I’m living proof.

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A Big (But Very Common) Mistake

When it comes to mistakes, I see so many of my own through the years that I simply don’t have time or space to look at other people’s errors very much at all.  But one of the most common mistakes I see people – especially those working in the stock market or – making these days is PROJECTING the past onto the future.

The past certainly shouldn’t be ignored (I like that saying, “Dwell on the past, lose an eye.  Forget the past, lost both eyes.”) but nor should it be projected onto the future, since the latter will almost certainly diverge from the former at some point.

I can’t even tell you how often I see people doing this, every day, all the time.  The main tip-offs are statements like “That’s not how it’s been done in the past” or “That’s how it’s always been done in the past”, it works both ways, in either case it’s still projecting the past onto the future.

Far better, far wiser to just follow the Bible’s instructions for life since its Author does know the future so why take any chances?!

By the way, the worst example of this I’ve ever seen is found in 2 Peter 3:3-7 – “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?  For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.’  For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.  But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”

It is SO EASY for us humans to think – consciously or subconsciously – that the Lord isn’t going to return, certainly not anytime soon, probably not in our lifetime, right?  Maybe.  But maybe not.  And the stakes in this matter are just way too (sky-) high to take a chance.  Far better to live life with an ongoing view of that very real possibility.  “And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man’s work, CONDUCT YOURSELVES IN FEAR [i.e., REVERENCE, RESPECT] during the time of your stay upon earth” (1 Peter 1:17).

May it be so.

Grant us, Lord, not to give in to that human tendency to think tomorrow is going to be like yesterday but rather to simply trust and obey Your Word, the Bible.  Thank You so much for its teachings and principles and wisdom and also for its warnings, may we be wise and heed them.

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