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IT IS A PRIVILEGE
If you are a negative person, are going through difficulties, are extremely ill, had something bad happen to you or to your family recently, or hang around with negative people, you may not think that it is a privilege to be alive. Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but let us reflect as to what we really have.
We are living in a time when progress is moving at a tremendous and at an alarming rate. Many of us are having a difficult time keeping up with it. Some new product comes out and a few months later a newer one comes out on the market and the first one is completely obsolete. However the positives by far outweigh the negatives.
With the new inventions and the new machines everything can be done easier, faster, more efficient, more comfortable and many times even better than before. That saves us time and allows us to get more accomplished. Prime examples would be in the transportation and communication industries. The telephones and the automobiles are changing so fast that by the time we buy one a newer model has come out and the one we have just bought is yesterday’s news.
The new inventions bring us comforts that even the kings or the very wealthy people were not able to enjoy before. This generation is definitely privileged compared to all the past ones. Those people could not even dream or imagine of having the luxuries we have today. Although we should, we don’t consider them luxuries, but rather necessities. Yes, to a large degree we are spoiled.
Progress is moving so fast that we have no idea how the future will be in twenty or thirty years from now. We can take a calculated guess, but that is all it would be. All around the world there are scientists working on every field at every level. Some of what they are doing is top secret, and some could be common knowledge. Most of what they come up with will benefit mankind, but some will hurt us. Dangerous weapons of any type could wind up killing millions of people in wars or killing members of the general population if they were to fall into the wrong hands.
It is a privilege to live in the United States of America as some of our poor people have comforts and luxuries that many people in other countries do not have. Instead of complaining and criticizing we should be thankful for what we have. Not only are we fortunate to have many comforts and luxuries that other people do not have, but we have a form of government where we have freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom to vote and many other rights and privileges that people in many other countries quite simply do not have.
There is a saying that says: “You don’t know what you have until you lose it.” Ask the Cuban people, the North Koreans or the Venezuelans and they will agree with it. Let us hope that does not happen to our country. As absurd as it may seem, just as it happened in those countries it could happen to us. We are not immune to that, and especially if we go to sleep thinking it could never happen here. Guess what? It could!
No matter in what state or country we live, instead of complaining, blaming others, or criticizing let us stay informed, vote, get involved and help make it better for all of us and for future generations. Let us always count our blessings, learn from our experiences, be grateful, and look for the silver lining in every situation.
If the world gives you lemons, make lemon juice and sell it. Turn your negatives into positive ones. Always look at tomorrow with anticipation. Be a doer, not a complainer nor a criticizer. Remember; not only is it a privilege to be alive. but more so to be alive in this particular time.
http://thelivinglights.com rlsalvation@gmail.com rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net (6/21/18)

YOU CANNOT HAVE FAITH WITHOUT KNOWING GOD
In Romans 10:17 the Bible tells us: “ So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” When you hear the word of God you begin to have faith in Him, and your faith begins to grow. It is impossible to believe in God if you have not heard His word. That is because if you have not heard His word you do not even know He exists. One cannot have faith in something that does not exist.
The more you read the Bible, the more you go to church, the more you discuss God with people, the more you listen to testimonies about what God has done in people’s lives, the more you pray to God, and the more you see your prayers answered the more your faith will increase. That is the logical progression of your faith.
People who do not believe in God do not feel His presence, do not hear His voice, do not pray, and do not see miracles even if they pray. In John 9:31, the Bible tells us: “Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.” Then in 1 Peter 3:12, it says: “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
God wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him. No, it is not religion! No religion will pave the way for you to get to heaven, but an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ will. To do that you have to get to know Him. If you have a very close friend, you trust and confide in him, and he trusts and confides in you. The reason for that is that both of you have gotten to know each other well. God is no different. He wants to know you well, and He wants you to know Him well.
In John 10:14, Jesus tells us: “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.” In John 10:27, He tells us: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” If we have received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are His sheep. Then in John 10:3-4, our Lord tells us: “To him (Jesus) the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep (Christians) hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep (people) by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”In other words, we – the Christians – follow God’s principles and live according to His will because we know what it is, and we do it in obedience.
When the final judgment comes, we will be sent to one of two places; heaven or the lake of fire. if we have received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior He has paid for our sins with the blood He shed on the cross, and we will be allowed to spend eternity with God. Our Lord will tell us:“Well done, good and faithful servant.”- Matthew 25:23. If we have not received Jesus Christ in our lives, the Lord will tell us: “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”- Matthew 7:23.
If you want to come into the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, your first step is to receive Him as your Lord and Savior or Redeemer. If you have never done that, this is the perfect time for you to do it. The reason is simple; you do not even know if you will be alive tomorrow, and if you will ever have that opportunity again. Read the following prayer several times, and when you think you understand it, pray it to God aloud. He will hear you and accept you as His child. That means when you die, you will go to heaven and not to hell or the lake of fire.

“Father God, I repent of all my sins. Please forgive me and receive me as Your child. I believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Your Son, that He suffered, died, and resurrected on the third day to pay for my sins. I make Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of my life, and I ask the Holy Spirit to live in me, so He can guide me and protect me. Thank You, Father. Amen.”
Now that you are God’s child, get to know Him better. Read the Bible starting with the Book of John, go to a born-again Christian church, fellowship with other believers, praise God in thanksgiving, and pray to Him for your needs. Ask Him to become real to you, and He will. God bless you!
http://thelivinglights.com rlsalvation@gmail.com rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net (6/14

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