What Is Life?

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

“What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14 NIV).

Scripture Reading: James 4:13-17

A number of years ago there was a very popular television program called This Is Your Life. The program portrayed the highlights of some important person’s life. The Bible suggests that we take such a look at our life ahead of time rather than after it is over.

1) The content of the question.

Life has many aspects. It is composed of happiness and tragedy, of feasting and fasting. Even the breath of life is itself a great mystery.
Life is viewed differently by different age groups. To the aged patriarch whose life is well spent, his life has a different hue than to a young child on his mother’s lap. The rich and powerful see life from a different vantage point than do those who have been doomed to poverty and drudgery all their lives.
Life is conflicted with many temptations. Everyone has his own secret temptations and his own peculiar weaknesses that he must fight. He has his own anxieties and fears. He is forever tempted to make nothing more of life than having plenty to eat and a place to sleep.
In spite of life’s many facets, there is one ingredient necessary if life is to have meaning-​the spiritual ingredient, God’s will for your life.

2) The context of the question.

The context of the question is a misplaced confidence (James 4:13, 15). We are forever placing too much confidence in our own planning. We think that it is our carefully laid plans that make the world go round. If we are not careful, our plans will become the center of all of our thoughts and efforts. Such a misplaced confidence causes us to make many foolish decisions. It opens to us the danger of so totally planning our own lives that we actually let life pass us by without ever knowing it. We all are related to the rich farmer described in the gospel of Luke who forgot that death could separate him from all the tomorrows and from all of his full barns.

3) The corrective to the question (James 4:15).

There is only one answer to a misplaced confidence: “You ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’ ” (NIV). Instead of placing confidence in ourselves, we need to learn to place our confidence in God, seeking his will as we make our plans.
The secret to life is learning to live it dependently, placing trust in God. This means we turn our future plans over to God and learn the joy of living day by day in his will. Since tomorrow belongs to God, we do well to seek the place in life he wants us to fill tomorrow.
Our lives tomorrow will be the sum of all our yesterdays. The drug addict and the alcoholic are but shadows of what God intended them to be. They did not arrive at that condition instantaneously. They got there as a result of a long line of yesterdays.
Imagine the confusion that would result if the architect of a house had one plan and the contractor had another. The whole procedure would be a line of conflicts. Walls would be built in the wrong places and would have to be torn down. Thus, we see the need of God being the architect who supplies the plans for our lives.

4) The conclusion of the question.

The only way in which all the aspects of life can be fitted together is through a faith commitment to Jesus Christ.
Human beings are made in the image of God, are responsible to God, and are never content until they experience fellowship with God.

Now in Conclusion

Life is what you allow God to make it. If you choose to hold your life apart from God, it not only will be as brief as the morning mist but also as useless. Along with the gift of life comes the message of the gospel wherein Jesus reminds us that if we seek to save our lives we will lose them. Life is meaningful only as we lose our lives in service to him.

God bless you all, Pastor Mike
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What an incredible blog!! You are so right!! There have been times i my life;I thought was God' will. Wrong!! Or maybe they were because I became closer to him!! I don't think it was God's will; looking back. I only know how much closer to him I am as a result!! Thank God
    for loving me so much! We need God's will in our lives!! Honestly Pastor Mike; sometimes I don't know
    how to tell; Until it is too late...I love the Lord very much; and I know
    he has carried me through many hard times!! Thank you so very much!! ROSEMARDORF
    1956 days ago
    Very inspiring!!
    1967 days ago
    Finally getting to read this blog and it confirms again, what God has been placing in my spirit about life and living it as God plans for me to live it. Yes, we do make plans, and some we must make, however we have to be open to God changing our plans, for his glory and his purpose. For without God, I am nothing, and I can do nothing. This blog is a teaching blog, and I am so grateful you shared it.
    The more God makes MY will His will, the more like Him I can strive to become.
    Blessings to you for teaching and carrying out his plan for your life!

    1970 days ago
    Hello Pastor Mike,
    We are here to please God. If we can not please our self, then how can we please our Creator. We all need to learn the fruit of the Spirit and have that peace and confidence in our self, while we give all glory to the Father through his Son, our Christ Jesus. Nice lesson/sermon.

    Deaconess Barb.
    1970 days ago
  • SHAZG321
    Wow so inspiring!
    1971 days ago
    Thank you for sharing Pastor Mike! As always your blogs are a Blessing!
    "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" Ecc 12:13

    Ecc 1:2 "vanity of vanities; all is vanity."

    If we are living our life to glorify God and for the good of others, and if we fear God and keep His commandments, we will not be pridefully trusting in ourselves or other vain things. We will be trusting in God and seek His will. It is also not good to just sit around doing nothing waiting for God's will to be revealed to us. We need to be working for His glory and the good of others. Wisdom is putting Biblical knowledge into action. Faith must be exercised.
    1973 days ago
    LIfe is what G*d allows us...period! Without him NOTHING is possible! WE are just temporarily inhabitiaing this vessel which he prepared for us.... enjoy it while it last! And be thankful for it! Its all Ic an say, and I am do his good pleasure! To LIFE! A gift from G*d and to be grateful for it! susana
    1973 days ago
    PastorMike, my life is because of who Jesus is and how He has transformed me into a person who is able to love because of how much He loves me.

    Holy Spirit has told me I have been spending too much time on the computer so I have not been on the computer too often anymore.

    I am searching and digging for where He wants me and what He wants me to do.

    What I am coming to understand is that He does not give me His plan all at once but just one day at a time and that one day at a time is broken down into one hour at a time and minute to minute and second to second to walking out His will for me for the day which is this day which then leads into tomorrow and then tomorrow leads into tomorrow......and so on and so forth.

    He is also showing me that when I don't think I know what He wants of me to just live life in love and His grace and responding to people and interacting with people by being transparent and letting everyone know how much He has done on the inside of me just by Him loving me and how His love and grace will give everyone a life filled with the brilliance of sparkling diamonds shining like the noon day sun because His love out shines any and all darkness and shadows and doubts.

    There is not one obstacle of over coming bad habits and sin in my life that I could have done on my own.

    Jesus is the one who keeps cleaning me and washing me and making life happen like a flower opening up and blooming because His love makes love grow and draws the most unlovely to Love Himself making them then lovable with all others because after all the world will know who we belong to by the love we have one for another.

    Life....There is no life except with and through and by Jesus because of His great love and grace.

    Thank you so much PastorMike for sharing your shining life of love with all of us.
    1974 days ago
    1974 days ago
    Very true!!

    wendy emoticon
    1975 days ago
    I was thinking of this today while trying to find the right words to console a friend who is going through a rough time. It's a great reminder.
    1975 days ago
    I recently watched the video "Indescribable". Have you seen it? Definitely makes you rethink about how "big and important" your life and plans are in view of God's plans and what is important to Him.
    The fact that He sent His son here, to this small planet in the vast universe He created, to die for my sin...makes me want to serve Him more each day, to love Him more each day, to draw closer to Him each do His will each day.
    Sometimes we get so caught up in the day to day, that we forget what is more important...laying up treasures in Heaven, focusing on bringing forth fruit that is pleasing to the Lord.
    1975 days ago
    Several scriptures came to mind as I read your blog;
    Prov.3:5,6 "...and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
    Is.55:8 "For My thoughts are not your thought, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord."
    Gal.2:20"...I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me: and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God..."
    Prov.4:10-12... Well, there are so many. I am ever learning to trust God. After all, my Father knows what's best for me! :) Blessings to you!
    1975 days ago
    Thanks Pastor Mile , I am getting more and more dependent on God, and raching more goals with HIS help. Have a blessed week . emoticon Dottie
    1976 days ago
    Matthew 10:39 - He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

    1976 days ago
    Great teaching Pastor Mike. We all need reminders of the right path to take, to strive for. God's will be done.
    1977 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    So true! Another wonderful blog Pastor Mike.
    1977 days ago
  • -RUBIES-
    Right on Pastor Mike and just in time for me personally.
    1977 days ago
    1977 days ago
    1977 days ago
    God bless you, Pastor Mike. I have not been on here a while due to some health issues and a little depression at not being able to do the things that I normally could. So it was a blessing to me to receive your invite for me to comment on this post.
    I have seen the consequences so many times when others and I have chosen not to take the path God is leading us on. When we choose to take our lives in the direction we want, most of the time is it contrary to God’s will. If we desire to do something that is contrary to His Word, we are setting ourselves up for failure in our lives and pain in the lives of those who love us. So many people continue in a sin, whether it is one that everyone knows about or a secret sin. When a person does that, they end up going deeper and deeper down that sinful path, seeking a satisfaction that they will never begin to find. Sin is a one way street that leads to a dead end. The Only One that can rescue us from ourselves is the Heavenly Father Who tried to guide us through His Word to a Highway of happiness and fulfillment. Thankfully, He is a loving and forgiving Father who will set our feet straight on the right path, if we will let Him.
    I have found when I go to Him for guidance, whether in the purchase of a home or a new car, He has always blessed me. Even in difficult financial times….. money for the payments was always available. He will never fail us if we continue to seek His guidance and follow His will for us.
    When I was not seeking God’s will, I did not go to Him for help in choosing a husband. At that time, I knew the Lord, but was not serving Him. I went through a failed marriage that produced three children that I love so much. After the failure of my marriage, I was hurt many times. Though I eventually ended up with a wonderful husband, I have had to attend church, pray and read my Bible by myself. I have not had the Christian companionship in a mate. I continue to pray and trust God that He will draw my husband to seek Him. I continue to seek God’s will for my life, and as I continue to round the bend in this life, I know that God will reward me for being faithful to Him.

    1977 days ago
    We are studying the "Gospel Revolution" at our church right now by J.D. Greear and he has given us a Gospel Prayer to learn during the study and what you have written here goes with the prayer extremely well.

    Here is the Prayer:

    1. In Christ, there is nothing I can do that would make You love me more and nothing I have done that makes You love me less.

    2. Your presence and approval are all I need for everlasting joy.

    3. As You have been to me, so I will be to others.

    4. As I pray, I'll measure Your compassion by the cross and Your power by the resurrection.

    Thank you, Pastor Mike, for your insight.

    God Bless You!

    1977 days ago
    Amen thank you
    1977 days ago
  • JENNY712
    emoticon Great inspirational message of truth and direction. emoticon
    1977 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/23/2012 11:32:50 PM
    You are precisely right Pastor Mike! God, has a plan for all of us. Problems is we often don't follow God's plan. Sometimes people around us can push on us so hard to do what they want us to do that we can't hear or see which way God is leading. I think that is why even Christ removed himself from the crowds to pray and seek God. We must acknowledge Gods importance in our life. "Be Still and Know that I am God" , as the Bible tells us.

    Proverbs 3:6

    King James Version (KJV)

    " In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." We are to pray and seek God , for His will. Like you so wonderfully said, we get in trouble when we try to direct our own lives OR don't act on what God, tells us to do.

    Thanks for this needed reminder. Thank you for the Goodie you put on my page. God Bless! Paulette
    1977 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/23/2012 10:38:36 PM
  • RGPW30
    Thanks so much for putting the thoughts into words "the joy of living day by day in his will. Since tomorrow belongs to God, we do well to seek the place in life he wants us to fill tomorrow." I do find my joy increases each day as I live according to God's will and not my will.
    1977 days ago
    Amen! It`s God`s will that we have an abundant life. So that we can bring God honor & glory!

    1977 days ago
  • MZLADY77
    Hello Pastor Mike! What a message! God is the way...all the time.
    Without God we are corrupt, and lost. We must seek God everyday of our lifes...Thanks for the Word. emoticon
    1977 days ago
    1977 days ago
  • TONI501
    Thank you for that informational blog. It gives me great insight with my own life.

    Have a blessed day:)
    1977 days ago
    Thanks Pastor Mike for this word from the Lord.
    Your analogy of the architect and the contractor was spot on.

    Another scripture was brought to my mind Jeremiah 29:11

    God Bless You in His will I pray.
    1977 days ago
    emoticon you so much for sending my Goodie. This blog could not have better timing. I have been MIA for almost 2 months trying to deal with a very toxic situation at work. This really helped a lot.
    1977 days ago
    Great Blog and im feeling im on the right track or atleast God has put me and others i work with on the right track! After taking care of Mom and then my Hero and brother who had Ms! ( He passed two yrs ago) I had to find my way! My pastor said we should be doing more for the poor so the new Path began and i and 24 others started on a Garden and this year GODS Garden gave out over 3500 # of produce to food pantrys in our area! Our dirt was so bad but i know God was with us on this and after tons of compost and manure it was Beautiful this year! Its the best thing i everdid we help each other too along the way to as we are working and picking! This year i got a new job! I deliver to the poorest of the poor! I was nervous going in even but i prayed and God gave me that push and when i went in it totally changed my life! Its just now i can say thay have totally welcomed me in and we give hugs and they make me things! I love those people and Thank God he found new better paths for me! The Good Lord definatally shines down on His Garden here in N. Michigan Blessings Pastor mike I feel so blessed to have been a part of this!
    Thanks to for the Goodie! Your awesome, BONNIE emoticon
    1977 days ago
    I feel I'm at a crossroad in my life and I'm trying to figure out where He wants me to be in my work life. When I started the job I'm working now 12 years ago, I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was doing His will. This weekend I've been praying a lot about what He is leading me to because I feel that it's coming time to leave this organization. I know, some people think I'm crazy, to leave a paying job, but God is telling me my time there is coming to an end. So I wait, I try to actively wait, watch, hear what He is telling me.

    Your blog brought a couple of thoughts to mind, first, I have a friend whose mom always told her, "God is not in heaven wringing His hands over your life. He already has a plan." Second, I've said it before, "We make plans and God laughs." I don't think He is laughing at us, I think He chuckles at our naiveté.

    Thank you for the blog, it's encouraging! Karen
    1977 days ago
    Thank you for the Goodie and for this blog. Great blog, learning to live our lives according to God's plan is always a challenge. Praise God that he provides the knowledge and the strength we need to do that!
    1977 days ago
    My mom has always tried to pray that it be God's will not thine. We need to hold true to God's will and remember that. Thank you for the blog and for remembering us. Hope
    1978 days ago
    Your blog fits with two "studies" that I had today. One was on Elijah -- how he relied on God and on the widow who thought she was being punished for past sins when her son "died" and then on Elijah's faith and persistence begging God for a miracle.....
    and then on Saul who was the glorious king the Jews had begged for but when his eyes went off the Lord, he "took things into his own hands."
    And the FINAL question is, "Who is in charge of my life?"
    Leadership lessons to be learned today:
    1. I will always honor that which I truly love (Prov 23:7)
    2. Disobedience to God's word will always lead to destruction (I Sam 13:13)
    3. Determining life's decisions based on my wants and my decisions rarely leads to God's peace. When my heart is base on God's desires.... THEN I will have peace. Ps 1:21.
    and the final question: Who is sitting in the chair of authority in my life?
    and my answer is: I want to be a woman after God's own heart -- to be a reflection of Christ....
    I want to keep this desire before me every moment of every day.

    What is my life? - I hope a reflection of HE who loves me..... emoticon
    1978 days ago
    1978 days ago
  • THANA45
    Thank you for the Goodie and this great blog. Have a blessed day, Pastor Mike!
    1978 days ago
    Pastor thank you for the goodie.

    And I'm glad you wrote this blog truly hit home and my eyes are filled with tears just thinking back further back before my estranged husband and of course you can throw him in on the 2nd time around with him.

    Being raised in the family I have was not the easiest life having a mother who had a nervous breakdown when I was 10 mos. (her life was taken from her at such an early life she was I believe 21 when she had me, I being the youngest of 4) Can you imagine I would lose my mind as well.

    Dad never around being a womanizer and being left with a Stepmother who was 16 who was a kid herself which led to abuse and many coming in and out of my life - No stability.

    So I see when I was growing up my errors and mistakes oh how I can go back and change that but even now truly knowing Christ we still make them. OH how ashamed I am and I long to change that because I know all that was done on the Cross for me I should know better; it's just our sin nature. emoticon

    So true I think for me I'm resilient seen so much and when I've gone threw some hard times I can look back and think it wasn't that bad because we deal with the now and that was the past. So when you say we are so worried about just living, paying our bills and getting by so true but I think that's a different level of concerned. I think our main concern is more worrying on keeping the word, the commandments, staying away from all forms of sin. I do wonder about when making a decision whether it's coming from God or not it's something with time and having a relationship with him by reading his work will eventually allow me to make decisions that are what he would want.

    What is my life? A child of God after his own heart, a person who strives even through obstacles to be a better Christian to be Christ like, to be forgiving and loving, understanding and humble this is what I desire for myself.

    It's hard and I dislike saying that and I wish he would come soon.

    Thanks so much for the conviction my eyes are just watery just thinking how much I need change and also I'm happy how far I've come too.

    God Bless Pastor you are a Wonderful Pastor who is teaching the flock God is blessing you and me (us) threw your message.


    1978 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/23/2012 12:12:56 PM
    Wonderful Blog sure makes me think what direction my life will go...the way Jesus wants me to.
    1978 days ago
  • LIS193
    Thank you for the goodie and for your blog. It certainly made me think about my life and the direction it has taken...
    1978 days ago
    Good morning, Pastor Mike. Thank you so much for the goodie and the invitation to read yet another of your wonderful blogs. This one really hit home! My DH and I "had" planned a career change for him and a move south..we were so sure he would be hired for a new position in NC that I even started packing some of our things. God said "NO"! I thought I would be devastated with that answer, but I put my trust in Him, and know that He has plans for our lives here in PA. We are getting up in age and thought how nice it would be to live in warmer climate, but God is not ready for us to make that move.

    Please continue to minister to us in the way that God leads. You are a real blessing.

    1978 days ago
    I have such difficulty at times dealing with "will" and remembering that God is in control, it is He that dictates my life and what He wants from me. The hardest thing for me to grasp was that at times those prayers that went "unanswered" by Him really WERE answered and the answer was NO! It's easy to pray and want something so bad that we totally lose sight of the bigger might be something we want to happen but He is in control and it really doesn't matter what we want! If the answer is no I use to feel as though I was being "punished" for something....that's farthest from the truth. Punishment isn't handed out by God because of something we did wrong, it's a choice WE made that caused that to feel as if it's a punishment. We caused the problem by trying to control a situation, by thinking we knew better and by forgetting that we aren't in control. It's not always easy to not get what we feel is best for us but it's easier to accept if we do so knowing God IS in control and that He will let no harm come to His children....He has something else in mind and by embracing THAT we grow in our spiritual walk, we get closer to Him and get stronger in faith.....
    1978 days ago
    I always believed that if it's meant to be it will happen. God is in control.
    I am always anxious about things until they happen beause I know it may not, for reasons more powerful than can be explaind.
    I always tell myself (or whoever) that God works in mysterious ways and something better will come.
    It makes waiting for something more bearable as I am not a patient person.
    I also know of a man who would always say "see you tomorrow,God willing" and he is now in his 90s and is in a nursing home and doesn't remember anyone.
    God has plans for us and we should always try our best and be open for his guidence and stay on the path we were meant to follow. It can be hard as our free will gets us in trouble.
    Thank you for a great Sunday morning awakening.
    Have a wonderful Sunday, Pastor Mike.
    1978 days ago
    Thank you for the goodie and for letting me know about your new blog! I appreciated it and enjoyed reading it. I have been so busy the last few weeks it was nice to sit down and reflect on your words. Have a wonderful day!
    1978 days ago
    I need Jesus everyday.
    The small things in my daily walks are wonderful to see and hear.
    God bless you this Sunday,
    hugs & smiles,
    1978 days ago
    Thanks for the goodie and this amazing life lesson!
    1978 days ago
    Words to live by. I sure need to trust God in all situations. We are so quick to try and fix things ourselves and end up in a mess. I am christian. I am learning to trust him each day. Patience is a process for me. I have suffered with health challenges since I was a kid and now more so. Also have a son with autism now that this been a real test of my patience. I rely on him. This is a journey and with Christ the load is lightened. thur it all I know this too shall pass. Healings for both of us are now and forever. A progress in the works. MANY are bitter because of sufferings or delayed healings. I am at peace cause I know he is with me and will never forsake or leave me that is a promise.
    1978 days ago
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