Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What is God's will for my life?

How do I find out what God wants me to do with my life? Here is the answer from John Thomas of "Focus on the Family."


How many times have we all wondered what God wants us to do with our life, and secretly wished for a burning bush or a Balaam's donkey?

There are three parts to answering your question, and you might visualize them as three levels of a triangle. At the bottom, the foundation is this: generally, what does God want from every person? Moving up one level, and more specifically, what does God uniquely want from males (at least in your case)? And at the top, and very specifically, what does God want from you as an individual? This top level is like your fingerprint, something specific to you an individual, a person uniquely crafted and gifted by God to perform meaningful tasks of service to Him and to others.

You must wrestle with all three of these. Skipping one or two, or making incorrect assumptions about any of them, will have impact on the others because they're all interrelated.

In this entry I'll address the foundation, and in subsequent entries I'll tackle God's call for men generally and explore a few tips for discovering your unique giftings as an individual.

The foundation of your triangle, like the foundation of a building, is the most important. If you build on the wrong premise, the other levels will be in constant stress. Everything flows through this level.

Scripture makes it abundantly clear that God first and foremost wants us to know Him, to have a relationship with Him, to bring glory to Him by the way we live our lives, by how we relate to Him and others, summed up best in the "Golden Rule": Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself." (Matt. 22:37-39; Mark 12:29-31).

As Rick Warren famously said in his multi-zillion selling book The Purpose Driven Life, "It's not about you." Life is about God. God is the Creator of all, and all of creation, including me and you, exists to bring Him glory. This flies in the face of pretty much every message communicated to us since birth (even sometimes within Christian circles), but it is, in fact, the absolute bottom-line of reality. Believing and living otherwise is a never-ending, empty uphill battle.

Parenthetically let me add this. Before we dismiss God as an insecure egomaniac, let's quickly remember that He became one of us, entered into our suffering, and gave His life so that we could experience the primary purpose of our existence — to know Him. He defined Love by His actions. He did not create then abandon. He created and stayed and acted. He loved to the point of death and secured a path for our ultimate fulfillment: eternity with Him.

So, we start with God, not us. If you are making decisions based primarily on what makes "me" happy, then you have your priorities backwards and you will stumble at every turn. God first, then you. That's the order laid out by Christ in the paradoxical Matthew 10:39, "If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me" (paraphrased in The Message).

In the same way that a hiker must orient himself to true north before he can begin his journey, so we must orient (and continue re-orienting) ourselves to the absolute truth that life is not to be driven by what makes us happy, but by what brings God glory. That is life's "true north." Only by doing so will we ever begin to experience the fulfillment and adventure of life. So, the better way to ask your question is this, "How could I live my life in such a way that brings God the most glory?" Now we're asking the right question, and we'll explore more answers next time.

Blessings,

JOHN THOMAS

Thursday, March 25, 2010

If God is Good, why do I suffer?

Come on, be honest. We've all asked ourselves that question at least once in our life. Most of us hate to suffer. And it is understandable since we are not masochists.

But sometimes the very suffering we hate is God’s blessing to us.

Let me share with you a story I heard from Briege McKenna. Briege was given the gift of healing by God.

So here is the story.

A man came to Briege to ask to be prayed over for the healing of his cancer. So Briege did so. Months have passed and she saw the man again. The man thanked her for her prayers. She then asked if he got healed. The man said no. But he was grateful to God for receiving a better miracle.

So Briege was a little bit confused so she asked why.

The man told her that before he came to her, he and his wife were distant from each other. His kids were distant from him as well. Sometime after being prayed over by Briege, he was rushed to the hospital.

It was there that miracle happened.

While he was in the hospital, he and his family got close again. It was his hospitalization that healed his family. It was at that painful moment where they became a real family once more.

For the man, to see his family united in love was more important than his health. For him, to feel loved is far more important than to be physically healed.

God used his cancer to unite his family.

So the man thanked God for the miracle he did in his life. He was not healed of cancer but his heart and his family were healed.

Sometimes God permits suffering for the greater good. God does not cause evil, he permits it. God makes straight using crooked lines. We can only look at Jesus on the Cross. The worst thing man did in all of history, we killed God. Yet, it was that very evil that brought our salvation.

Sometimes God blessings can take form of suffering. It is like a child, who has cavities, being taken to the dentist by his father. He trusted his father only to end up in the dentist chair in pain. But the pain is necessary to take the away the cavities.

The father does not enjoy seeing his son in pain, but it is a process that his son needs to take. At that moment the child feels betrayed by his father because he does not understand what is going on.

So are we.

When suffering hits us we feel abandoned or betrayed by God. But like little children, we do not see the whole picture, the whole movie of our lives. We see that painful moment at the whole of life itself. God looks out not only for our present, but for our future as well.

Painful as it is for God to see us suffer, though the only way to save us, He will endure it.

At the end of our life, when we are facing almighty God, we will see that all our sufferings made sense. And we will even be thankful for those sufferings because it brought us to where we we ended up....

Heaven.

Hmmmmm?
SO- no matter what trials, sufferings, tribulations you face today, remember God has a plan and purpose for them. Don't question him, though it may be hard. Instead remember that they are a necessary scene in your "movie" of life in order for you to reach the credits, your eternal destination.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Need prayer?

Do you believe in the power of prayer? I certainly do, you can read my testimonial here if you wish.

Need prayer for a friend, family member, maybe yourself! Please fill out the form below and rest assured your prayer request will be seen ONLY BY me, myself, and I! If you don't feel comfortable adding your real name, make up one, but by all means, allow the power of prayer to change your life! (e-mail not required...) Click on the button below and fill out the form.



Monday, March 22, 2010

Do you strive to reach the "C" zone?

Here's my inspiration from Sunday's sermon. Some people in my life could really appreciate it!

Do you ever feel like you just need motivation to get out of bed in the morning? Is your life just full of one setback after another? Or that you really couldn't handle even just one more thing on your plate right now? If this is you, you need to practice the 3 E's- Eternal, Eventual & Everyday HOPE.

Are you an optimist or a pessismist? Or maybe you consider yourself a third type- the REALIST~ You try to be positive, but really your just being realistic, right?

Instead of getting frustrated, decide to look for the Lesson in every setback. Afterall, the kingdom of God is not without setback. He never promised you an easy, problem-free life. What he did promise was to be with you the whole time, give you the strength overcome and the ability to endure your current circumstances.

Live by the three "T's" - Training, Time & Tenacity--
Think about every endeavor, every project, any part of your life, let's say your career, your marriage, your faith, anything. You always have a 'honeymoon' period. We'll call this the period of promise, the period with no baggage, no barriers. This is the A Zone.. All A Zones will turn into B Zones at some point. In the B Zone., problems arise. In all of your endeavors you can achieve the level you want, but you will have to withstand setbacks. In the time of setback, you will need those 3 T's....more training, more time, and more tenacity. If you allow time for these 3 things, you will undoubtedly overcome the setback and reach the payoff zone, the so called C Zone.. Just be sure not to take the easy rode once you hit the B zone and head for the Q Zone.- that's right, you guessed the Quit zone. If you give up when things get tough, you'll never reach the C Zone-the zone of celebration, championship, the 40th anniversary, the things that truly matter in life! If I've caught your attention and you want to know more or see a visual, see below.


Click on this link (or copy and paste it to your browser) and watch the video from about 31:00 minutes through the end of PK's teaching. You won't regret it, I promise!

http://www.12stone.com/video/index.php

Keep pressing on, have that can do spirit and prevail!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

15 things God won't ask!

God won’t ask what kind of car you drove, but will ask how many people you drove who didn’t have transportation.

God won’t ask the square footage of your house, but will ask how many people you welcomed into your home.

God won’t ask about the fancy clothes you had in your closet, but will ask how many of those clothes helped the needy.

God won’t ask about your social status, but will ask what kind of class you displayed.

God won’t ask how many material possessions you had, but will ask if they dictated your life.

God won’t ask what your highest salary was, but will ask if you compromised your character to obtain that salary.

God won’t ask how much overtime you worked, but will ask if you worked overtime for your family and loved ones.

God won’t ask how many promotions you received, but will ask how you promoted others.

God won’t ask what your job title was, but will ask if you reformed your job to the best of your ability.

God won’t ask what you did to help yourself, but will ask what you did to help others.

God won’t ask how many friends you had, but will ask how many people to whom you were a true friend.

God won’t ask what you did to protect your rights, but will ask what you did to protect the rights of others.

God won’t ask in what neighborhood you lived, but will ask how you treated your neighbors.

God won’t ask about the color of your skin, but will ask about the content of your character.

God won’t ask how many times your deeds matched your words, but will ask how many times they didn’t.