Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. Ecclesiastes 12:1.
Life is mysterious and sacred. It is the manifestation of God Himself, the source of all life. Precious are its opportunities, and earnestly should they be improved. Once lost, they are gone forever.
Before us God places eternity, with its solemn realities, and gives us a grasp on immortal, imperishable themes. He presents valuable, ennobling truth, that we may advance in a safe and sure path, in pursuit of an object worthy of the earnest engagement of all our capabilities.
God looks into the tiny seed that He Himself has formed, and sees wrapped within it the beautiful flower, the shrub, or the lofty, widespreading tree. So does He see the possibilities in every human being. We are here for a purpose. God has given us His plan for our life, and He desires us to reach the highest standard of development.
He desires that we shall constantly be growing in holiness, in happiness, in usefulness. All have capabilities which they must be taught to regard as sacred endowments, to appreciate as the Lord’s gifts, and rightly to employ. He desires the youth to cultivate every power of their being, and to bring every faculty into active exercise. He desires them to enjoy all that is useful and precious in this life, to be good and to do good, laying up a heavenly treasure for the future life.
It should be their ambition to excel in all things that are unselfish, high, and noble. Let them look to Christ as the pattern after which they are to be fashioned. The holy ambition that He revealed in His life they are to cherish—an ambition to make the world better for their having lived in it. This is the work to which they are called.
Only one lease of life is granted us; and the inquiry with everyone should be, How can I invest my life so that it will yield the greatest profit? How can I do most for the glory of God and the benefit of my fellow men?
The Faith I Live By p. 167
—-Please pray for my step-dad he is in the hospital because of bad hemorrhaging & infection in his intestines. He is very ill. My mom also needs prayers for strength & comfort. Janelle
—-My son age 42 is extremely depressed and wants to die. He has lost interest in everything and is in constant pain. Please lift him up in prayer. Ana
—-Please pray for Aliana, her family and her doctors. She is in a hospital as her liver is not functioning properly. Roberta
—-Please pray for those who were injured in last night’s tornado northeast of here. R
When I was a pre-teen through my early teen years, going to horror films was very popular. At school, I would hear all about these scary movies and would shudder in fright at even the description of such things. Even so, I wanted to be like my classmates so much, that I began going to these frightening films. I thought that if I could join in their conversation, that I would fit into the group.
It didn’t work. I never did join into my classmates’ conversation about the shows. All I wanted to do was forget those movies. Worse still, for several weeks after going to these bloodcurdling pictures, I would have nightmares. (Certain scenes are still stuck in my memory and make me shudder even though it is over 60 years later.) Still, I wanted to fit in so badly, that I went to them every time a new one came to town.
So it was with the children of Israel. When God led them out of Egypt, He had wonderful plans for them. He intended for them to be different. He wanted them to be an example to other nations. He greatly desired them to show His great love to all the world. If they had fulfilled His plans for them, what a different world we would have today.
Sadly, they did not share the knowledge of the True God with the nations around them. Instead, they copied their neighbors and worshipped their false gods. They even asked for a king so that they could be like those nations around them. They rejected God, because they did not want to be different. He had poured out His blessings upon them, but they turned from Him so they would “fit in.”
Through the prophets, God tried to reason with them, but they would not hear. He brought them though trials and troubles that they might turn back to Himself, but they did so only temporarily. Soon, they were right back trying to be like those around them. Through Isaiah, our Loving Creator spoke of Israel’s rejection of Himself. “Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.” Isa 5:1-8
With tears in His voice our Great Redeemer pled, “What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?” Jer 2:5 “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” Eze 33:11
We have this same danger today. Our Good Shepherd has led us out of the world. He greatly desires that there be a difference between ourselves and those who do not follow Him. Our Dear Saviour longs for us to be His special people. We are to be “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that [we] should shew forth the praises of him who hath called [us] out of darkness into his marvellous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Paul commands, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Cor 6:14-7:1
Our Great Creator longs for us to follow His plan. Are weletting Him lead in our life or do we want to be just like the world? Do our lives reflect the love, the kindness, the goodness of God or are we just like those who follow Him not? Since we have accepted Christ’s great sacrifice, His love, His changing power, has there been indeed a change in our heart, in our life? Our Maker has promised to remake us, to mold us into His image. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Eze 36:26,27
May we never keep our walk with the Lord hidden for fear that someone will notice that we are different. No! Jesus commands, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Mat 5:16 May we allow Him to take control of our lives no matter where that path leads. May we “stand fast in the faith” no matter what others do or say. 1 Cor 16:13 May we daily follow our Dear Saviour “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14