“Have You Considered, Then What?”

Looking into the future

Much of the time young people do not think too far into the future. Perhaps it is because of the fact they are young. But what would the answer be if they were asked what they were going to do in the future?

What Then Questions

But, what would the conversation be like if a father were to ask his son if he had given any thought to his future, he might get several different answers. It quite possible he would be somewhat surprised if his son was to tell him he had it all figured out. If we were to listen in on the conversation we might hear something like this.

The father asks his son to tell him about his plans. So the son proceeded to tell him that after he graduated from high school he would go on to college. “Fine, son; what then?” Then his son stated that after he graduated from college, he’d get a well-paying job and buy a big house and a nice car. “Great, son; what then?” The boy said he’d then get married and raise a family, just like his dad. “Wonderful, son; but what then?” Well, the son figured that he’d probably work until he was old enough to retire. Excellent, son; so, what then?” Perhaps somewhat perplexed by this time by his father’s continued inquiries, the son figured he’d live out his golden years traveling and enjoying his grandchildren. “Splendid, son; have you considered what then?” Realizing the inevitable, the young man said of course he’d die! And then his father looked straight into his son’s eyes and asked one last time, “Okay, son; have you considered what then?”

Planning For The Future, Have You Considered What Then?

It is always wise to take time to plan for the future. A young couple will usually try to plan their finances so they can afford to buy a home. Most of the time, they also plan for the size of family they want and the children’s education, even going so far as to set up a savings plan, shortly after each child is born.

People make sure they have car insurance before driving their car. They also buy health insurance to cover the event of serious illness or injury and life insurance to protect the family against the loss of a loved one, particularly a bread winner. Sometimes they look far enough into the future to set up some kind to plan for retirement. All kinds of people carry day planners around with them to plan their daily schedules. It’s wise to plan!

Death Comes, Have You Considered What Then?

But in the face of all the planning we typically do, many carelessly fail to put God in their plans (Jas. 4:13-17). So, it isn’t surprising so many also fail to plan for the most important day of our existence, the day we’ll all stand before our Lord at judgment (2 Cor. 5:10). The young boy in the story above sounded as though he had his life and future well under control. But he had failed to plan for eternity which awaits everyone after this life is over. And that’s probably the way it is, to one degree or another, for most people.

Seventy, eighty, ninety or a hundred years sounds like a long time. But, it’s less than a drop in a bucket compared to eternity. To consider planning for the time we will spend in this life is wise.  But to give little thought to what lies just beyond this life is utter foolishness! Someone has said there are only two sure things in life: death and taxes. But, with death come the judgment (Heb. 9:27). Have your future plans gone as far as that ultimate day of reckoning? When you reach the point of first drawing in and then releasing that last breath of life in this physical world, have you considered what then???

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What The World Needs Now Is Love

Love conquers all

The year was 1965. Many today are too young to remember, but it was a time upheaval in the country. The Vietnam war was raging, but very unpopular. Other forces were at work also to create a climate of unrest and even distrust. It would seem, what the world needed was love.

Hal David, in considering many of these, wrote a song entitled “What the World Needs Now Is Love.” The world is and was in need of love. And the apostle Paul give us a very good description much going on, even today, it seems those words ring just as true. While many would have us believe love is not necessary but there is not a person who does not need love and who does not need to love others.

Thoughts on Love

The story is told about a little old man who sold small boxes made of cement which, according to his claim, contained something that could mend all family hurts and broken hearts. Some laughed claiming he a shyster; however, those who purchased one of his small cement boxes for a small price found a small piece of paper inside. On the paper was written the word: LOVE. Indeed, love is the cure for family hurts and broken hearts.

Jesus wrote: “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Peter wrote, “love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). These passages tell us, we must have and we must show our love.

Henry Van Dyke wrote: “Love is not getting but giving; not a wild dream of pleasure and a madness of pleasure and a madness of desire—oh, no—love is not that! It is goodness and honor, and peace and pure living–yes, love is that and is the best thing in the world, and the thing that lives the longest.”

The apostle Paul stated this about love: “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13); i.e. there is nothing greater in the world than love! So, let us consider HOW Paul describes love in this chapter.

Characteristics of Love

Love is patient. Love is patient because love has a long-fuse and has the ability of self-restraint (Gal 5:23).

Love is kind. Our attitudes and actions will show kindness to others (Matt 7:12; Eph 4:32).

Love envies no one. However,love delights in the others welfare and happiness (Phil 2:4).

Love is never boastful. Real love does not contain one’s boasting of self; i.e. about one’s greatness, because love respects and regards others with high esteem (Phil 2:3).

Love is not conceited. It is love that keeps the individual from being stuck on his own importance. Why? Because love sees others as important too. When self-centered we can never please God (1 Cor 8:1-2).

Love is not rude. Rather love is gentle which is the opposite of rudeness. Love is swift to hear, slow to speak, and treats others as God commands (Jas 1:19).

Love is not selfish. Agape love is not interested in what one can get but giving what is best for others. Another way to look at this point is, one who loves does not promote his own interest (1 Cor 10:24).

More Characteristics of Love

Love is not quick to take offense. No “chips on one’s shoulder.” Not quickly angered and moved to wrath, but calmness.

Love thinks no evil. One does not keep a score of another’s wrongs nor imputes the motives of another. Love is not an arbitrary love (cf. Matt. 7:1).

Love does not gloat over the misfortunes of others. True love never gloats when hearing a wrong in another’s life; i.e. it finds no Pleasure in gossip (cf. Romans 1:32). Love does not do this.

Love delights in the truth. Love “buys the truth and sells it not” (Proverbs 23:23), because of its value of giving freedom (John 8:32).

Love believes all things. Therefore, love accepts all of God’s truths and believes the best about others.

Love hopes all things. Love hopes all that things will go well for others, because love cares.

Love endures all things. Love can enable one to bear up under, sustains, and does not murmur. Regardless how others treat us, we will not stop loving them. In other words, love is steadfast. In New Testament times, the word “endure” described a soldier holding or keeping his ground in the worst of battle.

Conclusion

Love never fails. Consider in your personal life the number of things, which no longer remain with you because they are temporary. But Love lasts forever.

Love is the greatest. We say this about love because that is what God says, “The greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:1 3). Consider loves influence for good and happiness; yet having the power to benefit self, others, and to overcome evil. However, we are commanded, “follow after love” (1 Corinthians 14:1).

Celsus, who was an early critic of Christianity, said: “These Christians love each other even before they are acquainted.” This gives meaning to: “By this shall all men know you are My disciples, if you have love one to another” (John 13:35). What the world needs now is love.

Some Thoughts to Consider with Our Mothers in Mind

by Abraham Smith

Introduction

“For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears” (Hebrews 12:17). This verse holds many valuable applications for the one who would accept them.

The Value of Mothers

The love of mother

How many opportunities will we miss because we did not recognize the value of those things or love ones in our lives that we should cherish? Sometimes we despise what should be most important in our lives until it is too late, like Esau.

Every person who comes into the world has a valuable gift from God, their parents. It was so important to God that we value our parents that He has given numerous instructions demanding our respect, devotion, honor, and love of our parents. Thus we can read, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you” (Exodus 20:12). “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1). “There is a generation that curses its father, And does not bless its mother” (Proverbs 30:11). We all ought to bless our mothers and respect our fathers.

Honor Mother

But the greatest respect we can give our parents is to obey their commands and honor their wishes. So often we offer substitutes instead of obedience. Let us do what they want.

In 1 Samuel 15, we read where Saul king of Israel substituted his wishes instead of God’s wishes. God wanted the sheep and oxen of Amelek destroyed. But Saul and the people saved “the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them” (verse 9). Saul told Samuel, that this was done “to sacrifice to the LORD your God” (verse21). Then Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:22-23).

If you love your mother, show her love by obeying her voice. If we do anything else, like Saul, it will do no good.

Mother

My mother died in June of 1995. Before she died, I promised to take her out to eat. But I didn’t. She asked me to move some materials in the yard. like our mothers,ike our motherth,”I’ll get around to it,” I said. But I didn’t while she was alive to see it. She expressed other things that I did that bothered her. “I’ll get better on these Mama.” Perhaps I did get better. After she died! And like Esau, I wept. But it was too late. Too late to send flowers, give gifts or make her smile. To late to send her on that trip she wanted. I’d just as soon have ashes in my hands for what I put my mother off for.

But there are many of you today who do not have to make this same mistake. Won’t you please more frequently call, more frequently write, more frequently visit, and do what your parents want you to do as much as you can?

One of the most important things we can learn from thinking about these things is the necessity of obeying God. Just as we should honor and obey our parents, even more we should honor and obey God!

Conclusion

God commands all sinners to believe the gospel of Christ, to repent of our sins, to confess His Son, and to be immersed in water for the remission of sins (John 3:16; Romans 10:10; and Acts 2:38). If we delay too long to obey the gospel, we might end up like Esau regretting it but unable to do anything about it. “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels,” (Matthew 25:41).

The Cure For The Troubled Heart

author unknown

A troubled heart

findalways ks “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going” (John 14:1-4 NAS95).

. But the cure for the troubled heart is always the same. to and cure the troubled hear andWhat is the Christian to do when his heart becomes troubled? He must look to Jesus and the comfort He can give.

It has been say that only those who have known sorrow are able to give comfort. Isaiah 53:3 refers to Jesus as “a man of sorrows.” Thus, acquainted with sorrow Himself, He can soothe the hearts of His disciples when they become sorrowful and troubled.

Also, The fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John provides dramatic evidence of that fact. Jesus recognized how troubled His apostles would be by His death so in that passage He spoke words of comfort to them. In those same words we, His disciples today, ar able to find the cure for our troubled hearts.

The Comfort of Faith (vs. 1)

Faith is the foundation of true comfort. Thus, we can conclude faith frees one from sin, makes him pleasing to God, allows him to overcome sin and the world, and causes him to always remember that God will never forsake him (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6; 1 Samuel 12:22). If faith is great enough, one can accomplish or overcome all things (Philippians 4:13; Matthew 21:18-22). What a comforting thought that is for all the faithful.

The Comfort of Hope (vss. 2-3)

Hope in Christ is the comfort and anchor of the soul (Colossians 1:27; 1 Timothy 1:1; Hebrews 6:19-20). But apart from Christ, in the world, there is no hope (Ephesians 2:12). And in hell, all hope will be left behind. The hope of better things should comfort the Christian in adverse times (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

The Comfort of Understanding (vss. 4-6)

The Christian can understand God. Jesus has given him a plain way to the Father and made complete provision for him to understand it. He sent the Holy Spirit to guide men into all truth and to reveal the mystery of Christ. He is our advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1).

The Comfort of Prayer (vss. 13-14)

Comfort

The Christian who is lonely or whose heart is heavy should follow the example of Jesus, Peter, Paul and Stephen and pray (Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; James 5:16). It is an aid in times of trouble.

The Comfort of Love (vss. 20-25)

How comforting it should be to the Christian to know he is the object of divine live. That love is great (1 John 3:1) and will never fail (Romans 8:35-39).

The Comfort of the Holy Spirit (vs. 26)

The comforting words of the Holy Spirit teach the Christian all that is necessary for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) and equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

The Comfort of Peace (vs. 27)

Those who are justified have peace with God (Romans 5:1). Therefore, they are in a kingdom of joy and peace (Romans 14:17). They produce the fruit of the Spirit which includes love, joy and peace (Galatians 5:22). The peace they have surpasses all comprehension (Philippians 4:7).

Conclusion

In conclusion, the next time your heart is troubled, look to Jesus. He provides comfort in all the above ways to those who allow Him to guide their lives.