We have to pay attention and be careful. We have to examine our lives often and make the decisions that are required to get on the right path and stay there. We cannot afford to drift along, living by default. We must live our lives on purpose.
Let's work on having a more accurate and complete understanding of ourselves. Let's pray that God will aid us in seeing all that He wants us to see about ourselves as His created children. The more truth we have in our hearts, the closer we'll be to God.
We make two mistakes regarding mercy: we suppose (1) that God extends His mercy to those who deserve it and withholds it from those who don't, or (2) that after receiving God's forgiveness we are somehow more deserving in His sight than we were before.
When we have finally let go of our illusions, that is when God is able to redeem us from our reality. There is no other way for the gospel to save us. We must realize that we are ruined. "How else but through a broken heart may the Lord Christ enter in?"
There is nothing in this world that is ours to keep -- we're going to have to let go of all of it. The only thing we'll never have to give up is God. So may we allow the One Thing to be our security that was meant to be our security and look at everything else as temporary.
A greater life can be ours in Jesus Christ. Let us resolve to spend our days seeking Him and His forgiveness, on whatever terms He stipulates, so that when this life slips away from us, as it surely will, the thing that will be waiting for us is real life -- life indeed.
Too often, we make the effort to be courteous to everybody else but then treat those nearest and dearest to us with rudeness and irritability. But if anybody in the world deserves to get our very best behavior, isn't it those we come home to after work?
We must translate our feelings of compassion into actions of mercy. Most of us are moved by compassionate feelings. We do love our neighbors, to some extent. But feelings must be urged into action. Compassion must actually bathe the fevered brow.
This is a special report, so I hope you'll read it carefully -- and prayerfully. Here is what it comes down to: because of my health issues, I need you to let me know which of you, if any, will continue to support me knowing that all I will be doing is writing.
To update you on my health situation, since my last report to you my radiation treatments have been completed. The early lab results have been promising, but it will be 6-12 months before anything very helpful can be known.