It’s not supposed to be like that

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Personal Responsibility”
Our Bible verse for today: “Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “It’s not supposed to be like that”
You may be familiar with the famous quote from the American poet and writer Henry David Thoreau, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” What he was referring to is how it is that many people just endure life. They shuffle through their days with a deep-seated sense of despair and disappointment, wanting life to be better, fantasizing about it getting better, but with little real hope that it will get better.
King Solomon expressed similar feelings in Ecclesiastes 1:2: “Meaningless! Meaningless! says the Teacher. Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” And then there’s this dark and dismal observation from Shakespeare’s character Macbeth, “Life is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
For all three of them life seemed difficult, meaningless, and inconsequential. It was brief and full of nothing. But it’s not supposed to be like that. I like the quote from the Christian writer and philosopher William James better, “The great use of life is to spend it on something that outlasts it.”
James was on to something important there. The secret to a full and satisfying life is to live it with purpose and passion, involved in things that truly matter. This is exactly the life Jesus was calling us to in John 8:12 (above). He said that if we follow Him, living the way God has revealed to us in the Bible, we won’t be living in the spiritual darkness described by Thoreau and Solomon and Macbeth. And to make sure we didn’t miss that point, Jesus said it again, just two chapters later, in John 10:10, “I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.”
This is precisely why God has revealed to us in the Bible so many issues that He has made matters of personal responsibility for us. He has shown us how to live so we can have the best life possible. Those matters of personal responsibility that God has given to us are for our own benefit. It’s in our own best interest to do those things so that our lives won’t be meaningless and wasted. And there are so many more that we have not yet considered this month. Therefore, I’ve decided to extend the theme of personal responsibility into the month of February.
None of us wants to live a life of meaninglessness and quiet desperation, or a life full of sound and fury but ultimately signifying nothing – and God doesn’t want us to live that way either. It’s simply not supposed to be that way. In the Bible God tells us how to live a full, rich life that is meaningful and satisfying.
The Christian rapper Toby Mac sings, “There are no practice runs in life. This is not a test!” And he’s right. This is the real thing. There are no do-overs. So, let’s be sure we get this right and let’s not waste it.
God bless,
Pastor Jim  
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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