Wednesday, October 20, 2010

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Apart From God, All Life is in Vain

The whole book of Ecclesiastes deals with the futility of life apart from God. Man has a place within himself that can only be filled by God. However, the “godless” man will seek to fill that void with anything and everything under the sun only to discover that all his work was in vain. We have seen humanity search to fill that void with wealth, intellectualism, work, sex, and a myriad of other avenues to try to bring meaning into their lives. Ultimately these efforts will be seen as unsatisfactory for the mere reason that everything under the sun will vanish like the wind. It is only with God as the center of our lives that we can truly see a purpose in our lives that has eternal value. Why is this?

God is the creator of all things, and it is His will that provides purpose that is real and lasting rather than temporal and corruptible. His ways are higher than ours, and His thoughts surpass any of our understanding. This explains why humans are always at a loss when they trust in their own limited wisdom and understanding rather than trusting in the Lord and His Word to show us God’s ways and will for our lives. A man’s ways are right in his own eyes and will therefore change with every wind that comes along. This is what leads to such ideas as women’s “choice” when it comes to abortion. Oh the folly of even assuming that our bodies are our own, and therefore we should have the right to “choose” death rather than life, whether it be for ourselves or for the unborn child. But again I say that this is the pitfall that man will fall into every time we try to live a life that is separate from God, His Word, and His ways.

It is not in the nature of man to be able to reach perfection in this world. Jesus, the Son of God, was the only one to ever accomplish that. However, He has given believers the gift of the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us into all truth. His Word is our “owner’s manual” by which we are to live our lives as we put our trust in Him to take us through this journey of life on Earth to prepare us for our real home in eternity with Him.

It makes me so very sad to think that some look upon His Word as just a nice little book of mythology written by mere men. They have not received the God knowledge of the power of His Holy Spirit who is able to inspire men to write His Word. As believers in Christ, it is not possible for us to live a life that is daily being transformed into the image of God, unless we have a full relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. That is why Jesus told His followers to go tarry in the upper room and wait for His Spirit to come and dwell within them. Read the book of Acts and ask the Lord to help you see the transforming power that was brought about within each of them as they received the power of the indwelling Spirit to live within them. Evidence is plainly given as we see Peter changed from the coward that denied his Christ, not once but three times, into the man that would go into the world and spread the Word of God without fear of what any man could do to his earthly body.

It is easy to have an intellectual, or head knowledge of who God is. Satan believes and knows who God is. He even knows the scriptures as any one can see who reads of how he tried to tempt even Jesus in the wilderness. But he will never know what it is to have the power of the Holy Spirit within him because he refuses to obey God. It is the Holy Spirit that opens our eyes, ears, and hearts that we may yield ourselves to the true knowledge of God that we may not be deceived by ourselves, others, or Satan. That is why His Word tells us to be being filled by the Holy Spirit daily that He may perfect us and mold us more into His image, changing us from the corruptible “old man” that we were into the new creation that we are to become.

Imagine if you were just about to eat a beautiful looking piece of apple pie. From the outside, the piecrust seems absolutely scrumptious looking. However, as you cut into it you may see some of the residual juices but the apples, the most important part, is missing from the pie. As Christians, that is exactly how we are if we do not have His Holy Spirit within us. God tells us that this is what many of us, who think we are believers, look like. We may show all the outward signs of the customs and traditions of a Christian; however, that is mere religiousity, and we lack the power (of the Holy Spirit) within. No wonder He says in His Word, that He is going to say He knew us not and spew us out of His mouth. If we deny the power of the Holy Spirit, we cannot enter His Kingdom. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit, which is denying Him and His power, is the unforgivable sin for which there is NO FOREGIVENESS. It is His Spirit that enables us to understand God’s Word. He tells us to study the Word that we may become a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing (understanding) the Word of God. Why would He tell us to study His Word if it was only a bunch of man made stories and myths? Why would He tell us that men, through the inspiration of His Holy Spirit, gave us His Word for our instruction and correction that we might know His purpose for our lives?

Why would He tell us to hide His Word in our Hearts and keep them ever before us?I once heard someone say that we are either walk with the Lord daily, or we are walking away from Him. There is no such thing as just retaining the status queue with the Lord. I can truly relate to that statement. Sometimes I have behaved as though Jesus is someone that I put on a shelf to sit there until the next time I want to call on Him. Do you know what I mean? It’s kind of like this. “Jesus, I think I can do this part without you, so you just stay there, let me do my own thing, and I’ll come to you when and IF I think I might need you to handle something in my life.” How ignorant and foolish of me. If I neglected to eat and/or drink daily, I would wind up being a very sick and malnourished person. Well, the same thing happens to my inward man, that is my spirit, when I don’t feed upon His Word and allow His Holy Spirit to keep me from becoming spiritually stagnant or sickly. Without His Word applied to our lives we are as a ship without a rudder, tossed every which way by the winds that are forever changing. Without His Word to instruct and guide us, we are led only by the power of our own fluctuating opinions. Man’s ways, without God, no matter how “good” we may try to be by our own efforts, are all in vain and are always going to lead to destruction.

That is why God tells us, if we continually deny the Holy Spirit, there will come a point when we will choose to trust only ourselves and will therefore no longer be able to receive the true knowledge and understanding of the one true living God. Instead, even though we may go to church or say that we read the Bible, we will pick and choose what is pleasing to our own ears and cast the rest of the body of His complete Word aside as we see fit. We will choose to incorporate only those things that please us or “tickle our ears.” As humans there is always going to exist some hypocrisy in our lives until we see the Lord face to face and His work within us is completed. We are to yield ourselves to Him daily, and trust in Him to continue to perfect us until that day. The purpose for our lives here on Earth is to glorify the Lord in thought, word, and deed. We are to love the Lord and serve Him with all our being. We are not saved by good works; however, we are saved to do good works. It is my daily prayer that I may do those things which are pleasing in His sight that I may be transformed more and more into His image by the power of His Holy Spirit. Growing in the Lord is not something that just happens automatically, but only as we really choose to spend time with the Lord. That is what makes Christianity different from all other religions.

Christianity is not a bunch of do’s and don’ts. It is a “personal” relationship with Him. Otherwise laws handed down to us would have been sufficient. There would not have been a need for Jesus to give His life that you and I might be saved through faith in Him. He paid the price, not Buddha or any other god. That is why there is no other foundation by which one may have eternal life. There is only one path to God and that is through faith in Jesus, the Son of God. God does not send condemn anyone to Hell. We condemn ourselves when we reject His provision and plan for our salvation. I could send you an airplane ticket to my home, but if you threw it away you wouldn’t get here. People are always trying to blame God, by saying they can’t believe a loving God would send anyone to Hell. How ridiculous! He sent the Ark (Jesus). It’s not His fault when someone refuses to get on board.

There was a point in my life when I was a believer, but my husband was not. Yet God showed me the truth of His Word. I knew that the Lord said He would change my life if I would yield to Him and make Him Lord of ALL of my life. I had to make a choice. Was I going to really commit my life to Him or not? Satan, the liar, tried to tell me, “Sure go ahead, and just remember that He just might take your husband away from you. You know just how much you love Rick. Are you really sure that you want to do that?” Thank God, I did not listen to his lies. I chose the path to and with the Lord. He has kept His promise to never leave me or forsake me. God is so faithful. My husband not only received the Lord, but God has given us the kind of love for Him and one another that has seen us through the many storms of life. (I Peter 3 tells about how the believer may be used as an instrument to help bring the unbelieving husband/wife to the Lord. So if you Find yourself unequally yoked with an unbeliever I urge you to stand strong in your faith and do not compromise your faith. Remember that the Lord has said that if you are ashamed of Him before man, He will not recognize you before His Father in Heaven.)

I have not attained this knowledge by my own powers, but because of the Holy Spirit within me that continues to lead me and guide me into His truth. I can not boast in my faith as being from me, for even that is a gift from God. It is up to each one of us to make the decision to ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior. To receive Him as Lord means that we then choose to obey Him and serve Him. How are we going to obey Him, if we live our lives based on our own opinions instead of His Word? Don’t take my word for it. It is not the gospel according to Ginger of which I am speaking. Rather, go before the Lord in prayer; ask Him to come into your heart. Ask Him to open the eyes of your understanding by the power of His Holy Spirit. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Our salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ. May His Spirit empower us daily to do those things which are pleasing in His sight. May we each one seek His purpose for our lives through instruction and correction from His Word, renewing our minds daily by the “washing of the water of His Word.”

Isaiah 28:16
All flesh is like grass,
And all its glory like a flower of the grass.
The grass withers, and the flower drops off,
But the Word of the Lord endures forever.
(Only God can give purpose and anything of lasting value to man’s life. Life without God is all in vain.)

II Peter:20-21
First of all, you should know this; no prophecy of scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, moved by the Holy Spirit, men spoke from God.

II Timothy 3:13- 17
Evil people and imposters will become worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing those from whom you learned, and that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, and so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Ginger Rahn


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