Publisher Kathy Bernard

book10 greatfree.gif (2728 bytes)WHERE did the years go?” you wonder, peering in the mirror at the sight of that lone gray hair bravely pushing through.  It announces itself with bravado, growing stronger than all the other hair on your head.  This one has a springy bounce all its own.  And that single gray hair also makes us think,  “where did our youthful dreams go, the ones that gave a lilt to our steps and a promise of a glorious future?”  

TIME moves swiftly and is not a respecter of persons.  Consider how shocked we are when a famous person we admire dies.  We are profoundly sad because that person touched us on some level so that loss leaves an empty place within us.   Plus it cruelly magnifies the reality that all lives are temporary, even those in the spotlight of fame and fortune.  Money, status, possessions cannot halt it for it sneaks upon us like a thief.  St. Paul tells us in Acts Chapter 17 that each life is preprogrammed for an allotted amount of time.  God has us scheduled to the very second for our life’s end and no one can alter that plan.

NOW should this make us draw back in fear?   No, because as Christians we know life is only a journey to be enjoyed and explored along the way to our destination; a journey each person must take in order to choose the direction for our final conclusion.   And like any trip, we must prepare ourselves for it.

OKAY, so how do we prepare for eternity?   Jesus answers us in Luke 10:25-28:   One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: "Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?"  Jesus replied, "What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?"  The man answered, " `You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.' And, `Love your neighbor as yourself.'    "Right!" Jesus told him. "Do this and you will live!"

We make a decision to reach this plateau through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ Who died on the cross for our sins.  Our wonderful clergy can lead us to His truth, guide and pray for us but no one can intercede for us except the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  No not one.  The bible clearly states in John 14:6 what Jesus says: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”  When we are done here, it is over forever.  Period.   Read what Jesus had to say about this in Luke 16:19.

JESUS gave us another illustration in Luke 12:16-20 telling us to be watchful because tomorrow may not be given to us:    "A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops.  In fact, his barns were full to overflowing.  So he said, `I know!  I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones.  Then I'll have room enough to store everything.  And I'll sit back and say to myself, My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come.  Now take it easy!  Eat, drink, and be merry!”  But God said to him, “You fool!  You will die this very night.  Then who will get it all?”  This is a strong warning that we must be prepared.

OUR lives can be likened to a book.  The pages turn steadily and we cannot stop them.   When we reach the end of the book and that final page is turned, it will also signify the end of our lifetime.  Not one of us knows the exact number of pages left in our books so we must use our time carefully, wisely building up our faith and trust in the Lord for He alone is our salvation.  If we are serious about securing a place in God’s kingdom, we must cement our relationship with God through His Son.  If we sail through life as if it is endless, not worrying if our lives are almost done, the end will become worthless rubble to be destroyed in hell’s endless pit of suffering.

NONE of us, no matter who we are, is exempt from God’s design for our lives.  Just as He formed us all from one man and through one blood, our judgment remains the same.   Acts 17:26-27 says  From one man (and one blood) He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.”

SADLY, there are those who say there is no God.   Yet there is a search, however subconscious, for the truth of His existence.  This yen for something bigger than ourselves existed even during th e time of Saint Paul where he noticed an idol altar with an ode to an “Unknown God” in a Greek Temple.  Consider again Acts in Chapter 17:22-32 that reads, So Paul, standing before the Council, addressed them as follows: "Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious, for as I was walking along I saw your many altars.  And one of them had this inscription on it--`To an Unknown God.'  You have been worshiping Him without knowing who He is, and now I wish to tell you about Him.

HE is the God who made the world and everything in it.  Since He is Lord of heaven and earth, He doesn't live in man-made temples, and human hands can't serve His needs--for He has no needs.  He himself gives life and breath to everything, and He satisfies every need there is.  From one man He created all the nations throughout the whole earth.  He decided beforehand which should rise and fall, and He determined their boundaries.

"HIS purpose in all of this was that the nations should seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him--though He is not far from any one of us.   For in Him we live and move and exist. As one of your own poets says, `We are His offspring.'   And since this is true, we shouldn't think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.   God overlooked people's former ignorance about these things, but now He commands everyone everywhere to turn away from idols and turn to Him.    For He has set a day for judging the world with justice by the Man He has appointed, and He proved to everyone who this is by raising Him from the dead."

THE people in Athens were reaching for something bigger and greater than the inanimate idol called “The Unknown God” made from precious materials.  These idols could not hear or see, could not touch, were not capable of movement by themselves.  And yet, their worshippers fell to their knees and gave homage to the very things they themselves fashioned with materials wrought from the earth that God made. 

ARE we so different today?  We too have our idols of money, cars, possessions, and “things” that can shift our focus away from God and His purpose for us.  The time is now to choose our direction.  Shall it be eternal heaven or will it be eternal hell?  You choose!

AS this article states in the beginning we can pull out that lone gray hair from our heads easily enough and forget its existence but it will return again and again like Jesus does to remind us that earthly time does not last forever.  We must consider what that one hair represents before we yank it away.  Let it represent a sign of mature wisdom and the trust in Jesus that He gives to all who accept His salvation.   Let it show that even though the pages of life continue to turn, they are only bringing us closer to God’s promises.

FOR those of us who believe, let us thank Him for His everlasting love in caring for us, thank Him for His endless blessings, for being our solace, for forgiving our sins, for gently comforting us when life breaks us down, for mending us when we are broken with no place to turn.  Let us thank Him for His loving kindness and His everlasting mercy.  He is ever faithful, our only constant in this changing world.  For this, we will be eternally grateful. 

IF you do not know Jesus as your friend, do you know how many pages of life you have left in your personal book to get to know Him?  Are you ready for that final page to turn before it is closed forever?  Look to Christ for salvation before it is too late.  Within His loving hands He holds an ageless gift for you and that gift is eternal pages through ETERNAL LIFE in His BOOK of LIFE.

"I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them
away from me."  John 10:28

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