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Written by Kim Mihalec
What if I'm not good enough? Many of us will find ourselves asking that question in some form daily – perhaps even moment by moment. We'll find ourselves looking for the answer to that question even when we're not asking it. Perhaps we gauge how close we are to 'good enough' by likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter. Maybe we look for affirmation from friends or family; teachers or colleagues. And yet, even with plenty of likes and followers, affirmation and praise, the question still seems to follow us everywhere like a hungry mosquito.
At a recent women's retreat we discussed God's idea of perfection and His expectations for us. We soon discovered from the Bible that God's measure of success is very different from what we naturally expect of ourselves. The prophet Micah summed up God's expectations for us:
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).
What God calls good will rarely feel good enough by human standards. In fact, it will often look like utter failure.
Jail time is hardly a human measure of success and yet the patriarch Joseph, the prophet Jeremiah, the apostle Peter and the apostle Paul – great men of the Bible – all spent time in jail because they “did justly, loved mercy, and walked humbly with their God.”
Poverty is generally seen as some kind of failure. The Bible itself highlights the lack of respect that poor people receive even from their own friends and neighbours. Proverbs 14:20 says: “The poor man is hated even by his own neighbour, but the rich has many friends.”
And Proverbs 19:4 tells us: “Wealth makes many friends, but the poor is separated from his friend.”
In contrast, Jesus Christ was not only sent to the poor (Isaiah 61:1), but He Himself said He had “nowhere to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20).
Over and over, the standard set by God's word, and the examples of those who were great successes by God's standards, is completely opposite to our human ideas of success. By worldly standards, godly men and women are often failures – they repeatedly sacrifice any hope of achieving fame or fortune for the sake of pleasing God and an eternal reward.
Jesus Christ told His followers: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).
The real question isn't whether we are good enough, but whether we are Godly enough. We may find ourselves sacrificing a job for the sake of the Sabbath, sacrificing money for more time with family, sacrificing friends for the sake of Biblical principles. What looks like failure to the world around us may well be the greatest success of all.
“Thus says the Lord, ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches.....” This is the beginning of scriptures in Jeremiah, directing us to consider what or who should be glorified. In what or who do we really glory?
Change is a major theme of the Bible. “Repent” and “repentance” are mentioned more than 60 times in the Bible. These words mean to change direction, to turn, to stop going in one direction and go in another, to change our thinking, to change our actions—in short, to change our lives. How about you?
Why do you exist? What is your destiny? Is there a reason, a purpose, for human life? These questions have baffled the greatest thinkers and philosophers down through the ages.
What is the purpose of human life? Are we here for a reason? Does the Bible provide answers for these questions? What does the Bible mean when it talks about repentance, baptism and conversion? Inside this booklet you will find the answers to these questions.
"...Broad is the road that leads to destruction...and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matthew 7:13,14 New International Version).
How is God One? Is God a Trinity? Who was Jesus of Nazareth? Was He a mere man, or much more? What was the significance of His death and resurrection? In this booklet you'll learn more about the nature of God and Jesus Christ and our future destiny with them as revealed in the Bible.
Scripture tells us that we, too, need to undergo a transformation - a change, with God's help, from "the old man" to "the new man," a human being "renewed in knowledge" and "created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness" (Colossians 3:9-10; Ephesians 4:22-24). In this lesson we discuss this remarkable change, made possible by the transforming power of God's Spirit.
Are you desiring a closer relationship with God? If so, where do you start? What tools can you use to grow spiritually and build that all-important relationship with your Creator? This important study aid will set you on the right path. Read and begin implementing these important elements today!
Studying God's Word in sincerity helps us to discern our own thoughts and intents. (God already knows them - we cannot deceive God!) To come boldly before God, we must be honest with Him. Pretence before God is not a good basis for a relationship. We need to emulate David's prayer and his intent as recorded in Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me... We cannot be honest with God unless we are honest with ourselves.
Stephen Clark speaks on the importance of forgiveness.by Stephen Clark | Melbourne | Monday, 10 October 2011
When tragedies happen, we ask why. Whether it happens to us personally, to our loved ones, or to our communities, we have a natural desire to find answers. How could a loving all powerful God allow terrible things to happen? God gives us answers. He gives us hope. The Bible is the very Word of God, and it reveals the reasons for pain and suffering. It also gives us the hope of how to get through trials and sorrows.
Suffering. It's not a pleasant subject to discuss, but a necessary one. Suffering plagues our world. In its many forms it affects us physically, psychologically and emotionally. This featured booklet will help you understand how suffering began, how it will end—and why it continues.
It’s obvious that our world is plagued with serious problems. Look around at the devastating wars, civil unrest, violent crime, rampant theft, corrupt governments, grinding poverty, hunger, spreading substance abuse, broken homes and families, natural disasters, failing educational systems and much more. These things aren’t new; they’re the sad legacy of human history. Is there any hope that these problems will ever be solved? Believe it or not, there is indeed great hope, and it’s found in the pages of your Bible. It’s called the gospel, a word that means “good news.” And it truly is good news, the message of Jesus Christ’s coming reign over the earth and God’s divine solution to our problems! Learn much more about this wonderful hope and news in the pages of this issue of Beyond Today. Download this issue in PDF. Individual articles will be posted in the upcoming days.