God Notes: Motif

God Notes: Motif

The Meaning of Life

From: “theme, predominant feature,” 1848, from French motif “dominant idea, theme”

Meaning: In music, a motif or motive is a short musical idea, a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition.

“For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment.” – Viktor E. Frankl

What is the theme of your life? Is there a recurring motif that you can hear over and over again? For some of us, our families are our theme, or work, or our church. And, while all of these are not bad, they are not the best. Let's listen to the lesson from His word today…

Today’s Lesson:

Deuteronomy 6:4-6 NIV – Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.

The Lord God should be the theme of our lives. Whether we are home or at work, it should be about God. Whether we are alone or with a group of people, it should be about God. Whether we are still in school or working or for some of us, both, it should be about God. God should be the central theme of our lives.

Some questions for you to think about:

  • What is the meaning of my life? Who is the meaning of my life?
  • Do I truly love God with all of my heart, soul, and strength?
  • What makes me special or important? What did God do in me that He didn't do in anyone else?

Prayer:

Dear God:

I want You to be the main theme of my life. You give me meaning. You give me life. Write on my heart with Your love.

Amen

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

Encouragement Through Discipline (New Year’s Resolutions)

Hebrews 12:4-13 

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”[a]

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,”[b] so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

Children need guidance (12:7-9)

The point of parenting is to teach our children how to make the best choices. Children need rules. They need limitations. They need boundaries. We love our children by not allowing them to hurt themselves. Verse 8 says that we are not legitimate if we have not undergone discipline. Verse 9 says that we learn to respect from discipline.

We need guidance (12:10-11)

We receive discipline and guidance because it is leading us to what is good.  We will receive a share in his holiness. Discipline is never meant to be easy or pleasant. The short term is not the goal. We are in this for the long haul. Verse 11 tells us that we can know righteousness and peace because we have been trained for it.

We become good examples for others (12:12-13)

We are being trained for a purpose. We should “strengthen” our arms and knees to support others. When you lift something up, you use your arms and knees. As we are lifted up, we should lift up others! We undergo training and discipline to strengthen us to be strong for others!

Graphic from the Ministry Toolkit and Lindsey Fleeman 

Mile Marker: The Tip of the Iceberg

Deuteronomy 29:5 NLT – “For forty years I led you through the wilderness, yet your clothes and sandals did not wear out.”

If you are anything like me, reading through Deuteronomy can take the wind out of your sails!  If you have not read Deuteronomy 28:57 yet, I would not start my morning devotions with it.  There are a lot of rules and a lot of laws covered in those chapters.  But, when you essentially read between the lines of some of the passages, great truths leap out at you.  Such a truth is Deuteronomy 29:5!

Moses is reminding the people about the time that they wandered forty years in the wilderness.  He had led them through the hardest time in any of their recent memories.  All of those people of Israel who has escaped captivity from Egypt were dead, except for the two faithful spies and Moses.  The Wilderness was the latest and most memorable test the current people had experienced.  It was their Waterloo, their Pearl Harbor, or to take a page from recent history, their 9/11 or Katrina.  They did not look back fondly at that time.  Nobody was running around screaming to go back to wandering in the wilderness.  They had done that, and had the t-shirt!  While Moses has now run down all of the requirements that God has set for the people and reminded them of the punishment that they would endure if they did not listen, he prepares them to cross over into the reward that was promised to their ancestors.  Frustrated beyond belief, he looks at the people and in verse 4 screams at them that they still did not understand everything God had done for them, will do for them, and is currently doing for them.  He goes on in verse 5 to say even when you were being punished by wandering the wilderness for forty years your clothes did not wear out, your shoes did not wear out.  Even then, God was taking care of them.

God is teaching the Israelites then and teaching us now that caring for others is a big job.  When we just meet someone’s current needs, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.  Truly caring for others and wanting to help them requires helping realize how they got to this place.  It means showing them that even when times were hardest, God was still looking out for them.  It means showing them that it might take just as long to get out of a situation as it did to get into the situation.  That is how much God cares for us!  That is how much God loves us!  Not just the tip, but all the way to the bottom!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Seven Simple Truths

This is the fifth sermon in the series – CREST: An Army Standard.  This series is a group of teaching sermons that go through the biblical foundation for the parts of The Salvation Army crest.

This sermon deals with the seven gospel shots.

Truth #1: The existence of a holy God.
Romans 1:20 – For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

There is a God.  I am not Him, and neither are you.  We have a loving Creator who is outside of ourselves.

Truth #2: The evils of sin are against God and man.
1 John 3:6 – Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.

Sin is not of God.  Sin is the opposite of God.  Sin is not of God.

Truth #3: There will be punishment for sin that is fair and everlasting.
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

If you cannot follow the rules, then you have to pay the penalty.  The only free thing in life is the love of God.  Even salvation, which others think is free, cost the life of Jesus to balance.

Truth #4: Jesus dies on the cross for the human race.
Matthew 20:28 – For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Jesus gave His life for us.  The love of God, God’s economy, is always about others.

Truth #5: Salvation is for all mankind and is free to all who accept Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 – For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

There is no limitation to the scope of God’s salvation.  There is no one beyond the love of God, unless we, personally, choose to be outside of the love of God.

Truth #6: It is the responsibility of every Christian to do whatever they can do to spread the gospel.
Matthew 9:37-38 – He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.  So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

The love of God is too great not to share.  It is too big not to give away.

Truth #7: God rewards those who are faithful with eternal life in heaven with Him.
John 14:1-3 – “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.  If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.

Not only is there a God, but He has a place prepared for those who follow Him.