The Choice is Mine

I can be strong, I can be brave,
I can be free, or be a slave.
I can forgive as He forgave
The choice is mine.

I can go through in storm or gale,
I can be true, or I can fail;
I can desert or set my sail.
The choice is mine.

If I would live then I must die
And bid this fleeting world goodbye
It?s treasures dear, I must deny
The choice is mine.

I?ll walk by faith where I am led,
It matters not what lies ahead,
And if the path be crimson red,
The choice is mine.

If I the King of heaven choose,
If I the things of earth refuse,
The best I gain, the worst I lose —
The choice is mine.

Ira F. Stanphill

He takes it personally

“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat.” Matthew 25:35

It is estimated that, around the world, the number of people who are malnourished is more than 800 million. That is an absolutely staggering statistic. But we are not talking about statistics, we are talking about people, human beings made in the image of God.

Hunger manifests itself in many ways other than starvation and famine. Most poor people who battle hunger deal with chronic undernourishment and vitamin or mineral deficiencies, which result in stunted growth, weakness and heightened susceptibility to illness. (www.bread.org)

In Ethiopia alone, millions of people are on the brink of famine. The problems there are exacerbated by the fact that food prices have risen more than 40% in the past year.

Jesus said that if we give food to hungry people, he takes it personally.

On the brink of famine

“Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever” Matthew 6:13

“This is my Father’s world” is how the hymn begins, reminding us to whom it all belongs. And yet, despite its heavenly origins, our world seems full of hellish images.

Take Ethiopia for example. Several areas of the country currently are on the brink of famine, with the Word Food Program currently estimating that, of Ethiopia’s 80 million citizens, 4.5 million will need emergency food relief from July to September, a number that comes in addition to the 8 million currently receiving assistance.

Thine is the kingdom, and I am called somehow to be a worker in that kingdom.

 

Our highest ambition

“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.” Jeremiah 9:23,24

This is surely one of the verses to include in a “five loaves” version. It is easy to get caught up in our own accomplishments, rather than in our personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

It is not that God wants us to live void of ambition. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Our highest ambition should be to understand and know the God who made us. Heaven and earth will pass away, along with all of our earthly accomplishments, but our relationship with God through Christ will not. Can not.

No matter who you are

“Now King David was old, advanced in years; and they put covers on him, but he could not get warm.” 1 Kings 1:1

“Life is short.” No statement is more universally true, no matter who you are – a king, a peasant, among the famous, among the unknown.

But we should not lament the fact that life on earth is short, but rather rejoice in the hope of everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Savior. So live, live today energized by that blessed hope.

But rather rejoice

“Now King David was old, advanced in years; and they put covers on him, but he could not get warm.” 1 Kings 1:1

 

“Life is short.” No statement is more universally true, no matter who you are – a king, a peasant, among the famous, among the unknown.

 

But we should not lament the fact that life on earth is short, but rather rejoice in the hope of everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Savior. So live, live today energized by that blessed hope.

Just one verse

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

If the whole Bible was just one verse, this would probably be it. More than any other, this one verse sums up what life is all about.

Life is precious. Life is a long-term investment. Life is a gift.

Just one verse

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

 

 

 

If the whole Bible was just one verse, this would probably be it. More than any other, this one verse sums up what life is all about.

Life is precious. Life is a long-term investment. Life is a gift.

It was something

“‘How many loaves do you have?’ he asked. ‘Go and see.’ When they found out, they said, ‘Five, and two fish.'” Mark 6:38

The disciples gave Jesus a straight answer. It would have been pointless to exaggerate, since five loaves and two fish were no where near what was needed to feed a multitude of people.

Meager as it was, it was something. It is interesting that Jesus inquired about it in the first place. After all, he could have created loaves and fish out of nothing if he wanted to. Isn’t that how He created the universe?

Jesus purposely used the little bit of food available to feed the multitude that day. The divine lesson He was teaching by doing so was even more amazing than the miracle itself: If we give all that we have to all that He is, God can do more with our lives than we ever could have thought possible.

Make your way straight

“Make your way straight before my face.”  Psalm 5:8

What a simple, down-to-earth way to put it.  This is a prayer.  Our prayers ought to be simple and down-to-earth.  

Your way.  My face.  Straight.