How to live your life for God


How to live your life for God

Jonathan McAnulty - Minister



McAnulty


Our brother James, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, asked of us a rather pertinent question: “What is your life?” (cf. James 4:14) He was speaking in the context of life goals and expectations.

Specifically, he wrote, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” (James 4:13-16; NKJV)

What is your life?

There are of course, different ways of answering this question.

James is addressing individuals who would answer the question, perhaps, by talking about all the various things they are planning on doing with their life. Theirs is a life of buying of selling, of moving and shaking, of getting and taking. There are business deals to be made, houses to be bought, ball games to be won, and all the myriad other things that people make a goal of.

James, rather pointedly, says such thinking is evil. That seems rather harsh, but he is not wrong. When we think of life on these terms, we are thinking selfishly, narrowly, and shortsightedly Such thinking is evil because it is indicative of a worldly heart; but it is also evil in a different sense: it’s going to bring harm. The Bible sometimes uses the word”evil” in this way, simply meaning a thing is painful. When our life is wrapped up one life goal after another, we are going to find ourselves unhappy when our plans fall through, but even worse, we will frequently find ourselves unhappy when we find the completion of our plans to be unfulfilling.

What is your life?

A better answer, James suggests, is “short.”

He doesn’t use that word, but that is what he means when he says that our life is a vapor that is here for but a little time and then vanishes away. When we are young, we don’t understand this as well, but the longer we live, the better we understand, God does not give us an incredibly long time on this planet. We don’t know when it’s going to come to an end. We need to be making the most of it.

The image of a vapor also suggests a second truth about your life. It’s not really much under your control. Outside forces are always at work, and we are rather powerless to change many of these things. Like a vapor, which is entirely at the mercy of the wind, moved by even a small breeze, so our life is affected by so many things over which we are relatively powerless: weather, government, the economy, random physical ailments, genetics, wild animals, other people, etc. When we tell ourselves, in pride, that we are the masters of our destiny, we are setting ourselves up for failure and heartbreak.

What is your life?

The wise man, as James tells us, answers the question by putting it into the hands of God.

Here is a thing we can control, a choice we do get to make. Are we going to serve God and do His will, or are we going to try to do things our way?

If we are going to put our lives into God’s hands, we start by seeking His will for ourselves. Instead of asking, “what do I want to do,” we ask, “what does God want me to do.” Likewise, as we are going about our daily activities, doing the best we can to accomplish God’s will, we recognize, humbly, that things may not always go the way we expect.

What is your life?

At the end, and the end will come, if we have been wise, and answered the question by saying: “It belongs to God,” the answer will also be: “successful.”

Life is short, but if we give it to God, He gives us back eternal life unending. Life is short, and if we try to do it our way, we are going to end up with nothing at all in the end. Life is short, and so let’s make the most of it, and live it the right way, for God.

If you would like to learn more about how to live your life for God, in Christ, the church of Christ invites you to study and worship with us at 234 Chapel Drive, Gallipolis, Ohio. Likewise, if you have any questions, please share them with us through our website:chapelhillchurchofchrist.org.

McAnulty
http://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2017/10/web1_McAnulty-Jonathon.jpgMcAnulty
How to live your life for God

Jonathan McAnulty

Minister

Jonathan McAnulty is minister of Chapel Hill Church of Christ.

Jonathan McAnulty is minister of Chapel Hill Church of Christ.

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