Posts Tagged ‘life’
There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, ‘If I could only see the world, I will marry you.’
One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.
He asked her,’Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?’
The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn’t expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.
Her boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: ‘Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.’
This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.
Today before you say an unkind word – Think of someone who can’t speak.
Before you complain about the taste of your food – Think of someone who has nothing to eat.
Before you complain about your husband or wife – Think of someone who’s crying out to GOD for a companion.
Today before you complain about life – Think of someone who went too early to heaven.
Before whining about the distance you drive – Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.
And when you are tired and complain about your job – Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had you job.
And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down – Put a smile on your face and think: you’re alive and still around.
God’s Plan for My Life
Living by Faith
by Cooper Abrams
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (NIV)
The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. The reason is these animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall.
Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see, and with faith we are freed from the flimsy enclosures of life that only fear allows to entrap us.
Our message today is God’s Plan for my life – addressing the matter of a person growing in Jesus Christ.
God has a plan for each of our lives. Whether we live the best life we can, or accept something less depends on first… receiving Jesus Christ as our Savior and then growing to maturity as we live by the word of God. Then the progression of spiritual growth which makes God plan for our lives possible. The vital matter of letting Jesus Christ be the Lord of our lives. It is a matter of being a disciple of Jesus and letting Him guide us through life. We then are filled by the Holy Spirit God’s will for our lives is accomplished daily.
Let’s look at faith’s part in living God’s will for our lives. Our illustration of the African impala points to the fact that many people never really grow much in the Lord. They fail to realize that we are to live by faith. However, the illustration has a flaw… the impala will not jump where he cannot see. The Christian does not have that problem, because God does not tell us to take a “leap into the dark” either. God’s word explains to us the ways of God, His instructions to us on how He works in us. He tells us in clear terms what is right and wrong for us. He gives clear principles to guide us through any situation that we encounter in life.
So biblical faith is not jumping where we cannot see, but jumping or better living as God has told us. We can jump 30 foot fences in faith and land safely on the other side. Or, we can live small dull little lives… held within the little fences of our lack of faith.
I. A person who is “born again” starts a new life similar to that of a newborn infant.
A. Seven rules that promote good health in babies can be adapted and applied to a Christian’s spiritual growth.
1. Daily Food. Take in the “pure milk of the word” through study and meditation.
2. Fresh Air. Pray often or you will faint. Prayer is the oxygen of the soul.
3. Regular Exercise. Put into practice what you learn in God’s Word.
4. Adequate Rest. Rely on God at all times in simple faith.
5. Clean Surroundings. Avoid evil company and whatever will weaken you spiritually.
6. Loving Care. Be part of a church where you will benefit from a pastor’s teaching and Christian fellowship.
7. Periodic Checkups. Regularly examine your spiritual health.
B. All of these things are vital to living a spiritual life and accomplishing God’s purpose for you life. BUT… they all have an element that is much deeper. They all must have a vital element, which without, they all are dead and will fail. That element is biblical faith.
1. There is a catchy phrase that says, “If God said it I believe it, and that settles it”. If that is your attitude of trust towards God and His Word, then you are obeying the Lord, and bringing Him honor and glory. You will grow and live a wonderful life.
2. On the other hand, some express a different attitude. Some read the Bible, know that is what God has said and yet respond by saying, “God, you have a good thought, I appreciate it, but you don’t understand my circumstances”.
Some profess to believe Phil. 4:19, which says “…my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
However, when things are not exactly convenient or the going gets tough, as it will, many become anxious lose sight of God’s presence. Some just continue on doing little or nothing and really going no where. Some panic, and begin to question their salvation and God’s promises.
Both responses are human. But in Christ we can overcome just being human. We have the supernatural power of God to encourage, guide and strengthen us. To be anxious or to panic is human, but it is not an act of faith. When anxiousness and panic and uncertainty come, in the believer’s life…faith should immediately take over.
That means we then do what the Bible says to do… we obey God and He then takes over.
John 5:10, says “he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar”.
In this message “What is God’s Purpose for My Life,” I believe the most important message is the foundation of finding and living God’s will for our lives. God has a purpose and that purpose is found in with biblical faith. Without faith Hebrews 11:6 says “it is impossible to please God.”
I wonder how many of us would honestly see ourselves somewhat like the farmer in a story I heard. The story is told of an old farmer who proudly and frequently described his Christian experience to his friends saying… “Well, I’m not making much progress, but I’m established!” What he was saying was that he was not growing or accomplishing much for Christ. He was established is true… but being established for what?
One spring when he was hauling some logs, his truck’s wheels sank down to the axles in mud. Try as he would, he couldn’t get the truck out. Frustrated, he sat down atop the logs, viewing the dismal situation. He was trying to figure out what next to do…
Soon a neighbor who had always felt uncomfortable with the farmer’s worn out defeated testimony came along and greeted him. He chuckled to himself and could not resist the opportunity to respond the farmer’s silly past statement.
He smiled and said… “Well, brother Jones, I see you’re not making much progress, but you must be content because you’re well-established!
This reveals the problem. Some look upon their situation and are content with it. Others give up and do nothing. I think most of us accepts that we should grow in Christ.
Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had never been seen before.
People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man always refused. “This horse is not a horse to me,” he would tell them. “It is a person. How could you sell a person? He is a friend, not a possession. How could you sell a friend?”
The man was poor and the temptation was great. But he never sold the horse. One morning he found that the horse was not in the stable. All the village came to see him. “You old fool,” they scoffed, “we told you that someone would steal your horse. You are so poor. How could you ever hope to protect such a valuable animal? It would have been better to have sold him. You could have gotten whatever price you wanted. No amount would have been too high. Now the horse is gone, and you’ve been cursed with misfortune.”
The old man responded, “Don’t speak too quickly. Say only that the horse is not in the stable. That is all we know; the rest is judgment. If I’ve been cursed or not, how can you know? How can you judge?”
The people contested, “Don’t make us out to be fools! We may not be philosophers, but great philosophy is not needed. The simple fact that your horse is gone is a curse.”
The old man spoke again. “All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is gone. The rest I don’t know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can’t say. All we can see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?”
The people of the village laughed. They thought that the man was crazy. They had always thought he was a fool; if he wasn’t, he would have sold the horse and lived off the money. But instead, he was a poor woodcutter, an old man still cutting firewood and dragging it out of the forest and selling it. He lived hand to mouth in the misery of poverty. Now he had proven that he was, indeed, a fool.
After fifteen days, the horse returned. He hadn’t been stolen; he had run away into the forest. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses with him.
Once again the village people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke. ‘Old man, you were right and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us.”
The man responded, “Once again, you go too far. Say only that the horse is back. State only that a dozen horses returned with him, but don’t judge. How do you know if this is a blessing or not? You see only a fragment. Unless you know the whole story, how can you judge? You read only one page of a book. Can you judge the whole book? You read only one word of a phrase. Can you understand the entire phrase?
‘Life is so vast, yet you judge all of life with one page or one word. All you have is a fragment! Don’t say that this is a blessing. No one knows. I am content with what I know. I am not perturbed by what I don’t.”
‘Maybe the old man is right,” they said to one another. So they said little. But down deep, they knew he was wrong. They knew it was a blessing. Twelve wild horses had returned with one horse. With a little bit of work, the animals could be broken and trained and sold for much money.
The old man had a son, an only son. The young man began to break the wild horses. After a few days, he fell from one of the horses and broke both legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and cast their judgments.
“You were right,” they said. “You proved you were right. The dozen horses were not a blessing. They were a curse. Your only son has broken his legs, and now in your old age you have no one to help you. Now you are poorer than ever.”
The old man spoke again. “You people are obsessed with judging. Don’t go so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. Who knows if it is a blessing or a curse? No one knows. We only have a fragment. Life comes in fragments.”
It so happened that a few weeks later the country engaged in war against a neighboring country. All the young men of the village were required to join the army. Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he was injured.
Once again the people gathered around the old man, crying and screaming because their sons had been taken. There was little chance that they would return. The enemy was strong, and the war would be a losing struggle. They would never see their sons again.
“You were right, old man,” they wept. “God knows you were right. This proves it. Your son’s accident was a blessing. His legs may be broken, but at least he is with you. Our sons are gone forever.”
The old man spoke again. “It is impossible to talk with you. You always draw conclusions. No one knows. Say only this: Your sons had to go to war, and mine did not. No one knows if it is a blessing or a curse. No one is wise enough to know. Only God knows.”
The old man was right. We only have a fragment. Life’s mishaps and disappointments are only a page out of a grand book. We must be slow about drawing conclusions. We must reserve judgment on life’s storms until we know the whole story.
By: Max Lucado, from his book: In The Eye of the Storm.