There is not a person on this earth who is as dedicated as they could have been, could not have traveled further if they would only have given more, and could not have been more caring if they had only tried to be. Good intentions, a desire to succeed, wanting to do your best, are only beneficial when they accomplish their goal or purpose. Leaving this earth with an ounce of unexpended energy, physical or mental, infers that you really did not give your all. So much time is wasted on selfish desires, doing those things that are unjustifiable, and allowing your time to just drift away without a supreme goal or purpose. Truly, what is our life to be all about? Somehow I feel the length of it is really not what is to be considered the most important. If I spend my time thinking all that is important pertains to me, or when I think of others, I am only wasting my time, where is that to leave me? What have I truly gained? What we accomplish is giving to enrich humanity, and where our intentions take us is to the brighter home with Him. These are really all that is essential and all that should be desired. How are we to see all that is really important, or how do we know when we are doing what we really need to do? There is actually no one who can reach that pinnacle of perfection, but all of us can do much better than we do. Accepting this fact, and doing our best to move forward, is all that a gracious God expects of us. If we are to accomplish anything worthy while living here on earth, it will only be accomplished with the help of an all-powerful, all-knowing God.
The older I get, the wiser I get. The more knowledgeable I get, the more I desire to be closer to God. I see the daily turmoil and destruction this world has to offer, and living for many years, I have seen no improvement, only digression. Answers and solutions to the problems of the world at one time always started with a prayer; today, God’s assistance is denied. The evil in the hearts of men has grown to the point that the convicting presence of an almighty God is uncomfortable; men choose to deny His existence rather than repent of their guilt. Prospects of a peaceful world have declined as countries rush to produce weapons of mass destruction. Absolute power is sought after not only in those countries ruled by dictators, but also in those once thought to be free. One fact has not changed: God is still God. His importance has not diminished; His power has not decreased. Man, without the wisdom of God, is still a fool, and the knowledge and wisdom of God is still the deliverance of the world. To deny the existence of God is to insure the destruction of humanity, and to curse His forgiveness is to plead His vengeance. God is love and will forever forgive those who seek His forgiveness. He will not be swayed by the foolishness of man, but will be moved by his act of repentance. God is the only one who can give us those things that are truly desirable. Praise God for His eternal goodness, His unquenchable love for His creation. I thank God that He is always ready to heal the broken hearts of the weary. He is always ready and able to meet the many needs of the poor. He, in His infinite wisdom, is ready to solve the problems of the doubting, but most of all, I thank Him for His willing desire to renew the heart of the repentant. God is order; in a turbulent, chaotic world, He is the only solution. While His absolute power is denying the total destruction of humanity, He has chosen to work separately with each individual one on one. He has died for the world as a whole, but because of His enormous love, He has chosen to deal with each of us singularly. How much importance does this put on God’s value of each soul? God has willingly died for the whole world, His dominion being the billions of individuals making up His world, past, present and future. In His enormous love He has included everyone; and, because of His deep compassion, He died to redeem us all. We will never fully understand or be able to comprehend the magnitude of God’s love, but while not understanding, we are allowed, by His goodness, to experience its complete wonderfulness. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15 Choose you this day whom ye will serve; God’s daily call to unregenerated man. He has allowed us, as individuals, to choose the way we will go. Through the death of His only Son, He has cleared the way for our journey, but He has also permitted us the right to choose whether we will take that trip.
As I ponder upon what I am next to write, my mind is puzzled at the fact that so many have chosen not to accept the goodness of God, and, when I try to fathom their purpose, I am at a loss. Only a gracious God would put up with the antics of a stubborn, unresponsive child. God’s unending love is the only thing that can out do His patience and willingness to forgive; and, without these three attributes of God, we would be hopeless and undone. I have seen a lot in my lifetime; by the grace of God, I have lived a comfortable life. I have known many affluent people, and it’s sad to say, most of them live their lives only to gain more. They are not fulfilled by their wealth but are driven by the desire to acquire all that there is. So many today possess the ransom of kings, but are still as forlorn as beggars and paupers. All of the wealth of this world cannot provide its owners the peace of mind and the joy of life, which is found in Christ Jesus, Lord of eternal life and glory. Neither is one who has not a penny to his name but has been filled with the Holy Spirit to be found poor. Poverty or wealth, which one has been cursed? God has promised to meet the needs of His children. I have found that there is true peace in knowing that He will always keep His promise, and by allowing Him to do so, I have gained the assurance of His abundant care. Listen. If I don’t have to worry about it, then everything is just that much more peaceful. God doesn’t fret or muddle through it, and when I am relieved from it, I am given the time to do those other things He has required me to do. If I have a question or feel there is something He has forgotten, well, there is always prayer. What could be more gracious than someone who wants to meet your every need? What is more comforting than having someone who willingly gives of His time to see that you are safe and protected?
In the kindness of God, we find His promise to provide our many needs. Without a constant lifeline unto His direction and intent, we would become fearful and distressed. We need God; and, without a means of gaining His wisdom, we will be drawn back into this world. Prayer, or speaking to your Heavenly Father, has been given to you without limits or boundaries; it is intended for your well-being as well as your personal enlightenment. God’s not just in the office from nine to five, and you will never find that the line is busy or first come, first serve. You do not have to stop everything you are doing, fold your hands, close your eyes, and bow your head to talk to God. There is a state or act of reverence that should always be observed, but it should be something that comes from your heart, not out of a particular position or posture. God knows what you are thinking, what you are feeling, and whether or not you respect and honor Him. He sees your whole life and knows your attitudes and choices before you do. During the day, when you have been asked whether you are paying attention, maybe a good response would be, “I am praying.” To qualify what I have said, there are times you should close your eyes and bow your head. In the morning, when you are getting ready to start a busy day, give it to Him. Ask Him what He would have you do today. It is the desire of a gracious God that you inquire. Like David of old, get to know God’s heart by spending quality time with Him. At night, when everything has not gone especially the way you would have liked but you know that without Him it would have been much worse, thank Him for His protection and deliverance. But don’t restrict your presence with your God to only these times. Remember that He loves to talk with you; He wants to be your constant friend and guide. To restrict your conversations with Him to the bare minimum is, in my opinion, ominous. During the day, God has blessed you with a special thought or consideration. “Thank You, God.” You did something that was not appropriate or was sinful. “Forgive me, God.” A prayer is not something that must have a required structure or meet specific guidelines, contain at least fifty understandable and impressive words, and be spoken so that everyone can hear you.
To digress a moment, I will tell you of an incident that happened at one of our family Thanksgiving get-togethers. The food was ready, and everyone was seated around the table. It was a good time, a time to be truly thankful. It was time for me, as the father, to give the blessing for all that we were about to partake. As we bowed our heads, I thanked God for all He had given us and ended with an, “Amen.” Being self-engrossed, I tend to mumble when I speak. When we began to dine, I heard my lovely daughter sitting beside me saying, “I couldn’t understand everything you just said, Daddy.” To which I wittily replied, “That’s okay. I wasn’t talking to you anyway.” True prayer is a continual connection between you and God, a lifeline that insures that you are both on the same page, so to speak. You will never find yourself in need of a tune-up or running roughly when you keep your correspondence intact. God has willingly provided this link between our Savior and us so that we are guaranteed, as He has said, the abundant life. Shouldn’t we place this link in our list of favorites?
God is so gracious and loving; He is always available when needed and always ready to help in times of trouble. “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me” (Psalm 56:3-4). Without the help of God, we would all be swallowed up in the corruption and deceit of this evil generation. You might say that everything doesn’t seem all that bad to you, and I am just being overdramatic. True, it has become more difficult to distinguish the good from the bad and the righteous from the immoral, but in essence, that is what has gone wrong with the human culture. When you come to a point in life where evil has swallowed up everything that was holy and you cannot see the difference, then things are no longer holy but profane. Profanity or blasphemy in any form is to be shunned and will eventually destroy a nation, a culture. I know that God is still in control of everything, but if you have lived for twenty-five years or more and cannot see the difference, you have been watching too much television or have allowed yourself to be brainwashed by the liberal media. Life on earth has digressed; it has become misguided and evil. If you believe what the Bible teaches us, this is to be expected. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come” (2 Timothy 3:1). As we approach the end times, we are not to be frightened or weary; God has not forgotten or turned His back on us. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28). God has not lost control but has let evil play its hand, a losing hand; a hand that is sure to fail, a hand that will pay the awful price of death and total destruction. Once we reach this point, there will be none wanting to be known as a good loser or willingly taking the loss. If you have refused to accept Him and His will for your life, there will be no second chances or a chance to recover your losses. You have played your hand and lost everything.
We go back to the topic of this discussion, the true need of a gracious God. Without God being gracious, we would all be losing in the game of life, and there would be no winners. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:8-9). We have been given a solution, a promise that protects us from what is about to happen to all those who refuse to accept His salvation. Like insurance against the tragedies of life, this policy must be purchased before the dilemma occurs. God, our Redeemer, wants to give us His assurance that we will not be destroyed, but in His love, we will be guaranteed that better life in heaven with Him. As they say, take it or leave it; the choice is yours.