Friday, October 23, 2009

Am I Happy? Part 2

In Philippians 3:4-6 Paul is bragging . He is listing his accomplishments that he had. He was an extremely religious guy, born and bred Jew, following the law to the letter, doing everything he was supposed to do. He was a smashing success. But after all this he says "I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him". To sum it up Paul is saying that his great success of his life isn't worth manure, compared to the greatness of knowing Christ.

So what happened to Paul? Paul had it all and by the worlds standards he was set, but when he meet Christ everything changed. Please don't get the wrong idea and think that Christianity is anti-success. It's just that God's idea of success is different from the world's. For example Phil. 2:7-8 tells us that Jesus took on the form of a bondservant and that He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of the cross. So how was Jesus a success? He achieved true success by humbling himself and by serving others. Success for you might mean serving like Christ, suffering for Christ, but then being lifted up by God.

So let me sum up everything. God is not anti-success, but when you expect what the world views as success to make you happy you will be disappointed. There is a God shaped hole in your heart that only God can fill. If Jesus viewed true success as humbling Himself and being a servant to others, then we need to do the same. God bless!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Am I Happy? Part 1

Happiness means different things to different people. We might say that everyone is looking for happiness, but where do they look for it, and where will they find it? One area that we try to find happiness is in our relationships. We all want and need relationship, God made us that way! The problem that comes into to play when we base our happiness on relationships. We may do anything to feel accepted, popular or valuable so we can fit in. When we do this we are letting others define who you are and your decisions are based on the approval of others. Instead of God being first priority relationships take His place and that is idolatry. So what do we do if we have this problem?

First, we need to understand that our value doesn't come from what people say about us, but from God who made us in his image and loves us. Second, if you need for approval has led you into some bad behavior, that doesn't need to be the end of the story. The Bible says over and over again that if we confess our sins and turn to God he will restore us! 1 John 1:9

Saturday, October 3, 2009

An Exciting Life

As exciting as Elijah's life was, his last day on earth was even more exciting. It appears that Elijah knew God would take him up to heaven by a whirlwind, and was making a last circuit of the cities where the prophets lived, saying his farewells. During this day Elisha followed him faithfully, anxiously awaiting this tremendous event.

Elisha followed him to Bethel, then Jericho, and finally to the Jordan River. It was after Elijah parted the waters of the Jordan with his mantle, that the horses and chariot of fire appeared and Elijah was caught up by a whirlwind into heaven.

We all know out last day on earth won't be as spectacular as Elijah's was, but what we know is that we can make out life on earth count God. We can be a faithful witness for God, and tell others about Christ. We can let the Lord use the experiences in our lives, and how the Lord helps us through them, to draw others to Christ.

What are you doing with your life? What would be said about you at your funeral? I have been to many funerals and the one thing that stuck out for me is that no one ever talked about the deceased's bank account, or his job, or all that she/he possessed. No, what they talked about this the influence of the deceased; the kindness they saw in him, the love for family they saw in her. They spoke about the generosity, the positive attitude and the encompassing strength and love for God of the person lying in the casket. Often, stories would be told of how the departed's personality would be entertaining, or serious, or exciting. Or stories would be told of how he or she make life better for those around them.

That's what matters. It is only those things that will endure. Use your life for God's glory. Elijah did- his life should challenge us to walk closer to the Lord.