Lake Wenatchee, Washington
“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.”
I pray this New Year will bring a greater sense of sobriety in your walk with Jesus. We need to wake up daily with a resolute spirit that we will not let “……the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches and the desire for other things enter in, choking the Word, making it unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19 – my emphasis)
Think about that verse for a moment …… (of course you could write a book on Mark 4:19)
- Worries of the World: How fruitful are you when you are worrying? Can you still have the presence of mind to stay focused in the Word?
- Deceitfulness of Riches: How much time do you spend thinking about this area in your life….. not only accumulating wealth, but the fear of losing it? How big of a distraction is it for you? Do you equate riches with success? Be honest….
- Desire for Other Things: For starters, how about social media addiction? What about overindulgence in hobbies if they are not being used to draw others to Jesus? And then there is that inordinate amount of time watching TV, video games and seeking new experiences. The list is long for this bullet point.
Do any of the above impact your spiritual life? Do they choke your time in the Word? What about quiet time? Can you sit quietly (Ps 46:10) reflecting on the goodness of the Lord? How about watching a sunrise or sunset. Maybe looking at the stars at night reflecting on the One who spoke them into existence. How about a small desert plant? Elizabeth Barrett Browning said, “Earth is crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God.” What do you think? Might there be some adjustments in 2024?
A high school buddy sent me that photo. His wife took it from inside their cabin. What an awesome shot through the window. After reflecting on God’s amazing creation, when I saw the mist on the lake, I flashed on James 4:14. These past 12 months we have all seen things that we had no clue would happen tomorrow; whether they be global events or a sudden illness or death of a friend. Our life is like that mist on Lake Wenatchee….. it’s only there for a little while, then it vanishes. If you truly believe that, then we need to keep our eyes on the bigger picture —— ETERNITY. Why? Because that’s where we are going to spend FOREVER. So what’s your plan for 2024?
IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD
While my son John and family were in town during Christmas, we invited some of his buddies and their kids over on a couple of the days right after Christmas. The guys above were in his scout troop. Now that John is back in Knoxville, as their former Scoutmaster, I hope to spend more time with Phillip and Nick in the days ahead.
What do you think? Might there be some people you haven’t seen in while that you too can invite over or go to lunch with in 2024? Remember, only 2 things will pass into eternity: PEOPLE and GOD’S WORD…… sorry, it’s not your gun collection or your Apple stock.
Lord, stamp eternity on my eyes for 2024!
Grateful Slave to King Jesus,
HAPPY NEW YEAR MEN !
Men: I hope you have now read all (8) “Lies Men Want to Believe” starting on December 22 in the Red Book [Follow this link to order a Red Book – “Warnings for a People Not Listening to God”]
Heb 2:3a should stop us in our tracks………
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation….”
Lies Men Want to Believe – Part Seven Day 363 Red Book
Lie #7: You can come to God any time you want!
The purpose of these devotionals is to help you think Biblically
Solomon said, “As a man thinks, so is he”
I thought this was so good from the book, Piercing Heaven, Prayers of the Puritans
Joseph Alleine (1634 – 1668) was just one of many Puritans that contributed. He was severely persecuted during his years of ministry. He traveled with the grandfather of John and Charles Wesley. He and his wife Theodosia worked together tirelessly in neighborhood evangelism and discipleship. The more I read about the Puritans, the more I see in living color what a big wimp I am…..!!
Since we are talking about being a “Fisher of Men” this might be a good review:
Fishless Fisherman’ Fellowship
Forward these links to your church buddies
What do you think? Were you a Fishless Fisherman in 2023?
What are your plans for 2024?
Men: This is only 5 minutes. If we take our faith seriously and speak on behalf of Christ and His Kingdom, we will at some point be accused of fanaticism.
“Have you ever been called a religious fanatic because of your faith in Christ? R.C. Sproul suggests that we should be more concerned if our faith offends no one than if we are mocked for Jesus’s sake.”
Fanatics and Fair-Weather Christians …. By R.C Sproul
Watch it on YouTube (5 minutes)
or ….. Renewing Your Mind website with transcript
Dwight L Moody – More Alive than Ever
I thought this was so good. A one-minute read
I love this quote my Moody:
“Someday you will read in the papers that Moody is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now. I was born of the flesh in 1837, I was born of the spirit in 1855. That which is born of the flesh may die. That which is born of the Spirit shall live forever.”
Men: As previously mentioned, make a commitment to read though the Bible in 2024
A few quotes on the Bible:
The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives. D.L. Moody
An honest man with an open Bible and a pad and pencil is sure to find out what is wrong with him very quickly. A.W.Tozer
A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t. Charles Spurgeon
The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts. George Mueller
Be very sure of this – people never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it. They understand it too well; they understand that it condemns their own behavior; they understand that it witnesses against their own sins, and summons them to judgment. They try to believe it is false and useless, because they don’t like to believe it is true. J.C. Ryle