Monday, June 30, 2014

What is the meaning of life?

Rather odd question to pose don't you think, but out of the hundred or so people that this email goes out to, and the several hundred that will read it on the blog or Facebook, most will have a different answer.

This is probably one of the most difficult writings I have written to date. I am sure I know the answer for myself, but am unsure how to help others find theirs, if one can be shown by a fellow man. Hopefully this will peak some interest and get you searching on your own.

You see some will find meaning in their possessions. Others will find it in their accomplishments. Sadly enough many will not have an answer at all. Even more sad are those that don't care to seek the meaning, but are content to live whatever life they are told they should live.

The more I read and re-read scripture, the more I find that the little things of the world, such as pleasing everyone, and making sure I am accepted by man, have little or no meaning to me. I am strengthened by the inner peace of knowing God is pleased with me, and nothing man can do will change that.

Reading the following passage, you see even Solomon, in all his wisdom, found himself questioning the meaning of life. His only true peace came when he realized it was in God, that he could find true meaning.

Ecclesiastes 2:1-25 NLT
I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless. So I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?”After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world.
I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me. I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire!
So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me.10 Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. 11 But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.
12 So I decided to compare wisdom with foolishness and madness (for who can do this better than I, the king?). 13 I thought, “Wisdom is better than foolishness, just as light is better than darkness. 14 For the wise can see where they are going, but fools walk in the dark.” Yet I saw that the wise and the foolish share the same fate. 15 Both will die. So I said to myself, “Since I will end up the same as the fool, what’s the value of all my wisdom? This is all so meaningless!” 16 For the wise and the foolish both die. The wise will not be remembered any longer than the fool. In the days to come, both will be forgotten.
17 So I came to hate life because everything done here under the sun is so troubling. Everything is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
18 I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned.19 And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless! 20 So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world.
21 Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy. 22 So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? 23 Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless.
24 So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. 25 For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him? 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What is the Great Commission?

The Great Commission was Jesus last instructions to His disciples. I believe this is one of the most confused of all Jesus commands. I personally take this command as making disciples of all nations, which doesn't mean to go make sure everyone in the world is saved, but to me means, making others like the twelve He had picked to start His church.

Having the gospel preached to you and being a disciple are two vastly different things. Being a disciple, means to follow the disciplines put forth by Jesus Himself.

I think so many people have taken this passage and used it to go to every nation, having crusades, and alter calls to get people "saved", while overlooking the true meaning of the passage, to make disciples of all nations.

I think of the old parable, give a man a fish he will be fed for the day, teach a man to fish he will never go hungry, Jesus told Peter follow me and I will make your fishers of men.
I believe the Great Commission is for us to teach them to be like Jesus not just getting saved.

Matthew 28:18-20
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.