Summary: To encourage the believer as they prepare for eternity.

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George E. Crumbly (Sunday AM)

April 9, 2006 UMC Humphrey Arkansas

James 4

My sister in Florida sent me an email this week of an interview with Rick Warren regarding his new book “Purpose Driven Life.” He started off by saying:

”People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven”.

It made me do some serious thinking about life. Not just about life in general but thinking about MY LIFE!! You see one day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.

It is so easy to get so caught up in living down here that we forget about living up there. Man pretty much EXPECTS things to be hunky-dory down here. The scripture the Lord has given me today is actually scripture you would use during a funeral.

James 4: verses 12-17

There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. So who, then, are you to judge your neighbor? 13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money." 14 Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist (“vapor”KJV) that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that." 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. 17 Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions & trillions & trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal.

God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity. We were made by God and for God, and until we figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense. (most folks no matter how evil do want to make sense out of life)

Life is a series of problems: Either we are in one now, just coming out of one, or getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in our character than our comfort. (we have so much to look forward to going to heaven)

God is more interested in making our life holy than He is in making our life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness. (the Lord never ever promised me that I would be rich, or happy BUT He did promise me that he would be with me to the end)

RICK WARREN: “This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer”. He goes on to say: “I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life”.

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