Abiding in the Vine results in fruitfulness (John 15:5).
HYMN: FADING AWAY LIKE THE SUN OF THE MORNING.
In our society, much emphasis is placed on physical fitness, but spiritual well-being is even more important. The society also places undue emphasis on material acquisitions, positions, titles, and appearance in assessing the individual.
But the God we serve “…. Seeth not as man seeth…. But looketh on the heart” ( 1 Samuel 16:7). Therefore, those the world regard as VIP’s or “significant” may not necessarily be seen as such by our Righteous God.
God has a plan and purpose for everyone’s life; which can only be actualized in Christ Jesus. God’s perfect will is that those “who believe and know the truth” should individually (and collectively) live a life of significance that will impact their day, the time and world.
The objectives of this study are:
1.To understand the phrase “a life of significance”.
2.To appreciate God’s provision for our lives to be significant.
3.To comprehend how we can make our lives significant.
Q1. WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND BY THE PHRASE “A LIFE OF SIGNIFICANCE?”
The word significance means the importance of something, especially when it has an effect on what happens in the future; it is something that is large enough to have an effect or to be noticed i.e. notable and valuable. A life of significance will therefore mean a life that has been spent meaningfully to the extent/effect that other people are positively affected. It is a life that cannot be overlooked but must be noticed for its remarkable positive influence in any of these- family, neighborhood, church, workplace, society and his/her generation as a whole. It also includes a life that is carefully lived with eternity in view i.e. with the consciousness and caution in his/her daily dealings, because of the hope of heaven.
Q2A. WHAT IS GOD’S PROVISION FOR OUR LIFE TO BE SIGNIFICANT?
Gen. 1:26-30, 2:19-20, Ps. 8:3-8, John 1:10-12, 3:16, 2 Cor. 5:17
From creation God’s purpose was for man to be significant (Ps. 139:1-16), man was made wonderfully complex, just a little
lower than the heavenly beings (Ps. 8:5). God made man in His own
image like himself and endowed Him with wisdom and authority to dominate. Man was made with an unequalled intelligence to animals; man exercised/exacted this authority from his creation when he was made and commanded to dominate (Gen. 2:19-20; Ps. 8:3-8). God gave man authority to rule and be in charge of all creatures and by this same authority man was enabled to control every spirit being, including powers of the air, those on the land and those on the water. However, due to the fall of man, man lost this place of authority. God in restoring this authority and fellowship back to man, offered man His redemptive grace which is accessible only to those that come to Him and accept Christ Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior; by accepting Christ they have put off the old man and are an entirely new man in Christ Jesus. As new man in Christ, God has empowered each and every child of His to live significant lives on earth and to affect and influence men positively for Him. Moreover, as a believer in Christ, Scripture has it that all things are possible with him, there is a restoration of the dominion lost in Adam.
Q2B. HOW CAN WE MAKE OUR LIVES SIGNIFICANT?
For our lives to be significant, we are not majorly concerned about men’s judgement, it is important to note that we must not seek to be significant before men, rather our desire should be to please God and let Him who is the righteous judge declare or judge how significant our lives have been. Men might not be the best standard to measure how significant a life is.
Significance is about sharing one’s life with others, ensuring our life is a blessing to the other people. That others are profiting from our life on daily basis is about selflessness, devoid of every hypocrisy, selflessness, pride and eye service. To be significant, you must know your call, both in your circular profession/career and your call as a believer. You must settle the question in your heart, “what am I doing that will make my life count/significant before God and man”.
When we have successfully answered the above question, we must thereafter set our minds, hearts, strength, and time to work, serving the Lord faithfully with all our hearts. Being dutiful in the workplace can distinguish a man and make him significant.
We must be careful to know and walk in God’s divine purpose for our lives to be significant. You are at your best (i.e. significant) when you are what and who God wants you to be at a particular time. We must make conscious effort to set our priorities right.
In James 1:25, the Bible clearly makes known to us that whosoever looks into the perfect law of liberty and continue therein and be a doer of the word, that person shall be blessed in all he does. We also become significant when we remain attached as a branch to the vine, the Lord Jesus Christ from whom the nourishment flows. (John 15:1-5). The more we stay in the “secret place of the most High” (e.g. in prayers) the more equipped we become to be significant. We also need to depend on the Holy Spirit, who will lead us in the path of significance (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:16).
Q3. HOW DID THE FOLLOWING BIBLE CHARACTERS EXHIBIT A LIFE A SIGNIFICANCE?
Abraham; Gen. 18:18, 19, 22:16-18, Ruth; 1:15-18, 2:2-3, 5-7, John the Baptist; Luke 3:16, 17, John 1:29-34, 3:30, Mary; Luke 1:28-38, Paul; Rom. 1:1, Gal. 2:20
Abraham’s life was one lived in total obedience to God and in return God blessed him abundantly both in goods, wealth, and descendants.
Ruth the Moabitess refused to return to her own people and gods, like her mate did. She was determined and had absolute resolve to make a living with her mother in-law, despite the bleak and uncertain future with Naomi.
At Bethlehem, Ruth did not wait for Naomi to fend for her, rather she (a stranger in the land) took the lead to fend and care for both of them. Her doggedness, persistence, and hard work made her to be recognized.
John the Baptist as a forerunner to our Lord Jesus, did not in any way equal himself with Christ Jesus, but in humility carried out his duty pointing all directions and attention to Christ and not to himself. He patiently waited for the one with the promise. He was never enticed or carried away by the social life of his time unlike our modern day preachers, rather he knew the path of life he was meant to fulfill and he remained there and fulfilled his destiny.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, has come down into the fame of time as one great and might woman that lived a chaste and pure life; for which the Lord found her worthy to bring forth the long awaited Messiah. Apostle Paul was greatly instrumental in reaching the Gentiles and the unsaved world. He authored 13 books of the New Testament. From his dramatic conversion up to his death, even till date, his life and epistle have been of great challenge and encouragement to all Christian pilgrims here on earth.
We as individuals must strive to live significant lives so that our lives will outlive us, that even years after our final demise or departure from earth, our works will still remain and affect others positively for God.
Q4. HOW SHOULD BELIEVERS LIVE A LIFE OF SIGNIFICANCE IN THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCE?
1 Tim. 4:7-14, 1 Thess. 5:2-8, Rom. 12:9-16, Prov. 31:11-12, 1 Cor. 3:19.
In the society
We live in a society where it is common to hear the saying “do what I say and not what I do”; this is contrary to the admonition of the scriptures where Paul said “follow me as I follow Christ”. The believer must therefore be an example of Christ, for the believer is the Christ that men see today. We must be concerned with things happening to those around us and entire society. We must prove we are Christ-like in our words, relationships, and deeds; even in showing care, concern, and love, in being faithful to our calling and in living pure lives before God and men with the expectation and consciousness of the return of Christ.
In the work place and business
The believer who seeks to live a significant life at his/her place of work or business must start by letting everyone around him/her know his/her stand as a believer who is dedicated to the service of God and whose desire is to please God above men.
Such a believer also must set goals to meet or achieve and be focused. Setting of goals is paramount in accessing how successful one has been in achieving a desired target.
In carrying out his/her duty/duties, the believer must not be slothful and negligent in any way, rather he/she must be diligent in all he/she is commissioned or instructed to do. The place of humility, void of hypocrisy is emphasized in making our lives significant.
In the home
Our home must reflect Christ. God made man the head of the home, he is not to lord and bully on other members of the family but to oversee the activities of his home. He must also take spiritual responsibility of all those God has committed to him, the dependents, wife and children, who must be prepared for the return of the Lord. The wife and mother who must also be solidly rooted in God, is as lovingly care for the home, give due respect, regards and honor to the father and husband before the children and others. She must admit and accept the husband as her head and treat him as such. She should correct the children and husband in love and see them grow up in grace. In her show of love and affection and in submission to her husband she must be an example of Christ. She must in all her duties ensure her household is saved and prepared at all times for the Lord’s return. Children are admonished to be obedient to their parents and seek to please the Lord as they do so.
DAILY LIVING APPLICATION
Having received forgiveness for our sins and the gift of eternal life, each believer is daily challenged to live a life of obedient gratitude for what God has done for us. Therefore, lives of significance will enhance the spread of the gospel and preparation for the soon coming of the Lord.
1 TIMOTHY 4:12
“Be thou an example of the Believers in Word, in Conversation, in Charity, in Spirit, In Faith, In Purity.”
DAILY DEVOTIONAL GUIDE
Monday: God’s provision for our lives to be significant.
Gen. 1:26-30, 2 Corin. 5:17
Tuesday: Ruth, an example of a significant life.
Ruth 1:15-18, 2:5-7
Wednesday: Apostle Paul, an example of significant life.
Romans 1:1, Gal. 2:20
Thursday: John the Baptist, an example of a significant life.
John 1:29-34, 3:30
Friday: How the believer can live a significant life in the society and home.
Saturday: Ingredients in maintaining a life so significance.
Jos. 1:8, 1 Thess. 5:17, Gal. 5:16