Deliberate, not easy

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately. But avoid profane chatter, because those occupied with it will stray further and further into ungodliness,(…) 2 Timothy 2.15-16

The Christian life is a deliberate one. It is also not an easy one. Paul writes to Timothy to make every effort. This is not a picture of being laid back and letting come what may. We have to be diligent in our lives to be what God wants. It does not come by instinct. We must teach the truth accurately. If we never read and study the Bible, it will not happen.

Paul also gives a warning: avoid profane chatter. What do you spend most of your time talking about? Is it politics? Is it books? Is it general gossip? Be careful. Paul warns that if we spend our time in profane chatter, we will stray further and further into ungodliness, exactly where we should not want to go.

Our message should be the gospel. So many are lost and wandering, looking for something to give meaning and hope to their lives. We have what they need. Are you sharing it?

#risingjoy #2-Timothy #meaning

I worked so hard: Ecclesiastes 2.18

“So I loathed all the fruit of my effort, for which I worked so hard on earth, because I must leave it behind in the hands of my successor.”

Ecclesiastes 2.18

At the funeral of a rich man, one friend asked another, “How much do you reckon he left?” The other replied, “All of it, I’m sure.” Solomon knew this many centuries ago.

Life “under the sun” (excluding God) is depressing. Only God can give it meaning. Only God can bring us purpose that will last beyond this earth.

#Ecclesiastes #votd #meaning

What an atheist did answer, then me (5)

QUESTION: If there is no god, how does your life have meaning?

ATHEIST: My life has whatever meaning that I attach to the concept.

CHRISTIAN: This is true; life’s ultimate purpose or meaning is directly connected to one’s choice of a moral code.

#atheism, #meaning, #moral, #purpose

Purpose in or for Life

Here is another letter to the editor I submitted to our local paper ten days ago; it was printed in today’s edition. Let me encourages you, brethren, that as often as you can write a “letter to the editor” is as often as you can evangelize with the printed word.

Letter to editor,

Some ask questions like, what a “transcendent truth?” is or “what is truth?” with a perspective that there is not one or it is not possible to determine if there is one. These are questions (and thus arguments) of the atheist and agnostic. Generally speaking, liberals recognize such a concept as truth that is objective and transcendent. However, according a recent study, “…liberal churchgoers” are becoming less and less ‘churchgoers’ because they have become offended and leave as the devout churchgoers become more conservative. In fact, one researcher said, ‘When you take away that external form or motivation, people either drop away or they find their own kind of motivation’” (“Duke prof says in book: Americans religious faith waning”, Journal-Gazette, C-3, 8/30/2011).

This is exactly the predicament atheist Kai Nielsen was in when he said, in his debate with J.P. Moreland on God’s existence (1991), “there can be purpose in life even if there is no purpose to life” (italics his). This is a rational atheist recognizing that his life is a meaningless existence, yet there is need for proper motivation to do certain things. If meaning is only in this life, then there is no rational reason for being good in comparison with not being good – except for utilitarian reasons. Thus, the idea of “universal principles” are strictly man-made and, correspondingly, meaningless concerning purpose for life’s existence! This is the nature of the evolutionary hypothesis for life.

One writer said, in a completely different context, “I’ve heard it said half-jokingly that the difference between philosophy and religion is that philosophy is questions without answers and religion is answers without questions. I’d like to think that a secular studies program could combine the best of these two stereotypes” (Herb Silverman, President, Secular Coalition for America,  Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the College of Charleston, Washington Post, On Faith, 9/1/2011).

Indeed! Perhaps something like this ought to be pursued, and we can begin with the question: “Can one know there exists a transcendent being (God) to whom each will give an account?” This is a question that is worthy of debate, as one is taking place in northern Alabama on a university campus in late September.

#editor, #meaning, #purpose

Life’s Purpose

What is your purpose in life? How do you know that you are serving God’s purpose in life? Interesting question to say the least! However, though interesting they may be, these questions don’t have an easy answer. A local preacher posed that to a few of us recently. I offered to him my opinion.

“I appreciate your question. [His question] ‘Can a person live a godly life, living faithfully, but yet truly never know what their actual purpose in the kingdom is?  Could it be that while [one serves] the Lord to the best of [his] ability that preaching was not [that] true purpose?  And that [one] may never know God’s purpose for [self]?’

[Her remark based on a facebook remark I made] “I always believed that God puts us where he wants us and then it’s up to us to discover what it is we’re to learn and/or contribute.  I also believe that we may live our entire life perhaps having served our purpose without being aware that we did.”

[My reply, in part, to the brother’s inquiry] “…one’s life does affect the philosophy lived by. I don’t dismiss her opinion. I do not think her opinion is wrong. Since the Lord places us where He desires, and He desires that we seek for Him, our place in this world is an optimum opportunity for each of us to do so.

“Is she right? The only thing, biblically, that I can say with certainty is Romans 8:28 (cf. 2 Thess 2:14). The purpose of God for each person is their salvation – this you already know. What purpose of God exists for each of us apart from this? Is it that we are to preach or not preach (cf. Colossians 4:17), or is there some other role for me?

“It is my opinion, and I must underscore the word opinion, that the subjectivity aspect of life is ours and our role, occupation, and pleasure must submit to the Lord’s revealed will. In other words, we can choose what we desire to do, but out choice must bow to His will. I suggest this is God’s purpose for our individual lives.

“Does one’s purpose equal one’s view of self? That is a question I don’t think I can answer with any substance apart from opinion. I feel good about myself and what I do. Am I, therefore, fulfilling God’s purpose for me in life? I would like to think so, but this opinion is held by many varied ideologies and we know that many of these varied ideologies are not in accordance with God’s revealed will. Thus, my subjective opinion can only go so far. Consequently, I go back to my previous paragraph. “

As you think about this topic, perhaps you can be some assistance to one trying to find their purpose in life.

#meaning, #purpose

Corruption Wins

From the opinion page of the El Paso Times, comes the following observation by Rogelio Lopez:

“Everyone knows corruption and politics go hand in hand but nobody seems to want to break that bond.
Where did we lose the true meaning of this country? Why should all our “representatives” be millionaires and gaining?

How does that represent someone who lives off of Social Security?”

He then ends his article by saying, “I’m lost.”

My response to his statement: “Join the crowd, I’m lost as well, Mr. Lopez.”

#bond, #corruption, #country, #lost, #meaning, #millionaire, #observation, #opinion, #politics, #representative

My Favorite Flower

The rose has always been my favorite flower because of its beauty and distinct sweet smell. The rose carries with it symbolic meanings as well, depending upon its color:

#beauty, #color, #favorite, #flower, #meaning, #rose, #smell, #symbolic

Connotation and denotation

Good stuff so far on the term “authority.” What I’m looking for, however, is not the denotation, or common meaning, but the individual emotional impact of this word. That will vary among persons, according to experiences, insights and studies. What does the word feel like to you? What color does it have?

Let me give an example of another word. A friend of ours couldn’t think of God as “Father,” because her father abused her sexually at home. The connotation of abuse and extreme duress associated with the term “father” kept her from appreciating this wonderful concept and prevented her from obeying the Lord.

#authority, #connotation, #meaning