Monday, December 30, 2013

~Thoughts to Ponder~

Do we truly seek the Kingdom of God first? Is He really our every day satisfaction? Do we truly delight in Him and His Word? By the way we spend our time, what would others say are priorities in our lives? We make time for what's important to us! If the Creator of the Universe wanted to meet with you, would you make time for Him? Because He does! James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you...". Where do we find pleasure or find our rest? Where do we find fulfillment, peace and joy? Is it in the King of Kings? Or do we look to other things or people? These things may give us temporary happiness but were never intended to be our all. We may have longings and desires but these will never fully satisfy. There is only One who can truly fill our every need and be our all and all and that is Jesus! Philippians 4:19 tells us that God promises to "supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.". He's our everything! Jesus said “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:13). Where do we go to quench our thirst? 
We are here for a moment and then gone. Life is short, But did we really just evolve into existence somehow for no specific purpose to just live for a little while and then die? Or were we created intentionally-for a purpose-and is there more to life than a brief existence? If life is based on the first, what's really the point to life? What's our purpose? Where do morals and standards come from? Have we no ultimate authority? Is life really just a free for all to figure out and do as we please? What meaning is there? But if the latter be true, we were created on purpose for a reason. And if the Creator of us and the entire universe, which we still don't even know everything about, wanted to have a personal and intimately close relationship with you-would you bother? He wants to know you, to love you, to guide you! Will you follow? He wants to speak to you personally-will you listen? He desires to show and reveal to you treasures from His Word and about life-will you take the time to see? He wants to fill you with His love and mercy-will you receive it or throw it away? He wants to guide, teach and lead you in the right way (Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him-John 14:6). Will you receive His direction or do your own thing? (Do we really want to make choices on our own in life-when our Creator is offering to be our personal guide? After all, the One Who made us and the world might know a little about how to maneuver through it!) 
         He allowed us free choice and because of the choices made in the Garden of Eden-sin entered the world. Rules are not merely made for our unhappiness and restriction! Just as a fence holds things in, it also acts as a protection and keeps things out. Are we willing to receive God's grace into our lives to instruct "us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age." (Titus 2:12). What's guiding our thoughts and desires? Why do we find what we find attractive? Why do we think the way we think? Is it in line with our Creators purpose and will for our lives? Or is it self-pleasing and self-made? If we are in Christ, we have been bought with a price and should therefore glorify Him (1 Corinthians 6:20)!  Is that really bounding or freeing? Living in sin is not free! With it comes guilt, shame, hardship and heart-ache. Sin may be fun for a season (Hebrews 11:25) but it's end leads to destruction. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Living for Christ is not free from suffering, but if there is hardship living sinfully or righteously, wouldn't you rather follow the path that leads to life? Rather than death? Disobedience to God may seem freeing because you are "free" to do everything as you please and live how you see best and do what you want to. But 1 Peter 2:16 tells us, "Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.". On our own we have no light! God's Word is a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path." (Psalm 119:105). "...God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5).  Not any at all! I'm SO thankful God is a good God! If you are in complete darkness how will you find your way? How will you see if there is a thorn bush, a snare or a cliff? How will you see a predator and be armed to avoid it? God provides us with light and armor too! And He acts as our personal guide, friend and protector!
When we're gone how do we want to be remembered? What do we want to be known for? Will we have made a positive impact on the world and those around us or a negative one? And by whose standards? Where are these standards based? 
God gave us the gift of life and breath on this earth-will we yield it back to Him to be used for His purposes and glory? Or will we squander it on selfish pleasures and desires? He also provided a way to receive eternal life through Jesus, His Son. When sin entered the world we all received a death sentence. God is holy, pure and clean-He has no sin or darkness in Him. We have all fallen short of God's glory through our sinful nature (Romans 3:23). God loved us enough to give us a second chance! He took our sin upon Himself that we might be restored with Him and be free from sin! But that's exactly what He did! We must die to sin and live righteously now, so that when we physically die we will live with Him! Will you receive Him? Will you live for Him? It's the least we can do! What will your choice be?

"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 
~Deuteronomy 30:19~

"If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." ~Joshua 24:15~