What Really Matters

Intro:

What is the most important thing about your life and purpose? Is it your relationships, job, health, or sense of self-fulfillment? What really matters? Why are we easily distracted by seeking to fulfill ourselves? Join me as I explain why that finding your purpose and calling is what really matters.

The Holy Bible, Berean Standard Bible, BSB
Copyright ©2016, 2020 by Bible Hub
Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Read Aloud Podcast:

https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/rNvSKcdDmvb

God’s Call to Become Like Christ

True, abundant life is only found in Christ Jesus. All things and people in our lives will pass away. Our loved ones will die and leave us behind. Even the most durable objects break and age. Our health fades as we age. Inflation and stock market plunges deplete our savings/investments. We will experience joy, love, and hope in our lives as well as grief, sorrow, and troubles. What matters the most–is it my own happiness and satisfaction? What is the purpose of it all? One of the harder things in life is dying to self and seeking to bless others instead of seeking my own desires.

Our purpose is found in God’s call to repent and believe upon the name of Christ Jesus. God calls lost humans to believe and trust upon Him. What matters is that God saves us and makes us new in Him. God freely offers grace and mercy to all who would call on Him to be saved! The purpose of life is to receive God’s grace and share this wonderful Good News with those around us!

Our fallen world tempts us to seek out our own personal comfort, wealth, and happiness. We want above all else to be comfortable and untroubled especially by or with others around us. Society is full of self-improvement gurus and religions to make us “better people.” There are many books available on self-development and personal improvement.

Our enemy the Deceiver seeks to lure us into a trap of bettering ourselves through education, career changes, new relationships, ideas, etc. None of these things are bad in their nature, but they can become idols and distractions when we seek to obtain them more than we love God and our neighbors. The human heart is easily deceived and led astray by contemporary thinking.

Salvation leads to transformation!

God saves us to transform us! No one who encounters God is ever left the same. This is the testimony of scripture! God changes and renews human hearts. Then He works to redeem others through the renewed hearts. He takes a young shepherd boy named David and makes him into a mighty king of Israel that set the standard for every king that followed for generations. God transforms a vicious persecutor, Paul, into an apostle who wrote most of the New Testament Epistles (letters). David, Paul, and many others serve as examples for individuals whom God radically changes and uses for His glory and advancing His Kingdom.

The Gospel accounts explain how Jesus called ordinary fishermen and tax collectors to be His disciples. These men bravely faced death and gave their lives to proclaim His Good News. The Good News of Christ was better than life! Thus they died as martyrs instead of denying Christ.

What really matters in life is what God “pours through us”. As believers, God has entrusted various resources and spiritual gifts to our care. What we do with all that God gives us matters!

Grape juice and wine requires that the grapes be squeezed or crushed. There is a process and our lives can make us sweet or bitter depending on how we react.

God Pours Through Us to Refresh Others

God uses broken pots to water the surrounding soil. What the world considers to be successful and what God considers to be successful are different. How do you define success? How will you know that you are being successful? What if God calls you to a long, difficult road wherein little or no success ever comes?

Remember Mary of Bethany who anoints Jesus with the costly perfume. The Disciples considered her act to be wasteful, but in God’s view she did a great thing. She uses a very costly perfume (cost a year’s wages) to anoint Jesus prior to His death. She does this as an act of love. She willingly giving to Jesus. Her love for Jesus moved her to act. May God give us such a love for His Son!

https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-anointed.html

Living for Christ: Not Living for Self

We, as modern Americans, tend to seek self-fulfillment. This is a trap of the enemy when we seek this more than God’s Kingdom and Righteousness. Careers, wealth, health, relationships are blessings that God graciously gives to us. Yet, none of the things can fulfill us or even deeply satisfy our longings.

Consider the narrative of David pouring out the water that his men had brought to him in 2 Samuel 23:15-17. Why did David pour out this water before God (gave water as a sacrifice to God) instead of drinking it? David honored God as his men had risked their lives on a dangerous mission to get him water from Bethlehem: BSB, emphasis mine

15David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” 16So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine camp, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out to the LORD, 17saying, “Far be it from me, O LORD, to do this! Is this not the blood of the men who risked their lives?” So he refused to drink it.”

David thus gives us an example of how to react when God gives us something that we shouldn’t keep for ourselves. He poured it as a sacrifice to God!

When Blessings turn bitter

We become hoarders instead of a source of blessings for others. Like a grumpy old dragon we rest ourselves upon the pile of accumulated things daring anyone to come near and steal them from us. It’s interesting to note that dragons usually hide their riches in lonely, dark caves far away from others. A boy named Eustace (Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) turns into the dragon when he stumbles upon a dead dragon on a pile of treasure and harbors “greedy, dragonish thoughts” in his heart. It takes Aslan’s intervention and painful claws to get Eustace back into a child again.

Old Smaug (The Hobbit) had nested on his treasure pile for so long that his chest was covered with diamonds and jewels. He was a source of terror and destruction to all. He laid “waste” to many areas as he raided villages and collected his plunder. Smaug represents greed, lust, and how such things lead to desolation and destruction.

Blessings turn sour and bitter when he hang onto them for ourselves! We become like the Dead Sea where the Jordan River flows in, but no water flows out. The water becomes “salty” and unfit for drinking. Water becomes stagnant and polluted when it gathers and doesn’t flow!

The Solution–Pour Out the Blessings Before God, Worship and Invest in Others!

When God graciously brings something into your life, what you do with it matters! Pour out your life in worship and service to God! Invest in others, showing grace, mercy, compassion, and kindness. Who can you be a blessing to in your life?

May God overflow your life and guide you as He flows through you into the lives of others! The most important thing in life is how that God blesses others through our lives! As God flows through your life, may you experience experience a deep joy and sense of peace that will transcend all things and enrich those around you!

Published by leestanfill@yahoo.com

Just a pilgrim walking each day with Jesus and hoping to encourage others along the path.

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