Don’t Lose Your Marbles!

(Click here for the podcast recording.)

Welcome to FaithBuilders Podcasts at buildyourfaith.net.   

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)

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40 Days of Purpose – Day 16

Welcome to FaithBuilders Podcast at buildyourfaith.net. This is Pastor Bill Crane.

This is the devotional for Monday, May 15, 2006 which is Day 16 of our 40 Days of Purpose. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 16 of Rick Warren’s best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous days’ devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

Day 16 – What Matters Most

Life is all about love!

“Love means living the way God commanded us to live. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is this: Live a life of love.” 2 John 1:6 (NCV)

Because God is love, the most important lesson he wants you to learn on earth is how to love. It is in loving that we are most like him, so love is the foundation of every command he has given us. “The whole Law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love others as you love yourself.” Galatians 5:14 (LB)

Of course, God wants us to love everyone, but he is particularly concerned that we learn to love others in his family. Why does God insist that we give special love and attention to other believers? Here’s why – God wants his family to be known for its love more than anything else. Jesus said our love for each other—not our doctrinal belief—is our greatest witness to the world. He said, “Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35 (LB)

In heaven we will enjoy God’s family forever, but first we have some tough work to do here on earth to prepare ourselves for an eternity of loving. God trains us by giving us “family responsibilities,” and the foremost of these is to practice loving each other.

The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now.

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders Podcast at buildyourfaith.net. It is a ministry of Faith Church of the Nazarene in Jacksonville, NC. For more information about Faith Church visit us at jaxnaz.org. Build your faith today by loving one another.

40 Days of Purpose – Day 12

Welcome to FaithBuilders Podcast at buildyourfaith.net. This is Pastor Bill Crane.

This is the devotional for Thursday, May 11, 2006 which is Day 12 of our 40 Days of Purpose. For these 40 days we will be posting daily devotions based on the material in Rick Warren’s best selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life. We invite you to get a copy of the book and read chapter 12 with us today.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous day’s devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

Day 12 – Developing Your Friendship with God

You are as close to God as you choose to be!

“Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.” James 4:8 (NLT)

Like any friendship, you must work at developing your friendship with God. It won’t happen by accident. It takes desire, time, and energy.

The first building block of a deeper friendship with God is complete honesty—about your faults and your feelings. God doesn’t expect you to be perfect, but he does insist on complete honesty. Every time you trust God’s wisdom and do whatever he says – even when you don’t understand it – you deepen your friendship with God.

We don’t normally think of obedience as a characteristic of friendship – obedience is reserved for relationships with a parent or the boss or a superior officer – not a friend. However, Jesus made it clear that obedience is a condition of intimacy with God. He said, “… You are my friends, if you obey me.” John 15:14 (CEV)

There is nothing—absolutely nothing—more important than developing a friendship with God. Paul told Timothy, “Some of these people have missed the most important thing in life—they don’t know God.” 1 Timothy 6:21a (LB)

Have you been missing out on the most important thing in life? You can do something about it starting now. Remember, it’s your choice. You are as close to God as you choose to be.

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders Podcast at buildyourfaith.net. It is a ministry of Faith Church of the Nazarene in Jacksonville, NC. For more information about Faith Church visit us at jaxnaz.org. Build your faith today by becoming best friends with God.

40 Days of Purpose – Day 4

This is Wednesday, May 3, 2006 which is Day 4 of our 40 Days of Purpose. For these 40 days we will be posting daily devotions based on the material in Rick Warren’s best selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life. We invite you to get a copy of the book and read daily one of the 40 chapters of the book along with us. This podcast contains material from the book as well as supplemental material

DAY 4 – MADE TO LAST FOREVER

This life is not all there is!

“God has…planted eternity in the human heart.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

Life on earth is just the dress rehearsal before the real production. You will spend far more time on the other side of death—in eternity—than you will here. This life is preparation for the next.

You have an inborn instinct that longs for immortality. This is because God designed you, in his image, to live for eternity. Even though we know everyone eventually dies, death always seems unnatural and unfair. The reason we feel we should live forever is that God wired our brains with that desire!

Matthew Henry said, “It ought to be the business of every day to prepare for our final day.”

So, spend some time today preparing for eternity!