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Do You Know Your Purpose?

Do You Know Your Purpose?

It is perhaps one of the most common questions asked by humans throughout the ages.

“What is the meaning of life?”

Another related question for any given individual is:

“What is my purpose?”

People are born, live their lives, then they die. It’s that dash, you know, on our tombstone, the one between 1968 and 20?? (At least for me) that we’re living out.

Some people seem to love living, they just enjoy life.

Then there are others, the majority, unfortunately, that can’t wait for the weekend so that they have some time off from their work. These people would like to enjoy life but they don’t know how. In most cases, their happiness is based on being able to have time off, a better job, or having a nicer home or car.

What about you? Is your life satisfying? Are you enjoying your time here on planet Earth?  Is your life worth living? Do you have a clear purpose? Or does it seem meaningless?

How does one go from living a meaningless life to one filled with purpose?

Suppose you found a device. It’s a little electronic gadget that has some buttons and a little display. The only words on it are foreign and you can’t get it to turn on or do anything. Until you know what it was designed for, it has no obvious purpose. It seems to have been masterfully designed and looks really interesting, but it does nothing and seems meaningless.

Then along comes the device’s creator. He has something in his hand that appears to be some sort of power source. He plugs it into the device and it lights up, makes some noise and starts doing some of the most marvelous things you’ve ever seen. What the little device does is simply amazing. The technology is so wonderful and so exceptional that it makes you say “Wow, whoever designed this little thingy is a genius!”

Psalm 19
1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
     The skies display his craftsmanship.
2 Day after day they continue to speak;
     night after night they make him known.
3 They speak without a sound or word;
     their voice is never heard.
4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
     and their words to all the world.

Have you ever observed the sky at night?

Did you ever look at the moon and stars and said “Wow!”? Now check this out:

Genesis 1:  14 Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them mark off the seasons, days, and years. 15 Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. 16 God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, 18 to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

Isn’t this cool? The Bible actually tells us what these heavenly bodies were made for. Though we see them day in and day out they continue to amaze us. The heavens happen to be God’s handiwork and it’s been working very well. Also, notice that they are multi-purpose, they separate day from night, one to govern the day, another to govern the night. The sun governs by affecting wind patterns and weather, while the moon governs by affecting the tides and I’m certain other undiscovered influences. All the heavenly bodies have the purpose of illumination and each is quite brilliant at that. I think it’s really cool that the moon has no light by itself, but only when we see the moon when it is reflecting the sun does it have light.

Are there any true atheists?

The people who deny God say that life and our universe happened all by chance. They see no purpose in any of it and think we’re just some cosmic accident.

Romans 1:  18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. 21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

This is telling us that even atheists know God, but they’ve suppressed the truth. This proves the point that if you lie to yourself long enough you’ll end up believing it. Their minds are really dark and confused.

Satan has a lot of people fooled these days, doesn’t he?

He does anything he can to distract us from the Living God to the point of believing that there is no purpose and that life is meaningless.

So what about humans? What is our purpose? How were we designed?

Genesis 1:  27 So God created human beings in his own image.
     In the image of God he created them;
     male and female he created them.

What sets us apart from every other living creature is that we were made in His image. This knowledge helps us a lot. This implies that, by design, we resemble God. He’s cast us to be God-like, it’s in our DNA.

But since creation, we’ve encountered a bit of a problem. Well, actually, it is a major problem:

Romans 5:  12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

Born Sinners

Humans have been separated from God since Adam’s transgression and we’re born sinners:

Psalm 51:
5 For I was born a sinner—
     yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.

Separation from God means that we cannot know or understand our purpose. Like the aforementioned device, we have no purpose until we are plugged into our Power Source, the Creator. Only then can we live in such a way that brings Him glory:

John 15: 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

This makes it clear that humans are in need of reconciliation with God. How can this happen?

Romans 5: 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Only in Jesus

Only when our faith is in Christ do we truly live and are plugged into His power.  Then we can live up to the purpose He’s created us for, which is to glorify Him.

Again, how do we glorify Him? John 15: 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

Is there a sure-footed way for us to bear fruit in every season? You betcha!

Psalm 1
1 Oh, the joys of those who do not
     follow the advice of the wicked,
     or stand around with sinners,
     or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the Lord,
     meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
     bearing fruit each season.
  Their leaves never wither,
     and they prosper in all they do.

This makes complete sense when you think about it.

The Bible is God’s instruction manual for us, it really teaches us how to live and how to love God. We are so wonderfully made that unlike the device mentioned above, God’s designed us so that He made us aware of our sinful nature and has given us free will and the ability to plug ourselves into His power.

John 6:  26 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. 27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”
28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
29 Jesus told them, This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

This purpose of living for God yields eternal life and when this sinks into our hearts it brings true joy. The more we read His Word, the more we know how to please Him and give Him glory. After a while, our lives become simpler. We live each day making a concerted, deliberate effort with the simple goal of pleasing Him and giving Him the glory.

Paul said it best:

Romans 12:  1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Will you live for His glory?

“Dear God, you are my maker and my savior. You came before me and follow me. Without you I am nothing and have no meaning. I owe everything to you. When I consider this, I am compelled to give you all the praise and thank you for my life. Thank you in advance for the eternal life you’ve promised me! If only I can keep this fresh in my mind, I take it for granted all too easily. Please help me to get to know you better. Help me to put my complete faith in you. You are so faithful and loving, a God that will never let down all whose hope is in you. Thank you for everything! In Jesus’ name, amen”

Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

 

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If you desire a closer walk with Jesus, just want more fellowship or “Bible Time” come join us at TheBibleTeam.com. We have weekly calls where our sole focus is spending time in God’s Word.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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What Am I To Think?

What Am I To Think? part 2

In my last post, “What am I to think? part 1“, we discussed the contrast between what the secular scientific community says about the age of the earth and what God’s Word has to say with sound Biblical evidence.

What’s important to remember is that it takes faith on both sides of the debate. Will you believe what “the world” promotes as truth, with no witnesses, or will you believe what God said, who we know was there?

Hebrews 11: 3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

Big Bang or a spoken, intentional command?

The Big Bang Theory is one of disorder, chaos, and chance while Genesis 1 lays out a carefully detailed and well-executed plan that could’ve only been completed by a Master Designer.

Of course, there is more to this ongoing debate that I’d like to address this week. I used to believe that the world was millions of years old and I never bothered to reconcile that belief with Genesis 1. I believed that the dinosaurs existed many millions of years ago, died off, and then somewhere in the distant past Adam and Eve came along.

This belief, of course, contradicts the Biblical timeline of a mere week and it also contradicts this Biblical truth:

Romans 5: 12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

Remember this?:

Genesis 1: 31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!
And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day

If God saw that it was very good, there wouldn’t have been any death, which aligns with Romans 5:12. This is after He created the land animals and humans, all in the sixth day.

Are there dinosaurs in the Bible?

At this point, you may be asking, “What about the dinosaurs? Where do they come into play? Does the Bible mention dinosaurs?

Since they were land animals, they were created on day six.

As for Biblical evidence, when is the last time you read Job? In Chapter 39 When God continues to challenge Job, He asks questions about specific creatures, most of which we would recognize. The first to be mentioned is wild goats(v. 1), followed by wild donkey(v. 5), wild ox (v. 9), ostrich(v. 13), horse(v. 19), and finally the hawk(v. 26). It is obvious that God is quite proud of these creatures and asks probing questions that only He could answer. But God doesn’t stop there, He has a couple more creatures that are given more attention than the previous six:

Job 40: 15 “Take a look at Behemoth,
which I made, just as I made you.
It eats grass like an ox.
16 See its powerful loins
and the muscles of its belly.
17 Its tail is as strong as a cedar.
The sinews of its thighs are knit tightly together.
18 Its bones are tubes of bronze.
Its limbs are bars of iron.
19 It is a prime example of God’s handiwork,
and only its Creator can threaten it.

What sort of creature does this make you think of? Is there any creature today that has a tail as strong as a cedar?

Then for His grand finale, He describes a creature that is set apart from the others, in fact, all of chapter 41 is used to describe this special beast. I’d love to include it all here, but it is quite lengthy. Here are some highlights:

Consider Leviathan…

Job 41: …12 “I want to emphasize Leviathan’s limbs
and its enormous strength and graceful form.
13 Who can strip off its hide,
and who can penetrate its double layer of armor?
14 Who could pry open its jaws?
For its teeth are terrible!

18 “When it sneezes, it flashes light!
Its eyes are like the red of dawn.
19 Lightning leaps from its mouth;
flames of fire flash out.
20 Smoke streams from its nostrils
like steam from a pot heated over burning rushes.
21 Its breath would kindle coals,
for flames shoot from its mouth.

31 “Leviathan makes the water boil with its commotion.
It stirs the depths like a pot of ointment.
32 The water glistens in its wake,
making the sea look white.
33 Nothing on earth is its equal,
no other creature so fearless.
34 Of all the creatures, it is the proudest.
It is the king of beasts.”

I know this sounds like a mythical creature, but in the context of chapters 39-41, does that make any sense? Especially in light of verses 33-34. Just because we haven’t seen this creature doesn’t mean it never existed.

Creature or Myth?

Where did the idea of fire-breathing dragons ever come from anyway? Isn’t it interesting that among all the ordinary creatures of the Chinese Zodiac there lies the dragon? The word dragon, by the way, is found many times in the King James Version when the word dinosaur had not yet been invented (1841).

A dragon is seen on the flag of Wales and dragons are found to be a part of many ancient cultures throughout the world. Are dragons a common myth among many cultures or could it be that they were once creatures that lived among us and are simply extinct?

Want more evidence? there’s much more

I’d like to point out just two significant “findings” for those that want something tangible:

Soft blood tissue was found in a Tyrannosaurus Rex bone. You can choose to believe that the tissue is still soft after 70 million years, or you can choose to believe that the bone is less than 6,000 years old.

Soft blood tissue found in T-Rex bone (MSNBC)

Here is a very short video about this topic:
Men and Dinosaurs (ICR.org)

We are without excuse

Before we close, here are a few passages that explain that man is without excuse, but also willingly ignorant:

Psalm 19: 1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Romans 1: 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

2 Peter 3: 5 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. 6 Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood.

At the heart of it, disbelief is not a matter of scientific findings, but about the heart. Only if I have a heart for God will I believe Him.

What do you believe?

“Dear God, I struggle with disbelief. Although I believe you created the heavens and the earth I find it hard to believe that you will help me with my daily challenges. Please change my heart. Help me to understand and know you better so that I can know you are God. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Photo by Adam Smith on Unsplash

 

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If you desire a closer walk with Jesus, just want more fellowship or “Bible Time” come join us at TheBibleTeam.com. We have weekly calls where our sole focus is spending time in God’s Word.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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What Am I To Think?

What Am I To Think? part 1

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy watching the Discovery channel. I especially like watching the series called “Planet Earth” and “Planet Earth II”. I can’t get over how God masterfully created our beautiful planet and the incredible creatures that inhabit it. Those shows never cease to amaze me. The only thing about those shows that I dislike is that they never give God the credit. They seem to believe that all creatures evolved over millions of years, by chance, no Designer required. It seems as though all those nature related shows like Nova and those on National Geographic support the belief of evolution and the idea that our planet has been in existence for many millions of years and more.

So what am I supposed to think? When I read God’s Word, in particular, Genesis chapter 1, it seems to contradict the ever-pervasive beliefs that life evolved and that the earth is many millions of years old.

Day 1

Let’s review what the good Book has to say about the beginning, the beginning of time, that is.

Genesis 1: 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”

And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.

OK, according to God, after the first day all that existed was the earth, the heavens, light, and the earth was covered with water. On the second day, He creates the earth’s atmosphere, which is not like ours today.

Day 3

Genesis 1: 9 Then God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.” And that is what happened. 10 God called the dry ground “land” and the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good.11Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened.

On the third day, we see dry ground, the seas, then vegetation.

That pretty much sums up the first 3 days of history. Can you imagine it? No people, no animals, and what else is absent? Let’s continue…

Day 4

Genesis 1: 14 Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them mark off the seasons, days, and years. 15 Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. 16 God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, 18 to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

19 And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day.

Ahhhh, of course, on day 4, after the light and after the vegetation, He made the sun, moon, and stars. Their purpose is to light the earth, to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness.

Day 5 sees the creation of birds and sea creatures. Sounds like a pretty easy day, for the Lord at least.

Then of course, last but not least…

Day 6

Genesis 1: 24 Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind—livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened. 25 God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

27 So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. (remember this for later)

It’s on day 6 that God created His masterpiece, saving the best for last:

Ephesians 2: 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Do you see the significance of the order in which He created our planet? He created the earth for our use!

Other than a simple, plain reading and interpretation of Genesis 1, how can we know that this is over six literal days? I’ll give a few reasons:

Context:

Genesis 1: 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.

Here we see the words “day and night” together with “evening and morning” and that it’s the first of six days.

God’s Word:

Is it OK if I quote from the 10 commandments?

Exodus 20: 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

God modeled the six day work week for us. Isn’t that awesome?

Let’s read what Jesus had to say:

Mark 10: 5 But Jesus responded, “He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts. 6 But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation.

I think we now know where Jesus stands on the subject if we didn’t already.

God’s character:

Mark 10: 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

The more I seek God, the more I firmly believe that the simpler, the better. For it is the simple ideas and teaching that reach the masses. I truly believe that the devil is using the “wisdom of this world” to trip up many people and to undermine God’s truth and His great plan of salvation.

1 Corinthians 3: 18 Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,
“He traps the wise
in the snare of their own cleverness.”
20 And again,
“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise;
he knows they are worthless.”

In the world’s eyes, is it wise to believe that a man came back to the dead? Do we take this seriously?

Matthew 28: 5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.

If I can believe these verses in Matthew, shouldn’t I also believe this verse in Exodus:

Exodus 20: 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

I find it interesting that it is mostly the first 11 chapters of the Bible that are attacked in our culture today. What better way to discredit a book than to cast doubts on the first chapters of it by undermining their credibility. What’s disturbing is that there are many in the pews today that are indifferent or even stand with those that can’t accept God’s Word for what it says.

What’s really incredible is if Genesis 1 did not happen in 6 literal days, it simply makes no sense. For “everyone knows” that the stars and sun were here first though not according to God’s Word!

Why it matters

If a friend that does not know Jesus asks you how old does the Bible say the earth is, what do you tell them? Do you tell them “You can’t really trust Genesis 1 for what it says, it’s not written plainly.”?

Do you see where I’m going with this? This is a foundational issue and we need to be able to stand on the authority of God’s Word, for that is solid ground!

2 Samuel 22: 31 “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. (NIV)

I know what to think, do you?

“Dear God, thank you for your Word, for I know that it is Truth and that I can place my trust in it fully. Please help me with my doubts. Please give me knowledge and understanding of those issues that I’m uncertain of. I know that I will never completely understand your ways, but at least I can continue to get to know you more and understand more as a grow in You. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Photo by Adam Smith on Unsplash

 

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If you desire a closer walk with Jesus, just want more fellowship or “Bible Time” come join us at TheBibleTeam.com. We have weekly calls where our sole focus is spending time in God’s Word.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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