Hello Friends and Family!
I have been hearing a lot about death lately and am once again reminded and sobered by how short life is. I have quoted this scripture before. In Ephesians 6:15-20, the Word reminds us to make the most of life and every opportunity:
"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
In James 4:14 and 17, the Word again reminds us that life is short and we need to do good in our short life:
"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
However, God’s is gracious, loving, and merciful!! I was so excited this morning to find out that in the end, Michael Jackson received Jesus Christ as his savior. Several weeks ago, Sandra and Andre Crouch spent some time with Michael Jackson. Michael asked them to play “It Won’t Be Long and We’ll Be Leaving Here.” Then he prayed with them and accepted Christ into his heart. How the Angels must have been rejoicing! But sadly, you won’t hear about that on TMZ or other Entertainment shows. As most of you probably know, there was a thief who was crucified with Jesus. He expressed his faith in Jesus as he was dying, and Jesus assured him he was saved! There is also a lovely parable in the Bible about how God freely gives of His mercy to those who receive it. In Matt 20:1-16:
"For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who was the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. He went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace. To them he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. About the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle. He said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’ "They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ "He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and you will receive whatever is right.’ When evening had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’ "When those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius. When the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise each received a denarius. When they received it, they murmured against the master of the household, saying, ‘These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’ "But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me for a denarius? Take that which is yours, and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you. Isn’t it lawful for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil, because I am good?’ So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen."
As you have probably guessed, this represents the people who were saved in the end versus those who were Christians for years and years. No person is more worthy of His grace than another! You just have to repent of your sins and turn your life over to God and accept His salvation!
Finally, I just wanted to share a little bit of good news. I have been participating in swagbucks.com. This is a site like Google, except you earn points when you search. Then, you can redeem points for prizes. Well, I entered some points I earned into a “swagstakes” for a little keyboard and DVD lessons to learn piano, and I won! This will not only be beneficial for my husband and I to start learning piano, but also for our kids, as the system is actually designed for children to learn piano. Praise God for giving us another desire of our heart! He is good and faithful.
Let me leave you with a final word of encouragement from Psalms 34:8-15:
"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry."