Life Worth Living

A Restless World

This world is a restless place. We see people dashing about trying to find meaning in activity. Many dedicate themselves to gather riches. Others want all the pleasure of the sensual life. Still others want more leisure and arrange to work less and play more. Yet their spirits are not satisfied. Gadgets, pleasures, and possessions eventually lose their attractiveness. Every new diversion fills in for a time but quickly loses its appeal. Something seems to be missing.

We all have our share of disappointments. Physical defects limit our activities. Family members need constant care. We feel trapped in a job or vocation because we lack expertise to take up other work. We spend money and go into debt hoping the next purchase will make life more tolerable. Our marriage has not proved to be what we had hoped. In vain we look for fulfillment and purpose.

Is that all there is to life? Should there not be something meaningful to give us satisfaction, something more permanent? Surely, there is a solution

What Is Life?

Life is a precious span of time allotted by the Creator. The Bible says it is like a shadow (1 Chronicles 29:15); as short-lived as grass and its flower (1 Peter 1:24); as fleeting as a vapor (James 4:14).

Complete text of: Life Worth Living

While we are young we see life extending for years. As we get older, time seems to speed up. We can’t accomplish what we had hoped for earlier. We are disappointed by a variety of hindrances that cramp our lifestyle.

What Is The Problem?

What contributes to the discontent of our spirits?

Life is an opportunity but also a responsibility. We are unhappy whenever we violate the good we know we should do. Sin against our fellow man brings about uneasiness and guilt. Sin against ourselves has its destructive effects on our peace of mind. We feel responsible for our deeds.

Most people have a sort of intuition that life figures into a larger picture than the few short years on earth. For many this means they need to recognize a higher spiritual power, a higher purpose at work in the universe. They may not always know who or what that is.

Often people are dissatisfied with life because they fail to see it from God’s perspective. They are ignorant of God’s will and purpose for man, sometimes willingly so. Many fail to envision the eternal bliss of the faithful and would rather ignore the final reaping of the wicked and godless (Romans 6:23).

The Abundant Life Is Available

Jesus says in John 16:24, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” The joy that Jesus gives is not easily removed from a Christian’s heart.

At times we are heavy hearted because of temptations. The joy that is a fruit of the Holy Spirit’s presence within runs deeper than those weights. It may not be the bubbling, light feeling all the time but simply a calm trust in the Lord that allows us to stand unwavering in trial and unconquered by the storm.

Some may tell you that the Christian way is too restrictive to be enjoyed. They might think that in order to be happy you must be able to do as you please. Just try the Lord! You will find it is a pleasure to serve the One who died for you. It will become clear to you that the person who serves himself is really the one in bondage and the servant of Christ is the free man.

True fulfillment is not found in following trends and fashions or patterning our lives to impress others. That kind of living becomes a compelling force and leads to bondage. When we are humble we are free. Free to be ourselves. Free to rest our minds from thoughts of what others are thinking of us.

Jesus Offers Life Worth Living

In Matthew 11:28 we read, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Here the Son of God, Jesus Christ, offers rest to all who have burdens to bear, whose life-load seems more than they can carry, whose life is unfulfilled, whose life lacks purpose.

Come to the Lord and give Him your load of sin, your load of dissatisfaction, your unfulfilled emptiness, and your frustration. Admit your inability to handle life’s problems. Turn from what you know to be wrong in your life. Give your life over to Jesus. Trust Him to take you by the hand and lead you.

Once you realize you need help in your life, you can come to Jesus and receive that help. As long as you feel independent and self-sufficient, He can do nothing for you. When you yield yourself to His care, there is hope for you.

Jesus Christ can fill the deepest longing of your soul. Yield your life and will to Him. As you ask Him to fill you with His abundance, life in all its fullness will be yours.

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Free from Fear

What Is Fear?

The Fear of God

The Fear of the Future

The Fear of Failure

The Fear of Suffering

The Fear of Death

What is Fear

Fear, a secret enemy, invades men of every age and race, and every walk of life. It is subtle and devastating, poisoning our thinking, robbing our inner peace, and squelching our zest for living. It makes us nervous, uneasy, alarmed, disturbed, upset, and fainthearted; what unpleasant, unwanted feelings!

We fear conflict and change, failure and frustration. Some people fear sickness and suffering. Others fear that harm will befall their loved ones. Some are afraid of other people and their opinions. Others fear the dark, or to be alone. Many are afraid to die and to face the unknown. There are Christians who fear their salvation is not secure, or that God has not forgiven their sins. They are not only afraid to die, but also afraid to live.

Fear enters our minds so slowly and silently that we hardly realize we are becoming victims of its damaging influence. Even a little fear, like a drop of dye in a glass of water, discolors everything. When this thin stream of fear is not stopped, it cuts a channel into which other thoughts are diverted.

Complete text of: Free from Fear

Life is complex, the world is violent, but outward troubles need not mar inner peace. It is the fear within we must face. Fear enters when our most important need has not been met. Our souls, made in the image of God, cry out for Him. When we are away from God we can expect to be fraught with phobias, complexes, and fears.

Satan takes full advantage of our fears. At every opportunity he intensifies them and makes them seem even more real and logical. Our way becomes darker and darker, and the burden of our heart becomes heavier and heavier, until we lose all hope of deliverance.

Satan works in darkness. He cannot work in the light because, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Satan knows our weaknesses, and in these areas he presents thoughts and fears. He seeks to destroy truth and confuse us with falsehood. If we keep these things covered in the darkness of our hearts and minds, Satan will continue his evil work of discouragement and fear. He can be defeated and his powers can be driven back if we expose him to the light.

The Fear of God

Sin causes an overwhelming fear that springs from the knowledge that one’s life is not pleasing to God. It was a tragic day when Adam and Eve yielded to the suggestion from Satan to disobey God’s command not to eat of the tree in the midst of the garden. Through disobedience they sinned and then hid from the presence of God. That evening God called them, and Adam said, “I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid” (Genesis 3:10). Through the generations since Adam, all mankind has come under this shadow of sin. This fear of the judgments of God, if it will move a person to repent of his sin, can become a positive force in one’s life. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10). This is a very proper reverential respect and awe that we feel. We see in part God’s greatness, His righteousness, His judgments, His love, His mercy, His wisdom, and His eternal being. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present. We realize that our very existence is entirely in His hands and that we are before Him as His creation. We are afraid to displease such a God. We know that God’s righteousness condemns to hell fire those who live in sin “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27). This knowledge brings a fear of sin. As we come to know God as our personal friend through repentance, forgiveness, and obedience, our service to Him is motivated by a godly fear, and by love and thanksgiving for His unspeakable gift of salvation. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). Our fear of Him is not one that strikes terror to our hearts, but one that deepens our love for Him. When fully applied in our lives, this is one fear that can overcome all others. Why then do so many allow clouds of fear to grip their hearts, trouble their minds, and shadow life’s pathway? God’s way is a way of peace and trust.

A story is told of a little boy who was afraid to walk alone in the dark night, but when his father walked beside him and took his hand all fear vanished. The darkness now held no fear, because he loved and trusted his father, and knew he would take care of him. Here is the key for us to be free from fear: we must learn to know our heavenly Father well. As we become acquainted with God, we trust our lives completely to Him, placing our hand safely into His. We humbly speak to Him of the questions that plague our minds, and those sorrows of life that would drive us to despair.

We have the example of the Apostle Peter, as Jesus bade him walk on the stormy waves of the Sea of Galilee. Peter was unafraid until he took his eyes off the Lord, and began to look at the fearful waves. Then he began to sink (Matthew 14:24-31). As we seek freedom from fear and place our confidence in God, His Spirit will speak to us in a still small voice. As we look to Him rather than our fears, the storm calms about us. He can then answer our perplexing questions, replace our doubt with assurance, and take our hand comfortingly in His. We can, by His grace, overcome the crippling effects of fear.

The Fear of the Future

The mysterious unknown of the future makes some people uneasy. Each morning they awaken to an unpredictable day. They face those nagging “what ifs” as their minds race down the dark alleys of imaginary dread. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). By trusting the future into God’s hands, we can surrender to Him the burden of the unknown. Try it and see!

Many fear the future because they lack direction for their lives. Not knowing where they are going, they have a sense of foreboding. God knows what lies ahead, and when they let Him lead them, their lives will not be an aimless journey, but rather the way home.

God has promised to be faithful to those who trust Him even though they face an unknown future. Do you believe it? No matter how severe the storm, or dark the night, or high the mountain, He will take you through.

The Fear of Failure

We have a desire to achieve, but we fear that we will fail-ourselves, our families, and life itself. We fear we will make a wrong choice and carry out a wrong plan.

God commanded Joshua, “Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid; for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9). When we place our lives under the direction of the Master, past failures need not be final; they can become stepping-stones to success.

The Fear of Suffering

We all cringe at the thought of bodily pain, the hurt of criticism, the pang of loneliness and grief. God will not shield us from all suffering, but He will supply the grace to bear it. He has promised peace and assurance in the midst of our troubles. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear” (Psalm 46:1-2). If we love the Lord, he will use suffering for our good. Suffering provides an opportunity to know the presence and upholding power of God. It also brings depth of character and an understanding heart. Suffering can either make us or break us. Which will it be?

The Fear of Death

The fear of death is very common to mankind. Saying good-by is a most painful assignment.

We need to come to grips with the age-old question, “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). Jesus came to deliver us from the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15). That is why He died and arose again, and that is why He promised, “Because I live, ye shall live also” (John 14:19). With Him, death is not a door into nothingness, but a shining gateway into a new life. “Let not your heart be troubled…In my Father’s house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1-2). It will be a prepared place for a prepared people.

Are you prepared? Have you repented of your life of sin? Repentance brings a remorse for past sins and a turning away from the old life. When was the last time you came to the Lord in prayer and gave Him your load of care, your worries and fears? Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). What an invitation! What a promise!

Come-trustfully, prayerfully, hopefully, and you will have peace of mind.

Come-and you will know the gentle joys of restful living. God invites you to trust Jesus Christ and be free, free from fear. Come!

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Jesus Is Returning Soon

Approximately 2,000 years after creation, God destroyed mankind with a great flood because they had become so wicked that the imaginations of their heart were evil continually (Genesis 6:5). Just as the people of Noah’s day were not expecting a flood to come, many people today are not expecting Jesus to come again. His return will be unexpected—as a thief in the night. (2 Peter 3:10). Why do we believe it will be soon? Look around you; what do you see?

The Bible tells us how it will be in the last days. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Look at the conditions in the world today. Many people have forgotten God. There are destructive and hateful uprisings in many cities. Bloodshed and murder are daily occurrences. Youth are uneasy, restless, and rebellious. Parents are leaving children to themselves at the very time they need them most. Atheism, substance abuse, gun violence, and gang activity are prevalent in today’s society. Biblical teachings about marriage and immorality are disregarded and often scorned. Will it get better? Do you see any chance for improvement? What do you think? How long can this go on? God is longsuffering and continues to call all people to salvation, but one day He will call all this to an end. There is a day of judgment coming when every person will give an account before God.

Jesus is coming again as the Bible plainly teaches. Jesus said, “Surely I come quickly” (Revelation 22:20). This is one event we will not miss. Everyone will see Him coming, and when He comes He will judge all people (Matthew 25:32, Revelation 20:12). Some will go with Him to heaven; some will be doomed to hell. What about you—where will you go? You must choose.

We Are All Sinners

We are all born with a sinful nature—prone to sin. No one can say he is free of sin because we are all born with a proud and selfish nature that is sinful. It is man’s very nature to lie, cheat, and steal. As children, we did many things we knew were wrong. When we came to adulthood, we found we still tended to do those very same things. Sin includes dishonesty, greed, pride, immorality, and substance abuse. Sin will not go unpunished. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). We cannot rid ourselves of sin, and sin will never enter heaven.

Complete text of: Jesus Is Returning Soon

Someday Jesus will descend and take those who are ready with Him to heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Those who are not ready will be cast into the fire of hell. This fire will burn forever, “Where… the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44). For those who are not ready, there will be pain and torment, weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth for all eternity. “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever” (Revelation 14:11). Our finite minds cannot fully understand what that means. Lost—cast away with absolutely no hope!

And to think that through stubbornness, neglect, and sin, they missed the reward of eternal salvation! It will be no one’s fault but their own. God, in his love, provided a way of escape, but they neglected to accept it.

God’s Love

There is no better explanation of God’s love than in John 3:16-17: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” Jesus invites everyone: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me… For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

The way out of our lost condition is to repent of our sins and accept Jesus as our Savior. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). The Word of God points us to Jesus, the Lamb of God who shed his blood to take away our sin and rose from the dead to give us eternal life. If you are not ready for the return of Jesus, come to Him today. He is waiting for you with open arms. Those who are ready are looking forward to his return. “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

The prophesies concerning the return of Christ have been fulfilled, and Jesus may come at any time.

Jesus is coming! We know not how soon,
coming at midnight, at morning, or noon;
Evening may bring Him to bear us away;

E.G. Wesley

Will I be watching and waiting each day?

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