Tag Archives: meaningful

People Listening To What You Say

 

you are what you say

From: Ourdailyjourney.org
Matthew 15:1-20
It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth (Matthew 15:11).

Read James 3:1-12 to learn about the danger and importance of our words.

What do your words reveal about you? How can you use your words to lift others to God?

It’s true that “you are what you eat.” I have a favorite sugary cereal that I sometimes snack on, even though I know that half an hour later I’m going to crash. Diet is important, because—thanks to the miracle of metabolism—our food literally becomes a part of us. I might be 20-percent milk and hydrogenated corn syrup!

It’s even truer that “you are what you say.” When the religious leaders complained that His disciples were eating with unwashed hands, Jesus replied that it’s not what you eat that corrupts you, but the words that come out of your mouth. Why? Because there is a direct line from your mouth to your heart. Jesus explained, “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you” (Matthew 15:17-18).

If you want to know what’s in your heart, think about what you said today. Did your words nourish and encourage others? Were they kind “like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body”? (Proverbs 16:24). James said we can tell what we’re really like by the way we talk to and about others. We know better than to curse God in the presence of others, but do we curse “those who have been made in the image of God”? If we do, then our hearts have become a “salty spring” that produces only “bitter water” (James 3:9-12).

Last night I did something worse than eat junk food. I carelessly spoke junk words to my daughter, which caused her eyes to be filled with hurt. My heart sank for the damage I had needlessly inflicted, and for what my foolish words said about me. I asked for her forgiveness, and thank God for a fresh start today.

Words of Encouragement

From: academictips.org

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
Henry Ford

“One has to remember that every failure can be a stepping stone to something better.”
Col. Harland Sanders

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe

“A diamond is merely a lump of coal that did well under pressure.”
Unknown

“I am grateful for all of my problems. After each one was overcome, I became stronger and more able to meet those that were still to come. I grew in all my difficulties.”
James Cash Penney

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.”
Unknown

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Mark Twain

“Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it will.”
Dr. Robert Anthony

“Extraordinary struggles bring an extraordinary purpose for those who wait.”
Brianna Gazvoda

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
Henry David Thoreau

“Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll.”
Unknown

“Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.”
Sicilian Proverb

“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.”
Ivy Baker Priest

“It doesn’t matter how many say it cannot be done or how many people have tried it before; it’s important to realize that whatever you’re doing, it’s your first attempt at it.”
Wally Amos

“If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”
Mary Pickford

“He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.”
William James

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
Alexander Graham Bell

“Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t, I give myself reasons why I can.”
Unknown

 

 

I have learned…

From: academictips.org

I’ve learned-
that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back.

I’ve learned-
that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I’ve learned-
that it’s not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned-
that you should never ruin an apology with an excuse.

I’ve learned-
that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned-
that you shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do.

I’ve learned-
that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned-
that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I’ve learned-
that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I’ve learned-
that you can keep going long after you can’t.

I’ve learned-
that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned-
that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I’ve learned-
that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I’ve learned-
that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned-
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I’ve learned-
that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned-
that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned-
that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.

I’ve learned-
that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I’ve learned-
that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned-
that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned-
that you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I’ve learned-
that your family won’t always be there for you. It may seem funny, but people you aren’t related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren’t biological.

I’ve learned-
that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you are to learn to forgive yourself.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned-
that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I’ve learned-
that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.

I’ve learned-
that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned-
that we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I’ve learned-
that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I’ve learned-
that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt and you will hurt in the process.

I’ve learned-
that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned-
that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned-
that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned-
that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people’s feelings, and standing up for what you believe.

I’ve learned-
that people will forget what you said, and people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

By Omer B. Washington

The Meaning Of Life

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What Is the Meaning of Life?
What Is Man’s Origin, Purpose, and Destiny?

From: The Gospel Way

Question #1: Where Did You Come From?


How do you explain the origin of the human race? Since we are alive, it is natural to wonder where we came from. One reason many people are confused about the meaning of life is that they do not understand the origin of life. To know <b ‘mso-bidi-font-weight:=”” normal’=””>why we are here, we must know where we came from.

Many People Hold Mistaken Ideas about the Origin of Life.

A commonly accepted explanation for the origin of life is organic evolution – the hypothesis that man evolved from “lower animals,” which in turn came from simpler life forms, all the way back to the first microscopic life, which sprang accidentally from non-living matter. But this theory has major problems.

Where did the first living thing come from?

What caused life to begin where there had never been life before? Science has repeatedly demonstrated that life comes only from life. This is a law of science called the “Law of Biogenesis.” The opposite of this law would be spontaneous generation – life beginning spontaneously from non-living matter. But science has repeatedly proved this cannot happen.

So every living thing must come from a previous living thing. You received life from your parents, who in turn received it from their parents, etc. The same is true for all living things.

But evolution requires that, when you go back far enough, non-living matter somehow came to life by chance where there was no life before. Evolution requires spontaneous generation in complete violation of scientific evidence. So evolution cannot explain even the origin of the very first form of life.

Where is the evidence that all modern kinds of living things came from an original kind?

Living things can adapt to their environment, but where is the proof they can develop into entirely different kinds of organisms such that all kinds came from one original kind? Years of human experience and scientific experimentation confirm that living things reproduce “after their own kind.” The offspring of a fish is another fish, not a snake, bird, or man.

Scientists have searched for years for the “missing links” – fossils of organisms that were halfway between the kinds of plants or animals we have now. Millions of fossils have been found around the world. If evolution is true, there should be thousands of fossils of missing links, but there is no evidence of these remains anywhere. Why not?

Why is man so unique from animals?

If man evolved from animals and is really an animal but just slightly more complex, why do we have characteristics so vastly different from animals?

Why do people appreciate beauty in art, music, and poetry? Do animals create new paintings, sculptures, symphonies, and books of poetry that they and other animals can enjoy?

Why do men have a conscience and a sense of moralsWhy do we feel guilty when we have done wrong, even when we have not been caught or punished? Do animals naturally possess these spiritual qualities? Why do only people wonder about such issues as where we came from? Do animals debate even such issues as creation vs. evolution?

Why do we possess rational thought so much higher than animals? We can find minute variations in degrees of “intelligence” among animals, but there is a vast gulf between any animal and man. Men build machines and tools to work for us, train animals, use fire, perform mathematic and scientific calculations, read and write, and pass our knowledge on to others.

If we developed from the animals, why are there no animals that possess these characteristics almost as much as we do? If we develop from the animals, why are we so different from them? Evolution is not an adequate explanation.

Consider the Bible Explanation for the Origin of Life.

Genesis 1:11,12,21-28

All kinds of life were originally created by God in six days. God is an eternal, living, all-wise, all-powerful Creator (cf. Exodus 20:11; Hebrews 4:4).

Instead of life coming from non-living matter, life came from life – the eternally living God. Living things reproduce after their own kind, because God created them that way. And man is unlike the animals, because he is “in the image of God.” We did not evolve from animals, but we share God’s nature.

Acts 17:24,25,28

The world and everything in it were made by God. He is the source of life and gives all the blessings that are necessary to life. Here is an explanation for the origin of life that fits what we see around us, fits the nature of man as compared to animals, and we will see that it provides a satisfying explanation for the meaning to life.

There is sufficient evidence to compel any honest person to believe God exists and the Bible is His word. We do not have time here to examine all the evidence, but we encourage those who have doubts to investigate it. We simply observe that the Bible explanation makes far more sense than any other alternative, and that those who do not accept the Bible really cannot satisfactorily explain their own existence!

If you would like to study evidence for the inspiration of Scripture or for creation vs. evolution, please see the links at the end of this study.


Question #2: Why Are You Here?


Do you really understand why you exist? Surely this is a fundamental question that everyone wants answered. Without meaningful goals, life is senseless and empty. Lack of purpose leads to unhappiness and even mental disorders. People need a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment in life.

Many People Are Mistaken about the Purpose of Life.

This is one consequence of evolution. If organic evolution is true, then there is no purpose in life. Life is an accident, and people search in vain for any meaning to it. So, many conclude that there is no higher purpose than to make life enjoyable for themselves and others.

Some pursue riches and material possessions.

They believe material things will make life happy and pleasant. But then they always want more: a bigger house, newer car, nicer clothes and furniture, etc. They are never satisfied.

All people need some material goods, but is this the highest goal of life?

Some pursue pleasure: entertainment, recreation, travel, etc.

Their goal in life is “fun, fun, fun.” “Wine, women, and song” (or “drugs, alcohol, and free love”). “Be a party animal.” “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”

This philosophy is emphasized by modern entertainment. It is the beer-commercial mentality: “You only go around once, so reach for all the gusto you can.” “It doesn’t get any better than this!” One of them even names its beer “High Life.” But does life really not have any better purpose than to booze it up?

Many modern entertainers have achieved “the high life” to the ultimate, but are they happy? If so, why are so many of them plagued by drug and alcohol addiction, divorce, mental breakdowns, early deaths, and suicide?

Is that really a satisfying life?

Some pursue education.

They want to accumulate knowledge and worldly wisdom. Like the Athenians, they spend their time in nothing else than to hear or tell some new thing.

In all these areas, there may be some wholesome activities that may have some benefit. But is there really no higher goal in life than these? Whatever benefits they activities provide are temporary and incomplete at best. No matter how much you have, you always want more.

In fact, modern Americans have achieved these goals to a degree beyond the imagination of most people of the world and of history. We have gadgets and toys, houses and lands, college degrees, and every kind of entertainment imaginable. But do you see evidence that Americans in general are truly satisfied with life? Society is filled with crime, broken relationships, mental illness, addiction, and unhappiness. Politicians profess to see “crises” on every hand.

Many people in the world never achieve these goals. And those who do achieve them are still looking for the purpose of life. There must be something more.

The Bible Teaches the True Purpose of Life

Ecclesiastes 2:1-11; 12:13,14

The author experienced every enjoyment of life that some people pursue: wealth, pleasure, and education as great as anyone who ever lived. Did it satisfy? What was his conclusion? It was all “vanity and vexation of spirit” (2:11). The earthly pursuits that most people emphasize simply do not satisfy in the end.

What is the real purpose of life? “Fear God and keep His commands” (12:13). God created man, because He had a purpose for us to accomplish. And He designed us so that, unless we fulfill that purpose, we have no real sense of accomplishment. Instead we create problems for ourselves.

What would happen if you tried to bake lasagna in the clothes dryer? What if you tried to run your car on Jell-O instead of gasoline? What if you tried to eat with a shovel and pitchfork instead of spoon and fork? What if you tried to mow your lawn with fingernail clippers?

Problems often result when things are created for one purpose, but we try to use them for a completely different purpose. Likewise, our lives are not satisfactory when we do not accomplish the purpose we were<b ‘mso-bidi-font-weight:=”” normal’=””> created for.

Matthew 6:19-21,24,33

Our main concern in life must be to work in God’s kingdom and have a right relationship with Him. Other concerns may have some value but are far less important.

Note v24. You can have only one master. You cannot put two things in first place in your life. God requires that serving Him must be the most important thing in life to us. Each of us must make a choice. Either God will be first, or something else will be first.

Matthew 22:36-39

The most important work God intends for us to accomplish life is to love God and love our fellowman.

John 14:15 – But love for God requires us to obey Him (1 John 5:2,3).

1 Corinthians 14:37 – God’s commands are revealed in the Bible.

Lasting fulfillment in life comes only from obeying God’s word and thereby serving God and man. We will not discuss here all that is involved in serving God, but we simply emphasize the importance of understanding our purpose in life. Until you understand the teaching of the Bible, you do not really understand the purpose of life.

(See also 1 Timothy 6:6-10; Luke 12:15-21.)


III. Question #3: Where Are You Going?


Do you understand what comes after death? You may or may not feel that your life on earth is secure, but what happens when you die? What will your destiny be when life is over?

Many People Are Confused or Unsure about What Comes after Death.

We can be certain that death is coming. We may not like it, but death is a fact of life.

* Sometimes people contract cancer or heart disease that is diagnosed as terminal. But, “Life is a terminal disease.” No one stays here permanently.

* Criminals are sometimes given a death sentence for their crimes. But we all live under a death sentence!

* In college a hippie type roomed in the same house I did. He subscribed to Time magazine, and one day when the mail came we kidded him saying, “Your Time has come!” He became upset. But sooner or later, for every one of us, “Your time will come.”

Death is uncertain only in that we do not know when or how it will come. But there can be no doubt that it will come.

Death is sad and fearful for many because they do not know what lies beyond. Or worse yet, they do know and are not ready to face it! Sooner or later, we all must face death. What then?

Science does not even try to answer this question! Philosophers or religious leaders sometimes speculate that we cease to exist at death or that we will be reincarnated. But they have no proof.

Here is another major question of life for which, apart from the Bible, you cannot know the real answer.

The Bible Tells Us What Follows Death.

Hebrews 9:27 – It is appointed to man once to die, then comes the judgment. Jesus may come before we die; but if we die first, we will be raised from the dead when He returns. Either way, we will face God and be judged for our lives, good or bad.

Someday, God will hold every one of us accountable for whether or not we have accomplished the purpose for which He created us. [John 5:28,29; Ecclesiastes 12:14; 2 Corinthians 5:10]

Matthew 25:31-46 – At judgment, the righteous will inherit the kingdom prepared for them by God (v34). This is eternal life (v46). The wicked will go into eternal fire (v41). This is eternal punishment (v46).

Romans 2:6-11 – What determines the reward we receive? Our works. We receive wrath if we work evil and do not obey truth. We receive eternal life if we continue to work good. Our eternal destiny depends on whether or not we accomplish our Maker’s purpose!

You may ask, “How do you know we don’t cease to exist after death? How do you know we won’t be reincarnated? How do you know we will be raised and judged?”

Acts 17:30,31 – We can know what comes after death because Someone has already died and come back to tell us what comes after death. In fact, He will be the One to judge our lives! [1 Cor. chap. 15]

The resurrection of Jesus, the miracles of the Bible, and the fulfilled prophecy of Scripture are the proofs that the Bible is from God. If the Bible is from God, then we can be sure it tells us the origin and purpose of life and our destiny after life.

It’s Not Good to Be Alone

“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone’ ” Genesis 2:18While reading through the creation narratives in Genesis for the umpteenth time, I was struck by God’s commentary on Adam being alone in the garden. What caught my attention was the observation God made after each stroke of his creative power: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Until, that is, He made Adam. At that point, something was not good: “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). So He fixed it and did somethingreally good—He made Eve!A couple of thoughts race through my brain at this point. I couldn’t agree more with God’s assessment—man needs woman! Left to ourselves we would be more like untamed savages than decent, sensitive specimens of humanity. I have no idea how off track my life might be if my wife Martie had not come along. She is a consistent check to my social insensitivities, to my self-serving male perspectives on life, to what color combinations work and which ones don’t, and to making life better for our kids and grandkids. To say nothing of her sensitive heart toward God that stimulates me to want to serve and follow Him with greater enthusiasm. Thankfully, for all of us guys, God didn’t get carried away with how good it all was but saw the single flaw and did something to save the world from men left to themselves!Bravo for that stroke of creative genius. As the French say, Vive la difference!The other thought that caused me to stop reading long enough to let it sink in, is that being alone is not a good thing for anyone. God made us in His image—which means that we, like Him, are relational beings. In the beginning, it was a literal paradise of fulfilling relationships as God in an unhindered way walked with Adam and Eve in the garden and they enjoyed the fullest experience of intimacy with each other. So, where did loneliness come from? How did the demon of loneliness that haunts many of our hearts today alienate us from the others that we so desperately need?I want to be clear here and admit that loneliness isn’t always brought on by us or our choices. So this is not a guilt trip. But as the story unfolds, we see the damage of alienation haunting the landscape of life. Adam and Eve hide from God out of fear of getting caught, and Adam blames Eve for his disobedience, which clearly drives a wedge into their flawless intimacy. And the deep fellowship on every satisfying level is now replaced by alienation, blame, distrust, and shame.

Which leaves me wondering, how could people who had it so good end up with everything so out of sync? It all started going south when Eve believed that to live for herself and her own gain was more important than living to love God and Adam. And to make matters worse, Adam followed suit.

The lesson here is huge. Living for what’s “best for me,” while ignoring the needs, wishes, and interests of others always brings alienation and aloneness.

Thank God that He has made a way for us to restore relationships and to recapture a portion of the intimacy of Eden. When we follow the way of Jesus and live to love and serve others, aloneness gives way to intimacy and our self-serving acts of alienation dissolve into a bonding that gets us wonderfully stuck on each other again.

And guys, that should probably start with us since it’s not a good thing for us to be alone!