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2-16-2017 Those Who Love God

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 NKJV). Does this mean that everything in everyone’s life produces good? Only “those who love God.” 1) John wrote: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3 NKJV). Jesus said: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16 NKJV). Anyone who makes baptism a “burdensome” commandment keeps a person from loving God! 2) God’s “purpose” is for anyone “to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29 NKJV). In the burial of baptism, a sinner is “united together in the likeness of His death” (Romans 6:5 NKJV). Is God’s “good” in your life?

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#good, #purpose, #water-baptism

Disappointing technology

technology-empty

Technology is a thing. Therefore, it cannot satisfy. It will ultimately disappoint. It may get you some attention, but it won’t win you love. Continue reading

#fellowship-with-god, #purpose, #technology

Set this day for good

Up early as usual, with only the birds disturbing the quiet. The light gradually grows outside the window. There’s no experience like the dawn.

While still young, this day can be set to bring joy, peace, and fulfillment. Make it so!

“Satisfy us in the morning with your loyal love! Then we will shout for joy and be happy all our days!” Psalm 90.14 NET.

#morning #time #purpose

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

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(#46) The Proverbs of Solomon 11: 23-Determining Determination

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 11:23: “The desire of the righteous is only good, But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.”

The thought is that the purpose of heart determines one’s purpose in life. It is repeated in verse 27 using “seeks” for “desire” of the righteous, and “seeks” for “expectation” of the wicked. What we go for is what we’ll get; our goal determines our aim; we will be whatever we “dream” about becoming. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ said: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). Good purpose will receive good result. In the Old Testament, “Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10); Daniel “purposed in his heart” not to be defiled with his surroundings (Daniel 1:8); so in the New Testament, Christians were “encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord” (Acts 11:23). It is this inner desire that keeps one’s feet moving toward the goal. Obtaining our heavenly reward requires this very thing. Jesus Christ said: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able” (Luke 13:24).

Other proverbs state this truth: Proverbs 12:5-6: “The thoughts of the righteous are right, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. 6 The words of the wicked are, ‘Lie in wait for blood,’ But the mouth of the upright will deliver them;” Proverbs 12:20: “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy;” Proverbs 14:22: “Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good;” Proverbs 21:10: “The soul of the wicked desires evil; His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.”

If ever a truth about humans is taught, here it is: no one rises above his/her goal.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#ask, #bible-study, #goal, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #purpose, #seek, #wisdom

Illustration: Purpose in Life

Josh McDowell told this great story:

An executive hirer, a “headhunter” who goes out and hires corporation executives for other firms, once told me, “When I get an executive that I’m trying to hire for someone else, I like to disarm him. I offer him a drink, take my coat off, then my vest, undo my tie, throw up my feet and talk about baseball, football, family, whatever, until he’s all relaxed. Then, when I think I’ve got him relaxed, I lean over, look him square in the eye and say, “What’s your purpose in life?” It’s amazing how top executives fall apart at that question.

“Well, I was interviewing this fellow the other day, had him all disarmed, with my feet up on his desk, talking about football. Then I leaned up and said, ‘What’s your purpose in life, Bob?’ And he said, without blinking an eye, ‘To go to heaven and take as many people with me as I can.’ For the first time in my career I was speechless.”

What a great answer! Clearly, this was something Bob often thought about and actually lived. Put yourself in this interview for a minute. What would you have said to this executive headhunter? Would you have an answer or would you fumble around trying to think about the right thing to say?

Many times we as Christians have been told about the purpose of life. The problem is, we don’t take it literally. We may know the right answer, t we don’t actually think it and live it. Can something really be our purpose in life if we rarely think about it and don’t live it? Certainly not.

Bob had it right. Our purpose in this life is to get to heaven (Ecclesiastes 12:13; Matthew 7:21-27; 1 Peter 3:21), and take as many with us as we can (Matthew 28:19-20). Let’s not just know, but actually LIVE the purpose of this life, “To go to heaven and take as many people with me as I can.”

by Brett Petrillo, via “The Daily Bread” e-devotional, Bear Valley Church of Christ (Denver, CO), 4/3/2012

#conviction, #illustrations, #purpose, #purpose-in-life, #spiritual-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

Wandering Minds

“Wandering Minds”

A study that came out in November 2010 found that wandering minds make people unhappy.

The study found that people spend about half their time thinking about being somewhere else, or doing something else. The researchers tracked 2,250 people using an iPhone app that contacted them at random intervals to ask how happy they were, what they were doing, and whether they were thinking about it or something else. They found that 46.9 percent of the time the people were thinking about something else, and as a result were unhappy.

“A human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind,” wrote psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University in the journal Science.

Suggested applications

●We need purpose in life to be happy.

●Our thought life usually determines our happiness, which is why Philippians 4:8 encourages us to think on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right….”

Reference: “‘Wandering minds’ make people unhappy: study,” sg.news.yahoo.com (11/12/10)

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn Hitchcock

#human-mind, #news, #purpose, #thoughts

Things that lost their original purpose

Here from my perch are things that seem to have lost their original purpose:

  • U.S. government;
  • Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts;
  • Public schools (well, maybe they always had the indoctrination purpose);
  • YMCA — oh, sorry, the Y;
  • Some religious publishing houses and some Bible societies;
  • Fellowship meals;
  • In some places, the church.

#changes, #purpose

Original Purpose Lost – The Tree Of Life

What lost its original purpose? Immediately, I thought of the tree of life, which man was barred from in Genesis 1:22-24 because of sin, but will be restored to those in the body of Christ who are “overcomers” [faithful], even when facing certain death (Revelation 2:7,10; Revelation 22:1-2).

#barred, #body, #death, #immediately, #life, #lost, #original, #overcome, #purpose, #restored, #sin, #tree

Daily Nudge: Original purpose lost — and news

Name something which lost its original purpose. Can be something in Scripture or society. Can be an organization, a plan, a project, a person, whatever. Tell how that original purpose morphed into a different beast. Perhaps it morphed into something better. That’s always a possibility, although things tend toward entropy. But you never know.

News, anyone?

#nudge, #purpose

Does Prayer Change Anything?

In Eric Rauch’s article, “Does Prayer Change Anything,” Mr. Rauch observes the following:

“One of the best descriptions of the purpose of prayer can be found in Arthur W. Pink’s book, The Sovereignty of God.”

He quotes:

“Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God. Prayer is a confession of creature weakness, yea, of helplessness. Prayer is the acknowledgment of our need and the spreading of it before God.”

Paul said it another way: “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

#attitude, #confession, #dependency, #description, #prayer, #purpose, #sovereignty, #weakness

As in Revelation 4, Revelation 5 is a ma…

As in Revelation 4, Revelation 5 is a magnificent scene as well, of prayers and praise to the One who was able to open the book (Revelation 5:5). The book symbolizes God’s eternal purpose for man’s salvation (Ephesians 1:3-14; Ephesians 3:1-11). The “new song” in Revelation 5:9, is the song of redemption. The expression “new song” is one which comes from an expression of gratitude in the heart of man due to some mighty deed (or deeds) of God. We see this expression being used in Psalms 33:3; 40:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1.

In Isaiah, we find that because of the many wonderful works of God (Isaiah 42:5-9), the prophet wanted to “sing unto Jehovah a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth” (Isaiah 42:10).

#book, #eternal, #magnificent, #praise, #prayer, #purpose, #redemption, #salvation, #scene, #symbol

Anyone can become angry. That is easy. B…

Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – this is not easy.

Aristotle, Greek philosopher (384-322 B.C.), from the Nicomachean Ethics

#angry, #degree, #easy, #person, #purpose, #time, #way