This message is to aid the reader in improving his or her life. Many of us agonize, “What shall I do with my life?”
A BETTER YOU. People in our culture head off in all kinds of directions. Striving for the “politically correct” & popular version of success captivates many. One woman, whose husband had that kind of success to where she could buy whatever she wanted when she wanted it, found that her life was miserable for years. She couldn’t understand how success could be so unfulfilling…and then one day she discovered Christ, let him into her heart, and her life finally had purpose & meaning, and was very fulfilling. That is a true story my friend. Many have been told that believing in Christ is old fashioned. I know of an atheist who was really hostile to Christianity. He was convinced that he had life figured out, but he developed cancer, & it came down to where he was only given hours to live. He had a near death experience where he experienced hell. When he came back, he called for a Christian, and asked the Christian to save him. Once he’d given his life to Christ, a miraculous healing took place, his cancer was cured & he lived many more years. It is a true story. Those of us who have witnessed or experienced these things, do not walk in belief, but in a faith that knows. But there is no question many others see life differently.
WHO KNOWS WHAT LIFE WILL BRING. That doesn’t mean I had any idea what life in Christ would be like when I first gave my life to Christ….I most honestly had little clue when I began my Christian walk…but there is a verse for people like that, “Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation.”(A) For sure new Christians like myself had no idea the paths we’d walk, but we did know who we were following, & considering that, then we did not need to know the future. And one may indeed follow him right into the Valley of the Shadow of death! “God is our refuge & strength, a very present help in trouble.”(B) Remember how God established 6 cities of refuge in Israel (for instance Hebron & Ramoth-gilead)? (C) Remember that God says His children would have a place of refuge? (D)…and indeed when the Romans were wiping out the Jews a few years after Christ’s crucifixion, the Christians were given a place of refuge at Pella. We may end up being like a lily among thorns (E), but the Master Gardener is watching. Being a Christian (surrounded by thorns) will not necessarily look like success, but I am convinced following the Spirit of Christ brings success. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.(F)
ANSWERING THOSE WHO HAVE NO USE FOR CHRIST. A group of Christ-haters a few yrs. ago wanted to publicly debate about the value of Christ & the church. They were told, “Hey find 12 families that were once Christians but are more happy and successful and virtuous by leaving Christ. If you can find these families, then it will be worth my time to debate. Meanwhile, I know at least a hundred families that were living the world’s definition of success and are now much better husbands & wives, and feel their lives have meaning & purpose now that they switched from the World’s definition of success to God’s definition.” These are what I call “wise in the Spirit”. As the Word of God says, “If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you.”(G) This verse in the KJV needs the bigger context to catch the same meaning…”For by me [God] thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself:…”
SEEING THE CHURCH & NOT CHRIST. I have met various ex-Christians over the yrs. & quite often the reason they left Christ was because of what they saw/experienced in their local church. This is sort of like throwing the baby out with the bath water. At West Point, I had the verse “So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom”(H) put on my Howitzer year book. (By the way, the words had a double meaning….The concept of numbering “the days” was a task plebes had to do, which began “The days sir…”) The point of the verse is that we look to God for direction, NOT to those around us. For one to quit because Christians are poor examples, and because the churches are merely playing irrelevant games is to miss the entire point of Christ. The non-believers walk in the vanity & futility of their minds.(I) Most Christians continue to walk as worldly persons, so of course the result of their lives will be futile.
In my recent interview by Timothy Alberino, he makes an interesting point, which I had never heard expressed quite like he said it. He said the enemies of Christ are filling the churches with tares (people who only look like Christians) so that they ruin the churches. It is an astute observation, as most churches are trying to bring in big numbers without considering their lack of faith & the effect their lukewarmness has on the faithful. And this only reinforces my advice: after a person is walking with Christ, that you find a small fellowship of devout believers & stay away from the popular modern large compromised apostate lukewarm churches. I suggest (in line with the theme of this post)…making our lives count…in other words, having a successful life in line with God’s definition of success. One translator expressed “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom” with the following words: “Teach us to make the most of our time…and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful! May God bless your life my friend.
(A) PS 25:5 (B) PS 46:1, and trouble is predicted in 2 TIM 3:12, JN 15:18-20 & JN 16:33 (C) NUM 35, JOSH 20-21, 1 CHRON 6 (D) PRV 14:26 (E) SONG SOL 2:2 (F) PS 37:23 (G) PRV 9:12 (H) PS 90:12 (I) EPH 4:17