They say that confession is good for the soul, and perhaps that is true. All I know is that I find myself in a difficult position. How can I quote from a Steven Seagal movie without admitting that I have watched, and even enjoyed, some of his movies? In Marked for Death, the bad guy, Screwface, with a Jamaican accent said, “Everyone want go heaven, but nobody want get dead.” I guess that, out of the mouths of babes, and in this instance, psychotic movie villains, can wisdom sometimes flow.

           I hope I haven’t scared anyone away; rest assured that this letter is about life, not death, but Screwface does make a valid point, and I have to agree that no one really wants to die.  Although, sometimes physical, emotional, or spiritual pain can cause some people to seek death, it may bring others to hopefully await the return of Jesus Christ.

           “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 21: 4

           Recently, I asked a young man what he thought about the possiblility of the second coming of Jesus Christ occuring in the near future.  He replied that he didn’t give it much thought.  After all, people have been expecting and wrongly predicting this event for two thousand years.  And, shouldn’t we be more concerned with our daily walk with the Lord?

           “Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.”
Ecclesiastes 11: 9

           Not that long ago I spoke to someone who told me that she had retired and was receiving a pension and social security.  She owned her home, took good care of herself, and was planning on enjoying another twenty-five or more years in good health.  I could not help but think of Jesus’s words that are recorded in the book of Luke.

           “And he told them this parable: ‘The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop.  He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do?  I have no place to store my crops.’

           Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do.  I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years.  Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry,’

           But God said to him, ‘You fool!  This very night your life will be demanded from you.  Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?”
Luke 12: 16-20

           For many of us it takes a great deal of effort just to make a living in these troubled times.  Add to that the enormous responsibilities that marriage and family can bring, and there is not a lot of time and energy left for comparing scripture to world events.  But being a Christian has never been easy.  We have one foot firmly planted in this world while the other is in a home we have never known.  The best advice I can give anyone is that, somehow, we need to live as if it is our last day on this earth, but we must also prepare to live beyond tomorrow. 

           I believe that many Christians have forgotten that in this life we are only guaranteed today.  Tomorrow is uncertain.  This whole universe is under a curse and has been since Adam and Eve took a bite of that apple.  It is only by the grace of God and the sacrifice He made for us on the cross that our sins are forgiven and we are able to enter into a personal relationship with Him through His son.  But, as long as we are “in the flesh” we are susceptible to death, disease, and all that the Fall has brought upon us. 

           When we make plans we should remember that our future is with the Lord, and any plan we make for this life is a “Plan B,” to be followed only until we are called home.  And that plan should be compatible with how God would have us live our lives.

           “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”
Proverbs 16: 9 

           “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Matthew 10: 37-39

          “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6: 20-21

           If you have not yet been born again we hope you will not wait until “tomorrow,” for tomorrow is not guaranteed.  If you are unsure of what being born again is, we would be glad to help, or perhaps you may want to take a little time to read another of our Christmas letters on this website. Just click on this link!   “The Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

  All Scripture is from the New International Version (NIV) 1984 edition.


             Bob Rani                                                                        Mike & Sheri Rani

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