Power


Lordship

Principle: God expects you to acknowledge His right to be Lord of your leadership by presenting your life to Him.

In order to understand how God wants to be the Lord of your career, we first must define the word “Lord.”  To be Lord means “to hold supreme power, authority, and the right to rule.”  Let’s face it, Lordship is not a popular concept!!  A three-year-old shouts defiantly to a five-year-old brother, “You’re not the boss of Me!”

Down through history, “You’re not the boss of me,” capsulizes the  struggles of the governed with those who would govern.  Whether it’s a king and his subjects, the head of the household and a family, or a trainer and a trainee, lordship seldom prevails with ease.

Why will we not be bossed?  Some-times it’s because the would-be lord is unworthy of the right to rule.  Incompetent, unjust, inexperienced, unwise – there are thousands of ways to discredit an aspiring ruler.  At other times the subjects of rule simply refuse to be ruled even by a worthy master.  (Such was the case with the three-year-old mentioned earlier!)

Regardless of the reason for rebellion, the one who lays claim to lordship often responds to unruly subjects with despotic force.  Witness the choke chain around a hapless hound’s neck, or the KGB in the Kremlin.

This brief discourse on Lordship leads us to this Biblical principle in Quality of Life study: “God expects you to acknowledge His right to be Lord of your leadership His right to be Lord of your leadership by presenting your life to Him.”

If ever a lord deserved to demand absolute power, authority,  and a right to rule, it is our Creator and Savior.  Yet Romans 12 shows us that God desires our submission: He deserves it, but will not demand it.  God is not a “choke-chain” God.  Rather, God wants you to voluntarily submit to His Lordship by presenting your life to Him.  Take a few minutes to read Romans 12: 1-3 before continuing on in this section.

Lordship: Presenting Your Life to God

Hear what Paul says: “I urge you… to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God…” (Romans 12:1).  To offer your body to God means that you, as a believer, want to acknowledge His rights to Lordship of your life.

Have you presented your body to the Lord?  Everything you are is wrapped up in your body: your talents, skills, dreams, hopes, goals, desires.  Presenting your life to God is your way of acknowledging His Lordship, and it will make a big difference in your ability to make wise leadership decisions.

A Life Worth Losing
He  is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what He cannot lose.  Jim Elliot

Lordship and Your Leadership

What will it mean to your leadership if you offer your life completely to God?  Well, it will mean that you’ll determine to live the rest of your life to God’s glory.  This determination has been seen in the lives of countless Christians who have offered their total lives to the God who created them.

(Acts 20:24)
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, If only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of Testifying to the gospel of God’s Grace.

True Christianity is more than just going to church on Sundays.  It’s a genuine love for other people – a sacrificial love.

The world does not understand the Christian concept of brotherhood and sisterhood.  The world says to find friends among like-minded, like-incomed people who vote like you and have about the same golf handicap.  These are safe people; they won’t start asking for counseling or financial assistance.  If you keep a healthy distance from them, the relationship won’t get muddied up with commitments or expectations.

These friendships work until the bottom falls out of your life.  You face a pressing problem, a tragic loss or a serious illness, and suddenly you realize that no one cares much about you.  You made no investment in anybody else’s life, and so now when you need to make a withdrawal, there’s no money in the friendship bank.

Christian friendship is different.  You find a few brothers and sisters and decide at the outset that you are going to expend yourself for them.

You invest time, energy and often money in them.  Because you meet regularly and talk, you get into each other’s lives.  You encourage, counsel, challenge and rebuke each other.  You make sacrifices.  Some time ago, a close brother wrote me a letter that began, :This letter is in part to tell you formally that whatever I have is yours.  If you and your family ever need any kind of help, just say the word.”  A colleague once told me, “I know I could go to the phone right now and call five friends who would give me a car, a hand, a place to live if I needed it.  This is one of the greatest blessings of my life.”

Such sacrificial love is the foundation of true friendships and strong marriages.  it also has many other applications.  In the business world, for example, it can change the way we treat our colleagues, employees and customers.  In our communities, it can reach out to many people and make their lives better.

(From Who You Are When No One’s Looking by Bill Hybels)

To acknowledge Christ’s Lordship means that you accept His absolute rights and authority over. even ownership of, your life and leadership.  It means that all your leadership decisions will be based on more than just your desires.  It means you’ll consider what God wants done in His world, and how you can be his hands, eyes, mouth, and love.  It means that you’ll seek God’s “will done” ahead of everything else.  It means that your chief aim in life will be to honor and obey your Lord.

Frank Sinatra sings, “I did it my way,” but the Christian says, “I’m not my own, I’ve been bought with a price”  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  In our “me-society” it’s important that you understand that Christ deserves and wants to be absolute Lord of your life.  All your good and worthy abilities that have been created, crafted, and designed by God belong to Him!  Therefore you cannot call Him Lord and continue to live for yourself.

Obstacles to Lordship

It’s obvious that you should present your life and leadership to God.  He desires it and He deserves it.  

But many Christians refuse to make Christ TRUE Lord of their life.  Why?  Paul gets to the heart of the problem in Romans 12:2 when he says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

In our modern culture, a few basic values dominate: Money, prestige, and security.  In a typical bookstore, you’ll find shelve of self-help books designed to improve your life and earnings, to help you move up the ladder of…  These values so permeate society that they have actually captured the minds and spirits of most Christians!  Our striving for material gain and earthly success is reinforced daily.  In short, conformity in leadership decisions is commonplace among Christians.  This conformity means that we’ve made our materialistic culture the lord of our service to our Lord.  Jesus makes it very clear: “No man can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24).  Bob Dylan sings: “You’ve gotta serve somebody, everybody serves somebody.”

What can you do to break the chains of conformity?  Paul says you need to “renew your mind” (Romans 12:2).

Renewing Your Mind

To overcome the prevailing cultural values, to swim upstream like the proverbial salmon, you need to think differently.  You need a mindset that is equipped to counter the common leadership values of your culture.  Paul emphasizes three reasons you should present your life and leadership to God.

1.  Because of God’s mercy.

Mercy is defined ass “the act of treating an offender with less severity than he or she deserves.”  Mercy is a good word for God’s treatment of us, especially if you read and understand what Paul teaches in Romans, chapters 1-11.  In these chapters, Paul teaches us that we deserve God’s mercy, you should offer your life back to God.  

2.  Because you are holy.

You probably don’t think of yourself as holy.  Holy people are perfect, wear white robes, and usually live in monasteries (or at least have seminary degrees).  Right? Wrong!

In the context of the altar sacrifice in the Old Testament, “holy” means “to be set apart for special use.”  And Scripture makes it clear that you, as a believer, have been set apart by God for service to Him.  As Paul says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10).

In offering yourself to God you are acknowledging His right to make whatever special use of you that he desires!  Like many Christians, you may fear yielding this authority to God.  You may think He’ll ask you to go somewhere or to be something that go beyond your ability or desire.  And the fact is, God will stretch you and expand your limits.  At times, like the prophets of old, you may wonder what God is doing and where He is leading!  But, fearing God is inconsistent with your knowledge that God loves you dearly and wants the very best for you.  If you fail to overcome this fear, you will end up assuming lordship of your own life, and you will fail to experience the full and abundant life God has for you.

Think about it: God is not interested in stunting the growth of your leadership.  In fact, just the opposite is true.  The God who created you and who gave His own Son for you is more concerned about your leadership, your future, and your life than you are!  Is it any wonder that He wants you to give yourself completely to Him?  Otherwise, how do you expect Him to give you the direction, love, and encouragement you’ll need in order too make the wisest possible leadership decisions.

3.  Because it is your spiritual worship.

Most of us think that worship is something we do on Sunday at 11 a.m.  Or we think it’s singing hymns and reading Scripture.  Worship literally means “to honor with praise, extravagant love, to adore, to revere, and to submit.”  In Romans 12:1 Paul says offering your life to God is an act of worship that is acceptable and pleasing to God.

Brother Lawrence wrote a little book called “Practicing the Presence of God.  It describes his experience in a monastery.  Brother Lawrence envisioned a life of calm, serene, quiet prayer-and worship.  Instead, he was assigned the task of washing the monastery’s pots and pans.  He soon learned, though, that some of his finest hours of worship were spent while at work in the kitchen.

Your leadership can be an act of worship.  Mother Theresa will be remembered as a worshipper of God, not because we know of her life in  the sanctuary, but because we know her life of service.  Whether it’s in the home or the church your leadership should be lived as a prayer and hymn of praise to God.

Make my life a prayer to you
I wanna do what you want me to
No empty words and no white lies
No token prayer, no compromise.
Melody Green

Think About Yourself

You should offer your life and leadership to God.  Why?  Because He’s been merciful in saving you.  He’s set you apart for a special use.  Living life under His Lordship is ultimately your best way of worshipping Him.  Acting on these truths can renew your mind and transform your values.

How can you tell if your mind is renewed?  Paul gives us a clue in Romans 12:3: “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.”  Eric Lidell refused to run on Sunday.  Brother Lawrence washed pots and pans.  Mother Theresa poured out her life for the poor.  All of them could have sought money, prestige, and security, but each lived a life of sacrificial worship to God.  Why?  Because they didn’t think too highly of themselves to obey God.

Your cultural values will tell you that you should look out for “number one,” for yourself.  Culture will say you deserve the best because of your education, wealth, talents, upbringing.  Culture will say that God may call you to a life of service and sacrifice in which you’ll give up too much.

If you hear culture’s clamorings, then listen quietly to the words of Paul who said this: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant; being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).

Jesus Himself said this: “…and anyone who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:38-39).

No Turning Back

William Borden was a Yale Graduate Student who decided to go to China as a Missionary.  Friends thought he was crazy.  Before he even reached China, Borden contracted a fatal disease.  On his deathbed, they found a note with these simple words: “No reserve.  No retreat.  No Regrets.”

Making a Choice

In light of all God has done for you, you should offer yourself willingly back to Him by acknowledging His Lordship.  But, the fact that in Romans Paul urges the believers to offer themselves to God means that though they were Christians, they weren’t submitting themselves to Christ’s Lordship.  As a matter of fact, it’s been said that the problem with being a living sacrifice, is that you can crawl off the altar!

The awesome, almost painful truth is that you can choose to withhold yourself from God.  He will not force you to offer yourself to Him.  It’s very similar to the situation Jesus faced in John 10:17-18: “The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down My life-only to take it up again.  No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord.  I have authority to take it up again.  This command I received from My Father.”

Jesus had a choice, and He chose to offer Himself to God, to lay down His life that you might live.  Does He deserve any less from you?  You can lay down your life in obedience to, and worship of, the Lord Jesus, or you can take your life up and live it your way.  The choice is yours.  Since you will be expected as a leader, let us look into this deeper:

III. My Kingdom/”Higher Power” Kingdom

Let’s  start this lesson by defining “Higher Power” or as many know it, God.  “God” is something for which a man will sacrifice everything else.

Who/what is your god/God?

“A man’s god may be his own individual success or pleasure or happiness.  It may be his family or his nation or even his church.  It may be an ethical idea or a political cause.  In our time it may even be ‘nothingness’ or ‘meaninglessness.'” (Christian Doctrine-Shirley C. Guthrie, Jr.)

A person’s “God”‘ provides a purpose for his life.  This purpose provides Goals to achieve and the motivation to achieve them.  And as a result of man’s desire to achieve these goals and purpose, he learns to understand his “God.”  We start to get a handle on this subject, and yet the question still may persist:  Is their a God?

“If…  one puts aside the existence of God and the possibility of survival as too doubtful, to have any effect on one’s behavior, one has to make up one’s mind what is the meaning and use of life.  If death ends all, if I have neither to hope for good to  come nor to fear evil, I must ask myself what I am here for, and how in these circumstances i must conduct myself” (Somerset Maugham).

This question is a book in itself.  I will not try to completely answer that question at  this time.  But I would like to throw out just a few comments on that question.  Another question that persists is: “Do I need God?”

“When man submits God to moral judgment.  He kills him in his own heart.  And then what is the basis of morality?  God is denied in the name of justice but can the idea of justice be understood without the idea of God?” (Albert Camus).

Another question that persists is: “how do I know what to do?

“If I have excluded God the Father, there must be somebody to invent values.

“If God does not exist… man is in consequence forlorn, for he cannot find anything to depend upon either within or outside himself.” (Jean-Paul Sartre).

Another question that persist is:  “Why not just live my life in the world?”

“Since there are many steps by which one mounts to the home of truth,  it is not easy for anyone to reach the top.  For when lights are dazzling one  with the brightness of thee truth, if one does not keep a firm foothold down one rolls to the bottom again.  Now the first step is…. to cast aside the impious worship of gods made with hands.  The second step is to perceive with the mind the fact that God is one most high, whose power and providence makes the world from thee beginning and directs it towards a future.  The third step is to know His Servant and Messenger, whom He sent, an embassy to Earth.  (Lactantius-CHristian apologist-North Africa).

Without a “God,” life has no purpose, nothing “to live for.”  Life has no motivation to utilize, no goals to achieve, and no success to enjoy.  Without a “God,” Life is not worth living.  If you desire to live life to its fullest; you must select a “God.”  The degree of fullness and success is based on the “God” you select.

Why not science and knowledge?

“The question I am asking is: can scientists and politicians who have acquired god-like power too alter our way of life be restrained y the application of moral principles?  if so, what moral principals?” (Edmond Leach-1967 Reith Lecture).

Ask any scientist who may have studied the history of humanity about one of the most common things between all groups of history.  Regardless of how uncivilized the group may be; they had a “god” or “gods.”  To them they only had to look at the world around them and realize that somehow it had to come into existence.  It certainly was something that they could not have created or could they control it.  Through the years of history we have made many attempts to create or control this world.  Yes, we have had a little bit of success.  But the percentage of what we have been able to create or control is so small compared to the total; that it may not even be possible for our greatest mathematician to come up with it.

Yes their is a “theory” of evolution.  What is a theory?”  A “Theory” = Statement of a possible truth or untried assumption.  I would like to submit that if any intelligent individual will take and list the “proofs” of the “theories” of evolution and creation by God, side by side; being  open  minded it would be very difficult for that individual to “believe” that the “theory” of evolution is more plausible, seemingly true or believable than the “theory” of “creationism.”

Therefore if “creationism” is believable than you must have a “Creator.”  If you have a “Creator,” he is in control of the world, and humanity is not in control.  The Creator just lets us think that we are.  This is a hard blow to “Pride,” and it is hard to swallow by some humans that believe in their “glory as gods.”  It is easier for some very “Proud” people to deny the possibility of a God.  It is easier for them to cover up their uneasiness about that action by referring to such concepts as “Mother Nature,” etc.  But is it not the same.

One of the things that cause them difficulty is  that they cant escape that nagging question – “Where did that first particle of matter come from?  If matter is created from something, how did that happen?  If something created that first particle of matter could it not be possible that the same creation takes place for other particles of matter.  If you then admit to creation being possible, it is real difficult to deny the possibility of a creator to control that creation.  And if their is a “Creator” and their is control of “Creation” then their is a plan.

If their is a plan?  What is the purpose of the plan and creation?

That purpose comes from the “Creator.”  Even iif you were still to deny the  “theory” of Creation.  I might ask – “What purpose does evolution have for starting, continuing, and does it ultimately serve?”  We have a purpose for the starting of our “theory,” as well as the continuation and the ultimate result.

Our purpose for our “theory” is that the Creator desired companionship and glory.  Therefore he created companions.  These companions were given the option of choosing to join him to give glory or not.  He provided a plan, which gives us a period of time where they can make that decision.  And as part of that period of time the companions can prepare themselves to join the Creator and give glory.  He also prepared a training school (the earth), to prepare his future companions to join him.

Now doesn’t this make more sense then; that without any purpose some matter started existence, without any explanation that matter changed into other matter and eventually the whole universe came about without any controlling plan.  And part of the matter moved from lack of life to a living creation by itself.  It doesn’t take any scientist to find that this is much more difficult to “believe” then the “theory” of creation.  And we of “god’s Children” are accused of being believers of a unbelievable and unscientific concept.

Let us take a brief look at another area.  Evolutionist tell us that the universe and our world (including all that’s on it) was formed by a random trial and error basis.  Yet scientist find quite a bit of order present in the universe around us.  The Math, people tell us that a lot of things can be explained by formulas.  Astronomers tell us that there is a significant order in the universe (planetary revolutions, etc.).  The medical people can tell us within some schedule, when birth will take place and when some deaths will occur.  Biologist can tell us when fish and animals will migrate.  We could go on for reams of paper.  All proving a fantastic orderliness to our universe.  Is it not reasonable and scientific to state that there is “control” and a “controller,” based on this order.

Not let us go into another area; Continuous Evolution.  We are told that things evolve into other things.  In my mind, this would mean the things evolve independently of each other.  And yet we have a flower evolving into something that a medical scientist is ready to use to help cure a heart disease.  We have all the various sciences of man coming together on an “unplanned” basis to put forth space travel into the “unknown.”  We have metals becoming available as human technology can use it.  We have a human body that evolved into something that could deal with the environmental and societal changes that occurred over many thousands of years without any significant changes.  Where are the new breed of humans that evolved into the ability to fly though the air or space with no outside assistance.  Another big ream of paper could be expended, in listing all, the curious questions we would entertain with this “theory.”  No, I’m sure that you like me would find it difficult to believe that there is no plan.  If there is a plan to all of this, then how can there not be a planner.

To add to this proof, I would like to recommend a book which will help you to understand that their is a controlling plan and a  controller or God.  This book is “The Wisdom of Solomon.”  In reading it you need to mentally change one word “wisdom” into “God’s plan.”  I will illustrate this by including two selections.

(Wisdom 13: 8-9)
“But maybe we are too harsh with these people.  After all, they may have really wanted to find God, but couldn’t.  Surrounded by God’s works, they keep on looking at them.  Until they are finally convinced that because the things they see are so beautiful, they must be gods.  But still, these people really have no excuse.  If they had enough intelligence to speculate about the nature of the universe, why did they never find the Lord of all things?”

(Wisdom 7:15-18)
“I pray to God that my thoughts may be worthy of what I have learned, and that I may speak according to his will.  He is Wisdom’ss guide;  he gives correction to those who are wise.  We are under his power and authority – we ourselves, our words, all our understanding and skills.  It is he who gave me true knowledge of the forces of nature; what the world is made of; how the elements behave; how the calendar is determined by the movements of the sun, the changing seasons, the constellations, and the cycles of years.  He has taught me about the nature of living creatures, the behavior of wild animals, the force of the winds, the reasoning powers of human beings, the different kinds of plants, and the use of their roots as medicine.  I learned things that were well known and things that never been known before, because Wisdom, who gave shape to everything that exists, was my teacher.

“the spirit of Wisdom is intelligent and holy.  It is of one nature but reveals itself in many ways.  It is not made of any material substance, and it moves about freely.  It is clear, clean, and confident; it cannot be harmed.  It loves what is good.  It is sharp and unconquerable, kind, and a friend of humanity.  It is dependable and sure, and has no worries.  It has power over everything, and sees everything.  It penetrates every spirit that is intelligent and pure, no matter how delicate its substance may be.

“Wisdom move more easily than motion itself; she is so pure that she penetrates everything.  She is a breath of God’s power – a pure and radiant streams of glory from the Almighty.  Nothing that is defiled can ever steal its way into Wisdom.  She is a reflection of eternal light, a perfect mirror of God’s activity and goodness.  Even though Wisdom acts alone, she can do anything.  She makes everything new, although she herself never changes.  From generation to generation she enter the souls of holy people, and makes  them God’s friends and prophets.  There is nothing that God loves more than people who are at home with Wisdom.  Wisdom is more beautiful than the sun and all the constellations.  She is better than light itself,  because night always follows day, but evil never overcomes Wisdom.  Her great power reaches into every part of the world, and she sets everything in useful order.”

Any doubts about God’s plan being Wisdom and Wisdom being God’s plan?  Any doubts now about the “theory” of the “Purpose of the Universe,” the “Creator,” “Creation,” and his “Companions” (God’s children).  Does this not bake sense and give purpose for your life?

if you choose, the “God” who created the world and provided it’s purpose for existence, you have chosen the highest “God.”  If you have any doubt of this statement, what is the purpose of our existence?  And without that and “Earth’s purpose;” what meaning does all other “gods,” purposes, and goals have.

When you choose the “Highest God” you also accept the greatest goals and the most required commitment.  You cannot partially accept.  Partial acceptance means “that you feel that you cannot reach the goals and achieve the purpose.  Then their is no reason to even try.  By not fully accepting what is required to achieve the goals and purpose, you can not reach them and it invalidates the previously stated definition of “God.”  There  is despair in lack of success.  Only complete commitment and growth to reach the purpose and the “God” you have selected, provides a meaningful and rewarding life.

Does that mean; there cannot be no other “gods?”  Yes!  Well you mean I must give up my family, job and other areas?  As “god’s”  Yes – as ways to reach your “God,” No.  They will become a vital part of the plan to reach the goals.  The “highest God” created them for this purpose.  By using them; this (job, family, pleasure, etc.) only partially use them and frequently use them in the wrong way; this only causes failure and grief.

One of the fist steps and most important in “Being Born Again” is to learn about your relationship to gods and “God,” the “Triune God,” Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  You need to learn about the fact that they are the best, most powerful, and loving “Kings” and “Lord” there is.  You need to take their Biography (the Bible) and learn everything you can about their power and love.  The more you know about their power and love, the easier it will be for the rest of the program.  In order to continue with this training program.  You need to belong to a “training camp,” (a church), to acquire more information about your coaches and specialized help.

How do we come to know “God?”

Yes you can know God personally, as presumptuous as that may sound.  god is so eager to establish a personal, loving relationship with you that He has already made all the arrangements.  He is patiently and lovingly waiting for you to respond to His invitation.

How am I going to learn  about my coaches?

God is known by various ways.

(Job 9:8-12)
“No one helped God  spread out the heavens or trample the sea monsters back.  God hung the stars in the south.  We cannot understand the great things he does, and to his miracles there is no end.  God passes by, but I cannot see him.  He takes what he wants, and no one can stop him, no one dares ask him; ‘What are you doing?'”

When have you felt small and most overwhelmed by an awesome natural wonder:  (a) On top of a mountain or canyon?  (b) Flying?  (c) Inside a mammoth cave?  (d) Sailing the ocean?  (e) Gazing at the stars?

By contrast, when do you feel BIG?

Which did you feel last week – small or BIG?  Why?

The first and most important way is what he controls and created.  Without this belief that God controls and/or created  something or someone he is not a God.  Example, the “highest God” created the “Universe,” controls it and gives it purpose;  otherwise we have no “ultimate God,” or Control.

We only have to look at the complete majesty, power and control to realize that their is a creator and controller.  if there was no creator, how did it all start?

And without a controller, how is it kept in control? 

By studying the universe that has been created, you will learn that there is an order and purpose to everything.  This will reconfirm the existence of a control and a need for a purpose of existence in the universe.  We are now led to the next way of knowing God.

The next way to know God is through the ultimate purpose of existence, for the universe and of our humanity.  The stated purpose of existence was pt forth to all of his human creations, as part of their basic nature, “Glory be to God.”  It has been the focal point of all of his human creations throughout it’s existence.  It is only in modern times that we seek to deny this.  Because by accepting a “Ultimate God” who glory is to be given to, we reject the concept that “Glory to Man as his own God.”  We are now led to know “God” by the ways he has provides us.

God provided humanity through the ages with various ways that he revealed himself and to declare his purpose for mankind.  This is what we will be studying in the course provided.

We are going to start wit some Basic Questions of life.  “Why do I exist?”

What is the purpose of my life?

This is the second step in accepting a God.  The first step is defining for yourself the purpose of the universe.

What is human life about?

(Christian Doctrine-Shirley C. Guthrie, Jr.)
“We drive to work, do the same thing today we did yesterday, drive home – and do it all over again the next day.  We make beds, wash dishes, sweep floors – over and over again.  And suddenly the question is there.  What am I doing here?”

“We make money, spend money, fulfill our responsibilities, enjoy simple and great pleasures, do what has to be done, look forward to the next weekend or the next vacation.  We are alternately happy and depressed, frustrated and successful, resigned to our place in life and hopeful that things will get better.  But sometimes at night we cannot sleep because the questions come.  Why?  Where?  What?  Who?  How?”

“‘The questions’ are religious questions because they relate to our purpose and how we relate to that purpose; our ‘God.’  it very easily becomes the question, is there a God in my life?  Is there someone at the beginning and end of my own life and of the world in general who can make sense out of it all?  Is there someone in charge here, who, if I know what He is up to, can it help me understand who I am, why I am here, and how I can go about living as I should.”

We all have had to face these questions in some form or another (e.g. self doubt).  Some men only after facing these questions, decided there are no answers, no God; but Man and/or Science.  This result has left them with a great deal of frustration and unhappiness.

Those who have come to the conclusion that there is a “God,” and that he has provided purpose to our existence.  These people (Christian and Non-Christian, past and present, civilized and non-civilized, cultured and unlearned, scientist and witch doctors0 have most all reached a greater degree of fulfillment, happiness, and many other good results in their lives.  The proof of numbers, and success lead to the natural way not the un-natural (No God but Man).

Is doing what is natural, right or wrong?

When we look at this natural conclusion, we find answers to many of the questions we have about the purpose of human life.  We must first, be willing to ask the questions and accept that we do not have all the answers.

If we look at the world around us, we start to ask similar questions.  Where did it come from?

What controls it and gives it order?

What is it’s purpose?

If there is no God or ultimate creator or controller we could not find any other answer.  There is no answer if; the world and universe came from nothing, is going nowhere and has no purpose.  There is no answer if we are created with no purpose, live with no purpose and die (go into nothingness with no purpose).  These answers are not possible, meaningful and natural.  The natural answer is that a God created the world and gave us a purpose, have us live for a purpose and die (pass over to our new purpose).  This has been the natural instinct of all of the history of humanity.  God is natural, No God is un-natural.

(Job 9:1-4)
“Yes, I’ve heard all that before.  But how can a man win his case against God?  How can anyone argue with him?  He can ask a thousand questions that no one could answer.  God is so wise and powerful; no man can stand up against Him.”

Job knew that the wicked ultimately perish, but his situation confused him.  Why, then, was HE perishing?  Job didn’t think his life warranted such suffering, so he wanted his case presented before God.  He recognized, however, that arguing with God would be futile and unproductive.

All humans are born with a sense of right and wrong and also a strong sense of pleasing men and/or the world around us.  We are the only creation that has this elaborate moral and ethical base.  This brings out the question of “Why?”

We only have  to look into humanity as a whole, and we have many, outstanding characteristics, rational power (thinking out ideas, concepts, etc.), creativity, complex emotions, and many others.  This then leads us to the question of why is humankind different than the animal or plant world.  Why?

Therefore we have the most critical factors in our existence pointing to a “God” (creator, controller, and provider of purpose).  We have our natural knowledge and observation of the universe.  We have our historical and natural base with humankind that there is a God.  We see within ourselves that  we humans are different than animals and plants.  There must be reason, order and purpose for this difference, as there is in all of the rest of the universe.

God is the only Possibility
(Seven Reasons for Faith)
(A. Cressy Morrison)
  1. By unwavering mathematical law we can prove that our universe was designed and executed by a great engineering intelligence.

  2. The resourcefulness of life to accomplish its purpose is a manifestation of all-pervading intelligence.

  3. Animal wisdom speaks irresistibly of a good Creator who infused instinct into otherwise helpless little creatures.

  4. Man has something more than animal instinct – the power of reason.

  5. Provision for all living is revealed in phenomena which we know today but which Darwin did no know – such as the wonder of genes.

  6. By the economy of nature we are forced to realize that an infinite wisdom could have forseen and prepared with such astute husbandry.

  7. The fact that man can conceive the idea of God is in itself a unique proof.

“When we understand that God is real, we begin to see the divine qualities everywhere.  We can never doubt again.  We trace all good back to its source, God – the song of a bird, the fidelity of a friend, the magnificent sounds of a symphony orchestra, the lines of a fine piece of architecture.  All these hint at the reality of God, for they express Him, and turn our thought to the Supreme Being in which originate all law, order,, and loveliness.” (The Christian Science Monitor, September 8, 1973).

No one would think a wrist watch could come into being without an intelligent designer.  How much more incredible is it to believe that the universe could have happened by chance.

Can there be any doubt?

God exists

We exist

We and the Universe have a purpose

Why even St. Paul one of Christianities greatest theologians, makes the point in Romans 1:18, that almost all rational thinking, open minded men, have come to these conclusions.

Paul also used this concept, as stated in Acts 17:22, to spread the “Word.”  Some of the other passages related with the Bible are: Psalm 19; Acts 14:16; Romans 2:12.

(2 Samual 7:21-22)
“It was your will and purpose to do this; you have done all these great things in order  to instruct me.  How great you are, Sovereign Lord!  There is none like you; we have always known that you alone are God.”

In the above statement we realize that God is providing instruction for us as part of his will.  We should also see within the book of job, by reading it, the realization that we are in God’s hands.  We must also realize that we cannot control the training plan he has set forward for us.

How am I going to put God first in my effort?

In Rom. 1:28-32 Paul explains that when a Person rejects God’s control it leads to lack of control within the person’s life.

St. Augustine instructed us that when our control is not by God, our emotions become out of control and disorder becomes part of our lives. (On Marriage and Concupiscence, 1,7(vi)).

We as humans, with pride, try to manage our affairs and we beat our fists in vain against the gates of heaven.  We find no peace of mind or respite for our spirit; it is like a 3 year old child trying to run a household.  But when we humbly acknowledge that the right relationship of man to God is one of unquestioning life, and troubles or success has no power in themselves to affect our heavenly reward (the ultimate graduation too  our heavenly family).

(Matthew 11: 25-26)
At  that time Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth!  i thank you because you have shown to the unlearned what you have hidden from the wise and learned.  Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it happen.”

Jesus mentioned two kinds of people in his prayer: the “wise” – arrogant in their own knowledge – and the “little children” – humbly open to receive the truth of God’s Word.  Are you wise realizing that only God holds all the answers?

How are you like the “wise and learned?”  Like the “little children?”

It is important to have an open mind, to God’s guidance.  We will then learn that it is not through material things that man fulfills his purpose on earth; but in dependence and trust in God.  We win through a true knowledge of God when we recognize that the training program he has prepared for us is one of his own making.  We as his children find peace of mind and spirit in a humble acceptance of our proper place in the scheme of things; as a child being trained for his  family in heaven.

(Isaiah 48:17)
“I am the Lord your God, the one who wants to teach you for your own good and direct you in the way you should go.”

Like a loving parent, God teaches and directs us.  We should listen to him because peace and righteousness come to us as we obey his Word.

Choruses from “The Rock”
T.S. Eliot

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information…

A thousand policemen directing the traffic
Cannot tell you why you come or where you go.
A colony of cavies, or a horde of active marmots
Build better than they that build without the Lord.

When the Stranger says: ‘What is the meaning of this city?’…
What will you answer? ‘We all dwell together
To make money from each other?’

O my soul, be prepared for the coming of the Stranger,
Be prepared for him who knows how to ask questions….
Life you may evade but Death you shall not.
You shall not deny the Stranger.

The No Loser’s Gamble

Happiness is not having problems, that is death.  Poverty is not having all you need or wish for.  But the more you have, the more you want and can loose.  Poverty can be…

  • Financial

  • Occupational-not having a satisfying job

  • Intellectual-not having enough knowledge

  • Emotional-not being at peace

  • Purpose-not accomplishing goals

  • Pick you need or wish

A Philosopher of the past, once made a Statement that has I’m sure occurred to many humans.

“I is useless, useless,” said the Philosopher. “Life is useless, all useless (Ecclesiastes 1-2)

The world is as it is and we must accept this.  If you do believe this without any question, you may not want to continue with this Course.

“If one gambles that God is not; that person has nothing to gain and everything to lose should God exist.  If, on the other hand, one wagers that God is, that person has everything to gain and nothing to lose.  For if God does not exist, the person has lost nothing, since there would be no infinite reward in any case.  So to ‘bet on’ God is to enter a game weighted in the gambler’s favor, for the gambler wagers finite stakes with the possibility of infinite returns.”

Created by God, people necessarily live their lives in relation to God.  Relationships with God vary significantly among individuals and across time.  Some individuals are angry with or deny God and are alienated from him, at least part of the time.  Others have a cool or distant relationship.  Still others experience a close relationship with God – finding that relationship leading them to a very fulfilling and peaceful  life.  Yet even these people, bonded to God like a child to a parent, find themselves gripped by questions that go to the very heart of life and existence:

  • What is the Meaning of life?

  • Why am I hear?

  • Is there a God?

  • What  is right, and what is wrong?

  • why is there suffering?

  • Why is their death?

Some people hope to ignore these questions – or even claim to have do so.  Others tryu to eliminate them in their life by labeloing these questions as unimportant.  But, in fact these questions affect everyone, and they point to the basics of life.  They cannot be ignored or put off.  They are what makes it possible to live life to the fullest.

Ecclesiastes (12:13) starts us on a search (where he left off) of why i this the way it is and is there any thing we can do about it.

“After all this, there is only one thing to say: Have reverence for God and obey his commands, because this is all that man was created for.  God is going to judge everything we do, whether good or bad, even things done in secret.”

Summary

Wise, confident leadership choices involve submitting your entire life and leadership to Christ’s Lordship.  This means acknowledging that your life belongs to God by actually presenting your life and leadership back to Him.  When you became a Christian, God set you apart to serve Him: serving Him is your practical way of worshipping Him and should grow naturally out of your appreciation of His mercy.

If you’ve only asked Jesus to be your Savior, and you’ve never asked Him to be your Lord, take a few minutes and tell Him you want Him to be Lord of your life and leadership.  “How do I do this?” you may ask.  First acknowledge that he has every right to ownership of your talents and abilities.  Second, tell Him that you want to offer your life fully to Him, that you want Him to be Lord of all that you do with your talents and abilities.  obviously, this has tremendous leadership implications, because to make Christ Lord of your leadership means that you will follow a leadership path consistent with His Lordship.  Third, renew this commitment in word and deed every day for the rest of your earthly life.

If you’ve acknowledged Christ’s Lordship in your life, then you’re now ready to take responsibility for the wise investment of the abilities He’s entrusted to your care. 

Lordship: What Do YOU Think?

Before going on, take a few moments to consider these questions about what Christ’s Lordship means in your own life and leadership.

1.  How would you complete this sentence: “Jesus Christ is Lord because_”  Suggestion:  You may refer to Scripture verses that reflect Biblical truths you’ve seen lived out in your own life. If you are at loss for words, then what things about the meaning of Christ’s Lordship would you like to understand better?

2.  The definition of mercy is “the act of treating an offender with less severity than deserved.”  In what ways, recently, has God shown His mercy to you despite things you might have done, said, to thought?  How did you feel about God when you experienced that mercy?

3.  What would it mean to make Christ the Lord of your Leadership?  Tell Him your greatest expectations, and also your deepest fears.  use these thoughts as the starting point for a prayer calling on Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life.

4.  Set an ‘action goal” that will help you apply the principle of “Lordship.”  make it measurable and specific.  Example: I’ll start everyday this week by presenting my life to God.”

Leadership Models

Joseph

An important reality that must not be overlooked is that Christian Leaders can influence all people, not just God’s people.  Although Christian leaders will generally move God’s people to achieve God’s purposes.  The biblical account of Joseph is a case in point.  God’s plan was to spare the Egyptians from a devastating seven-year famine and, through the Egyptians, to provide food for other Middle Eastern people as well.  Pharaoh was an unspiritual leader.  He did not understand the message God was giving, so God sent Joseph to advise him.  It was Joseph, and man of God, who was able to interpret God’s warning and to mobilize the pagan nation to respond to God’s activity.  There may not be anything overtly spiritual about building grain storage bins or developing a food distribution system, but these activities were part of God’s plans.  God did not choose to use the religious experts of the day.  Instead , he chose to make himself known to an unbelieving society through a God-fearing government official.

Student Prayer

O Lord, be with me in the face of temptation.  Grant me the wisdom and courage I need to resist enticement and help me turn to thee.  Amen.

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About georgehach

I am a retired Lay Minister, acting as a prophet for God to understand the end times that is comingg and how to prepare for it.
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