HOW TO BE MISERABLE:
1) LIVE BENEATH YOUR POTENTIAL --
Live all your life in the basement of your life.
Die with all (or a lot of) your love still inside. In Matthew 5:48, Jesus said...
"Therefore be perfect (mature/complete) as your Father in Heaven is."
2) SEEK PLEASURE WITHOUT CONSCIENCE --
Doing what you WANT to do...instead of what you OUGHT to do.
Luke 15 speaks of the prodigal in a far country.
He thought "get and do" would satisfy, but the more he did what he liked...
the less he liked what he did. His life was 'speed without direction'.
When he realized how low he was (through his repentance and the father's love and affection), he became the son again.
He moved from 'misery to majesty' as WE do, when we move from repentance toward God, to faith in Jesus Christ, to be bound by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 20:18-24)
3) LOVE FREEDOM BUT HATE RESPONSIBILITY --
Demand more and more..but give less and less.
We need to accept all that God gives and give all that God asks!
As with our Nation, liberty does not mean license.
The Bill of Rights is a 'Bill of Oughts' (freedom to do as we ought, not as we please). Freedom has boundaries in sports and also in life.
When I was in the Army, God impressed upon me, not to drink alcoholic beverages, gamble, and to watch my conversation and conduct in order to be a 'plus' to others...
and not a 'minus'.
4) LOOK FOR RELIGION WITHOUT COMMITMENT....or....
'CHURCH-IANITY' WITHOUT CHRISTIANITY --
Jesus' harshest words were toward the religious Pharisees, for they had:
a good eye on self...
a bad eye on others...
and no eye on God!
If their prayers were typed out, it would look like a picket fence because of so many 'I's.
So I ask you, is YOUR religion adequate?
If so, it must have a high concept of God...
deal with your sin...
bring peace to your heart...
and satisfy your soul in death.
True Christianity does all of these and is worth living and sharing.
5) MISERY ALSO COMES WHEN THERE IS SELFISHNESS WITH NO STEWARDSHIP --
Some have the attitude and actions to:
make all you can...
can all you can...
and sit on your can.
The first two are not so bad, but remember that we are 'blessed to be a blessing'.
If wrapped up in yourself, you will make a VERY small package!
6) MISERY ALSO CAN COME FROM EDUCATION WITHOUT MORALITY --
Nazi Germany was one of the most educated nations in the world, but weak on morality and no Christ (at least among the national military leaders).
It seems as though with each generation, there is a dictator somewhere in the world, who brings misery instead of majesty!
While we were serving as missionaries in Korea, we not only studied the language, but also the history of Korea and learned how the above was true when Korea was invaded and abused by other countries. Yet today, South Korea is over 30% Christian because of education with morality and Christian commitment!
The country was 85% destroyed, yet out of misery, came the majesty of God working miracles!
America, beware! For out of your classrooms will come students who by their lives...
will bring either misery or majesty to others!
A soldier in VietNam was heard to say, among the ravage of war:
"This is the result of too much chemistry and not enough Christ."
We must constantly be on guard against 'politics without principles'.
II. NOW, SEE THE MAJESTY OF GOD'S WILL:
"It's BEING.....before DOING!"
John Wesley put it well:
"Do all the good you can~
by all the means you can~
in all the ways you can~
in all the places you can~
at all the times you can~
to all the people you can~
as long as you can!"
Jim Elliott (martyred in Ecuador while serving as a missionary) said,
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to have what he cannot lose."
After Jim's death, his wife Elizabeth, spoke at the church I pastored in Norman, Oklahoma. She was still carrying on their work in Ecuador...
among some of the very people who had killed her husband.
THE WILL OF GOD:
1) It is for everyone
2) It is always best (and 4 reasons this is so)
a) Only God knows the future
b) Only God knows what is best for you
c) God has a plan of 'blessing' just for you
d) God commands it and His commands (principles) are always best for you
3) God's Will is daily...as well as long-range.
We must never be so busy FOR His Will that we miss being and doing it TODAY!
4) It never contradicts the Word of God.
In fact, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God work together (Eph. 6:17-18)
5) It can be known to those who ask, seek and knock. (Matt. 7:7-12)
6) It can be disobeyed...and you will reap the consequences!
(Prov. 12:15; 14:12; 16:25: 15:19)
7) It can be known....and great joy and blessings will come!
you can TRUST what God intends...
BELIEVE that He will use whatever happens...and
KNOW that His ultimate Will cannot be thwarted.
T.B. Maston (long time Ethics Prof. at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) said,
"The Will of God is not static.
It is continual, dynamic and universal, as well as personal.
It is every day...not seasonal, intermittent or periodic.
In one sense, one DOES commit himself 'for life'.
It is equally true that life is commitment 'minute by minute' to the Will of God."
My prayer for you is that you realize:
KNOWING the Will of God is the greatest knowledge in the world...
and DOING it...is the greatest achievement!
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