ETL 001 – The Inaugural Episode: Introductions and Answering Questions

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Daviditunesbanner150ETL 001: Introducing this new podcast and podcaster, observations on people asking questions, and answering the question, “How do I know when God is talking to me?”

In this episode of The Enjoy True Living Podcast–the inaugural episode–we’ll take care of some necessary introductions.  That means introducing myself as the host, this podcast and how I have it envisioned as we move forward.

So, here’s what you’ll hear:

Chapter 1: Introductions are in order.  This is who I am and this is what this podcast is all about.  I also want you to know where I’m coming from, my vantage point or perspective, if you will.  You can also learn a little more about me, if you were to want to, on the About page of the web site (click HERE).

For all you dog lovers out there, here’s our Bella wondering why we don’t love her favorite past time–playing ball–as much as she does.

Bella

Chapter 2: Some observations on the asking of questions.  I’ve spent a lot of time answering people’s questions about the Bible, religion, faith and spirituality over the past 28 years, including several years of formally answering submitted Bible Questions as a part of an annual preaching series.  I’ve come to learn a few things about people and the asking of questions.

  1. People are hesitant to ask questions.
  2. For every person who asks a question, there are several others who have the same question, but have just never asked.
  3. We benefit from the questions of others.
  4. People ask questions for different reasons.
  5. Finally, some people, even many self-professed believers, have no real interest in what the Bible really says.

Chapter 3: The first question we’ll answer is one asked of me recently by a Christian young lady as part of a Bible study: “How do you know if God is talking to you?”

Submit your Bible questions to be answered in upcoming podcast episodes by sending an email to: feedback@enjoytruleliving.com.

Scripture references in this episode:

  • Mark 7:6-13
  • Genesis 2:16; 6:13; 12:1
  • 1 Samuel 3:10
  • Hebrews 1:1-2; 2:1-4; 12:25
  • John 12:30-31
  • 1 John 4:1

Please visit the website at enjoytrueliving.com.  To find further episodes you can go directly to enjoytrueliving.com/podcast.  You will have the option of subscribing to the podcast through iTunes or by an RSS feed.   Also, please sign up on the email list as well. This will allow you to receive the latest updates and announcements from Enjoy True Living.

Thank you for checking out this episode of the ETL Podcast. Come back again and listen again soon!

God bless!

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Why Can’t I Be Happy?

The biggest problem is you.

Now that’s harsh.  Yes. But, it’s true.

How is that possible?  I just want to be good and happy and do the right thing.  How can I be the problem?

Let’s look at it this way: how would you answer the following question?  What would make you happy?  Be honest about this–really honest.  What circumstance of your life would you change?  Relationships? Finances? Career?

I think we’ve already hit on it. The problem is thinking that happiness has to do with me, that is, getting what I want.  I know, I kind of tricked you there, but it wasn’t very difficult.  The idea that we achieve happiness by getting what we want is so prevalent that we fall into it very easily and naturally.  It just really seems to make sense.

Remember Jesus’ fundamental teaching about following Him?  If anyone is going to come after Him, he must deny himself (Matthew 16:24).   Did you get that?  Deny self.  Not indulge, not satisfy, not fulfill, not actualize (whatever that means), not serve; but deny.

It’s not that it is wrong to want something.  Jesus wanted some things.  He even prayed about them.  He wanted the glory He had previously enjoyed with the Father (John 17:5).  He wanted to be able to avoid the cross (Matt.  26:39).  He even prayed about these.  Self-denial does not mean that we want nothing.

Neither does it mean that we deprive ourselves of everything but the absolute, bare-bones essentials.  That’s called “asceticism,” and it’s a flawed approach (Colossians 2:20-23).  Even if we’re a successful ascetic we can still miss the key.

What is that?  Listen to Jesus and see if you can pick up on it:

  • “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,” (Matthew 20:28).
  • “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” (John 4:34)
  • “I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 5:30).
  • “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38).
  • “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).

The key is that the focus of our life is serving God and doing His will (not our own) and serving others, not ourselves.  Think of the direction and purpose of your life as a target with a bull’s-eye.  What is that bull’s-eye?  Is it me or is it God?  Is my focus on getting what I want or serving others?

Jesus modeled this approach for us by leaving heaven to live among men and give Himself for the needs of others (Philippians 2:6-8).  So, we are encouraged to have that same mind and “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-5).

Simply put, “Christ did not please himself” (Roman 15:3).  Unless we do the same, we sabotage our own efforts at happiness, joy, and satisfaction in life.  Unless we deny self, we do become our biggest problem.

God bless,

 

 

 

P.S. What are your thoughts or observations?  Just go to the comments below and share.


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