There Is a Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
15 Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.[b]
16 And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.
17 I said to myself,
“God will bring into judgment
both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
a time to judge every deed.”
18 I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath[c]; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”
22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?
--Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, NIV
Take away points to consider: How we use our time reflects our values and our understanding of our eternal destination. What does it mean for you to live today in the knowledge that God has set eternity in your heart? What changes can you make in your lifestyle based on that knowledge?
Personal Comment: On Monday, The Holy Spirit gave me these verses to study. At the end of the Prophecy in the News video, Gary Sternman also mentions these verses written by King Solomon.
To Be "in Christ Jesus"
Pastor Adrian Rogers
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1
What does it mean to be "in Christ Jesus?" First, think about what it was for Noah to be in the ark. The ark was waterproof. How do we know it was? Well, God told Noah, "put pitch on the inside and on the outside" (Genesis 6:14). The word "pitch" in the Hebrew is kapar, and it is exactly the same word translated as "atonement." You see, we are in Jesus as Noah was in that ark. Just as the storms of God's wrath beat upon that ark, the storms of God's wrath beat upon the Lord Jesus. But we are on the inside, and not one drop of judgment can come through.
Read Romans 8:35-39. Reflect on the things that Paul says will never separate you from God's love. Give glory to God that your sins have been atoned for by the righteous blood of the Savior.
For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.
In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul tells us,
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
If you look at this chapter, Paul helps us understand that this treasure is ministry, the gospel, the Word of God, and the light and the glory of God, God's presence.
Paul wants us to understand that God has placed in us an incredible spiritual treasure...a treasure residing in these earthen vessels...our bodies. The treasure is in you and me!
But that treasure needs to be poured out.
I can't help but think that Paul was thinking of two particular earthen vessels that were used in his day. One was the vessel of mercy and the other the vessel of honor.
One place you would find the vessel of honor was around the home. People would use the water to wash their feet after traveling the dusty roads before they would enter your house, or they would use the water to quench their thirst. Like the vessel of honor, we are to wash the feet of our family, to humbly serve them and to help quench their thirst for more of God.
The vessel of mercy looked identical to the vessel of honor, but it was located in public places like the town square, so that any traveler coming through that arid land would be guaranteed to find a fresh drink of water. It was placed where the needs were. We need to take mercy where mercy is needed most—out onto the highways of humanity.
You are an earthen vessel filled with His spiritual treasure, so start pouring it out—in your home and out where the people are.
Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God
Get Serious About Sin
"But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done" (1 John 1:9, NCV).
Friend To Friend
As a little girl, I always looked forward to the first day of summer vacation because it meant two things. First, I did not have to sit in a classroom all day wasting precious brain power trying to comprehend and learn what I considered to be useless information. Second, I did not have to wear shoes except when I went to church or when my mother handed down the decree, "If you are going with me, you have to wear shoes." It had to be a really important errand for me to don even a pair of sandals or flip-flops.
Those first few days of my shoeless adventures were always a painful shock to my tender feet since my "playground" was actually nothing more than a gravel road running beside our house on the edge of town. I played for hours, climbing trees and racing friends up and down that rocky street. At the end of each day, my feet were grimy and filthy, often bruised and sometimes slightly bloody. Even now I can remember the stinging discomfort inflicted by those razor-sharp rocks during the first few weeks of summer. My pain management was firmly rooted in the knowledge that my feet would soon grow callused and tough. I took comfort in the fact that I would soon be running down that gravel road with little or no pain.
Sin works the same way. The first time we commit a sin it is painful. We are filled with remorse and mourn the fact that we have grieved the heart of God, but regret is not enough when it comes to dealing with sin. Unless we confess and turn away from that sin, we are likely to commit it again. If we allow sin to settle into our life and refuse to confess it, that sin eventually hardens our heart and builds spiritual calluses in our soul. When we become comfortable with our sin, we are walking in enemy territory and setting ourselves up for spiritual failure and discouragement.
The good news is that Jesus understands human frailty. He is well acquainted with temptation and the tactics of Satan. Jesus gave His life as a ransom for yours and mine. He paid our sin debt in full.
1 John 1:9 "But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done" (NCV).
This verse was written to believers as an encouragement to deal with sin and a promise that when we do so, God will be faithful to forgive us and clean up the mess that sin has caused. We are not perfect - just forgiven. To experience that forgiveness fully we need to keep short books on sin. That means being sensitive to sin and immediately choosing to do something about it. God is serious about sin. We need to be as well.
1. We must confess sin continually. "Confess" means to agree with and is a present tense verb meaning that we must confess sin frequently, without stopping.
2. We must confess sin completely. We commit sins one at a time. We need to confess them one by one as well.
3. We must confess our sin confidently. Once we confess and repent of our sin, we can put it behind us. God is just and fair - seeking only one payment for sin. Jesus has already made full and complete payment with His death on the cross.
One of Satan's favorite tactics is to resurrect buried sin. Wrapping that confessed transgression in his vain taunts and useless accusations, the enemy hauls it back into focus, hoping that guilt will paralyze and imprison a soul set free. Satan can hold us prisoner if we let him. But how often do we believe his empty lies - and by doing so, grant him access to that which he has no right? To break the hold of sin, we can and must stand against the enemy, trusting not in our feelings but in the facts of God's word. And those facts are unchanging and crystal clear - when we confess sin, God forgives it.
Father, do not let me ever forget the price You paid for my sin. Thank You for the forgiveness and freedom You purchased with Your death on the cross. Bring swift awareness and conviction when I sin. Give me the strength and power to deal with and turn from the sin in my life. For Your glory and in Your name I pray, Amen.
Now It's Your Turn
Set aside time each day to pray and study His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of every sin that stands between you and God. Confess that sin. Choose against it and walk on in His power and forgiveness. Ask yourself the following questions:
What sin do I need to confess right now?
Why have I held on to this sin?
What effect has this sin had on my life?
What changes do I need to make in order to "turn" from my sin?
Do I really believe that God can and will forgive this sin? Why? Why not?
Winning the War with Temptation is one of Mary's E-Download Bible Studies that examines the life of Eve to discover five steps she could have and should have taken to win the war with temptation. The central message of this study is grace, God's unmerited favor, His unconditional love and the complete forgiveness only He can give. Temptation is a certainty of life but God has a plan that will enable us to stand firm in His strength and through the power of His Word.
It's not too late to enroll in Mary's weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey, and have access to all of 2011 studies. The current topic is How to Handle Hurt. We will experience pain and hurt but we can learn how to handle the hurt in a way that honors God and assures a life of victory.
Girlfriends in God
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Matthews, NC 28106
Prophecy in the News: Is Libya in a State of War?