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Showing posts with label 2 Thessalonians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2 Thessalonians. Show all posts

Monday, July 12, 2021

The Mandela Effect? – The Truth of Work, Meaning, and Purpose - Purity 468


 The Mandela Effect? – The Truth of Work, Meaning, and Purpose

Purity 468 07/12/2021   Purity 468 Podcast

Good morning  

Today’s photo of this Ship Builder’s Memorial under a heavenly blue sky on the shores of the Long Island Sound comes to us from a friend’s recent visit to Port Jefferson NY on Independence Day.  I love the contrast of the statue against that blue sky. It gives the impression that these ship builders are seeking to make a vessel that will allow them to take a celestial voyage to heaven.      

It's Monday so I also share it to point to the paradox of having to live and work on the earth and hoping for life beyond this mortal coil. In our Christian walk of discipleship we teach the need for balance that comes from being in harmony with the Lord our God and by being at peace with ourselves and others here on earth. 

While man’s penchant is to choose one thing over another in most things, the word of God encourages us not only to love God but to also love our neighbors as ourselves. The Bible also indicates that there are various functions to be performed by the members of the body of Christ, with the example of the Apostles having the task of studying and teaching God’s word, while other saints’ purpose was to essentially work in the kitchen to provide for the early church’s physical needs.  But the Apostle Paul also showed that while He was all about expanding the kingdom of God with His missionary and church building efforts, he provided for himself through working as a tent maker.  He famously said:

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 (NKJV)
10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.
 

So we just can’t focus on our spiritual lives to the exclusion of our physical lives, nor can we just focus on our physical lives with no consideration of our spiritual lives.   In this world we must provide for the physical needs of ourselves and for our families, so for most of us that means we must work.  

When we become overly focused on the physical world, we can use our intelligence and ability to work to strive for all the best things this world has to offer. We can amass wealth and live in the lap of luxury.  However, no matter what empire we may build up around us, if we don’t have a relationship with God through Christ, our efforts to enter God’s kingdom are as hopeless as the ship builders in today’s photo’s chances of taking a voyage to the sky.  

If we overly focus on our spiritual lives in a selfish manner where we only seek to commune to God by ourselves, we may neglect our physical needs but more importantly we would actually become disobedient to God’s will for our lives to go out into all the world and to make disciples and to love our neighbors as ourselves.   

The state of the world demands that we provide for our physical needs, but ultimate reality demands that we acknowledge that our time on earth is limited and that we must seek to be reconciled with the One who created us, who defines meaning and truth, and who determines the course of existence and our entrance into eternity.  

Yesterday I watched a film, The Mandela Effect, that pondered the concepts of false memories, multiverse theories, the possibility that reality is some sort of simulation, and that things in our universe blink in and out of existence with or without the presence of an observer.  



In the film, a man has suffered a tragic loss and seeks the advice of a “Christian” liturgical minister who holds deist views apparently and doesn’t contradict the man’s belief that God made the universe but then just left mankind to do what they please without His interaction or presence.  The minister merely offers that God gave us some guidelines to live by in the Bible but states that we can never know the meaning of life, but he sought to encourage the man that he could know the purpose of his individual life. 

That was it. That was all the minister had to offer.  He basically stated that the meaning of life was an unknowable mystery, but we individually could know our purpose.

I guess knowing our purpose would entail what job you have, what personal relationships you have, and what hobbies you enjoy, which could describe the complete content of our lives on earth.     

But in this script, the “Christian” minister fails to address the spiritual realities that are revealed in the person of Jesus Christ or the big question of what happens when you die!  The man came to get answers or at least some comfort for his loss and the minister fails to provide either. 

So the man, a video game designer, seeks to build a program to upload to a supercomputer, to “crash the system” of existence in order “to reboot” it and reclaim his lost loved one because computers fix everything! The film was entertaining and interesting but the premises of all these super intellectual ponderings made the same mistake that the minster made.   

They either don’t know, don’t care, or forgot about God and His plan for humanity that is fulfilled through Jesus Christ.  

God is the ever-present observer over all things in time and space, so nothing is blinking out of existence when no one is there to observer it.  

If there are multiverses, God is present in al of them and the trinity demands that Christ would be Savior in all of them.  

The Mandela Effect which is the phenomenon of confusion over remembering things that didn’t actually take place or are not true is a combination of the product of a fallen world that is changing and falling apart moment to moment, influence from the evil forces of darkness that deal in confusion and deception, and the pride and infallibility of man.  Just because you and many others are wrong or misremember something doesn’t mean that there is a conspiracy or that life isn’t real!

The idea that our reality is a simulation is a nihilistic lie from pit of hell because who else would try to convince you that out life isn’t real leading to the conclusion that the consequences of our actions don’t matter or that life is meaningless. Satan would.

These ponderings are the flip side of being too spiritual. These ponderings of philosophy and science are man’s desperate attempts to explain life without God.    

So if you are overly materialistic or have an intellectual view that dismisses God, you are out of balance.  

The truth is that life does have a meaning. The question of existence for anyone living in the last two thousand years is answered in the person of Jesus Christ.   All that we do or think about during our lives on earth will come to nothing if we fail to be reconciled with the God through faith in Jesus Christ. 

So as we walk in this world we must find Christ and make Him our Lord and Savior. 

After that we can enjoy the assurance of a life of meaning and purpose as we receive the Truth, the Way, and The Life that God wants us to experience.

So stand in your faith in Christ and enjoy the freedom that comes from knowing that you are in harmony with God and that your faith gives you the capacity to know peace as you face the challenges of another day.             


This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Thessalonians 1:10 (NKJV)
10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Today’s verse speaks about our future hope and the protection that we have in Christ.

Verses like 1 Thessalonians 1:10 are a great comfort to us because they assure us of our safety from the wrath of God and that the universe will not just run down like an old watch and fade to black.  

Our faith in Christ gives us forgiveness of our sins and exempts us from our rightful reception of God’s wrath.  God shows us mercy and grace because of our faith in His beloved Son.   

As this verse tells us, Christ not only died for us, but He was also raised to life.  The Jesus story isn’t over.  Christ is alive in the heavenly realms and will one day return for those who have faith in Him and then pour out the wrath of God on the unbelieving world.  

While the idea of God’s wrath and judgement could scare us, we should be motivated to speak the truth of the gospel to help others be reconciled with God through faith in Christ.    

For the Christian, our destiny of eternal life is sealed the moment we put our faith in Christ, and we need never fear death or God’s wrath.  Our salvation and the future hope of the return of Christ should carry us through our lives with peace, joy, and purpose.  

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing Chapter 7, with the section on our emotions being God’s red flags of warning.

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:

Anxiety Signals an Uncertain Goal

When you feel anxious in a task or a relationship, your anxiety may be signaling that achieving your goal may be uncertain. You are hoping something will happen, but you have no guarantee it will. You can control some of the factors but not all of them.

For example, a teenager may believe her happiness at school depends on her parents' allowing her to attend a school dance. Not knowing how they will respond, she is anxious. If they say no, she will be angry because her goal was blocked. If she knows all along that there was no possible chance of their saying yes, she will be depressed because her goal will not be achieved.

Depression Signals an Impossible Goal

When you base your future success on something that can never happen, you have an impossible, hopeless goal. Your depression is a signal that your goal, no matter how spiritual or noble, may never be reached. We can be depressed for biochemical reasons, but if there is no physical cause, then depression is often rooted in a sense of hopelessness or helplessness.

I was speaking at a church conference on depression when a woman who was attending invited my wife and me to her home for dinner with her family. The woman had been a Christian for 20 years, but her husband was not a Christian. After I arrived, I quickly realized that the real reason this woman had invited me to dinner was to win her husband to Christ.

I discovered later that the woman had been severely depressed for many years. Her psychiatrist insisted that her depression was endogenous and she staunchly agreed. I believe, however, her depression stemmed from an impossible goal. For 20 years she had based her success as a Christian on winning her husband and children to Christ. She had prayed for them, witnessed to them and invited guest preachers home for dinner. She had said everything she could say and done everything she could do, but to no avail. As the futility of her efforts loomed larger, her faith faltered, her hope dimmed and her depression grew.

We had a nice dinner and I had an enjoyable conversation with her husband. He was a decent man who adequately provided for the physical needs of his family. He simply didn't see any need for God in his life. I shared my testimony and tried to be a positive example of a Christian. The last time I saw the woman, she was holding on to slim threads of hope. Her depression affected her positive attitude in the home, and her witness to her husband only weakened, further obliterating her goal.

You should, of course, desire that your loved ones come to Christ, and pray and work to that end. When you base your sense of worth as a Christian friend, parent or child on the salvation of your loved ones, however, realize that this goal may be beyond your ability or right to control. Witnessing is sharing our faith in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God. We can't save anyone. Depression often signals that you are desperately clinging to a goal you have little or no chance of achieving, which is not a healthy goal.

Sometimes depression reveals a faulty concept of God. David wrote: "How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?...How long will my enemy triumph over me?" (Psalm 13:1, 2, NIV). Had God really forgotten David? Was He actually hiding from David? Of course not. David had a wrong concept of God, feeling that He had abandoned him to the enemy. David's wrong concept led him to an impossible goal: victory over his enemies without God's help. No wonder he felt depressed!

The remarkable thing about David is that he didn't stay in the dumps. He evaluated his situation and realized, "Hey, I'm a child of God. I'm going to focus on what I know about Him, not on my negative feelings." From the pit of his depression he wrote: "I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation" (Psalm 13:5). Then he decided to make a positive expression of his will: "I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me" (Psalm 13:6). He willfully moved away from his wrong concept and its accompanying depression and returned to the source of his hope.

With God all things are possible. He is the God of all hope. Turn to God when you are feeling down, as David did. "Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance, and my God" (Psalm 43:5).


Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

God bless you all!

 

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