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A Pattern For Living

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Moasaic Pattern

There are some who say that everything we do has already been determined. We are mere puppets going through life following a path which someone else decided for us long ago. Perhaps one reason some people think this way is it removes responsibility. If our lives are predetermined, then how can we be held responsible for the things we do? If we have no choice, the praise or blame falls on the One who made us this way and caused our behavior.

The truth is that we confront choices every day. And, they are real choices. No one makes us turn right instead of left. We choose our own path. While it is true that God knows ahead of time what we will do, He does not force us to do it. He lets us choose whether we will serve Him or not.

“If He Had Told You To Do Some Great Thing...”

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Hero Fighting a Monster

There was once a high military official who suffered from leprosy. He was valiant and loved. He enjoyed the respect not only of his own household, but of his king. However, no cure could be found for his illness.

One day he learned of a prophet of God in another country who could work miracles. The officer got a letter of introduction from the king. He also took a fortune in silver and gold for payment and went to the prophet for healing. But the prophet refused to even see the officer. He merely sent a servant to tell the officer to dip himself seven times in a certain river if he wanted to be cured of his disease.


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Which Path?

Quite often we do not like to make choices. The reason is that making a choice commits us to a course of action. If we do this, we cannot do that. We would rather keep our options open.

Another reason we hesitate to make choices is that it opens us up to criticism. There will always be someone who does not agree with the decision we made. We don’t want to disappoint them. Even worse, we are afraid they might oppose us or even ridicule us.

A Sure Hope

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In this life troubles are inevitable. Sooner or later we will confront a situation which is greater than we are, or beyond our control. It might take the form of a natural disaster. An earthquake levels our house, a fire destroys our city or a drought produces famine.

Things God Cannot Do

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When we try to describe who God is we use titles such as “Creator”, “Giver of Life”, “Judge” and “Sustainer”. When we list His attributes we think of words like “eternal”, “infinite”, “great”, “all-seeing”, “loving”, “omnipresent” and “gracious”. Perhaps one of the attributes we ascribe to God most frequently is “almighty” or “all-powerful”. By this we mean that there is no power that is greater than God. There is nothing or no one which can prevent Him from doing whatever He wants. But did you realize that there are some things which God cannot do?

Better Than Life

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Most people will go to extraordinary lengths to save their own lives. If they are ill, some people will put their families into heavy debt for costly surgery or treatments to buy themselves a few more months of life. Still others will lie and allow the innocent to be condemned in order to save themselves.

Why do we cling so tightly to life? Is it because we fear what lies beyond? As King Solomon wrote, “Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of an animal goes down into the earth?” (Ecclesiastes 3:21 NIV)


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TumorNo one likes pain. In fact we will often go to great lengths to avoid it. Many times we will even put off taking care of problems because we are afraid that dealing with them will cause us pain.

But the truth is that we all experience pain and suffering. It is an unavoidable part of life. Every one of us has wounds – some which are visible to all, others which only we know about.

How To Win Favor

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A Big Smile

Everyone would like other people to think well of them. The question is how to achieve it. Some people think the answer lies in external appearance. But following the latest fashions and dressing in the latest styles does not guarantee that anyone will respect or like you.

Some people think the way to obtain the regard of others is to accumulate wealth or power. But gaining wealth and power does not ensure that people will like or respect you either. It is more likely to cause jealousy and envy.

What If There Were No Want?

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A Huckster Plies His Wares

Can you imagine a world in which there were no needs? No one would go to bed hungry. No one would lack the necessities of life. Everyone would have enough money and resources. No one would lack education. Everyone would enjoy good health.

For centuries, philosophers and politicians have attempted to devise social and political utopias which would remove all of the injustices and inequities which plague mankind. None have succeeded. None of them ever will because they only address symptoms instead of the real cause of mankind’s troubles.

True Beauty

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People are obsessed with the pursuit of beauty. Every year our society spends fortunes on products designed to make us look better. Every day we are bombarded with advertisements which promise us beauty if we will only buy what is offered.

Yet, we all know that physical beauty is temporary. Though we do not like to admit it, we are well aware that the Bible is true when it says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting...” (Proverbs 31:30 NIV) No matter how many creams and lotions we buy, we cannot stop the ravages of time.