Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Finding meaning in your life

We generally all want to believe that God created us for a specific reason or purpose, and that we have some mission to fulfill for Him.

Last night I was pondering the fact that it really may not be any kind of  "official" mission (like preacher, prophet, singer, etc.), but just simply living your life where you are and serving God and others with it. Still, a part of me feels there must be some specific mission we all need to fulfill in our lives.

While following up some verses on "grace" in my Bible study, my eyes lighted on Acts 20:24, "But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned to me by the Lord Jesus- the work of telling others the good news about the wonderful grace of God."

Our lives really does not feel like there is any lasting meaning / purpose to it unless we serve others in a way shown to us by Jesus, for Jesus.

With that in mind, let's give of ourselves to serve others in some way, and ask God to make it clear how He would use us individually.

2 Corinthians 9:12-13
..this ministry of giving...as a result of your ministry they will give glory to God.

Acts 20:35
It's more blessed to give than to receive.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

A private audience with God

Last night I was feeling tired and drained after a difficult day at work, dealing with a difficult applicant all via email.  Although I had done nothing wrong, I had been the one this person vented on all day long.

So at one stage in the evening I aimlessly paged through my Bible, emotionally not really open to anything I read.

Then I focused on the heading "Hezekiah asks for help" in Isaiah 37. That slowly got my attention, especially this part:

Isaiah 37:14-16
After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the Lord’s Temple and spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the Lord: “O Lordof Heaven’s Armies, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth.

From the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary:
The phrase, "dwellest between the cherubim," arose from their position at each end of the mercy seat, while the Shekinah (glory), and the awful name, Jehovah, in written letters, were in the intervening space. They are so inseparably associated with the manifestation of God's glory, that whether the Lord is at rest or in motion, they always are mentioned with Him (Nu 7:89; Ps 18:10).

I just got this sense of God calling me to enter into His presence, to come right into His throne room, and just tell Him how terrible my day had been and soak in His peace and awesome Presence.

But so many times we just feel sorry for ourselves and don't feel like praying.  What God wanted me to see is this is not "praying" in the traditional sense, this is just running to God's inner sanctuary and being with Him there while He restores my soul.

With that in mind, these verses below took on a much richer meaning for me.

Hebrews 4:14,16
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe...So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Hebrews 6:19-20
This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 10: 19-22
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Ephesians 3:12
Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.

Ephesians 2:18
Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.

Monday, 08 February 2010

Loving God with your all

"You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind."
Matthew 22:37

That verse took on a new meaning for me today.

It happened because I'm studying some material by Ariel & Shya Kane about living in the moment.

They are passionate about the concept of being present in your own life, because you are either living your life, or thinking about your life. You can't do both at the same time. You miss your own life if you become preoccupied.

So in that context, what does loving the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind mean?  Bringing all of your attention to God when you love Him.

It's just like when we talk to a loved one, we want all of their attention at that time.  We want the gift of the whole person engaged with us in that moment.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.

Wednesday, 03 February 2010

The Lord really is good

We have all heard that verse "taste and see that the Lord  is good" (Ps 34:8) so many times that we don't even "hear" what is says anymore!

The Lord is good.

The problem is that many times and for some people all the time, we don't actually believe God is good. We've got our evidence to the contrary.  Life has dealt us some heavy blows, we get depressed, someone breaks our heart, we don't get that job we so desperately needed... and we're left thinking God doesn't really care.  Or worse, that's He's vindictive and spiteful.

Psalm 118 starts by saying give thanks to the Lord for He is .... *drumroll please*... good.  And continues on to say "His faithful love endures forever."  It says so again in Psalm 136, oh and in 2 Chronicles 20:21...and so forth and so forth. 

The Lord is good.

Lamentations 3:25 goes on to say "The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him."

And what about Isaiah 30:18-19? It doesn't specifically mention the word good, but that's pretty much what  it means..

So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion.

For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.
O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more.
He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries.

If you are weary and longing to experience the Lord's goodness, listen to the song on the youtube video below.

The lyrics to Peace Be Still
Come to Me, you who are weakLet My strength be yours tonight; Come and rest, let My love be your bed
Let My heart be yours tonight

Peace be still, Peace be still; Please be still and know that I am God
And know that I am God

Come empty cup, let Me fill you up; I'll descend on you like a dove tonight
Lift your head, let your eyes fall into Mine; Let your fear subside tonight

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Tuesday, 02 February 2010

To this end was I born

The New Living translation of John 18:37 reads as follows:
Pilate said, “So you are a king?”
Jesus responded, “
You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”

Most translations read as follows:
"You are a king, then!" said Pilate.
Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

The second version make us focus more on the fact that Jesus confirmed He is a king, than on what he stated as his life's purpose (born to testify to the truth), whereas the New Living Translation, by not confirming what Pilate asked, brings the focus to the fact that Jesus "was born and came into the world to testify to the truth".

Okay, go read them again to see what I mean.  :-)

Neat huh, but it gets better!  The following two emails I received later on pretty much confirmed what that verse means to me when I read it. That I too was born with a purpose, to testify to the truth.  The first devotional, The purpose of life, doesn't mention who wrote it, which is a pity. The second devotional is a prophetic word (I love you) that gets sent out to all members on the list.

See what they mean to you.

"To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth."-- John 18:37.

This was our Lord's answer to Pilate's inquiry, and to a certain extent each of us may appropriate His words. Wordsworth's immortal lines suggest that we stood before God to receive our commission, ere we became clothed with this body of humiliation. Whether or not the poet is right in his surmise, that "not in utter nakedness or forgetfulness do we come from God, who is our Home," we need not argue. It is enough that God, who hates nothing that He has made, sent us forth to realise an ideal, to fulfil a purpose, to bear witness to some phase of Truth! Shall we not ask ourselves, as in His Presence, whether we are fulfilling the

Divine purpose of what the Apostle calls "our high calling"? (Phil 3:14).
God created each soul with a purpose. The potter takes in hand a lump of clay with a distinct design. He means, when he places it on the horizontal wheel, to make of it a vessel to adorn a temple or palace, or he has in mind to serve some household use. The revolving wheel on the one hand, and his skilful manipulation on the other, will evolve and complete his purpose. "Cannot I do with you, as this potter? saith the Lord."

"Thou hast made me and fashioned me. Thou didst choose the time and circumstances of my birth, my parentage and heredity, my mental equipment and my physical frame. From the first Thou didst know the constitution of my body, which Thou didst fashion in secret, and curiously work in the lowest places of the earth."

To our humble challenge: "Why hast Thou made me thus?" God does not always give an audible reply. His answer is often voiceless, it steals in upon the soul insensibly, and we know that we are fulfilling His purpose. If you are engaged in some unwelcome task, which evidently is your duty; if you are shut up as companion with some uncongenial charge; if you are called to minister to people who seem unresponsive or unsympathising, ask that the Saviour and you may be yoked together, that His Will may be done through you, that His love and kindness may bear and forbear in you, and that you may witness to the truth, as it is in Jesus.

O God, some of us shrink from our life-work, from those with whom we have to associate, from unwelcome toil and irksome tasks. Enable us to see Thy plan, and to trust Thee who art working out Thy plan in our lives. May the love of Christ constrain us no longer to live unto ourselves, but to Him. AMEN.

This word is submitted by Vanessa Whittaker
I created you all for a reason and I embrace you as My child. Stand
strong in what I have given you, for I chose you from eternity. My
hand is overcoming your enemies. Let Me work, and you will see wonders,
for My hand is on you, and I am looking after you.

I love you, My child, and you have been bought by the blood of the
Lamb. You don't realize how precious you are to Me. I am your Loving
Father, and I wish to guide you all though Life. Just take My hand.
The adventure is about to begin...