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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

March 19, 2014 - Move Over, Methuselah

By Scott Harrup

Genesis' genealogical records list some amazing life spans among the early descendants of Adam and Eve. These people lived for hundreds of years. Methuselah, described as 969 years old when he died, is the oldest in the bunch.

If someone today had lived that long, their childhood years would predate William the Conqueror’s foray into England and the resulting Battle of Hastings in 1066. Even relative "youngsters" in Genesis (Enoch, for example, whom God took at the age of "just" 365) would enjoy lives stretching from early Colonial America to today.

The only comparable lifespans I knew of were in the plant kingdom, so I was surprised to learn of recent research into the longevity of some forms of microbial life. If those studies are accurate, they suggest possible lifespans that would render Methuselah's death an early loss during middle age. A species of the lowly hydra (Hydra magnipapillata) is now believed to survive for as long as 1,400 years.

Of course, the research emphasizes that hydra would only live this long under controlled laboratory conditions. In the fresh-water streams, rivers and lakes that are their natural homes, hydra would probably meet with some form of catastrophic injury or lethal predation in much shorter time spans.

Even under controlled laboratory conditions, despite any cutting-edge medical care I might enjoy, if I live past 100 I'll be a tottering bag of bones. But I've daydreamed sometimes of what it might be like to live for two, three, four or more centuries. How many college degrees could I pursue? How many careers? What could I accomplish if I retained a respectable amount of strength and mental clarity from century to century?

Then I remind myself — this life is the merest speck preceding the life to come. Consider these observations and promises from God's Word:

"You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand" (Psalm 16:10,11, NIV).

"Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life" (Matthew 19:29).

"Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life" (John 5:24).

"Now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life" (Romans 6:22).

"Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life" (Galatians 6:8).

"He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:5-7).

— Scott Harrup is managing editor of the Pentecostal Evangel and blogs at Out There (




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