If someone was told that they had five to ten years to live, that would be a hard thing to bear. As people get up in years, many of them will have only a few years to live or could even face death momentarily. Someone very much alive in the morning may be dead by evening. From the cradle to the grave, the hot breath of death is breathing down our necks. This inevitability should cause us to reflect on a simple truth: this life is only a place to prepare for our eternal future. How we prepare determines where we will be forever. Let me mention four men in the Bible and how they died. These are representative of all of us in certain ways. The rich fool lived for gain (Luke 12:16-21) and lost everything. Herod lived for glory (Acts 12:21-23) and suffered the indignity of having his body eaten by worms. (He may or may not have been aware of what was happening. However, the body royally arrayed was consumed by mere worms). Contrast this with two others: Stephen lived for God and preached God's indictment of a rebellious people and was granted a royal homegoing. (Acts 7:2-60). Paul was a trophy of God's grace and died confident of God's rewards. (II Timothy 4:6-8). Which way do you want to face God? Selah! Those famous words of martyred Jim Elliot are a searching reminder of how important it is to live Godly. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Ron
Teachers had to be taught. One of the ways that they learned to teach was to teach some other person or people. You have to know what you want to teach before you are willing to attempt it. This involves research and study. Teaching others about what we learned in our study and research is one vital way that the teacher learns to teach. These methods work with our learning God's Truth from His Word. One of the best ways is to teach others Truth from the Bible. This prompts a thorough study of Scripture and research into helps for understanding what we read. When we share it with others we cement it in our own thinking. Add to that, that if we are challenged on some area of our understanding, we can attempt a defense of our view or if we can't show that our view is correct, we can research some more to see if we got it wrong. Find a way that you can teach. It might be a Sunday School class and/or a Bible Study. It could just be a friend. It might be in a classroom, church or in one on one discussion with a friend. Find some ways to teach and you will learn. Selah! Some have the gift of teaching but all can teach. When teaching God's Word, if it's one or a group, all will learn. Caution: Research and study are very valuable but are not a substitute for the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Ron
"Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus and the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (II Timothy 2:1-2).
There is more than one way to share our faith. One way for sharing with an unsaved person is to be a friend to someone and be there for them, even if they never show any interest in Spiritual things. Pray, be a friend no matter what. When you least expect it, they may open up. If they never do, you will still have reached out. Perhaps they will at least read or listen to something you give them. If they see that you are a true friend, they may read about or listen to something that you share with them that contains gospel Truth. In the same way that you shared material with an unsaved person, you may be able to share material on Spiritual growth with a saved friend. True friendship will usually open people's hearts, although it might take a long time. Meeting genuine needs will usually motivate gratitude. Gratitude will often prompt people to do what otherwise they would never consider doing. Give it a try. Selah! True friendship is a rare commodity. Giving it without expecting something in return and not giving up on someone, even if they seem to be unmoved by what we offer them, can bring some wonderful results. Ron
Some businesses are using a sales gimmick that gives you a bag and you can fill it as full as you are able and everything in it is a flat price or discounted. When you decide to take advantage of the offer, you would probably put items in the bag that are costly. This would give you a chance to save quite a bit of money. If you think of yourself as being a vessel to be filled, wisdom dictates that you don't load yourself with worthless things. Instead, we should fill our hearts and minds with the things that have eternal value. Integrity, dependability, compassion, purity, patience, sympathy are some examples of things of value. These are things that are of great value but how do we find these items? As the Word of God permeates our inner self, the Holy Spirit will put these things into us and fill us with Himself. He will then produce His fruit in us and He will fill us with the character of the Lord Jesus. We will be filled with priceless values that will benefit others, as well. The more these virtues are filling the available space in our hearts, the less space is available for the cheap, artificial and selfish things to function in us. Selah! Christlikeness never comes by our efforts or methods. As we are filled with the written Word (and apply and obey it), the Holy Spirit fills us with the Living Word. This is the way we become Christlike and our lives become filled with things of eternal value. Ron