Today‘s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“I know the plans which I am planning for you, plans of welfare and not of calamity, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29: 11
“The love of God a perfect plan
Is planning now for thee,
It holds ‘a future and a hope’
Which yet thou canst not see.
Though for a season, in the dark,
He asks thy perfect trust,
Even that thou in surrender ‘lay
Thy treasure in the dust,’
Yet He is planning all the while,
Unerring He guides
The life of one, who holds His will
More dear than all besides.
Trust were not trust if thou couldest see
The ending of the way,
Nor couldest there learn His song by night,
Were life one radiant day.
Amid the shadows here He works
The plan designed above.
‘A future and a hope’ for thee
In His exceeding love.
‘A future’ – abiding fruit,
With loving kindness crowned;
‘A hope’ – which shall thine own transcend,
As Heaven the earth around.
Though veiled as yet, one day thine eyes
Shall see His plan unfold,
And clouds that darkened once the path
Shall shine with Heaven’s gold.
Enriched to all eternity
The steadfast soul shall stand,
That, ‘unoffended,’ trust Him
Who all life’s pathway planned.
In have an heritage of bliss,
Which yet I may not see,
The Hand that bled to make it mine,
Is keeping it for me.”
Freda Hanbury Allen
Today’s Study Text:
“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Thy steadfast love, O Lord endures forever.”
Psalm 138: 8
“Living A Fulfilled Life”- Part 4
“God brings His fulfillment into my life by giving me a specific purpose.”
“Fulfillment” – To contain everything that is essential. To bring to wholeness. To bring to completion.
“Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose.”
What is God’s purpose for my life?
Am I willing to follow God’s purpose for me?
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
Corrie ten Boom
“God’s plans, like lilies, pure and white, unfold; we must not tear the close-shut leaves apart, time will reveal the chalices of gold.”
May Louise Riley Smith
“We are all designed for a specific purpose; we all have something for which each of us, and each of us alone, is responsible.”
Not long ago, on my way to the grocery store, I passed a field of cows, grazing in quiet contentment. Since we’ve had several recent rain storms the fields are a lush green with fresh grass. What amused me was to watch as several of the cows decided that the grass in the fenced area where they were feeding was evidently not as tasty as the grass on the other side of the barbed wire. And so, with necks twisted in awkward positions, these cows ate the grass on the opposite side of the fence.
Who knows, it may have been a scene like the one I just described that served as the inspiration for the song written by Tony Hatch and Yvonne Harvey, “The Other Man’s Grass Is Always Greener.” I find this to be something I’ve thought about before –someone else has it better or is more talented. The words to the song “other man’s grass” conveys the feelings I’m certain we all have had at one time or another:
“There’s someone else in your imagination
You wish that you were
standing in their shoes.
You’d change your life without much hesitation
But would you if you really had to choose?
So, don’t look around,
get your feet on the ground.
It’s much better by far
to be just who you are.”
The point of this song was beautifully shared in a famous, classic American essay, “Acres of Diamonds” told by Reverend Russell Conwell over 5,000 times. I want to share this story with you because it reminds us that the fulfillment God has for our lives – His purpose for you and me – is a treasure He has planted in us. I don’t have to be envious or desirous of what you have been given. I have to look no further than in the field God has planted in my own life.
“The story is told about a wealthy farmer who was probably the richest man in all of Africa. Hafid owned a large farm with fertile soil, as well as herds of camels and goats, and orchards of dates and figs. One day a wandering holy man visited his farm and mentioned that huge fortunes were being made discovering diamonds – fortunes that were even greater than Hafid’s.
This news got Hafid’s attention. He inquired from the holy man what diamonds were, and how he could acquire this greater fortune. The holy man said he was not sure of all the details, but he had heard that diamonds were usually found in the white sand of rivers that flowed out from valleys formed by V-shaped mountains.
Hafid was eager to increase his fortune, so he sold his farm, his herds and his orchards. He then set out from his home and began the journey to find his fortune in diamonds. Hafid’s travels took him all over Africa, up mountains and down into valleys, without finding so much as one diamond. Finally, deep in despair and frustration, Hafid threw himself off a mountain and died a broken and poor man.
But the story does not end with Hafid. For one day, the farmer who had bought Hafid’s land was watering the camels in the river which flowed near the house. When the sun glinted off the stream, he saw a shimmering rainbow glitter from a chipped river rock. It was so pretty the farmer took it into the house and placed it on a shelf where the afternoon sun would strike it and splash rainbows across the room.
Do you remember the wandering holy man? Well, one day, toward late afternoon, he wandered again upon the farm which Hafid had sold. On entering the house, he was startled by a rainbow dancing across the floor. When the holy man saw that the dancing light was coming out of a rock on the shelf, he exclaimed, “Hafid has returned?”
“Why no,” replied the baffled farmer. “What do you mean? I don’t understand.”
“This … this rock is what I mean,” the holy man said while pointing to the river rock. “Has Hafid returned?”
The farmer laughed as he lifted the rock. “This!” he said, “Why this is just a pretty rock I found out back in the river. I liked the way rainbows seem to dance out from it when the sun strikes it.”
Examining the rock more closely, the holy man became even more animated. “That’s a diamond,” he excitedly told the farmer. “I’m sure of it. Where did you say you found it?”
Somewhat confused with the flurry of excitement, the farmer explained that he found the rock out in the river.
“Show me,” insisted the holy man.
The two of them went out back to the river, which flowed out from a valley formed by a V-shaped mountain. And there, in the white sands, they found a larger diamond, then another, and more diamonds, large and small. Actually, the land, which Hafid sold to pursue his fortune elsewhere, turned out to be acres and acres of diamonds. In fact, it became one of the richest diamond mines in all of Africa.”
God’s purpose for your life is like the field of diamonds. You don’t have to look in someone else’s field. God has hidden within you His plan to give your life purposeful fulfillment.
“Your sole business in life is to attain God-realization. All else is useless and worthless.”
“A (woman) without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder … Have a purpose in life, and having it, throw into your work with such strength of mind and muscle as God has give you.”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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