Monday, November 29, 2004

Life as a Vapor

"Come now, you who say,
"Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit."
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.
You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." (James 4:13, 14 NAS)

For Thou didst form my inward parts;
Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks to Thee,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Thy works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from Thee,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.
Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Thy book they were all written,
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)

Why are we here?

I simply can't believe that this amazing, complex universe with all it's inhabitants happened by chance.... therefore I must believe in a Creator. And if we are created, we must have been created for a purpose. Sure, God could have created beings that love Him unconditionally without questions... but what joy would that bring?

How much joy do we have when we love someone and we find that love is returned in kind? It's cute when a 19 month old says "love you mama" simply because her sisters say it... but it brings infinitely more joy when your four year old takes your face between her hands and sweetly says "I do love you mama!"... and one practically bursts with joy & pride when one awakens bright and early on Thanksgiving morning to stuff the turkey and mop the floor before others awaken... only to find the deeds already done by a 14 year old who "just wanted to show you how much I love & appreciate you, mom" ... all of her own free will. So loving God out of our own free will brings our Creator so much more joy... and seeking to know Him and to show His love to others through Him brings Him such great delight.

How can we know Him? Click here if you would like to find out how to know God personally.

"But now God has shown us a different way of being right in his sight--not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago.
We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins.
And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.
For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.
Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty.
He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins.
For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against us.
We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.
God was being entirely fair and just when he did not punish those who sinned in former times.
And he is entirely fair and just in this present time when he declares sinners to be right in his sight because they believe in Jesus.
Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God?
No, because our acquittal is not based on our good deeds.
It is based on our faith.
So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.
After all, God is not the God of the Jews only, is he?
Isn't he also the God of the Gentiles?
Of course he is.
There is only one God, and there is only one way of being accepted by him.
He makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles.
Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law?
Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law." (Romans 3:24-31 NLT)

It's hard for me to say "we're moving to Ohio" because I know only God knows the plans He has for us. I do know we have signed a contract with a realtor to list our house for sale. I do not know if we will actually arrive to that day when we move our belongings into a home on Ohio soil. Uncertainties like that used to scare me... but I am learning what a Good and Gracious God we serve. How dear, and how sweet He is. I know whatever life may bring, my life is firmly in His hand. I think I'm finally learning what was meant when it was said of the Proverbs 31 woman "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future." I can not yet say I am strong, or dignified... but I think am learning to smile a bit more bravely at the future, because this life *is* but a vapor... eternity is so much more.

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