What is my purpose?

This is Taylor once again posting. We are steering away from James since in Sunday school Elliot will be wrapping it up this week.

I wanted to focus on a question that teens may not say aloud, but often are thinking of subconsciously. Teens are actually determining their purpose quite a bit when they decide on a career, college, their girlfriend/boyfriend, sports they participate in, and even their participation level in school.

Growing up I wanted to define my worth, and I did so through my grades, recreational activities, and my leadership in the youth group. I wanted to make God proud, of course, but I did alot of these things to give myself worth and purpose as well. I never knew how me choosing my purpose would not always bring glory to God.

It is hard as human beings to not seek selfish desires and to let God show us His plan for our lives. No, He won't give us every detail and decision, but He can present us with that still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit. We have to be quiet and listen for it.

God has a purpose for us and it has already been set in motion for us to seek His will, and not our own. Proverbs 19:21 (KJV) "There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand."


Really, I swear

But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.
-James 5:12 ESV

Have you ever got in a situation where you had to make tons and tons of promises in order for someone to believe you? What got you to that point where you had to do that?

I remember when I was a kid my mom told me to clean my room. So I'd sit, and procrastinate, and play with toys, and then mom would say, "I'm checking your room in 5 min!" So me and my brothers would rush and shove everything under the bed and in the closet. We'd then yell to mom, "It's clean!!!" She'd come check the room, and instantly she'd pull everything out from the closet and out from under the bed into the middle of the room. We'd clean it for real the next time, but for whatever reason she didn't believe us... Hmmm.

James understood this. He pretty much said stop the lying. There's no need to swear on anything, or by anything. If your yes' are always yes, and your no's are always no, then you don't need to swear.

Sorry today's blawhg isn't long, but sometimes it's just simple and doesn't need an explanation...


Where's the gold?

The beginning of James 5 is a little hard to mull over. I'll admit, this kind of stuff isn't necessarily my favorite to read. But it's there for a reason.

Have you ever seen the show Hoarders on A&E? It's difficult for me to watch. The things these people put themselves through is appalling to me. It's just gross. These people will pack their refrigerators with meat, forget it's there, and buy more meat, then place it beside the expired meat. They cling to things that remind them of someone, or a better time, and they become so attached to things. It's all worthless junk. Trash. What's hardest for me to watch is when the family comes to help and the family says to the hoarder, "It's your choice, me or the stuff," and a lot of the time they choose the stuff. Breaks my heart...

James is speaking specifically to a certain group in the early church when he writes this:

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.
-James 5:1-6 ESV

The problem with the rich people here was they valued things over God. They placed value on earthly things, things that wouldn't stick around forever. Things that were already rotting and decaying. Their church life may have been awesome, but God wants more than that.

When we got saved, we surrendered our whole life over to God. We have slowly began to take parts back, saying, "God, I want that," or, "God, you can't do that." We don't allow God to change us in such a radical way that it affects every aspect of our life! We don't experience that "new creation" feeling. God doesn't want a percentage of your life, He wants the whole thing! We're boxing God up and replacing Him with something else.

We have to allow God in all areas of our life or we will start to act like these hoarders and value and store up worthless junk instead of pursuing a fulfilling relationship with God.