Tag Archives: way

Why Are We Here?

How can we know the purpose for our lives?

Written by GodLife on 09/04/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: MeaningLoveSignificancePurposeDestiny


…everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.

Isaiah 43:7

You've met them or heard of them — men and women of vision and passion. Driven by purpose and a life pursuit. They discover things. They build things. They do important things. Streets, colleges, battleships, cities and awards are named after them. They're fascinating! What makes them tick, and why aren't more people like them?

One reason more people aren't like this may be that the single-minded pursuit of a mission tends to be hard on people. We sometimes call high achievers "workaholics." That makes it sound like an addiction. Addictions are destructive, unlike the diligence we associate with dedicated workers. How can your diligent attention be singularly significant, yet not hurt your friends and loved ones — or your walk with God? Read on to discover three key aspects of an effective Christian life that can make all the difference.

Your own context

Followers of Jesus talk more often about calling than achievement. That puts it into different perspective. You are the hearer. God, your creator and redeemer, is the caller. If He’s your omniscient creator, nothing in your life is an accident. Your resources, experiences, skills, talents and relationships have all been gifts planned and given by Him. It helps to see them as gifts, because then you know you’re responsible to take care of them. Thinking “How God has provided these things for me?” can begin to set you on the right course. 

“…let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him…Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called…in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.” 

All these quotes are from 1 Corinthians 7:17–24, where Paul explicitly covers questions about marriage, servitude and the Gentile or Jewish roots of these early believers.

God’s work, God’s way

Just as you can get guidance from your own life conditions, you can also do so from things shown to you about God. For example, because God is love, He would not be behind inclinations toward the hatred or exploitation of a group of people. Because God is the Spirit of Truth, He’s not in things that rely on the practice of deceit. Israel’s first king, Saul, thought God would accept his sacrifice despite his incomplete obedience to his original mission. Samuel predicted God would replace him, saying,  “…to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22

God’s Priorities

God is clear that all His instructions are pure (Proverbs 30:5) and that we have no right to add or subtract from them. (Deuteronomy 4:2Revelation 22:18-19) That almost makes it sound as if they are all equally important, so that we have to carefully follow it all and “…do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) Yet Jesus had a surprising answer to a teacher of Jewish law who asked, “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” If all God’s words are perfect, how can any have more priority than the other? Jesus goes on to explain this implied question: “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40) They are greatest because they effectively contain the rest. Romans explains, “love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:10) God’s great expression of love (1 John 3:16) was sending Christ to die for our sins. Jesus told the Apostles: “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”(John 20:21)

In summary, the reason you and I are here is to bring glory to God, as Isaiah 43:7 says. We do so by telling others to be reconciled to God, as 2 Corinthians 5:15-20 tells us. Because we know Him, we must not go about this in a way that is against what He reveals about Himself in His Word. And because we trust that He created us for a purpose and has provided for us in a way that serves as a guide and a model for us, we cherish our relationships, seeking the best for others instead of taking advantage of them. We leverage our resources, putting His Kingdom first by using our time, energy, experience, knowledge and influence to help others find the way to eternal life. That’s how to live a life of the very highest purpose without missing out on the best God has for you and your loved ones.


Pray this week:

Father, will you help me see and eliminate anything that is standing in the way of reaching the full potential of my life?


Do you sense any resistance to the ideas shared in this devotional? A caring volunteer is available to discuss and pray through them with you!

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How to Heal Addiction

Hope for the Hurting and Trapped

Written by Dan Lee on 29/11/2016

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: TemptationAddictionSin


I have the right to do anything,” you say — but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” — but I will not be mastered by anything.

1 Corinthians 6:12

Addiction is a loaded word with many meanings. We tend to think of it as extreme, however, anyone can suffer from addiction, and it’s far more common than you think.

The World Health Organization tells us that worldwide, 6 million people die every year due to tobacco use, and 3.3 million die due to alcohol related causes.

Alcohol, drugs, and smoking have caused much misery for years. But now, we can add pornography, TV binge-watching, overeating, shopping, and video games. For instance, one woman in New Mexico, USA, was spending over 12 hours a day playing a multiplayer video game — and let her 3-year-old daughter starve to death. Clearly, our world needs to healed from addiction.

Even normal activities can harm us when taken to extremes. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:12, “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say — but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’ — but I will not be mastered by anything.” An addiction means we have let ourselves be “mastered” by something.

Perhaps other believers have told you to “Flee from youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22) or to “Resist the devil” (James 4:7). But addictions come with mental, emotional and physical components that together exert a much more powerful pull than a regular temptation.

Here are three things that can put you on the road to healing addiction…

1. Cry out to God

First things first — are you a follower of Christ? Even before asking for help with addiction, you must get right with God.

During a time of extreme trouble, David wrote: “I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. The ropes of death entangled me; floods of destruction swept over me” (Psalm 18:3-4). God did not answer David until he had called on Him.

Start by acknowledging that you cannot conquer your addiction in your own strength. Jesus said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible” (Matthew 19:26).

2. Get Help from Others

When trapped in sin, our impulse is to isolate ourselves from other believers. This is what Satan wants as well! Spending time with caring believers and sharing your struggles is an important step in escaping it. Yes, it can be humbling, and even humiliating, but your Christian brothers and sisters can help you with prayer. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16). Also see Hebrews 10:24.

3. Cut it Off

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke of sexual temptation this way: “So if your eye — even your good eye — causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Matthew 6:29).

Jesus was telling us that if any object or person consistently leads us to sin, we need to get that thing out of our lives. For example, if your friends want you to take drugs with them, you need to find some new friends. If you tend to look at women with lust, don’t go to the beach in summertime. If you can’t resist pornography on the Internet, you need to install filters on your computer — or get rid of the computer altogether.

If you have struggled with an addiction, please know that there is hope, and that the God who made the universe is ready to help deliver you when you cry out to him.


Pray this week:

Lord, I am tired of being mastered by addictions. Please show me the way out, and give me strength from Your Holy Spirit to go that way. Help me to help others who need this help as well.


Are you, or someone you know, struggling with an addiction? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Seven Ways You Can Find Peace

No matter what shakes our world, you can find peace.

Written by Janet Perez Eckles on 22/01/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: HelpPeaceWisdom


Blessed is the man… his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night.

Psalm 1:1-2

“I can’t’ believe you do that. That’s crazy!” a friend said when I told her I travel abroad by myself.

That’s crazy!

She might be right. Being blind, my traveling alone could be dangerous.  Without eyesight, I risk many mishaps—getting lost, losing my luggage, falling, running into objects or into people. Or even ending up in the wrong destination.

But the worry is gone because when I leave for a trip from my hometown of Orlando and head to South America, for example, I have a plan. In one hand I hold my white cane, and in my heart, I carry God’s Word. They’re verses from the Bible I memorized and silently repeat them in my mind throughout the day.

Good thing I developed that habit because not long ago when I visited Ecuador for the first time to address women’s conferences in various cities, God’s Word saved me from panic.

“Wake up, Janet!”

My friend whispered as she stood beside my bed “Don’t be afraid, but we had another earthquake last night.”

This was my first time in Ecuador, the surroundings were unfamiliar and the tremors that would soon follow added to the uneasiness of the moment.

My friend left as she had to attend to some urgent matters. I was alone. The only thing that accompanied me was my white cane and the fear I’d be unable to navigate to find the exit. My fate was that I would be crushed or trapped.

I tried to wipe away thoughts of the possible tragic ending. But, before I did, the furniture began to shake, the windows rattled and my heart beat fast.

I forced myself to take a deep breath. I needed supernatural help. But I had no one to read Bible passages to me. No cell connection to listen to God’s Word or even a radio to listen to Christian teachings. The only thing I had, stored deep in my heart and tucked in the crevices of my mind was God’s Word. I had written them with the pen of commitment ever since I met Jesus and began a sweet relationship with Him.

In the midst of the tremors, He whispered to me:

  • “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
  • “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1
  • “fear not, for I am with you…” Isaiah 41:10
  • “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
  • “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
  • “The Lord is my light and my salvation;  whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27:1

The threatening terror turned to triumphant peace. I wasn’t alone, God was with me. The tremors stopped in my heart and in the room as well. Fresh reassurance, powerful confidence and profound calmness erased all fear.

No matter what shakes our world, God’s Word is available and through the Holy Spirit, it’s ready to leap from the page into our mind and heart. Here are seven steps to store them deep within:

  1. Ask God to speak to you through His Word
  2. Ask God to grant you spiritual wisdom to understand His message
  3. Choose a Bible verse
  4. Keep the verse short
  5. Ponder on its meaning
  6. Repeat it over and over again in your mind
  7. When going to bed, commit it to memory and repeat it the first thing in the morning

Once this verse flows easily in your mind and from your lips, choose another one and follow the same steps.

Storing Bible verses in the heart is like collecting gems. They will shine to dispel the darkness. They will enrich a heart that’s empty. They will grow in value. And they will add worth to our life.

Although we all face earthquakes that shake our life, God’s Word is the steady foundation that remains solid. His Word, learned and stored within, is the weapon that defeats the enemy, turns fear to faith, panic to peace and soothes the aching heart.


Pray this week:

Heavenly Father, you see the tremors that often shake my own life, I ask for Your wisdom to understand Your Word, for Your grace to keep me focused on You, and for diligence to store Your Word deep within me. Amen.


How has God’s Word stored in your heart helped you?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

3 Ways the Coming of Jesus was Foretold

There are more than 300 prophecies about Jesus (the Messiah) in the Old Testament.

Written by Joy on 07/12/2014

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: JesusJesus BirthProphecy


 

“For to us a child is born, …. and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.” Isaiah 9:6-7

 

There are more than 300 prophecies about Jesus (the Messiah) in the Old Testament. Jesus fulfills every prophecy! Since it’s the Christmas season, let’s take a look at 3 ways the coming of Jesus was foretold.

1. The Miracle of His Birth

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). God uses His supernatural power to give us evidence that He, and He alone, is doing something amazing. The foretold virgin birth is only possible by God. It is important that Jesus is called Immanuel, which means “God with us.” Jesus is unique because he is a man, or a “seed of woman” (Genesis 3:15), and the Son of God (Matthew 3:17).

2. The City of His Birth

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” (Micah 5:2) Jewish scholars agreed that Jesus would come from the descendants of King David (Isaiah 11:1-2), and be born in Bethlehem.

How amazing that God arranged for a pagan Roman emperor to take a census, causing a pregnant virgin to travel to Bethlehem at just the right time! “And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary and while there, the time came for her baby to be born.” (Luke 2:3-6)

3. The Purpose of His Birth

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus had to suffer as the prophets foretold (Luke 24:26-27). He died in our place so we could have peace with God. This is why the Angels sang at His birth: “Glory to God in the Highest! And Peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” (Luke 2:14)

“Without Faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6) Have you received the peace that Jesus died for you to have? Click here to learn how to please God by having faith in Jesus Christ.


Pray this week:

To help you understand Jesus as the fulfillment of prophecy.


Are you surprised about these prophecies? If you want to learn more, talk about it with a caring Christian.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Jesus calls us to be different from the world while making a difference in the world

Jesus calls us to be different from the world, while making a difference in the world.

Written by Joy on 15/08/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
“(Jesus praying) My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one….As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.’” John 17:15,18

How can we make a difference in our culture today? Jesus says He is sending us into the world, as He himself was sent. What are we being sent to do? What was Jesus’ mission?

To Seek and Save the Lost (Luke 19:10)
Jesus came for one reason: to provide salvation through His death and resurrection. He did not come to give political freedom and rights, but spiritual freedom from sin. He came to give us spiritual victory over death and the treasure of Eternal Life with God, not to give financial success or health in this life. He did not come for only those religious people who follow the rules, but he was known for spending time with "sinners." “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13).

This means we too must go out looking for sinners (Ecclesiastes 7:20) who need to hear about the love and mercy of Jesus.

To Save, Not to Condemn (John 3:17)
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). When we boast, we make ourselves seem superior because of our morals. Unbelievers only see someone who is acting holy and judging them; caring only about rules and details. They don't see Jesus. Jesus commanded us to preach the Gospel, (Mark 16:15, Romans 1:16-17) not just to get sinners to change their moral behavior.

To Show God’s Love (John 3:16)
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:9, 11).

This is the only message that has the power to change our culture: Love. Our prophecy, teaching and good works are worthless without love (1 Corinthians 13). “True love Is patient, and kind, not boastful, proud or rude…not rejoicing in wrong-doing, but rejoicing in the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-6). Beware, of the world's definition of love: extreme tolerance. “Instead, we speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ…” (Ephesians 4:15)

Pray this week:
God, help me stay on your mission of love and salvation through Jesus Christ; help me to change my culture by changing lives through the Gospel. Give me chances to share your truth in love.

What kind of freedom does God wnat you to have?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

In the World Not of the World

Jesus calls us to be different from the World, while making a difference in the World.

Written by Joy on 08/08/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Culture, Life, Light, Sin
“Jesus prayed, ‘They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.’” John 17:16-17

We cannot expect non-believers to have godly moral standards and desire to please God. We can, and should, expect Christians to act differently than the culture that they live in—as different as night and day.

Darkness of World Culture
“This, then is the judgement: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19). Human culture is ruled by sin and selfish desires. Without Jesus people are lost in darkness (Matthew 18:10-14), dead in their sin (Ephesians 2:1-5), separated from God (Colossians 1:21-22) and condemned without hope (John 3:18). When you are in the dark, you cannot see the truth.

Remember, that is where we ALL began. (Romans 3:11, 23)

Jesus is the Light of the World
“He (Jesus) has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.” (Colossians 1:13-14). Becoming a Christian is not about reciting a prayer or going to church. It is a complete transfer of your allegiance from one king to another. It is a radical transformation of your identity. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

Have you been born again? What King do you serve?

Become Born Again

Live as Children of Light
Read Ephesians 4:17-24 and understand that “Christ-followers” must be different from the popular culture that surrounds them. We no longer belong to this world but to God. “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world – lust for physical pleasure, a lust for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions- is not from the Father, but is from this world. And this world with its lust is fading away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.” (1 John 2:15-17).

Are you seeking first to please God?

Pray this week:
That God would expose any way that you are letting worldly culture influence you. Ask Jesus to rule your thoughts and actions as your rightful King.

Do you act and think differently than non- Christians? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member