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    Jim Langley: Absent Yet Present | Homes & Lifestyle

    My preferred method of communicating with others is in the intimacy of small gatherings rather than large audiences without interaction. Writing to a diverse audience can be a lonely task.

    The Apostle Paul apparently understood this as described in his letter to the Church in Colossae. In Colossians 2:5 we read, “For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.”

    Paul could only assume that his message of hope and instruction was being received and making a difference in the lives of his audience. It would obviously take time to hear back from his reliable sources.

    In my opinion, there was no more prolific communicator for the cause of Christ than the Apostle Paul. Scripture contains nine letters written to the churches in Rome, Corinth (2), Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae and Thessalonica (2). And other letters from Paul may well have been lost.

    These words of instruction and encouragement were written for the edification of those who followed Christ after His death, burial, resurrection and ascension into Heaven, and have continued to enlighten the world for nearly 2,000 years. Certainly, the Holy Spirit will continue to use his letters in the lives of future generations.

    These days, with so much chatter filling our air waves, it’s quite challenging to dissect Truth from the myriad of misinformation/disinformation being promulgated by the Enemy. There’s a multitude of deceptive messaging inundating our senses that, unfortunately, persuade some to consider the need for dramatic change in our society.

    Yes, there have always been those who have presented deceptive messages at the expense of others. What they communicate may feel good, but the content has little or no value for the good of humankind and certainly does not please our Heavenly Father. It’s so easy for some to get sucked into the quagmire of quaint quotes and ideologies.

    What I personally believe has kept the messages found in Scripture, written by 40 unique authors, vibrant and viable is the distinct presence of the Holy Spirit in each of the writer’s lives. These were not their words, but the words of God sent down for them to write for the benefit of future generations.

    They were used by God to simply transcribe His words — not having the slightest idea how prophetic and sustaining what was being written would be. Once we allow Christ to enter our heart, these written words miraculously become the sustenance we need to survive and thrive in this wicked world.

    Fourth Quarter Strategies is now in its eighth year of publication. It’s been a joy to write these short essays to a growing audience. Over the years, I’ve been blessed immensely in meeting via phone, email and occasionally face-to-face with some of the many who take a few minutes to read what God has kindly allowed me to convey.

    I simply consider myself to be a vessel, an instrument, a conduit for presenting His Truth to those whom He places in the paths where these writings can be found.

    Listen to these salient words written by Peter found in 2 Peter 1:20-21: “Above all you must understand that no prophecy or scripture came by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

    I trust that this brief essay will encourage you to draw closer to our God and remain in His Word as you continue on your life journey.

    I pray you will draw near to Him and to God be the glory!

    Passages to Ponder

    » Psalm 95:6-7

    » Acts 17:11

    » Isaiah 59:21

    » 1 Thessalonians 2:13

    » 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    » 2 Peter 3:15-16

    — Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at [email protected] for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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