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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

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"What Is Your Life?"

"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.'  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14).

Yesterday there was a fatal accident in our area. With nearly two million people living here in the mid-state of Pennsylvania that's not uncommon.  When I hear of an accident like this I usually grimace and lift up a brief prayer for those involved.  But unless I know the deceased personally, the tragic news will fade as other pressing needs come to my attention.

But for some reason God really laid this accident and the victim on my heart. In fact I thought about it all through the day. It was a big truck pileup involving 14 vehicles on an icy interstate highway close to where I serve as an interim pastor. Yesterday afternoon I had a meeting with several chaplains with Transport for Christ (a chaplain ministry to drivers) and we specifically prayed for this man's family.

This morning Brooksyne asked me if I knew how old the truck driver was and I told her I didn't. Turns out he was fifty-two, the same as I.  Being the same age brought a personal jolt to me regarding the fragility of life. Driving can be dangerous but we still don't expect to die as we take our seat behind the wheel. Life is fragile and death is certain*, though we usually don't know the path by which it will take us.
The apostle, James, acknowledges this in the daily Scripture portion.  He quotes the confident assumption still expressed, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money."  In my generation here in America the buzzword is "preparing for retirement." However most have given little thought to preparing for eternity. Retirement is uncertain while eternity is certain. 

Listen carefully to the sobering words of the apostle as he forthrightly tells us, "You do not even know what will happen tomorrow."  That's right! We really don't.  In fact, we really don't know what will happen the remainder of this day.  Modern man may bristle at James's words but the perspective of eternity will reveal how right he is. "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."

Are you ready?  I urge you to examine your heart this moment (not later today or sometime down the road). Is your heart right with God?  Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior Who is the atoning sacrifice for your sins?  "I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Daily Prayer:  Father, there are many things of which we are uncertain in this life.  Uncertainties lead to much anxiety if we fix our attention solely on the unknown.  But I consider those things which are certain and matters of great importance which You speak to my heart about that lead to peace.  Salvation which includes submitting myself to You and separating myself from the desires of this world not only provides forgiveness of sins and an eternal home in heaven, but also deep inner peace.  Though it doesn't free me of troubles in this life, it does reassure that You offer Your peace and security in the midst of earthly conflict.  Though I don't know about tomorrow I know You, Father, who holds tomorrow.  Holding to Your hand assures me that when my time comes to cross over to eternal life I never have to loosen my grip, but only tighten it for the unending adventure You've prepared for the saints of all generations.  The fearsome sting of death is gone and only glorious victory awaits me.  Praise be to Your Holy Name, Father!  Amen.  

New  2006 Annual Daily Encouragement Net ministry report  Brooksyne and I thank God for another year of service for Him through our internet ministry and welcome readers to view our 2006 ministry report.

* The Bible teaches that one generation of believers will escape death and go directly to be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  Of course we do not know when this event will take place.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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