By Dr. Foster H. Shannon
How do we position our lives? What is of most importance? What direction shall we take?
Jesus said in Matthew 6:33:
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness – and all these things shall be yours as well.”
Surely we are attached to our families. We, who are alive, were begotten by our parents. While we were babies, they cared for us. As we grew up, they provided for us. And who provided for them? We live on planet Earth that was created by God. He is the one from whom we all get life.
GOD IS SPEAKING TO US
How is He speaking to us?
1- Through Creation:
He speaks to us through the wonder of the universe we live in – the entirety of existence. The planets, the stars, the Constellations; all human, animal and vegetable life are the work of God. He who created us knows what is best for us. He speaks to us that we may know Him.
2- Through the Bible:
“Your word, O Lord, is settled in heaven” ~Ps. 119:89
“Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” ~Proverbs 30:5
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness” ~ 2 Timothy 3:16
3- Through his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ:
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” ~Heb 1:1,2
“…These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” ~John 20:31
4- Through the Holy Spirit:
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” ~2 Peter 1:21
God has given us our conscience, that He embeds in each one of us, so we and others may live a righteous and beautiful life.
God cares about you very much and wants to protect you from harm.
So… What is most important?
GOD WANTS US TO KNOW HIM
As we study the Bible, we see God’s concern for us. God is not indifferent to you. One day we wake up to understand that the teachings of the Bible are very important to God. He is paying attention to you, and we are to pay attention to Him that he may give us understanding and wisdom and inspiration to care for others. We must not disrespect God, for if we do, we have challenged what he has taught us – and there are consequences: We will miss the land of goodness and struggle with the land of disobedience.
He teaches us the right kind of living, so that we may be in good health, have good relations with other people and live a good life.
He gives us laws that are a map for our lives: The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, the teachings of the prophets, and most importantly the teachings of Jesus.
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”” ~John 8:32
HOW CAN WE KNOW HIM?
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” ~Matthew 7:7
God is our Creator and our keeper. Our life is His gift. We can have a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior through Jesus Christ. When we accept him into our hearts He speaks to us. We can then ‘walk with God’.
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)
He watches over us. Because he cares for us, he will also rebuke us. The Holy Spirit ‘comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable‘. The word SANCTIFICATION and sanctify are found in the Bible many times. It means faith in God and spiritual growth before God. It means our willing responses to his teachings and our confident hope of continuing growth and our entrance into Heaven.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” ~Ps 119:11
“Finally, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God for your sanctification: that you abstain from immorality…For God has not called us for uncleanness but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” (I Thessalonians 4:1-3;7,8)
“Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who, for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1,2)
There are important things that we may do to strengthen our walk with God:
a. Read the Bible every day
b. Pray regularly to give thanks to God; pray for God’s blessings for the Churches; pray for others for whom you are concerned; pray for the United States of America.
c. Tell someone else about Jesus and the Bible
d. Attend church on Sunday
e. Give money for Christian causes
WE HAVE SOMETHING TO REJOICE IN!
Many of us have a favorite football, baseball, or basketball team. We want to see our team win. We rejoice in victory. We rejoice in athletics—but shouldn’t our enthusiasm for God be even greater?
We have something eternal to rejoice in!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” (I Peter 1:3-4)
I am always here to help with any questions.
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Blessings to all!
Foster H. Shannon