Don’t Lose Your Marbles!

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How is your new year going so far?  Can you believe it is 2007 already!  I can’t!

Not long ago I received an e-mail which gave the account of a man who found a way to remind himself to take advantage of the time he had.  He calculated that if he lived an average lifespan, at about 58 years of age, he had about 1000 weeks left to live.  So he went out and bought 1000 marbles and put them in a glass jar.  Every Saturday morning he took out one marble and threw it away.  Then he set out to use his week in a productive, meaningful way, spending time with family, serving others in love, accomplishing “missions” of ministry for God.

Did you know that the average lifespan for Americans is about 78 years?  Most of us think that is a long time away still, especially if you are in your teens or 20’s.  However, an average 15 year old only has 3276 weeks left to live.  An average 20 year old only has 3016 weeks left in an average life span.  If you are about 30, you have about 2500 weeks.  I am 43, so I figure I have only about 1800 weeks left, if I live to be 78.  If you are about 50, you have about 1500 weeks left.  If you are about 60, you may have a little over 900 remaining.  So what are we going to do with those weeks?

I don’t know about you, but I want my life to count for something greater than myself.  I want my life to contribute to something that lasts longer than my earthly life.  I don’t want to “lose my marbles!”

Join me in considering, as we begin 2007, “How will I spend my life this year, this week, this day?”

Just don’t lose your marbles!

“Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
  (Psalm 90:12, NIV)

The Quest – Day 23

This is the devotional for Wednesday, October 18, 2006 which is the 23rd day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 23 of Frank Moore’s insightful book, The Power To Be Free.

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Day 23 – Heart Cleansing for Purity

Purity requires God to cleanse our hearts.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10 NIV)

Yesterday, our quest highlighted the purity illustrated in Isaiah’s life. But we must not assume that purity can be ours simply by deciding that we will pursue it. We need much more than focused willpower.

Take a moment to read Psalm 51:1-12 in preparation for today’s study. The first part of the passage reveals our need for God’s forgiveness. Then verse 5 calls attention to the fact that our hearts need cleansing too. From infancy we prefer our own interests, even if they go against God’s will for our lives. In verse 6 David says, “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” The problem of sin is solved only at its source where the desire to sin begins. David calls for a divine washing of his inner nature. He seeks a transformation to change him from the inside out.

Here lies the heart of the matter. God’s forgiveness of our sins is essential, but forgiveness is never enough. David prays for God to deal decisively with his sinful nature. This prayer for purity asks God for three things: (1) a clean heart, (2) a right spirit, (3) a sense of God’s Spirit living within him.

As in David’s time, people still come into this world with a desire to please themselves. They use free will to choose their own ways, and they wake up one day deeper in sin than they realized was possible. Yes, more than anything they need forgiveness for their acts of sinning. Once forgiven, they also need God to cleanse their hearts of the desire to sin or serve self.

The good news is: God can help us; He provides two cleansings!


The memory verse for this week is Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

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Build your faith today by asking God to cleanse your heart!