Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Too many people try to avoid the subject. Some refuse to discuss it, especially with family, as if it will never happen. But we know it will and the Bible tells us we should be prepared for it. Are you?

Eternal Perspectives   by Sally Bair

Death and dying 

As I write this column, I’m grieving over the death of my older sister, Jo. Her death was expected, considering her failing health, but facing the death of a loved one is never easy no matter how imminent.

Young people tend to think life will go on forever. As we age, however, the subject of our mortality causes us to take closer inventory of our past. Did we do all we should have in showing love to our family? In fulfilling our dreams? In serving and obeying our Lord Jesus Christ? Or have we left some issues unfinished, like forgiving certain people? What kind of emotional and moral legacy have we left to our family? What about our spiritual legacy—is there more we could have said or done to point them to a strong relationship with the Lord?

I’m especially mindful of my own mortality as I watch the trees lose their leaves, knowing another season of death is near. And believing a new season of life will appear next spring. That’s what I’m believing for my sister—a new life with her Savior. Her last gesture was a barely manageable smile as she pointed to her daughter-in-law’s shirt that had the word Immanuel printed on it.

Only God knows the heart of a person. The most honest, “religious” person may not know our Lord personally. The grungiest looking may know Him better than anyone around. God is the final judge at our death. We may face death in the arms of a loved-one, but the act of being transported from a life of breath to its final cessation is experienced alone.

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose I, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)

As we each face our mortality, let us consider where we will spend our future. Many people don’t believe in God’s final judgment. Do you? Wouldn’t it be better to believe in it than not? Losing out on the promise of eternity with Jesus in heaven is not something to consider lightly.

Lord, thank You for Your promise of eternal life with You. Give us the will and desire to deny ourselves and follow You daily as we look toward the day of our own death. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Too many times we seek the light of someone or something else, which illuminates for a while but eventually sputters into oblivion. Only the light of God’s love, through His Word and presence, will shine bright enough to keep us from straying off any path.

Eternal perspectives   by Sally Bair

God’s light

My friends and I didn’t reach our destination, a waterfall, until dark and then we had to hike back to our vehicles. The canopy of the thick woods hid all light, even that from the stars. I couldn’t see my hand in front of me. What I did see, however, was the milk-white t-shirt worn by the guy in front of me. As we stumbled along the trail, I clung to the back of his shirt, happy for the bit of light it produced. As long as I hung on, I knew I’d reach our destination.

The comforting glow of that t-shirt reminded me of God’s light. In the literal sense, God made light to shine in the form of the sun, moon and stars. “Let there be light,” He said during His creation of the universe. During the exodus of His people through an unknown wilderness, He guided them with a pillar of fire during the nights they traveled. When Paul encountered God on the Damascus Road, he was blinded by supernatural light. Other biblical examples point to God’s guiding light as well.

We also understand light in the metaphoric sense. “Her smile lights up her face,” we hear. “Ah, I get it now. A lightbulb just went off in my brain.” And the Bible uses the metaphor of light when describing our relationship with God. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 14:16)

Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.” (John 8:12) In the Bible, darkness denotes sin and evil. It conjures up thoughts of hiding the truth. Who would want to walk in the dark when we could have light to guide us, as I did with my friend’s white t-shirt? Isn’t it logical to want the security, protection and peace that light gives us?

Jesus offers life-saving, life-enhancing light. He has promised that as long as “hang on” to Him and turn away from the darkness of sin, we will reach our destination of fellowship and eternal life with Him..

Lord, thank You for being our Light. Give us the desire and will to cling to Your light as I clung to the white t-shirt of the person who led me to my destination that evening. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Monday, September 11, 2017


No other kingdom will give us the riches and blessings that God’s kingdom will. That’s His promise. Let’s live in it.

Eternal Perspectives   by Sally Bair

God’s kingdom

The lion is considered the King of the Jungle. As such, he isn’t readily confronted by other jungle inhabitants. And in the world of people, it takes a special kind to deal with him. 

Remember playing King of the Hill as a youngster? Only the boldest and strongest dared pull the King off the hill.

It takes a lot to be a king.  In the animal kingdom it takes strength, size, and fearlessness.  Among us humans it t takes more than that.  A good king must have a strong sense of command, compassion for and devotion to the people under him, and unbiased fairness.  In the Old Testament during the time the Israelites were ruled by kings, the people thrived when ruled by a good king.  The evil kings, however, brought the people down until they cried out to God for help.  It became a vicious cycle: good king, good life, bad king, adversity, repentance, deliverance, good king ….

Jesus spoke often about the Kingdom of God.  He was not an earthly king, as many wanted Him to be.  His was—and is—a spiritual rule.  He brought healing and deliverance to the people.  And He rules in the hearts of all who accept Him as king.  Besides healing and deliverance, Jesus' spiritual rule also includes power over Satan's domain.  Through the power of God’s Spirit, He still causes miracles to happen.

Jesus told us we must seek first His kingdom—not our own—and His righteousness, and then He will give us all that we ask.  We might wonder, what is our kingdom?  It might be our family, job or pastimes.  Whatever we control or whatever controls us becomes our kingdom. 

God's kingdom brings blessings that no other kingdom can.  It is our responsibility to seek His kingdom every day in every way.  It is not for those who neglect His Word and presence, who deliberately disobey and compromise our faith with worldly pursuits.  It is for those who persist in avoiding sin and following His will, even to the point of facing ridicule or worse.

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  (Matthew 5:10)

Lord, forgive us when we've made other people and other things the king, the controller, of our lives.  Help us remember to seek Your kingdom above all others—every day in every way.  In Jesus' name, amen. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017


Sometimes we have to change our perspective in order to see Jesus in a new light. He would have us be open to such changes as He gives.

Eternal Perspectives     by Sally Bair                       

A higher plane

As a kid, I illegally climbed my home town’s old water tower. A few friends and I decided we needed a new perspective on the world. Though I wouldn’t admit it, I was scared stiff. When I reached the third rung I wanted to quit but wouldn’t chicken out. If my friends could do it, so could I.

Once I reached the tenth rung, I began to talk to myself. “One step at a time.” “Don’t look down.” “You can do it.” And I did! I’d never been so high up before. Standing secure on the circular walkway and overlooking the vast panorama of autumn leaves in the distance, I felt guilty, yet giddy with pride.

The experience left a mark on my memory. I had accomplished something risky, conquering fear in the process. My perspective of the world and of myself had changed.

Sometimes it takes a new experience to change our perspective, like that of Zacchaeus, a hated tax collector. The short man climbed a tree in order to see Jesus, who was walking amid a large crowd. His encounter with Jesus changed him. Though giddy with joy, his guilt at short-changing people brought him to repentance and new life. He welcomed Jesus into his home, and said, “Look, Lord, I give half of my possessions to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” (Luke 19:8)

Like Zacchaeus, our view of Jesus can become enlarged, as mine did from the top of the water tower. He realized his wrongdoing. May we too realize our sins as we view Jesus from a higher plane.

Lord, change us from the inside out as we encounter You in Your Word, in prayer, and in fellowship with others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

(Reprinted from The Nature of God: Autumn’s Splendor Daily Devotionals by Sally Bair.)