Life gets hard sometimes, doesn’t it? In this world we will have troubles and hardships. But, this world is not our home. We are just passing through. We don’t belong here. Our home is in heaven with God, if we are his by faith in Jesus Christ. So, that should encourage us, that this is not forever.
But, God has placed us here on the earth for a time and for a purpose. So, we need to understand that purpose, and then live the life God has given us here on this earth to fulfill his intention, his reason for us to even exist. So, what are some of those purposes and reasons for why we are here?
The Lord Jesus led me to read Philippians 4 (Select vv. NASB).
Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. V. 1
Paul was called of God to be the Lord’s servant, his messenger to the people, so he invested his life in people, and in giving them the messages God had for them. He laid his very life down for them, for them to know the way to salvation and to freedom from sin, even at the risk of personal rejection, persecution and even death. But, he did this because he loved God, he obeyed God, and because he loved the people of this world.
Well, you know what? We are all called of God similarly, if we believe in Jesus Christ. As followers of Christ we are to be his servants, and he is to be our Lord (owner-master), and we are to do his bidding, his will. And, we are, too, to give his messages out to the people, to open blinded eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (See: Ac. 26:16-18).
For, scripture teaches that we “are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9).
See! It is right there in black and white. We are his messengers, too. We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. And, we are to let our lights shine before men (and women). For, if the Holy Spirit is living within us, which means we are genuinely saved, then we are his witnesses, for good or for bad. How we live our lives day in and day out speaks volumes as to whether or not what we profess is a reality in our lives.
So, by our lives, and by the words we speak, we lead others either to God or away from God. If we lead them to the Lord, this will be a crown for us one day, but for now, it is our joy, not for bragging rights, though, but joy in seeing lives transformed by the Holy Spirit and walking in freedom. Amen!
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! V. 4
There are so many scriptures which tell us to rejoice, even in our suffering, and even when we are being mistreated and persecuted. It is a hard thing to do sometimes, I admit, but it is not impossible, because we don’t do it in our own willpower and strength, but in the power and strength of the Lord!
I can tell you that, even if you are going through some very difficult times, it is enormously healing to just sing songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. It has a way of lifting our spirits, and pulling us out of the pit of depression, and giving us new hope and healing, and renewing God’s purpose within us.
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. V. 5
Gentle, in this sense, has to do with being reasonable, fair, a “true equity that appropriately fulfills the spirit (not just the letter) of the law” (1). It is not “gentle” in the sense of soft on sin, lukewarm, and giving people watered down messages, though, in order to make them feel good about themselves in their sins. Gentle still speaks the truth about sin, but it speaks it in love and with kindness, and with a message of hope and healing for the repentant who turns his or her heart to Jesus Christ.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Vv. 6-7
We are not to be afraid, but to trust the Lord, who is completely faithful in all that he does. We are not to live our lives in fear of the “What ifs?” Or, even in fear of the probable or the likely. We are to walk in freedom from fear, and in faith, believing our God is completely sovereign over our lives and that he will carry us and walk with us through every challenge which presents itself to us. For, nothing takes him by surprise. He knew, even before he created us, the things we would go through, and he is all sufficient to meet us in our every need, no matter how difficult it may seem.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Vv. 8-9
We are not here on this earth to please ourselves, but to please God who gave his life up for us so that we might be free from our slavery to sin. We are here to live holy lives, and holy means separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being transformed into Christ’s likeness. We are here, as well, to live pure lives, free from sinful passions and desires which wage war against our spirits. So, we should not be daily digesting what is impure via TV, music, videos, movies and the internet, should we?
We are also here to tell the truth, not lies. Lies, no matter how you disguise them, are still lies, and they are never kind! God hates lies, and so should we. We should be truth tellers, not liars, and we should be those committed to telling the truth of the gospel, too, and not watering it down to make it more appealing to human flesh, because we don’t want to offend people. But, the gospel is an offense to those who are perishing. If we don’t tell people the truth, they may die in their sins, and that definitely is not kind.
We are not to be those who make sin our practice. Believers in Christ should not be addicted to any sin, in other words, for Jesus set us free! He has given us everything we need to live victoriously over sin. We just have to take the way out from temptation he has provided us. And, we have to yield to God’s Spirit living within us, in saying “No” to sin and in saying “Yes” to righteousness (See: Tit. 2:11-14). In his power, we can be overcomers!
Instead, holiness, righteousness, purity, godliness and humility, etc. should be what we practice – all in the power and working of God’s Spirit, as we yield control of our lives to our Lord, and we submit to his purposes for which he created us and has placed us here on this earth.
Teach Me, Lord
An Original Work / June 12, 2011
Teach me, Lord, to walk in Your ways,
And observe all You command.
May I ever hasten to You,
And desire to not offend.
Teach me how to follow Your steps,
Gently guiding me each day.
May I love and serve You always,
Loving others, this I pray.
Teach me, Lord, to listen to You
Speaking Your words to my heart.
May I never stray from Your truth,
And from Your law ne’er depart.
Teach me how to instruct others
In the way that we should go,
Leading them by my life witness,
So that Jesus they should know.
Teach me, Lord, to be a light in
This dark world of grief and sin.
May I always care for others;
Share their burdens; help to mend.
Teach me how to share with them that
Jesus came to set them free,
So that they could be forgiven;
Live with Christ eternally.
Friday, December 22, 2017, 6:16 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this lesson pertaining to what our purpose is in this life, for our time on this earth.