God Himself Is Your Purpose

Another older article from 2015. It has been updated quite a bit. It used to be titled seek God not your own desires but I generally found the new title to be more on topic than the other one. In the past I used to believe that, generally with most major and some extremists would teach it with all decisions, unless God divinely inspired someone to do something it was sinful. This concept has been coming up a lot in recent discussions so I may perhaps write an article reviewing the teaching itself. Instead this article was a much more positive message as it was mainly trying to teach that humanity is made to seek God. Here is God himself is your purpose.

God Himself Is Your Purpose

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

-Colossians 3:1 (ESV)

This article is about seeking after God. Contradictory to what you may think God didn’t create you just to spend your whole life to find your ‘purpose.’ Or even seek out some divinely inspired dream destiny. Much to the contradiction of relevance preachers, He did not create you to seek out status riches or romance. In fact if you would spend a little time studying the New Testament you would find two passages that give a clear answer to humanities purpose.  Acts 17:26-27 and Revelation 4:11 both teach that all of humanity’s purpose is to seek God. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,”

-Acts 17:26-27 (ESV) Further in Revelation 4:11 it reads, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” -Revelation 4:11 (ESV) In the King James it says all things are created to please God. With that theological block in place now I can move on to the bulk of this post.

God is not a Puppetmaster

To some I may have just changed their whole view on the world and life. That may sound boastful but that’s exactly how I felt when I had found these two passages. Everything was different. Finding out my life purpose was to please God simplified everything for me. There is a weight that comes with believing that every action you make has to be inspired by God. And finding these two passages and applying them threw that weight off for me. As long as you live to please God you can be as rich or poor, popular or anti-social, it doesn’t matter as long as you live to please God by what his Word defines as pleasing you will be achieving your purpose in almost any profession you are in. Christ further gives this concept of seeking God fist in the gospel of Matthew, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” -Matthew 6:31-33 (ESV) Now Christ likely is not referring to giving them these things on Earth as there are many Christians dying of starvation. Instead, he is telling them that as a reward for their faith through which they obediently served him they would have these things in Heaven.

Faith from Hebrews

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.”

-Hebrews 11:1-13 (ESV)

This passage shows that faith is always followed by works. Not so much in a save your soul sense as the legalistic types believe but as an outward sign of such faith. These people would not have received their commendation had it not been for works but there would have been no works if there was no faith in God. Now in the whole of history it was very rare that God would ever speak to someone directly outside of when Christ walked on the Earth. Even if it was an everyday occurrence it was not something that happened to each person. Now with literacy being an academic standard and the Bible being pretty much free on the internet there is no excuse to being totally ignorant of the Word of God. More than that in the epistle to the Roman church Paul teaches that the law is written on the hearts of even the unbeliever. Seeking God does not require a voice telling you what to do. If you think it does then read your Bible out loud because according to 2 Timothy all Scripture is God-breathed.

Closing

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

-Matthew 7:21 (ESV)

This is the final proof we aren’t supposed to live for ourselves. Jesus Christ himself said no one will enter the kingdom of Heaven, except the one who does the will of the Father. James 2 shows that faith without works is dead. I like to call my mid teens my fake Christianity phase because that is what it was. I would go to Church multiple times a week and then proceed to do nothing of service to Christ aside from some rather heretical writings and absolutely nothing for others.

Who do You Follow? 

Who do You Follow? 

   Yet another article I’ve moved from my personal blog that deals with the issue of pastor worship. Apparently a similar issue like this happened with the early Church as well. People would be claiming to follow their preferred teachers rather than Christ.

Who do You Follow? 

“For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul Crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 

1 Corinthians 1:11-13 (ESV)

I was doing some topical study yesterday morning and thought this to be an interesting passage. The reason I find it interesting is that it is a quarrel about who we follow. You can swap out Paul and Cephas with two pastors, preachers or anyone who teaches the Word of God; the message is still the same.  Christ died for you, and you were baptized in the name of Christ. Christ should be the only one worth following. Yes, God raises up pastors and other ministers but Christ is ultimately the one we are following.

The day I write this article is the day we celebrate Christ’s resurrection, therefore I thought it would be a good time to ask this question. Who do you follow? I like to listen to Ryan Marks speak and also read his ministry writings. He has been a mentor in some aspects and one of my closest friends for the last six years. This does not mean I follow his teachings specifically. I follow Christ’s teachings that are spoken through him. If the Word of God is interpreted accurately within its proper context then I will continue to listen. If however, he were to use verses out of their proper context to warp scripture to work for his own agenda then I would have to stop listening to his ministry. And I would hope he and others think the same of my writing.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God and what is good and acceptable and perfect.  –Romans 12:2 (ESV)

   The second point I would like to make is that we are not to follow world either. I hear more stories than I would prefer of people enter the Church, say, “In Jesus name, Amen.”, and then go home and indulge in the culture the same way the unsaved do. 1 Corinthians 11:1 (ESV) says, “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ.”  If we are to follow Christ then we should not be imitating the world. Ephesians says we were darkness at one point but after we are saved we are light. (“Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness but now you are the light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),”) 

  The last point I would like to make is that this does not mean be isolated from the culture. Look at the phrase “be transformed by the renewal of your mind,” Too often people argue about what genre of music God likes. Two of the most ostracized are rap and metal. Rap tends to be about girls, parties, and drugs and metal about devils, death and destruction. However that is secular, worldly rap and worldly metal. There are Christian rap and metal artists that do not sing about these things. They were “transformed by the renewal of our minds” because our minds should no longer be focused on worldly things but on the Lord who saved us.

If you are reading this on Easter Sunday or in the updated version in the Christmas season. Be sure to spend time with your family.

 

God isn’t a Genie to Grant your Wishes

God isn’t a Genie to Grant your Wishes

Another older article reworked from 2015. The theme is very similar to “Ask and Ye Shall Receive?” in that it deals with unanswered prayers however the article is focusing more on the sin of putting other desires before the will of God which is a form of idolatry.

 

God isn’t a Genie to Grant your Wishes

I’ve been hearing a bit from people about the “name it and claim it” section of Christianity. These people treat God like some genie in a lamp to ask for whatever they want. Sure we’ve all had selfish prayers, but did we ever get what we asked for? And if so what was the price? Because we know God doesn’t always answer every single prayer. He also doesn’t give you status, money or romance just because you ask for it.

 

One of the Less Observed Examples of Christ

In the Gospel of Luke 22:39-46 Jesus asked the Father for another way to save us in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus did not want to face death. Despite the fact that God can do all things, he wanted the sacrifice of Christ to be the way of saving humanity of their sins. In the end Christ’s sacrifice was the most powerful expression of love that has ever existed. But it puts something into perspective. God’s son, being like God in every way, obediently stepped into death, on a cross, after the answer was no. That is not just contentment that is called obedience. On top of this he told his disciples twice to pray not to enter into temptation.

 

What Causes Fights?

“What causes quarrels and fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

-James 4:1-4 (ESV)

   The sentence ‘You do not have, because you do not ask.’ is one that gets twisted by the “name it and claim it” crowd. What I don’t normally see is the very next sentence, ‘You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.’ Or the one after, that explicitly states that friendship with the world is to become an enemy of God. Vain desires are the root of many unanswered prayers as well as what starts fights.  However I recall a certain verse in the book of Luke.

“And he said to all “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

-Luke 9:23 (ESV)

   If our cross is not having the latest toys we should consider ourselves lucky. Download Foxes Book of Martyrs. It should be in the public domain, meaning free. You’ll find the Christians before us had it way worse than us. My hope is that people who read this article will make people more thankful for where they’re at.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive?

Ask and Ye Shall Receive?

The following article was an article I wrote for the June 2016 issue of DevoBlast. I did have to remove a small portion because it made prayer to God look like a contract rather than humble service but other than that I think it turned out to be a good article.

 

Ask and Ye Shall Receive?

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

-Matthew 21:22 (ESV)

“Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

-John 16:24 (ESV)

   The verses above are often used by those trying to manipulate God. These two verses are often used as the centerpiece of a message. People are essentially told teachings that claim God will give them anything they want if they have faith and ask in his name. Of course when a new believer or a visitor tries to ask something in the name of God that does not happen they have a tendency to leave the Church thinking it’s all fake.

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If you Claim to be a Child of God be Ready to be Disciplined like a Child of God

If you Claim to be a Child of God be Ready to be Disciplined like a Child of God

If you Claim to be a Child of God

     be Ready to be Disciplined like a Child of God

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”

Proverbs 12:1 (ESV)

   This article was originally posted on my personal ministry blog in June of last year however much like my other articles is moving to FocusingOnTheMarkMinistries.

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Parasites to the Body of Christ: False Prophets

Parasites to the Body of Christ: False Prophets

This is another article I’m moving about a year after the original publishing date. This is was when I began moving away from topical articles and moving into discernment ministries.

False Prophecy

This is a topic that I’ve wanted to write on for quite a while. In a previous article I took an analytical view of manipulation and it’s many forms I made the statement that if someone prophecies or promises something in the name of God that does not happen, that person is a false prophet. I’d like to touch a bit on that topic bring in examples of how false prophecy is existing in the Church, what impact false prophecy has and ultimately the solution.

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Is Our Life Purpose to Serve Others?

Is Our Life Purpose to Serve Others?

Is Our Life Purpose to Serve Others?

“For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.”

–Romans 14:7-8 (ESV)

Helping others is not in of itself a bad thing yet if that is all a Christian lives for then Biblically speaking there is an error in this ideology. The first and most immediate issue with this ideology is that if it were true then until Eve was created Adam had no purpose. This would mean that Adam being commanded to name the animals was a purposeless task that God gave him. If our life purpose as humans is to serve other people, then where is the need for God?

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Controversy: Man-made Laws

Controversy: Man-made Laws

Controversy: Man-made Laws

Man-made laws have been a stumbling block for me ever since I refocused my life on Christ. The most notable judgement I have had to deal with was being judged for dating a girl at a young age. There were three general camps on dating. Courting only, dating after 16 and dating after 18. Well because I dated at 14 I was judged for all of them. Number one my sin was being defiant to my parents and to some extent putting the girl before God. Number two I was not currently dating anyone. Number 3 nowhere in the Bible does it say “Do not date before you are xx years of age.” Nor does it say, “Do not date, instead you must court.” I was foolish despite reading the Bible regularly I never found anything that said it was a sin yet I believed that dating was a sin. I hurt a lot of people with my foolishness. Only a few of which are reaching back out to me.

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7 Ways the Bible Praises Discernment

7 Ways the Bible Praises Discernment

7 Ways the Bible Praises Discernment

Unfortunately, there is a subtle piece of propaganda floating around many modern Churches. That piece of propaganda is that we can never ever call out false prophets as false prophets. That discernment writers are losers with no life and have nothing better to do than to hate on popular teachers. In typical discernment writer fashion, I have to ask what does the Bible say about discerning false prophets? What does the Bible say about those who spend hours critically studying the Scriptures to make sure they are being taught the absolute truth? Here are 7 ways the Bible praises discerning and Bible observing Christians.

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I Call Double Standard- Holiday Practices

I Call Double Standard- Holiday Practices

I Call Double Standard– Holiday Practices

This particular lesson was originally posted on October 31st because of the reality that Halloween is the most condemned holiday within the Christian community. Two weeks before today I was already seeing posts about “fake Christians” taking their kids to go trick or treating. Or how “real Christians” don’t celebrate Halloween. This is just typical self–righteous condemnation and I’m writing this article to point out all the implications that will make this person judge themselves as “fake Christians” by their own standard. I’m using the scenario of Halloween to reveal these implications, not defend it.

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