After winning such a stunning victory over their enemies, the people were once again faced with the realities of life. Taxes were raised, new enemies came along, and there were more battles to be fought. The peace they enjoyed was only temporary. All this was a reminder that the peace man works for doesn’t last. True lasting people can only be found in Jesus Christ. Have you ever brought your troubled heart to Christ to find peace?
In a world of more than 7 billion people, it is easy to feel that your life has no significance to God. But as we look through the Bible, we do not see God using hundreds or thousands of people to bring about His plans. Instead, we see Him using individual men and women. God is still looking for just one willing person to stand up and say, “God, I choose to be identified with you. Please use my life for your glory.” Will you be that one?
The most powerful argument for the truth of Christianity is not the argument of theology. It is the argument of a transformed life. God has given us the privilege of being His representatives to the world around us. Are people drawn to the beauty of the Gospel by the way we live our lives each day? Do they want to know Him because of what they see in us?
Some of the most thrilling entertainment are death-defying stunts. However, the terms “Adrenaline Junkie” and “Fool” can often be applied to the same person. Is it possible to risk your life for something and not be labeled a fool?
Although we may know the truth, suffering and trials can sometimes give us a kind of spiritual amnesia and cause us to turn inward and become self-focused. In those times, we need to be reminded that God has not abandoned us, and that there is still a bigger mission beyond our present circumstances. If you are in a place like that right now, this message will bring clear direction and renewed hope to you!
We sometimes grow impatient or even angry with God if He allows pain and sorrow into our lives. We question His love for us and wonder why a good God would ever allow us to hurt. But we must realize that we exist for one reason only, and that is bring glory to God; and whatever methods He may choose in order to be glorified through us are right and good. Have you ever come to terms with this vital truth?
“Follow Me.” This is the call Jesus extended to four simple fishermen along the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Little did those young men know what that call would entail, but their obedience forever changed their lives and ultimately changed the world. How do you respond when Jesus calls you to put Him above everything and everyone else and follow Him wherever He may lead?
What would you do differently if you knew you only had one year to live? This is not a hypothetical question. What if you really knew your life would end one year from today? What plans would you change, what relationships would you mend, what values would you embrace? Now, imagine the kind of difference your life could make if you started living that way today!
If a wealthy businessman entrusted his entire company to you while he was away on a yearlong journey, but you failed to follow any of his instructions and you bankrupted the corporation, you could not act surprised if he became angry with you. When we are entrusted with something, it carries with it an expectation. Our Lord has entrusted us with His message, and one day He will return to settle accounts. Are we putting what He has given us to good use?
As the church today, we have become professionals at gathering. We spend millions on massive buildings, hi-tech sound and video productions, even pyrotechnics in some cases! We have become experts at putting on performances that rival Disney and Hollywood, all in an effort to meet the ever-growing demands of our members so they’ll be happy and keep coming back. In so doing, we have completely missed the heartbeat of God and have entertained ourselves into irrelevance.
Have you ever had a task before you that you dreaded so much, you tried to find ways to delay it or to keep from having to do it at all? Maybe it was a difficult exam, a dentist appointment, or a meeting with your boss. But none of those events come close to the crushing pressure that Jesus faced as He made His way to the cross. So then, what caused Him to pick up the pace and walk boldly towards Jerusalem, straight into the suffering that awaited Him, and what can we learn from His example?
What a tragedy it would be to reach the end of your life and still not know the purpose of it all; to live for 70 or 80 years and have nothing of eternal value to show for it! For the most part, we spend our lives pursuing temporary achievements and storing up temporary things, never realizing that one day they will all slip through our fingers like sand. We get so preoccupied with the present that we lose sight of eternity. We must pray that God will reveal to us the brevity of life and the seriousness of eternity, so that we will learn how to live a life of purpose.