Purpose

Almost everyone has a purpose in life. Taoists say that their purpose in life is rejoining the One. Hedonists say that their purpose in life is to enjoy while they can.  Christians say that their purpose is to glorify God.

But often even we Christians seem to lose our purpose. We become listless. Our standard of work falls. We have fewer creative ideas. We can be careless of other people or their belongings. Sometimes we can lose respect for ourselves.

If we look at our human condition, that’s certainly easy to do. Our race has rebelled against God and the majority continues to defy Him. We are ruining our planet. Our personal lives are filled with suffering, mistakes and regret.

But we must look beyond ourselves. If we don’t stretch our gaze past the busyness and boredom of everyday life to above the heavens and see God, we are still lost.

Isaiah 51:6

Isaiah 51:6

I remember learning the Westminster Shorter Catechism when I was about 8 or 9. The first question and answer is this:

Q: What is the chief end of man?

A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.

At that stage, I really had no understanding of that at all. God hadn’t yet begun to teach me to look beyond my immediate surroundings and see Him. The phrase was for me arbitrary, having no meaning beyond that of the individual words.

That changed. God began to work in my heart, first showing me my sin, and then filling me with His Holy Spirit and showing me His glory, beyond the clouds.

So then, I was filled with a new desire to seek His ways, to serve Him in all my doings. Glorifying God became the new purpose of my life. And I was enjoying it. But I didn’t understand that.

It took a few months. Then one winter morning as I was swinging my way down the South Hill, it hit me. I was enjoying God! And I was just going to keep on doing that, forever! In the midst of my sorrows and triumphs, I am still enjoying Him.

But the story doesn’t end there. My life is still going on, and I still need to examine my heart to find purposes hidden there. All which are contrary to God’s will, I have to ask Him to cut away, and all which are in conformity to His Word, I rejoice in!handshake

There’s one more point which I’ve covered elsewhere on my blog, in the post God’s Commands and Our Promises. I continue to struggle with this one. Why did I get out of bed this morning? Because I was hungry? Because I needed to be at the library before 9 am? Or was it simply because God’s Word says in Proverbs 26:14 that

As a door turns on its hinges,
So does the lazy man on his bed.

Beautiful poetry, of course. But what a strong message! The next time you turn off the alarm and roll back over, remember this!

So, on this earth and for all eternity, our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Have fun!

In Him,
Rhoda

Advertisements

Keep Serving With Your Thoughts

ocean.sunset.2

Some more ‘thoughts on thoughts‘ for you today :).

“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.” 1 Peter 4:7

I find that if I’m reading questionable books, watching questionable movies, and listening to questionable conversations, it’s a lot harder to have a conversation with God. If I’m surrounded by questionableness, my thoughts are less likely to be holy.

Last time, I shared an idea for dealing with unwanted thoughts. This week, I’d like to give you some ideas for keeping them away in the first place.

I’ve still updating my Books page, so have a look for some more ideas. All the books on that page I have read, so I can personally recommend them.

Read C.S. Lewis or Edith Schaeffer instead of Stephanie Meyer or Dan Brown.

Watch Courageous instead of The Wolverine.

Listen to Kevin Swanson instead of One Direction.

Read the Bible!

Keep serving God with your thoughts!

To Go or To Stay

For several months now I’ve been feeling God calling me to the mission field. It began with a Bible reading: Jeremiah chapter one verses four to eight. It continued with a missionary’s newsletter, which included this verse : “And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Luke 10:2)

go

This call has only been growing stronger since then. I’ve been reading through the book of Acts, and read, spread through chapter 22, these words:
‘Get up and go, why do you delay? Get up, Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ (vv. 10, 16, 21) I wanted to go so much that I cried because of this ache I couldn’t dull. I didn’t know how, or where. But I knew that I had to go. Soon.

Then came yesterday.

I sat outside on a piece of roofing iron, crying again. (That happens when you’re growing up 🙂 ) I was wondering suddenly, whether to go or to stay.

Stay

My heart was changing… and I wasn’t sure why. This is what I wrote later that evening:  “I was wondering whether to go or to stay. Was ‘go’ a test, to see if, after being called to the mission field, I would be content to stay at home? Crying, I imagined. I imagined a wise man sitting down beside me. He spoke to me, some words of reassurance that God loved me now and forever. Then he turned and pointed to the moon. He said

“See the moon? See the white part, the part where the sun yet illuminates? That is your life, the part you have lived. You can see all of it. Now see the rest of the moon, the dark side? It’s not completely black, but dark brown. And if you look closely, you can see its outline. That is the rest of your life, the part yet to come. The white part shows the simple shape of the rest, but not the particulars. It is this way with your life. The part you have lived, you can see clearly, with all its humps and hollows, ins and outs, ups and downs. The rest, you will see as it comes.”

I had been totally convinced that the way I would be spending a good-sized portion of my life was on the mission field. And when that tugging left, it left me pondering. “Am I called to go, or to stay?” But I learned that knowing my calling isn’t the important thing.

All I need to know about the rest of my life is this:

  1. That I will sin
  2. That God has forgiven all my sins
  3. That I must live in thankfulness to Him for His mercies (Psalm 136)

So I still don’t know whether I am called to go or to stay, but It Doesn’t Matter. Not now. What matters is that I remember to be humble in all circumstances before Almighty God.

And Serve Him with Joy!

Go or Stay

Note: When I posted this, it was more than two weeks after the ‘evening’ and ‘yesterday’ spoken of here.

This World is Not Our Home

file000520062726This world is not our home. John 17:14 makes that clear: “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ,” adds Philippians 3:20.

OK… so what? We know that. We’re headed for heaven, and, well, that’s good, isn’t it?

If you are assured of your salvation, that’s a reason to rejoice! But this knowledge also has implications for our lives in this world.

If we don’t belong here, we shouldn’t live as if we do. We should actively examine our motives for all that we do, say, and think. This is assuredly no easy task, and this need for godly wisdom and discernment is a reason to spend time with godly, wise older people who have learnt from their life experiences and can give us help in our lives. Spending time with people, or girls, of this world will just encourage us to be like them, worldly, foolish and certainly not a good influence. But mature believers who have walked life’s narrow road for some years are sure to be a help, and not a hindrance!

Another implication of our heavenly citizenship is that we should not be satisfied with our lives as they are. We should be able to see our sins, faults, and unwise choices, and work to eliminate them. If you are comfortable with your life, and the world around you, you should do some serious thinking about how you measure up to God’s standards.  Even if you aren’t, we all need to evaluate our habits, and examine our lives.

If you are living for this world, and the things of this world, you may be of it.

We must also look at our serving, and be sure that we are serving God, and not the world.  It must show that we are not taken up with worrying about earthly things, but concerned only with giving the glory to God. It must be honouring to Him, and show that we are waiting for our eternal reward.  Because, after all,

This world is not our home.

How do You Spend Your Time

file000274328404How do you spend your time? And how much of it do you use to read the Bible?

As a young woman living at home, I often find myself with time on my hands. And until recently, I would often use that time to read young adult fiction books from the public library.
We read in 2 Timothy 3 these verses:
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work,”
The word ‘adequate’ here means perfect, or complete, and therefore my understanding of this passage is that the Bible is plentiful for everything.
All we need to know about God and how we should live in response to His glorious goodness can be found there. If we devote our time to reading the Word, we can discover God and His will for our lives.
So, if the Bible can answer all these questions, and all we have to do to find the answers is take time to read the Scriptures, the question is,

Why don’t you?

When this question was asked of me, it as if a dagger had pierced me to the heart. It hurt so much. My immediate response was outer silence, accompanied by an inner guilt.
The next day, realizing that I had never actually read the whole Bible, I started reading at Genesis 1:1. I read the book of Genesis in three and a half days, and a week after beginning, I had also read the whole of Exodus.

Although I have slowed down a little, the fire still burns within me. And while I don’t expect everyone to follow my example to the letter, I pray that this post will inspire you to place the Bible high on your priority list.
The Bible is indeed the Word of God, which He has given to us, so that we may be equipped for every good service. And I’m sure it pleases Him when that service is full of joy!