Home> The Lower Lights> Jan 2002





  Alan Jones, Editor

  (734) 942-7956




"Brightly beams our Father's mercy

From the lighthouse evermore;

But to us He gives the keeping

Of the light along the shore."

       Published monthly by the church of Christ, 35900 Palmer Road, P.O. Box 86-233, Westland, MI  48166     

Volume 1                                                                             Jan 2002                                                                                    No7 



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"Happy New Year!!" No sooner than we heard these words of celebration, we heard talk of "resolutions". Perhaps we made a few ourselves. Advertisements for weight loss and exercise paid for all the bowl games, as these businesses tried to cash in on the viewer's commitments.


What prompts people to think more about themselves and their lives, to see changes that need to be made, and to resolve to change them at New Years? I believe this is caused by a combination of two things, 1) a realization that time is passing by, and 2) the desire to improve oneself (in appearance, health, or behavior) in order to live a better, happier life. Let God's Word show you how that these motivations should cause you to make the most important resolutions of all, spiritual resolutions.


Time in a Bottle?


The classic song "Time in a Bottle" makes a wish and then explains the reason for the wish:


"If I could put time in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do, is save every day 'til eternity passes away just to spend them with you. You know, there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them..."


The author of these words recognized that time was getting away from him and that there just wasn't enough of it to devote to what he found fulfilling. He wished to be able to put time in a bottle and then spend every day with the woman he loved, since in her he found supreme happiness.




No matter how much we wish to store time in a bottle, we cannot contain it and it gets away from us. 2001 is gone. We used that year up and we'll never have it to spend again. An even more sobering thought is that time will keep passing until we have no more time left to spend. Cemeteries all around us point out that time cannot be "bottled". Time has run out for many. It is running out on us. Let us ask this prayer of God, "Lord, make me to know my end, And what is the extent of my days, Let me know how transient I am." (Ps 39:4).


True Happiness?


You cannot even begin to live wisely until you realize that your days are numbered (Ps 90:12). Only then will you make and carry out plans to make the most both of yourself and your time. Have you been making decisions and living your life in view of your approaching death? If not, isn't it about time to start?


Solomon, with God's guidance, wrote the book of Ecclesiastes, a book about how to live life to the fullest, to be happy. He wanted to make the most of the brief time, which he had "under the sun". He was well aware that there is a "time to be born, and a time to die" (3:2) and his desire was to find the most fulfilling way to spend his time (2:13).


The King searched for true happiness in wisdom (1:16-18), entertainment (2:1-2), possessions (2:4-11), and work (2:18-22), but all of these things he labeled "vanity" because trying to find fulfillment in them was like trying to catch the wind. He was left frustrated and empty. Above all else, it was death, which made the joy of these pursuits hollow.



(Continued on next page)

RESOLUTIONS * 2002 * (page 2)


Do you realize what Solomon realized? If your happiness is in learning, have you thought that you will die as the uneducated man? Who will remember how smart you were? (2:15-16) If you're living for the weekend and entertainment, what will those laughs do for you after you're dead? (2:2) If you're looking for satisfaction in possessions, will you ever have enough? (5:10), what will happen if you lose them? (5:13-14), and when you die, will you be able to take them with you? (5:15-16). If work is your "life", you may work hard with great genius, but for what? To leave it to someone who hasn't worked for it and may foolishly squander it? (2:18-21).


Solomon's desire to live life to its fullest led him to God. He concluded, "Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it be good or evil." (12:13-14).


By respecting your Creator and living, as He would have you to live, you, too, will find true happiness now which will last beyond the grave. You will be spared the disappointments and sorrows, which come from turning your life into a game of "trivial pursuit". You will see that the secret to happiness is God-satisfaction, not self-satisfaction.




As you begin this new year, you may have plans to change and enrich your life. You may have committed to diet and exercise your physical man. You may be intending to further educate your mental man. You may be planning to make new friendships and to strengthen existing ones for your social man. But, what are you doing for your spiritual man, the part of you that will go on after the physical man has returned to the dust, the mental man has studied his last book, and the social man has severed all earth-ties?


Won't you resolve to study the Bible and obey God in 2002? You will truly enjoy a Happy New Year, regardless of what may happen to you physically, mentally, and socially.


We would like to invite you to take a Bible study course by mail to aid you in your resolution to give some much needed attention to your soul.


Call us:                  (734) 942-7956

Write to us at:      P.O. Box 86-233

                                Westland, MI 48186

E-mail us at our website: www.prchurchofchrist.org


There is no cost or obligation. Or, if you would prefer to invite us into your home for a personal Bible study, we would be delighted to come.


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