“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
What is it that has made you what you are today? Who we are is a complex web of many different factors. Some of it has come by the intentional effort of someone else trying to shape us into one thing or another. Some of it has come by a set of circumstances over which we had no control. Some of it has come by things that we have pursued ourselves. Paul identifies a fourth factor here, and this should be the big one.
Having a life of meaning available to us is one thing. Living a life of meaning is something else. One can lead to the other, but the connection is not automatic. In this final installment in our series, Finding Meaning, we talk about the secret of not just having, but living a life filled with meaning and purpose. Keep reading to find out as we wrap up this thought-provoking journey.
One of the
things I have actively encouraged you guys to be doing is spending daily time
in the Scriptures. This is something
I’ll keep encouraging and keep encouraging and keep encouraging because of how
utterly transformational this practice is to the life of faith. You simply cannot be a consistent, faithful
follower of Jesus without regularly engaging with the Word of God. It’s just not how it was designed to work. And so you know that I’m not just saying you
should be doing this without actually doing it myself, this past week I was
working my way through Genesis 2-3 and I read something there that when I sat
down to start working on this message came rushing to the front of my
brain. It was one of those cool times
when God makes a connection between two different ideas in the Scriptures
written by different authors living in different cultures separated by
centuries of time that you just wouldn’t have made without Him. The original thought struck me enough that
you may have seen it on my blog this past week if you follow me there. All of those entries, by the way, come out of
my own quiet time. If you ever want to
know what I’m reading at the moment, it’s all right there for you. I just want you to know that I’m in this with
“The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
So, God has made this final new creature—a man—much more intimately than all the rest. He has made him in His image in a way nothing else in all of creation was so designed (and though the woman was created differently and separately, she was equally made in His image). When you have created something so carefully as this, the first thing you do with it conveys an awful lot about what you made it for. That’s what we see here.
After a couple of weeks off, this week brings us to part four of our series, Finding Meaning. One of the places we turn to for meaning in our lives is often our work. And that makes a lot of sense at first blush. After all, by the nature of the beast, we invest a lot of our lives there. We might as well try to get as much out of it as we can. But as with pleasure and wisdom, seeking meaning in our work is a trap and when it springs, it will leave us empty and searching. Keep reading to find out how we can get the most out of the work we do.
The Problem with Work
Have you ever done something that
you knew, even while doing it, was a waste of your time? I worked at OfficeMax in the print department
while I was in seminary. I really enjoyed
the job and had a great boss. My
favorite part was working in production. That kind of detailed and precise work was
right up my alley and a nice break from school work. We produced thousands of different documents
while I was there from large format posters to bound workbooks to single
copies. If you wanted a document of any
kind created, we could probably do it for you.
This Labor Day weekend, we took some time to talk about taking a day off…just like many of you are doing today. Life was meant to run at a certain pace, to play to a certain beat. If we don’t get the rhythm of life right, thing are much more difficult than they might otherwise be. Keep reading to learn a powerful tool that will help us keep on beat with the rhythm of life. Happy Labor Day.
Keeping the Beat
When playing the drum set, one of the first things you learn is how to play “time.” Indeed, much drum set music as a part in an ensemble will have several measures that are blank with the exception of a line with two little dots right in the middle which indicates you’re supposed to play “time.” Now, if you don’t know music lingo, you may be wondering why the drummer is supposed to beat on a clock. Let me explain. Read the rest…