purpose of living
Have your own trials and sufferings affected your heart of compassion towards others? Do you struggle with feeling sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of others with very little inspiration to help?
Jesus warns us about having compassion for others when at the end of our lives we will be held accountable for how we treated others. He will proclaim you ‘blessed’ by His Father to inherit the kingdom prepared for you when you live a lifestyle of compassion towards others.
“For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.” (Matthew 25:35-38)
His followers wanted to know how and when they had done these acts to Jesus and He explained that “…as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:40)
For those who lacked compassion for the suffering Jesus ‘condemned’. In other words they would have no part of Jesus and were told to depart from Him, cursed into eternal fire that had been prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41) All because they refused to follow Jesus.
Our personal sufferings tend to turn our focus on ourselves and walking through it can block out others in their pain. Compassion is always available to us when we place our trust in God to see us through. This same compassion that we receive can be a blessing to others when extended. The world would truly be a better place.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4)
Success is measured in results or outcomes, such as the gaining of wealth, fame or rank. Blessing is measured in the gift of devine favor such as anything that gives happiness or prevents misfortune. Success can be momentary whereas blessing is designed to become a lifestyle.
Blessed living speaks to the way of the righteous and not the way of the wicked. The blessed man or woman chooses to become a student of God’s Word, His best practices for blessed living.
“Blessed is the man who[se]…delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1,2)
Living a lifestyle with the singular motivation of gaining wealth, fame or rank can lead us into choosing the way of the wicked and therefore forfeiting the blessed life. This man or woman will walk in the counsel of the wicked, stand with the sinners and sit with scoffers. (Psalm 1:1)
Blessed living is pictured like a majestic tree that is planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in the proper season. This lifestyle has a long term view, investing now for future returns that reap happiness later.
Blessed living is also described as a tree with leaves that do not wither, as in all that this man or woman does prospers. This is devine favor from God.
The wicked may have momentary success but at great cost because it is short-lived.
“The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.” (Psalm 1:4)
The way of the righteous is the blessed life so choose wisely the lifestyle that leads to blessed living.
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither, in all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:3)
Most gift-giving comes with strings attached and an expectation of reciprocation on some level. We are afforded many occasions throughout the year to give gifts to others as a gesture of affirmation, validation or reconciliation to possibly strengthen fragile relationships. In each case of gift-giving you have the giver and the receiver and at the core exists the relationship between the two.
God set the bar really high when it comes to the pure essence of gift-giving when He revealed His heart on the matter:
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)
In other words, when God gives a gift to us it is pure with no strings attached and perfectly designed to meet our need for all time as a recipient. God’s gift is given voluntarily without any payment or expectation in return. If we accept His gift we accept without any particular effort of having to earn it.
When we receive His perfect gift we find all the affirmation, acceptance and validation that we sought in other gifts that can never meet this need. Most of all we find our relationship restored to the God who created us to be in relationship with Him.
The perfect gift is Jesus Christ our Savior, the Gift of a lifetime. What He offers can never be paid for by any effort on our part. He was sent by God to save mankind.
“…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Have you received the Gift of a lifetime?