Category Archives: Search for Truth

dull day

Essential Ingredients for Life

Do you find that you have too many lacklustre days?

Ones where nothing seems to happen; that are just filled with the mundane. Is it that you’re just getting older and life isn’t as exciting as it used to be? Is it time to change jobs, find a new partner, take up an extreme sport or splash out on a fast car?

Well you could, but I’m guessing that in a short while the mundane days will return and then it will be time to make another change.

So, what are the essential ingredients required for a fulfilled and happy life? Is it the right job, the right partner, the right pastime. Is it the chasing after your dreams, ambitions or next exciting purchase?

Whilst all of these things have the potential to bring happiness, all will ultimately disappoint. I believe that there’s something else that has the potential to transform the mundane or stressful days regardless of our position.

Ingredient 1: Understanding Your Purpose

First and foremost, it’s vital to know that you were created on purpose and designed with purpose. God decided to create you. It wasn’t simply the decision of your parents. Nor was it just the lack of use of the appropriate method of contraception. No. God decided that he wanted a ‘insert your name here’ in the world so he created you. And why did he want one of you? Because he desired to have a friend to share creation with, someone to share his love with, someone to be in his family.

It is written in Psalm 139:13-16 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Ingredient 2: Take Your Eyes Off You

A focusing on our own situation is a sure and certain way to find unhappiness and dissatisfaction in life. Why? Because we’ll always be constantly aware of how very inadequate we truly are. This leads to only one conclusion, that the problem cannot be me but must be the people and things around me. I can’t possibly be at fault!

If we’re going to get a true perspective in life we must take our eyes off ourselves and look first to Christ, our perfect saviour. We first must see that Christ is the answer to our inadequacy. We are only truly complete in Him.

Acts 17:28 says, “For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

Colossians 2:10 says, “So you also are complete through your union with Christ.

Ingredient 3: Find Your Function

Tools work best when they are doing what there was designed to do, not something else. Have you ever tried doing a piece of DIY with the wrong tools? It’s hard work and usually ends in a botched job or a poor result. We need to the use the right tools for the right job. And that goes for people as much as it does for tools. We’re each created with a set of distinct abilities, gifts and talents. God had a purpose in mind when he created us. Why? Because he so values us he wants for us to share in his work. Therefore it’s essential that we find out what job has given us and start operating according to the maker’s instructions. Operating in any other way is going to make a botched job of both your life and others.

1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 says, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for creating me; for choose to make me as you designed. I praise you for wanting me, for loving me.

Forgive me when I’ve not acknowledge you, when I’ve focused on my own needs and desires, and have not operated according to your plan.

Help me Lord, to live my life out in your service; that I might help fulfil your great mission. Give me your spirit and increase my faith so I can accomplish all that you have set out for me. May I be a blessing to all that I meet today.

Amen

How do I find my purpose

How do I find my purpose?

Evidence shows that finding meaning and purpose in your life is one of the main contributing factors that leads to happiness. Knowing that your life has meaning and that you are valued and loved for who you are, and not what you contribute, leads to true joy and satisfaction. The difficulty is that many do not know what their purpose is in life and do not feel at all valued by others or God. Dare I say it, but christians can also be amongst those feeling as if their life lacks purpose.

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing” is something I’ve often heard said. It’s typically someone who changes jobs regularly, often buys new outfits or changes the style of their hair. They are normally the kind of person who complain a lot about life in general. They are restless. How do I know this? Because I was a complainer and job changer for much of my life!

I’ve always had great ambition, ever since I was a young man. Even though I’m somewhat older, that ambition for greater things remains very strong within me. At the age of eleven I made the decision to become a christian. I felt such a powerful sense of purpose and just knew that life was never going to be dull. I knew that there were great things in store for me. This wasn’t just because I’d been told this at church. I felt it within my very core. The problem I had was that I had absolutely no idea what I was supposed to be doing that was so important!

I was desperate to find out where it was I was going and arrive at my final destination. I didn’t realise that life was a journey. I had the tendency to focus on the end goal and not look at the here and now. What happened is that I often missed what God was trying to show me right then. I had very little ability to see what it was that I was supposed to be doing on any given day. For this reason I tended to be easily distracted.

The other problem that I suffered from was waiting. I was neither patient nor pro-active. Waiting for something to happen was my default position. “God should just do something as I try my best to wait.” And I did try my best to be patient but often I would lose interest and go and do something else instead, something not at all helpful like going out drinking with my friends or playing computer games for hours on end.

So what’s the answer I hear you say? Should I wait patiently, continually praying, reading my bible, meditating and practising being thoughtful? Perhaps then God will reveal what I am to do?

Well, yes and no. Do you want to know the answer to life’s biggest question – why am I here. Are you ready?

You’re here because YOU ARE his purpose. He purposed your very existence because he wanted you to exist and to be in relationship with you. He loves everything about you.

So what do you do with your time knowing that you are created for God’s enjoyment? Firstly, enjoy it. You can’t go wrong. How can you have any worries knowing that a loving God created you without making any mistakes. He designed you and planned out your life from start to end. So make every effort to live a life worthy of the investment that has been made in you.

Next, move into action and get out of your seat. Go out today and expect to see God’s purpose everywhere you go. There are no coincidences in God’s kingdom. He has purpose for you each and every day and provides continual opportunities for you to be of value in this world. No matter what anyone else thinks he sees all the good deeds you do and will reward you for each and every one. That’s not to say you are earning the approval of God; if you love him you already have it. No. You should simply want to please the one who loves you.

Go and speak to people and find out about them. Find out about their interests, passions, pains and potential. Be God’s purpose in the lives of those around you. Visit places and learn about the activities that go on there, the organisations that contribute to the local economy, the charities that seek to support those in need, the churches that seek to serve their local communities. Find out what’s on, where people gather, where they go to unwind. Find where God is leading you to be his purpose.

Don’t just make a difference but be a difference. Give it your best shot. You weren’t just designed to make a difference in this world, but you are the difference to this world. For God so loves you that he made you unique, gave you gifts and abilities and provides you opportunities to make a real and lasting impact.

So what are you waiting for? Get up and go. He’s with you all the way.


 

Col 1:10-13
Live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Great Expectations

When something unexpected happens does our mind run away with us thinking that the worst has happened? It can be quite difficult to stop and think that this may not be the case. In just a moment our day has gone from great to terrible and we don’t even know what might have happened.The truth is that if we choose to think positively then most of the time we will more likely be closer to the truth. We will save ourselves untold anguish. For example, our best friend has failed to turn up for our lunch together. We’re don’t understand why they didn’t remember that it was today. We told them in our text message where and when to meet. Why aren’t they here! Don’t they know that I was really looking forward to seeing them. I can’t afford to be late as I have other things to do today. Well, possibly there is a very good reason they are late.

  • They have overslept
  • They have forgotten because they are really tired
  • They have misplaced their car keys
  • They forgot to set their alarm
  • There has been a fire drill and are delayed
  • They missed their junction on the motorway
  • They are stuck in a traffic-jam
  • They forgot something and had to go back
  • There was a long queue in the shop
  • The car has broken down
  • There has been a power cut at the office and they have had to stay behind
  • Their previous appointment has overrun
  • They have forgotten to do something really important
  • An emergency has happened at work and they are needed to sort it out
  • The battery on their mobile has run out
  • They have been pulled over for speeding to meet you
  • They were distracted when agreeing our plans
  • They didn’t get my text message
  • They didn’t make a note of what we agreed
  • They lost track of the time because of an urgent deadline
  • They forgot they were meeting because of worrying about something
  • They are naturally quite forgetful
  • They are very disorganised
  • They have taken ill today
  • The car has run out of petrol
  • A family crisis has occurred
  • They have lost their job
  • They didn’t realise how I would feel by being late
  • They didn’t appreciate that I was depending on them
  • They didn’t know how much I wanted them to be there
  • They didn’t know that they were the only one invited

And if none of the above is true then perhaps they just made a mistake. They are only human after all. Have we never made a mistake? Why not review your level of expectation and cut others some slack. Instead of expecting that everyone will turn up on time, don’t be so surprised if quite often people are late and have good reasons. Don’t set people up to fail, instead set people up to succeed. If you plan a meeting and invite people to come at 10am, plan to start the actual meeting at 10:10am or as soon as everyone has arrived! Send everyone a reminder or let them know that you’re looking forward to seeing them.

Prayer

DEAR GOD,

HELP ME TO ALWAYS THINK THE BEST OF OTHER PEOPLE AND NOT TO SET THEM UP TO FAIL. PLEASE HELP ME TO ORGANISE MYSELF AND NOT TO BELIEVE THAT I AM PERFECT. FORGIVE ME FOR NOT HAVING FAITH IN OTHERS, OR IN YOU TO LOOK AFTER ME IN MY SITUATION. THANK YOU THAT I CAN TRUST YOU FOR ALL MY WORRIES AND CONCERNS. ALL THE THINGS THAT I CANNOT CONTROL ARE SAFE IN YOUR HANDS.

AMEN

Love... always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always
perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:7
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever
is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is
excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of
things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Belief

In the 1992 film “A Few Good Men” Tom Cruise’s character delivers the line “You can’t handle the truth!” to Jack Nicolson’s character who was sitting in the dock, justifying his horrific actions in the interest of national security.

Self justification is not just something reserved for hollywood blockbusters. No, we all do it all the time. We do it so often that we often don’t even realise we’re doing it. Now it may not be our breaking of the law or something as serious as national security but self justification is seriously affecting our lives. Take for instance when we’re watching TV, we actively choose to suspend what we know to be true because we want to believe what we’re seeing.

Not convinced? Why does it only take a single bullet to take down the bad guy but the hero just wipes off the blood and stick a band-aid on it? When do film heroes do their washing, cleaning, dusting, ironing, cooking, shopping, school runs, family errands, bill payments and filing? Why doesn’t the hero ever get an STI after having numerous partners?

The fact is we choose to believe what we want to believe and it isn’t based on evidence or facts. Of course we know that what we’re seeing isn’t real, don’t we? Perhaps we do deep down but so long as we suspend our disbelief we can carry on enjoying what we’ve seen. As soon as we pop out the bonus DVD and watch the ‘making of the film’ the illusion is shattered.

We don’t just apply this kind of thinking to television. We do it every day. When we drive over the speed limit and tell ourselves, “Everyone else does it” or “The limit should be higher anyway”. Or when we fail to hand in the lost property we find and say, “The person may not even return to collect it” or “The person I hand it to will keep it for themselves.” The other day I found a SatNav just lying on the floor. My first thought was, “What a great find! My wife would really appreciate this.” I wasn’t even going to keep it for myself – how generous was I! As I began to look through all the settings I came across the owners address. I thought about how they might feel having lost it and how they might feel to have it returned to them. Within the hour I was at their door.

You see, it’s the little things that we say to ourselves that really matter. They make up what we believe and who we are. In the Bible it says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is”. The problem with examining our beliefs is what might happen if we find that they are not true. And the problem with the truth is that it has consequences. Most people don’t want to consider the truth not because they don’t believe it, but they do not want to be faced with the consequences. Consequences require a response to accept them or reject them. They cannot be simply ignore.

The fact is that there are real consequences for all of our decisions and it is worth questioning what we believe before moving on. After all, the “theory of evolution” is still just a theory. The “missing link” is still missing. How many of us have even read the “Origin of Species” and looked at the evidence ourselves? Are we just happy to follow the masses and believe what we are presented with is the truth? Why not take the time to find out some facts for yourself and read some of the Bible; see who Jesus really was and what he had to say. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Start today with John chapter 1

Choices

Today is Friday 24th August. Just seemingly another day, pretty much like any other. I am 42 years old and this is my first ever blog. Although to me it’s much more than that. I have been a christian now for around 31 years and I do not consider that I have really given it my all. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times when I have been really committed and for more than just a few days. What I mean to say is that I feel I could have done so much more. I believe life is full of opportunities to fulfil your potential, what it comes down to is commitment versus distraction.

I guess that I’m probably not alone and that many of us would say that we have not given our best. Why is that? Why is it that even when we passionately believe something that we still don’t try our hardest. Is it laziness? Or fear of failure? A lot would say those are the most obvious reasons and maybe they are right. But for me, I would say it was distractions.

It is amazing how little time there is available now. When we were young there were endless summer days to play. Long hours cycling the streets, walking in the woods, playing with friends. Now it would seem that life is just one big rush without time to even draw breath. This is not just me getting old and wondering what I’ve done with my life. No. This is life’s great distractions.

As we get older we have more responsibilities and less choices. We have families to look after, bills to pay, jobs to do. And if we don’t do them no-one else will. What this means is that we need to be very careful about the choices we make. The young think that life will go on forever and that wasting time has little consequence. At the time they are right because they have the luxury of time and there are few immediate consequences, apart from a good ear-bending for not doing your chores! As we get older we need to be thinking more carefully about what we spend our time on, what we are going to do, but perhaps more importantly what we’re not going to spend time on. You see, its these distractions that need to be removed, the things that are no longer of worth or value to us. It really is true, we can’t do everything. Certain things don’t have place in our lives.

For me it was computer games. So many hours spent. Days at a time lost. Today gaming seems to be a pastime for both young and old, especially with the arrival of the smartphone and iPad. Everyone is seemingly playing something. I knew that I did not have the time any longer to spend on gaming. This doesn’t mean that I’m against gaming just that it is no longer right for me. It was distraction to not just my responsibilities but also to my focus on my calling. Instead of preparing and training myself for my future I was wasting hours of my life attaining another million points and killing countless thousands.

I give you this challenge today – give something up. Not just anything but something that does not have a place in your life today. It might by a sport, a TV programme or a pub visit. Ask God to tell you if you’re not sure. Now do a second thing, and this is really important. Don’t waste the time you’ve just freed up by filling it with another distraction. Go for a walk, visit a friend or spend some time with your partner. Spend that time investing in your future and maybe you will be a step closer to fulfilling your potential.