Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
By Chris WittsThursday 17 Sep 2020Morning Devotions with Chris Witts
The Reader’s Digest once ran a very popular article called “Life’s 25 Toughest Questions”. I found it very interesting.
The questions included things like:
- Can love really last a lifetime?
- Do animals really have a sixth sense?
- Does money really buy happiness?
I thought they were excellent questions. Each of us have questions about life. Whether they get answered or not is another matter. Some people like to ask questions like:
- Why am I so unlucky?
- What if I had done this earlier?
- Why am I always in such a situation?
Because these questions are backward looking, the answers you get with them are naturally disempowering. On the other hand, questions like What can I learn from this experience?, What can I do differently to move forward? and What am I grateful for? are empowering. They provoke you and get you thinking, putting you on the path to a better life.
Asking the Right Questions
But I think there is another way to think about this. To receive the right answer, you must first ask the right question. Here are a few questions which are very important:
- What are the most important things to you in life?
- How would you describe yourself?
- What are your values?
We’ve all had that experience where we get so wrapped up in something that minutes turn into hours, and before we know it we’ve missed our dinner because we got so wrapped up in something we love doing.
There’s a story about Isaac Newton. In his prime, his mother had to regularly come in and remind him to eat because he would go entire days so absorbed in his work that he would forget eating. That’s what passionate people do! Time flies when they’re engaged in a favourite hobby or interest.
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Kids are very switched on with their questions. They are always asking questions: Mummy, why are germs bad? Mummy, how does the car radio work? Mummy, will there be Legos in heaven? The questions are unending. If you have small children, I’m sure you know what I mean.
All right, then,
- What will you be?
- What is your life’s ambition?
- What is your ultimate goal?
If I met you today and asked What do you want out of life?, what would you say? Maybe you’d say I want to be happy. Fair enough. But it’s not that simple, I’m sorry to say. Life is far more complicated. It’s OK to say I’ll do the best I can. But that usually doesn’t work out.
I think there are four questions we should ask ourselves:
- What do I want to be?
- What do I want to do?
- What do I want to have?
- Why do I want it?
They are certainly basic-type questions, and quite simple, and yet we often move past them looking for other stuff in life. A study from the US Harvard University revealed only 5% of Americans have written down their goals in life. So many of us drift through life without any goals or direction, and we wonder why we have a deep sense of unhappiness.
Connecting With Others
God has made us to relate to others. The Bible makes that quite clear. When we connect with others in a meaningful way, life takes on a new direction. Have you found that to be true? A good friend is a great asset. We need others for support, encouragement, guidance—someone who will be brave enough to tell you the truth about yourself.
There is an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go by yourself. If you want to go far, go with others.” We think it’s important to make a speedy decision, but it’s more important to make the right decision. There are some things in your life that you will never be able to change without the support, prayers, and encouragement of other people.
That’s why it’s so important to be in a small group. Even a Bible-study group who meet in the informality of a home, where you can learn and laugh together. If you are serious about getting a focused life you need to ask some more questions:
- What will it cost?
- What am I willing to give?
- Is it worth it?
Finding God’s Master Plan for Us
The greatest use of your life is to invest it in something that will outlast it. Jesus said, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36 NIV). Don’t begin working toward your goals until you’ve counted the cost.
Jesus speaks to us today. The Bible is not just for yesterday. His teaching helps us answer the fundamental questions: What is my life all about? How am I supposed to live? The amazing thing is this: God has a master plan for you and me—he has already laid out the plan and it’s up to us to find it. That’s what makes life challenging. God is a divine presence who is with us today and every day, giving us his guidance, and inspiration.
Rick Warren wrote his hugely successful book The Purpose-Driven Life, which millions have read. Get hold of it and read it. Rick says: “It’s not about you. Life is about God—He is the creator of all who came to earth in the person of Jesus and lived with us, suffered and died for our sins.”
Jesus said in Matthew 10:39: “…If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me” (The Message).