“They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave” — Job 21:13

“In a moment shall they die…” — Job 34:20

The Bible speaks of men who died suddenly—Job’s children (Job 1:18-19) and King Herod (Acts 12:21-23).

I remember the day my father died of a heart attack in 1962. I was 15 years old. His obituary in the local newspaper read: “Hughes, Allan, of 4655 Winifred, Wayne, died suddenly Dec. 7.” He was only 44 years old and in good health. His death was completely unexpected. Everyone who knew him was shocked to hear he died. My entire life changed on that day. It has truly been said: “What a difference a day makes.” [My mother also died “suddenly” five months later.]

I was thinking recently about that word “suddenly.”  My Dad’s death came suddenly and without any warning. It took everyone by surprise.

Some people die of “old age” and of “natural causes.” Others succumb after a long lingering battle with cancer or ALS. When death finally comes it comes as no surprise. People have time to prepare for the inevitable.

However, for others, like my Dad, death comes swift and from “out of no where.” It could be in a traffic accident… a murder… SID’s… a sudden heart attack, etc.

My point is, no one knows exactly when death may come. “For man also knoweth not his time… when it falleth SUDDENLY upon them” (Eccl. 9:12). Therefore, a wise man will be prepared to face eternity at any moment. He will look at each new day as a gift and not waste a single minute to invest in his eternal home.

Are you ready to meet God? It could be sooner than you think. It could be today.

Manifold Temptations vs. Manifold Grace

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: —1 Peter 1:6

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. —1 Peter 4:10

In the Peter’s first epistle he uses the word “manifold” twice—Once in reference to temptations and once referring to the grace of God. These two references make an interesting parallel.

The word “manifold” is a combination to two words: “Many” + “fold.” It means “various in kind or quality; numerous; multiplied or complicated.” It indicates a thing of many kinds or having a variety of forms.  For example, an automobile engine has an exhaust manifold. It collects the exhaust gases from multiple cylinders into one pipe.

As believers we encounter “manifold temptations”— Temptation comes in all shapes and sizes and from various sources — Sickness… Financial… Family… Persecution… Disasters… Ministry… Satan.

But, as believers we are stewards of “the manifold grace of God” which is more than sufficient to counteract the “manifold temptations” we face.


“As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.” —Ps. 109:17

The law of recompense says you reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7).  It is an infallible law that is repeated throughout the Bible, confirmed empirically by science, and demonstrated countless times in people’s lives.

Jesus repeated this law in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you… For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Solomon said, “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days” (Eccl. 11:1). What you give will be given back to you—You give out love, you’ll receive love in return.  You give out hate, hatred will come back at you.  When you show mercy, mercy will be shown to you. As you judge people, you will be judged the same way. “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Mt. 7:2).

The law of recompense also applies to being blessed.  The blessings of God are not to be hoarded or kept to ourselves.  They are to be shared with others.  God blessed Abraham to be a blessing to the world (Gen. 12:2; Zech. 8:13).

Our text says the reason why some are not more blessed than they are is because they take no pleasure in being a blessing. The way of blessing is simple—If you want a blessing, be a blessing!

As the song says, Make Me A Blessing.  Be a blessing to someone today, and see a blessing come back to you!

Who will you be a blessing to today?

Al’s Quotes & Quips for August

  • “There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you.” (William Hazlitt)
  • “God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours.” (Dr. David Livingstone, quoted in Daily In The Word)
  • “Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” (Ronald Reagan, quoted in the Des Moines Register)
  • “The Promised Land always is on the other side of a wilderness.” (Havelock Ellis, quoted in Passport to the Soul)
  • “Anyone can make a mistake. Only a fool insists on repeating it.” (Robertine Mayard, quoted in Reader’s Digest)
  • “The money spent on government today doesn’t make it one bit better than the government we got for one-third the money we spent twenty years ago.” (Will Rogers)

***Here is the final installment of quotes by Chuck Knox, former coach of the Seattle Seahawks from his book Hard Knox

  • “Winners form the habit of concentrating on what they want to have happen. Losers concentrate on what they don’t want to have happen. In pressure situations, winners call up past wins, losers call up past losses, and both are self-fulfilling.”
  • “Nearly as important as experiencing a big win is understanding how you won, why you won, so you can go on to win again.”
  • “I consider the act of playing harder when you are ahead as important as not giving up when you are behind.”
  • “We don’t have to change what we are doing—We just have to do it better.”
  • “Sometimes a guy will want to know what his title will be. Bad question. I tell him, you want a title, join the service, get a job at the bank. Here, we are only looking for guy called workers.”
  • “I never fire a coach… once they are hired, they are with me as long as they want to be. It is easier to develop continuity and vision that way. It’s harder to hire, because I can’t afford to make a mistake, but once they are here, it’s easier to be their boss. If a coach is not doing his job, the bottom line is, I brought him in, he’s my responsibility, I’ve got to make him better.”
  • “It’s not how far you’ve come, but what kind of trail you left for others to follow.”
  • “The thing I’ve discovered is that life’s results won’t always fit neatly into a line score.  Success and failure cannot always be judged by the game films.  All a man can do is walk straight and upright and believe that if behind him things don’t look so good, around the corner they must be eye-popping wonderful.”

When You Don’t Know What to Do

Neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.  ―2 Chronicles 20:12
Jehoshaphat is faced by a powerful combination of Moabites, Ammonites, and others. In his desperation he turns to God: “O God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us.”
Are we not often in this plight? Do these lines fall under the eye of someone sore beset by an alliance of evil confederates, whether in the flesh or of the unseen world of principalities and powers? You do not know what to do. We never do. We have no might against the Moabites.
But we can take Jehoshaphat’s way out: “Our eyes are upon thee.” We may not know what to do, but God always knows what He is going to do. He is never caught off guard or taken by surprise. Commit your case to Him. You can lie down at night and sleep, although tomorrow the Moabites will arrive. Many a saint has pillowed his head on a promise when all hope seemed gone. And when the dreaded day arrived God had handled the Moabites in His own way.
“Our eyes are upon thee.” “Looking unto Jesus.” We know not what to do, but He knows.  No sleeping pill can rest a man like knowing that!

Leading from Redemption to Spiritual growth…