Answers to the Next 3 Biggest Questions

The 3 biggest questions:
1) Does God exist?
2) Why was I born?
3) What happens after death?

The answers:
1) Yes
2) Be a child of God in His family eternally
3) Know nothing in grave or ashed until resurrected;
upon death your spirit in man is stored by God until used to resurrect you.

thKZB644YYMy next 3 big questions:

  • 1) How can my relationship with God be better today?
  • 2) What does God want me to do today to fulfill my purpose?
  • 3) What does God want me to do to serve Him with my time left?

How would you answer? These can only really be answered between you and God. In your personal relationship.

A good place to start is to spend more time together today with Dad (Abba Father) and older Brother and seek their will for a grateful child.
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We Can’t Help It, We Wonder About Eternal Life

We can’t help it because God has set it in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

eternal lifeInstead of climbing a mountain to ask some guru, or buying the hottest book to hear some faddish author, who both will go to their grave like everybody else, shouldn’t we ask “What must I do to inherit eternal life” to the One Who has it!   And wants to share it with us!

A rich young ruler asked Jesus on our behalf: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18).

You’ve heard Jesus’ answer: You don’t have to do nothin’, I did it all for you.” Really, you’ve heard what Jesus didn’t say!  Read it for yourself.  Jesus told him to keep the commandments.

Which?

Again, you’ve heard Jesus’ answer: “My only commandment is to love. Just love one another. The Ten Commandments and the law are done away.” Again, you’ve heard what Jesus didn’t say!   Read it for yourself.   Jesus specified five of the last six Ten Commandments dealing with loving your neighbor as yourself.

John, who was Jesus’ favorite apostle surely because he had such an understanding of the true love taught by the Master, says “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments” (1 John 5:3).

People say, “Don’t be ridiculous! They’re such a burden!” Anticipating the response of rebellious human nature, John counters “And His commandments are not burdensome.”

The Ten Commandments were once the foundation of the United States. What a shocking but delightful surprise to enter the Hotel Elegante in south Colorado Springs and see a big stone display right by the front door!

“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God,” stated Ronald Reagan on Feb. 12, 2012, “then we will be a Nation gone under.” We are forgetting.  Hopefully one more remembering will tilt the outcome into mercy a little longer.

The Ten Commandments will always be the foundation of the Kingdom of God. God the Father and Jesus Christ live by them even in the spirit of the law. With them living in us through the Holy Spirit, oh how we will love their law and desire to live by it! With them living in us, we can keep it!

The Bible ends with Revelation’s seventh and last “Blessed” from Jesus Christ, the One Who has eternal life, wants to share it with you, and should be the One you look to for how to inherit eternal life.

“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life” (Revelation 22:14).

My friends and brothers & sisters to all be, face this squarely and make up your mind now:  if you want to inherit eternal life, you must keep the commandments.

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Endure to the End, Yes, But More!

While giving his sermon, the minister lost all track of time
as he preached on and on about the need for perseverance.
As the parishoners filed past him on their way out the door,
he noticed the oldest member, Frank Codger,
seemed to almost be squirming and even groaning as he trudged by.
“Are you ok, Frank?” prodded the talkative pastor.
“Well,” replied Frank, “I am now that you let us stand up.
You certainly made your point about enduring to the end!”

Enduring to the end is no joke.  Hopefully our minds are made up that we will make it no matter how long it takes, no matter what comes.

To do that we must continually reevaluate and reinforce our commitment. “Let him who thinks he stand take heed lest he fall (1 Cor. 10:12).

“But he who endures to the end shall be saved” is in Matthew 24:13, part of Christ’s Olivet Prophecy.  After the disciples asked Christ “what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (verse 3), He gave them a list of challenges: powerful deception, wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, tribulation, hatred and many false prophets.

Here are other bullets we will have to dodge:

  • “Because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (verse 10).

    Reeled in by deteriorating society? Maybe not as bad as the heathen but backsliding below God’s standards? Ensnared by the cares of this life? Are we talking about others? Or self?

  • “Many will be offended, will betray one another” (verse 10). Perhaps the hardest action one might have to endure—will your Judas be friend, family or even brother or sister in Christ?
  • “Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?” (2 Peter 3:3-4).

    According to the 17th century James Usher’s chronology of 4004 BC, we are 6,020 years along, when Christ should be returning at the end of 6,000 years.  The foreboding blood moons come and go without anything earth-shaking seeming to occur.  Agenda 21 is supposedly coming to start a new world order but not until 2030.  Tempted to scoff?

  • “Rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:13).
  • Weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9)?

    run with endurance“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

    Early in our marriage when our two kids were ages 4 and 8, we climbed Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in the U.S. at 2,425 feet over the valley floor.  It’s a 5.7 mile round trip rated to take 6 hours.  When our kids kept wanting to stop, we encouraged them on with a mantra to live by: Rest if you must but do not quit.

    In my 30s once I really wanted to run a sub-6 minute mile. My friend Al Scheck could run one every time so I asked him to run with me and keep to a 6 minute pace. Then I made myself stay up with him. A 5:51 mile!   Best finish I’ll ever have!

    Just as I looked to Al, Hebrews 12:2 tells us: “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

    Hebrews 11:27 concurs, noting that Moses endured “as seeing Him who is invisible.”

  • Persecution—“All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).
  • Root of bitterness (Hebrews 12:15)?

    The Bible gives the double command accepting no excuses: Offend no one (Matthew 18:7) and let nothing offend you (Psalm 119:165).

  • Temptation.

    Jesus was tempted 40 days and 40 nights, not just three offers by the Devil. Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph “day by day” (Gen. 39:10).

  • Not getting the respect or recognition you expect.
  • Neglect so great a salvation (Hebrews 2:1-3).

All these challenges the Bible warns us about.  But know this that blows will come we would never expect.

John Rynerson was an American soldier who found himself fighting for his life on one of the most infamous marches of WWII—the Bataan Death March.  More than 600 American soldiers died.  Only one third of the soldiers survived.

They were forced by the Japanese to march over 70 miles for a period of seven days after already being weakened because of the short rations they had to live on before they surrendered to the Japanese.  The Japanese allowed the prisoners to eat only once during the entire march.  If any soldier slowed the march, he was killed.

John noticed that because the Japanese were taught never to surrender, they were so startled to see prisoners of war that they passed by the first group without harming the prisoners.  As they came to the end of the line of prisoners, they would start beating and mistreating prisoners.  John made the life-saving decision to be in that first group of prisoners who started out in the morning.

“Despite our disapproval with what God allows us to endure, he still remains the same God that is not interested in our convenience, as much as our character”― Shannon L. Alder.

Let’s do more than endure

“I think the idea of simply ‘enduring to the end’ is a terrible philosophy and an awful way to live one’s life. How you spend your days is how you live your life, and if you’re spending them ‘enduring’ anything then you’re doing it wrong”—James A. Owen, Drawing Out the Dragons: A Meditation on Art, Destiny, and the Power of Choice.

We must keep going and growing.  Instead of settling for enduring the love of many waxing cold, we must be growing in love.  Instead of enduring being weary in well doing, let’s be found “so doing” (Luke 12:43) with passion, vision—on a mission!

Let’s look to Jesus Christ our Savior the way Paul did: “I have fought the good fight.  I  have finished the race.  I have kept the faith.  Finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord the righteous Judge will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearance” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

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Relaxed Trust in The Master Timer

How do you confuse an Irishman?
Put 3 shovels against the wall and ask him to take his pick!

How to confuse me: take away my watch.
I can’t function without knowing what time it is.

Thank God He’s the Master Timer and we can have relaxed trust in Him.

God has many names:  Examples are Elohim=the family, Emmanuel= God With Us, the Father, Jesus Christ, YHVH Nissi=our banner and YHVH Ropha=our healer.

watchThe name Master Timer is not in the Bible. No YHVH Timex!

Yet Master Timer is the way I praise God every day and most easily relate to Him in understanding what’s going on in the world, the church and my life.

Have you had the eye-opening experience of seeing that the Bible marks time by the Sabbath and Holy Days and says to remember them, keep them, and structure your life around them because they reveal the plan of God.

In the gospel of John, “there are only 2 chapters out of 21 which are not interwoven with and centered around the holy days of God… John’s gospel plainly shows us that the life of Jesus Christ must be put into the context of the Hebrew Calendar, centering around the holydays …”—Harmony of the Gospels in Modern English.

God has a 7,000 year plan of salvation.  The holydays are about harvest seasons and show how God is harvesting His sons and daughters by His timetable.  There is the earlier Pentecost harvest when only firstfruits are called and trained—for service during the later Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day harvest of the vast rest of mankind.

God is the Master Timer even in when the Father decides to call each person (John 6:44)—which will be the best time for each to respond to His offer.  If you are understanding this, you can be a part of the first harvest—in the better first resurrection at Christ’s return.   A big reason it’s better is that these will become the Bride of Christ! This marriage will produce many godly offspring during the Millennium and Great White Throne Judgment.

God has a plan and He works it out right on schedule.  God is always on time. Never early, never late.  Does anybody ever accuse God of being early!

Paul says in Romans 1 that we see what the Creator is like by studying His creation.

baby chickConsider the amazing timing in the birth of a baby chicken.  “The timing has to be exactly right or you have a dead chick!”  On the 19th day a chick uses his egg tooth to break open and chip away a hole in the shell.  Not one day sooner or later.  On the 21st day it breaks out like it’s dropped its spacesuit off!

In Isaiah 46:9-11 God challenges anybody to predict the future the way He does.  The big headlines are made in heaven!

The Master Timer predicted what Cyrus King of Persia would be named and do about 100 years before He was born!   Acts 17:26 says God preappointed the times for the rise and fall of nations and where they live.

Are you confused about all the election din?  Daniel 2:21 says God sets up rulers and removes them.  The disconcerting news is that He says He gives us “the basest of men” (Daniel 4:17).   Maybe you’ve had such suspicions—that God gives us what we deserve by how we are treating Him.

Instead of fretting about Donald and Hillary, it’s inspiring to see how God acted as the Master Timer in the book of Esther. One night when the king could not sleep, he read in his book that Mordecai, whom Haman was trying to vanquish, had not been rewarded for saving the king from assassins.

“Literally the king’s sleep fled away.  Here is a remarkable instance of the veiled providential control of God over circumstances of human history.  Upon the king’s insomnia, humanly speaking, hinged the survival of the chosen nation, the fulfillment of prophecy, the coming of the Redeemer, and therefore the whole work of redemption. Yet the outcome was never in doubt; for God was in control, making the most trivial of events work together for Haman’s defeat and Israel’s preservation.”

The Master Timer will do His part.  Earthwide, baby chicks, nationally, in the Church and in your life. You can count on it!

With relaxed trust in The Master Timer, patiently waiting on The Master Timer, you will never be confused!

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Be Ready to Give an Answer

A Christian wants to be a good ambassador for Christ.
A good witness. A light. Share the good news! But how to best do so?

Cry aloud and spare not (Isaiah 58:1).
But be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove (Matthew 10:16).
And don’t cast your pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6).
If you’re pontificating on the corner of the sty,
you need the Apostle Peter’s wise instruction in 1 Peter 3:15,
with seven key parts to consider:

  1. “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts”
    “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things” (Matthew 12:34).  Conversion is the best solution for speaking good words.  Peter says to “sanctify,” meaning set apart. Set apart time for God through prayer, study, fasting and meditation.
  2. “Always be ready”
    Such requests come when least expected!   The Unexpected is trying to arm you with understanding and preparation.   Ready to what?
  3. “Give a defense”
    Not offense! The Greek apologia means “answer for, clearing of self, defense.” But you are probably not hauled before an inquisition and probably don’t need to come out swinging.  They are family—to eventually become a brother or sister in Christ—they just might not know it yet!
  4. To everyone who asks you
    Don’t go around trying to convert everyone like we did when we first learned some new truth and probably wanted to brag about it as being in the know.  We want our first love tempered by wisdom, which is one-third timing.

    Let the questioner direct the conversation.  Focus on them, not yourself.  Christ first asked “What do you seek?” (John 1:38).  He started with where they were and then pointed them to Himself … “Come and see” (v. 39).

    At the Transfiguration (Matthew 17), Peter was so excited to be there that he gushed comments. The voice gently corrected “This is my Son—hush up and listen to Him!”

  5. “A reason”
    When a preacher saw that only one person showed up for his sermon because of bad weather, he reasoned that the one man deserved to hear his whole message. But later the farmer told him: “If only one cow shows, I don’t give him the whole load!”

    This is a good time for a Weymouth rendering: Don’t give Wey Too Much Mouth!

    “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil”—Proverbs 15:28.

    “Even if everything you say is in plain language, there is a point where too much plain language does more harm than good”—The Language of Trust by Michael Maslansky, p. 75.

    “You can have the best message in the world, but the person on the receiving end will always understand it through the prism of his or her own emotions, preconceptions, prejudices, and preexisting beliefs.  It’s not enough to be correct or reasonable or even brilliant.  The key to successful communication is to take the imaginative leap of stuffing yourself right into your listener’s shoes to know what they are thinking and feeling in the deepest recesses of their mind and heart… “Speech is a surrender, not a conquest”—Words That Work—It’s Not What you Say, It’s What People Hear by Dr. Frank Lunz.

  6. “Hope”
    Lunz says “Negative messages no longer work the way they did in the past.” With negative first, people don’t usually stay tuned and don’t hear the positive. A prerequisite for messages of trust that work today is to be forward-looking.  The Greek word for “answer” is pros and means “a preposition of direction; forward to.”  Our answers should be founded on the coming Kingdom of God!
  7. “Meekness and fear”
    “Do it in a gentle and respectful way” (Living Bible). The prophet Nathan confronted David about his heinous sin by first connecting with David about something he would agree with: It wasn’t right for a man who could have anything he wanted to take a poor man’s only sheep.

Guided by Peter’s seven principles, you are ready to give an answer.

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Robert Curry

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Who’d Expect a Fisherman to Talk Like That!

A fisherman on the Sea of Galilee led a gritty life fighting the elements.
That rugged life called for action and
zealous men probably peppered their talk with salty language.

Galilee fishermenSo what’s the Apostle Peter, a former leading fisherman called by Jesus Christ to be a fisher of men (Matthew 4:19), doing talking about “precious” items? That’s Saturday night talk you’d expect from the Church Lady not the bravado apostle.

Peter is the gospel of hope, teaming up with James (faith) and John (love) to write about the three most important characteristics of the Christian life (1 Corinthians 13:13).   As you’d expect, Peter talks about our “living hope” in 1 Peter 1:3, 21 and 3:15.

But what a big surprise to see Peter talking about our hope being thanks to seven “precious” items:

  1. “The genuineness of your faith being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire” (1 Peter 1:7)
  2. “You were redeemed … from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers … with the precious blood of Christ” (1:18-19)
  3. “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (2:4-5)
  4. “To you who believe, He is precious” (2:7)
  5. “But let it be the hidden person of the heart with the incorruptible ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit which is very precious in the sight of God” (3:4)
  6. “To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1)
  7. “By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (1:4)

We should read, study and change our lives based on what this fisher of men has written. As 1 Peter explains, we have hope through trials and sufferings because of these seven truths. As 2 Peter adds, we must not let any from within or without the church deceive us on these precious pillars.

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Robert Curry

Standing Where $8 Million in Gold Buried!

In June 1979, on my drive across the United States in my old Dodge Dart, I managed to find the ranch just inside the New Mexico border on the Colorado side where Eddie and Doris lived. They were like parents to me and I was excited to be visiting them for a few days on my move from Virginia to California.

Barely out of the car without even taking time to unpack, I just had to go see something they just couldn’t wait to show me.  They pulled out a brand new fairly top-of-the-line metal detector and we piled into their old ranch pickup as Eddie bounced us across the rough terrain.

goldHe and Doris regaled me with the local legend of buried treasure totaling $8 million in gold!

It seems a stagecoach was fleeing from some robbers on horseback and was chased into where two rivers stopped them in their tracks.  Before the robbers arrived, they hurriedly buried the treasure and drew a map of it on a nearby rock.

The robbers arrived and killed all the stagecoach riders except a boy managed to escape.  Later he returned, took a picture of the rock with the map somewhat obscured, and then fled to Mexico.

Locals all know the legend.   Some have pictures of the defaced rock.   Nobody knows of the money ever being found and claimed. Just legend?

On a recent day while riding the ranch moving cattle, Eddie came upon THE ROCK!  In the spot where the two rivers met!  That day Eddie and Doris drove me out there and there I was looking at it!  It definitely was the unique rock in the picture!  Imagine stumbling upon one particular rock out of acres of look-alike weather-beaten rocks!  The $8 million should be buried nearby!!

I have never experienced such a rush of greed and lust!  Pounding heart!  Imagine me being the human being out of all humans to find such a treasure!

For hours we tramped around hoping the detector would buzz for gold.   Then we’d have to figure out how to silently smuggle out $8 million in gold since Eddie and Doris only managed the ranch, they didn’t own it.

Silence!  The only dream detected was a hole neatly dug out of the ranchland like an empty crypt.  Fitting because our hopes of getting rich quick died.

Truly all things worked for good because the Proverbs warn about wealth hastily gained (13:11).   Yeah, the Proverb says that, but we would have gathered it “little by little.”  Yeah, they say winning the lottery turns out to ruin the lives of many winners, but hey, as the joke goes, let me be so cursed!   No, it’s called fools gold for a reason.

Well, that was a day to treasure—sharing such an adventure with Eddie and Doris.   Priceless.

And the consolation prize is far more valuable.  Thank God, Eddie, Doris and I were all called (John 6:44) to know THE ROCK and the pearl of great price.  The Bible says wisdom is more valuable than rubies (Proverbs 8:11).

Remember how it felt to feel that close to $8 million in gold and put that into seeking the right treasure that truly is within my grasp.

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