Perfect words for the New Year

Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill.
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say, “Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life, “twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.

C.T. Studd

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The books of Kings for Kids

The story begins with the aged King David transferring his authority as king to one of his sons, Solomon. As the old king is dying, he tells his son, “Solomon, show yourself to be a man and follow God closely as written in the Scriptures. For it is when you live by them that you will prosper.” Shortly after David died, Solomon went to worship God in a city called Gibeon. During the night God appeared to him and said “Solomon, ask me and I will give you anything you want.” In humility Solomon asked for one thing, and that is to have a wise heart to be a good and faithful king before God. This pleased God and along with unmatched wisdom God gave Solomon riches, power, peace, and acceptance with the people. During his reign there was no king as wise or as wealthy as Solomon. Many other kings came to see and marvel and how God blessed Solomon.

One of Solomon’s greatest achievements was building a magnificent temple for God. When it was finished, God’s presence filled the temple. God made that temple his dwelling place among people. However, as time progressed Solomon began to wane in his devotion to God. He began to acquire more and more things for himself, married many many women, and started to treat other deities on same level as the God of Israel. This displeased God greatly. It also began to weaken Solomon’s kingdom.

When Solomon died his son Rehoboam became king. The people were worn out from all the building projects of his father and asked the young king for a break. Unfortunately, Rehoboam did not listen to the people, nor to the older wiser man, but instead headed the advice of those like him. Instead of relieving the people, he threatened, and in turn they retaliated and rejected him. And so, the one people of God, the Jews, became two nations. One, in the south, which remained faithful to Rehoboam

and another to the north which choose another king, Jeroboam. This turn of events was the consequence of Solomon’s unfaithfulness and God’s punishment for it.

The nation of Israel in the North under Jeroboam very quickly turned away from God and began to worship false gods of the nations around. King after king in that kingdom was leading the people deeper and deeper into idolatry. One particularly wicked king, Ahab was so bad that God caused a three-year drought to come on the land to teach him a lesson. When the prophet Elijah came and rebuked the king and showed him that only the God of Israel was worthy of praise by opening the heavens with rain, king Ahab still rejected him and God. After repeated warnings through his prophets God gave the entire kingdom in the hands of the Assyrians who took over their land and scattered the Israelites all over the world.

Things in the south were slightly better, but not by much. Some of their kings like Hezekiah followed the Lord. During his reign God saved the nation from Assyrian invasion because of his faithfulness. But there were others like Manasseh who were unfaithful. Eventually the Southern Kingdom called Judah was conquered just like their brothers in the North. God used the Babylonians to destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, and displace the people from their land.

At this point is seems as if it was the end of the nation of Israel and Judah. They are displaced from their land, their towns burned, and the temple is destroyed Have God’s promises failed? The story doesn’t end here, but on a hopeful note. The last king of Judah, while in captivity is elevated by the Babylonian king and given honor. It is as if God is saying, “I’m not done yet, I will fulfill my promises, I will establish my King and gather my people.” This, we see fulfilled in the NT by Jesus and the Church.

Thanksgiving Thanks

John 9 records for us a fascinating story about Jesus healing a man who was born blind. The story shows us how Jesus views people in contrast to those around him.

To the disciples this man is no more that a mere cold theological conundrum, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” To the Pharisees he is an object of heretical and rebellious investigation. Neither seems to have any concern or compassion on the poor man.

Jesus is strikingly different. His focus is not on the theological issues at hand, but rather caring for this man. He is the only one in the story who sees a human being in need and not a thing to dissect and discuss.  He gives the man physical and spiritual eyes. This is so beautiful about Jesus, in the midst of any situation He doesn’t miss the person.  For anyone who’s been a Christian any length of time knows that Jesus deals ever so caringly with all His own, not just this man.

However, this is not the main reason I’m thankful for Jesus Christ this thanksgiving. The situation with the blind man turned into a very important discussion between Jesus and those who were surrounding Him. Two of His statements in particular make me grateful.

In v. 39 He says, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” I too once was blind, but now by His grace I’ve been given eyes to see!

In chapter 10 as the discussion goes on Jesus says, “…I lay down my life for the sheep.“ Jesus gave His life so that I may not only have spiritual eyes, but eternal life as well. He paid the price for my freedom.

I am most thankful for Jesus’ death and gift of spiritual sight this thanksgiving.