Pastor Les gave the greatest message yesterday. He talked about "How to Live a Life-Giving Life". God had a plan for mankind from the very beginning and when He comes back, He will restore things to the way He first intended them to be (and those who know Him can live with Him forever). God's desire is for us to live a life-giving life. Isn't it so awesome that he doesn't just want to forgive us to forgive us, but to offer us a full life?!
It always saddens me to see others living for themselves and their temporary pleasures believing that living for God will spoil their fun. It's the complete opposite! I was talking to a friend the other day who said to me, "I know you have fun, but I couldn't have fun the way you do" (meaning sober and living for the Lord). What a lie! God is the one who created fun and pleasure. My friend may be having a good time with his friends (I don't dispute that), but he has no idea that he is missing out on so much more. Life is about a lot more than having an occasional good time. When I observe my friend in his "element" where he is drinking too much and getting loud and rowdy with friends, what I see is someone who desperately wants to live a full life , have relationships with people, feel good about who he is and be likeable (gain affirmation from others), and when I talk to him about life, I see someone who wants to have a purpose in life. This is the way God made him. This is the way God made all of us.
From the very beginning, He meant for us to have a wonderful friendship with Him and with others, filled with love. He wanted us to care more about other people than we do ourselves, because we gain our sense of self from Him and not from the people we're around or what we see when we look at ourselves. He wanted us to "be fruitful and increase" and have a great destiny.
Pastor Les talked about the two trees in the middle of the garden of Eden - the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. There were lots of trees in the garden that Adam and Eve could eat from (God is all about freedom). There was one that he told them not to. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I've always been able to comprehend why we shouldn't know about evil - because it will steal from us, kill us, and destroy us (even when it looks so appealing). But, it was interesting to see why God didn't want us to have a knowledge of good either. Because a knowledge of good causes us to see ourselves as never good enough. It causes us to see things as good, better, and best and we are always comparing and striving to be good people. If we eat from the tree of the KG&E, then emotionally, spiritually, and mentally we will die. "Every wound, hurt, grudge, pressure, fear, and struggle, has its source in the tree of the KG&E."
Thank you, God, for the Tree of Life. Thank you that we can choose You and choose life. And fulfilling, love-filled life at that!
(Click on my Trinity Church link and hear the message for yourself.)