LIVE IN
Men's blog

Archive for November 2015

Living in Light of Eternity

“The objective to living is to pass on a heritage of faith to those you love and to be with them in eternity.” Dr. James Dobson

As I have mentioned previously, this quote by Dr. Dobson is foundational for me as a father, a husband, a man of God, and has become my focus for ministry. I believe that the most important thing that we can do for the next generation is to leave a legacy of faith, but in order to do that we have to understand what faith is. The past four weeks, we have looked at Hebrews 11 and learned four things about faith: Faith is believing when we don’t see, obeying when we don’t understand, persisting when we don’t feel like it, and trusting God when we don’t get what we want.

This week, I want to briefly look at eternity. Can there be anything better than spending eternity with those you love? But what is eternity and how do we get there? In a prayer to the Father, Jesus says, “this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Living in eternity comes from knowing Jesus, the sent Son, who is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Knowing Jesus is not confined to intellectual knowledge but involves living in fellowship with him. It implies an intimate relationship that actually involves knowing Christ as a person. When we commit our lives to Jesus, we are given the gift of eternal life. Showing and teaching others how to know Jesus and have a relationship with Him is what leaving a legacy is about.

But, what does this have to do with eternity? Well, because we know where we are going, we have a sense of what we are to do now. Eternity brings a sense of humility about what you are to do right now. You see, no matter what happens in this life, we must never lose sight of our ultimate destination. We must keep our eyes on where we are going, because where we are going shapes how we live our lives now. Living in light of eternity pushes us to take on a deeper purpose…to leave a legacy of faith with those we love and to be with them forever.

When we invest ourselves in other people, when we have a passion for God and want to share that passion with others, we are living with an eye toward heaven. Heaven is our ultimate home. Heaven is our reward and our destiny. Heaven gives meaning and significance to our lives here on earth.

So, where does your purpose in life come from? Are you investing yourself in people, helping them to know and have a relationship with Jesus? Are you leaving a legacy of faith to those you love so that you can be with them in eternity?

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

Faith: Trusting God When I Don’t Get What I Want

God answers prayers, but not always the way we want. Hebrews 11 lists people who didn’t get what they prayed for, yet they are considered heroes of faith. Many of them experienced all kinds of bad things: persecution, murder, poverty to name a few.

You see, living by faith doesn’t exempt us from the problems of this world.
Faith does not make our lives easier. It is easy to follow God when things are going well, but do you follow God when things are bad. Often, we pray for God to remove the trial in our life, but God says “No! I’m going to strengthen you during this trial and you will be a better person for it.”

This time right here and right now is not all there is, so we have to trust God even in the difficult times. Hebrews 11 tells us of people who did just that, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:30-40).

These people did not get everything they prayed for, but God had something better for them.

Many of you have been praying for something over and over again and you haven’t got what you prayed for. Don’t quit; God is pleased with your faith shown by your prayers. This moment in your life is not all there is. There is a heaven and an eternity and that’s the rest of your story. It may not feel like it right now, but God has something better planned for you.

What prayer in your life isn’t being answered? How is that affecting your faith? Are you trusting God even when you don’t get your desired answer?

“You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.” Psalm 139:5

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

Faith: Persisting When I Don’t Feel Like It

Every morning I spend time with our five year old son doing something educational. This might be working in an activity book, playing math bingo, phonics or spelling. When we work on something new or if he just doesn’t feel like doing what we are working on, his go-to phrase is, “I can’t do it!” When he say’s those words, we pause and I ask him this question, “Who are you?” He responds with “Captain Awesome“. I ask, “Would Captain Awesome quit?” and Captain Awesome says “no!” So, we work on persevering through what we are working on, even when Captain Awesome doesn’t want to. I think persistence is one of the greatest values that we can teach the next generation. Teaching them to never give up even when they feel like it. For me, I don’t want to pass on the cultural value to my kids and the next generation of just doing whatever you feel like doing because growth happens when we live by our commitments and not based on our feelings.

Confession, I don’t always feel like doing the right thing. I don’t always feel like being nice to people or reading my Bible or praying. I don’t always feel like writing this devotional. I don’t always want to do the selfless thing because the truth is that I am quite a selfish person. There are times I would rather grab a book and a cup of coffee, find a quiet place and be alone. But just because this is what I feel like doing doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do. You see, if I only read my Bible, if I only prayed or if I only served my family when I felt like…well I think the Enemy would make sure I never felt like it. Growth happens when I live by my commitments and not by my feelings.

Friends, you don’t get anywhere because you feel like it. You don’t become a great athlete or musician because you feel like it. You don’t excel to the top of your field because you feel like it. You don’t become a godly person because you feel like it. You make a choice to train and practice disciplines and develop the habits that produce success and godliness in your life.

So, how do you develop persistence? The key is to not look at your problem but to look at the Lord and keep your eyes on that which is invisible. Moses is the greatest example of persistence, who for 40 years lead a bunch of grumbling people through the desert. Although Moses may have felt like giving up, he never did. He persisted and kept his eye on the invisible, “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27).

So, what is it you don’t feel like doing? I have no doubt that some of you reading this are discouraged, depressed or even in despair. You feel like giving up on your marriage because it’s hard. You feel like quitting your job or giving up on your dreams. Maybe you even feel like giving up on your relationship with God. Let me tell you in this moment, don’t give up because faith is persisting when you don’t feel like it.

“You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.” Psalm 139:5

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

Faith: Obeying When I Don’t Understand

“The objective to living is to pass on a heritage of faith to those you love and to be with them in eternity.” Dr. James Dobson

As I noted last week, this quote by Dr. Dobson has been foundational for me as a father as well as a focus for my ministry. If the greatest thing that we can do is to leave a legacy of faith for the next generation, then we must know what faith is. Hebrews 11 provides us with an understanding of what faith is. Take time to read it.

Last week we learned that faith is believing when I don’t see it. This week we are going to look at the life of Abraham and see that faith is obeying even when I don’t understand. If we learn to do this, even when it seems to go against our natural tendency’s, then we will grow in faith and be blessed. If we don’t learn to obey when we don’t understand, we risk losing the many blessings that God has in store for us.

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed (Hebrews 11:8). God said to Abraham, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:1-2). Abraham was 75 years old. How many of you would be willing to be obedient to God’s call and leave everything you know at age 75? Age 50? Age 40? Age 30? Age 20? My guess is not many. But at age 75 Abraham obeyed God even when he didn’t understand. Abraham left his family and his own country without knowing where he was going. God didn’t give him any details. Yet, Abraham obeyed when he didn’t understand. That’s faith!

The result of Abraham’s obedience, even when he didn’t understand, is that he became the father of a great nation. So, what could you become the father or mother of if you obey without first understanding? As I type this question, I reminded of the steps that I have been taking in starting my own parent/family ministry. At times my mind has been full of fear and doubt, but then I think of the lives that can be impacted and the families that can be changed, by my obedience to God. But, obedience is hard because it always involves some kind of risk. However, if we don’t obey God then there is no guarantee. Most of us prefer a guarantee of success prior to obeying God, but that’s not faith. Faith is obeying when we don’t understand.

How is God asking you to obey him even when it may not make sense or you may not have all of your questions answered?

“You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.” Psalm 139:5

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)