The secret of satisfaction

People everywhere seek satisfaction. Despite this, very few have found the secret of satisfaction. People look for satisfaction in relationships and experiences that make them happy or jobs and enterprises that make them more wealthy. Finding the secret of satisfaction, is something so critical in people’s minds that they invest much of their life in doing it.

A philanthropist is a wealthy person who discovered wealth does not satisfy.

Wealth does not satisfy. Ask a philanthropist. They have spent their days seeking to have ‘more’ wealth, until one day they discovered it was not going to satisfy. Think about how ‘wealthy’ changes meaning depending on who you ask. If you ask a person living in a hut and a person living in a two story house they own with a car and job what ‘wealthy’ means to them and they will give two different answers. Each will explain ‘wealthy’ by describing someone who has ‘more’ than they do. There is no standard for wealth, no point at which you can say ‘I made it.’ The rich man always wants ‘more’. The real meaning of wealth for someone who wants it is ‘more’. It never satisfies and the rich man who finally kept getting more with no satisfaction realises that wealth is a false promise. A philanthropist is a wealthy person who discovered wealth really doesn’t satisfy. 

Happiness is an enigma. When you are looking for it, you cannot find it.

Happiness is an enigma. When you are looking for it, you cannot find it. Someone said that seeking happiness is like looking at a distant star. If you look at it directly, it is so hard to see, but if you look at the darkness just next to the star, it shines so brightly. The pursuit of happiness is a dead end because happiness is not found in seeking it.

A person already satisfied tends to find wealth and happiness more easily, through he or she does not care for it. A person already satisfied does not spend their resources on the latest care or gadget because she is not filled with a craving for ‘more’.  Because they are not busy spending, buying and amusing, they wast their resources. A person satisfied is not constantly trying to make themselves happy, and thereby being disappointed.

The pursuit of wealth and happiness are mutually exclusive. A person seeking wealth will work, save deny themselves for the sake of ‘more’. A person seeking happiness will play, spend and indulge themselves for the sake of ‘more’ happiness. Proverbs 21:17 says “Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.”If you seek one, you must forsake the other. Another proverb says, “The leech has two daughters: Give and Give. Three things are never satisfied; four never say, “Enough”. (Proverbs 30:15)

The secret of satisfaction is not found in the pursuit of wealth or happiness. These things can only be a by product of some other pursuit, but will only offer an empty vacuum of a wasted life if sought. Satisfaction is found elsewhere.

James 1:11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

The Secret of Satisfaction

The secret of satisfaction is found in a far different place.

God has made us to be satisfied in Him. A the psalmist pleads, “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”(Psalm 90:14) The steadfast love of God offers us the satisfaction that will fill us with gladness and rejoicing for ‘all our days’. Real satisfaction leads to lasting joy.

The satisfaction we find in God’s steadfast love impacts how satisfaction in life. As Proverbs 13:25 says, “The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.” James exhorts us, “But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” (1 Timothy 6:8) The righteous is satisfied with what he has, but the wicked man always wants more. The righteous is satisfied and filled. He says “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” (Philippians_4:11) But the wicked wants more and steals. The want of the wicked is called in the Bible “covetousness”; It is sin.

We are warned “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” (Hebrews 13:5) The “love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). But Jesus who is the steadfast love of God “will never leave you nor forsake you” (John 3:16).

Jesus says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mathew 6:33)

The secret of satisfaction is simple. The steadfast love of God is lasting satisfaction. Seek His Kingdom. Everything else will happen as needed. Find out more.

 

 

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Fleeting pleasures of sin

“choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.”

Heb 11:25

Sales professionals and marketing specialists understand the subtle pull of a fading opportunity. Have you ever seen the sign that says “Hurry! this offer ends soon”? Often people end up buying things they didn’t want just because it was on special and the offer was soon to end. Well, that’s a fading opportunity.

Sometimes we are so much enticed by a fading opportunity that we fail to assess it’s true value. Sometimes it seems that we must seize this opportunity or it will pass us by. This is the nature of sin; it offers “fleeting” pleasures. Simply because we might miss out does not mean a pleasure carries true worth.

It seems to me that many take for granted the goodness and enduring satisfaction they can find in Christ, simply because it is so constant. They don’t value this wealth of pleasure as they should because they are dazzled by the spectacle of fleeting pleasures that they might miss out on. Because who wants to miss out on life, right? By selling ourselves short on fleeting pleasures, we deny ourselves the eternal pleasures and lasting satisfaction found in Christ Jesus.

What people don’t realise is that one day the offer for eternal satisfaction in Christ will end, and all fleeting pleasures of sin will burn. Then what do you do?

3 Challenges That Confront Science

Commercialisation

The biggest challenge science faces is found in money. The old mantra that science follows the evidence is not necessarily correct. A distinction needs to be made between the scientific method and scientific research (where the method is used). Science tends to follow the money. If you can’t get a grant, you can’t do science. To pay for the costly lab you must beg benefactors for funding.

This is problematic because financially powerful interest groups gain control of what research gets funded. If your proposed work supports their purposes, they will fund you, but if not you wont find funding. Some areas of science languish in the disinterest of the money givers. Others are like a feeding frenzy.

The outcome is that certain areas only get explored if funding bodies are interested and that scientists will find themselves biased towards the political ends of their patrons.

Fraud

Like anything where there is money on offer, science research is prone to fraud. Not only is it prone to fraud, but alarms are beginning to sound about an epidemic of fraud. Many commentators are aware of this fraud, but doing something about human greed meeting money is fairly challenging.

While fraud can be motivated by greed for money, it can also be motivated by commitment to a dogma. Numerous fraud. have been used to support a single dogma, for example –

  • Piltdown man hoax
  • Archaeoraptor
  • the peppered moth
  • the Midwife Toad
  • Haeckel’s embryos
  • Ancon sheep
  • the Tasaday Indians
  • Bathybius haeckelii
  • Hesperopithecus (Nebraska Man)—the missing link that turned out to be a pig

Unscientific reasoning

Philosophy has invaded science. Speculation has replaced scientific method. Science uses inductive reasoning. Inductive reason is a structure of reasoning that draws an inference from a range of data based on probability. This is how science works. However, outside of science, there is a speculative type of reasoning called inference to the best explanation. It is un-inductive and therefore unscientific. This reasoning does not follow probability and data to draw inferences but rather speculatively invents plausible explanations and selects the “best explanation” based on its “explanatory power” – however it gets defined. Dogmatic atheists love this reasoning, but it’s not science. They also hold a considerable number of funding bodies hostage to their philosophy. Too bad many “scientific” claims that cause contention are based on this unscientific reasoning.

Conclusion

Science and it’s future a shaped by monetary interests. This motivates fraud and encourages bias towards the dogma of the institutions that give grants. To support various dogma speculation has been used in the name of science. In conclusion we can agree with the scripture which says –

“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.”
Jeremiah 17:5

Don’t let science be an idol in your heart. Instead trust the truth of God’s word.

Breaking Boundaries

“Life is about pushing boundaries” they say as they rush from one sinful desire to another. They are self professed rebels – they consider themselves “lovers of freedom”. As they charge on from one experience to another, they consider it their pleasure to break down all the boundaries of morality forced upon them. They get bored as the old novelty becomes the new normal. Then they move on to break the next boundary to discover some new life of freedom.

We see the rapid decline of morality in western society as haters of morality pummel each boundary one after the other. Eventually their sport of breaking boundaries will come to an end.

The problem is they will eventually run out of boundaries to break down as everything becomes “normal”. It is an insatiable pleasure – the more they invest their life in the pleasure of rebellion the more they want to rebel. But the boundaries forced upon them by morality are merely finite. When this happens, how will they alleviate their boredom? As they break down all the boundaries that they could both in society and in their own life, the insatiable pleasure they get in their nature from destroying boundaries will no longer reward them. Then what will they do?

The second problem is that this will lead to violence. The boundaries of morality prevent harm and violence against one another. At some point, those addicted to breaking down boundaries will reach this moral boundary. Then what they do comes by nature.

The third problem is that while they consider this freedom, they are slaves of addiction. “They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved” (2 Peter 2:19). These people profess to be free, but in fact are slaves of rebellion. They claim to be freedom fighters, but they are actually slaves to fighting morality and breaking boundaries.

“What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog that returns to it’s own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”” (2Pe2:22)

Save yourself from the pointless pleasures of rebellion and find in Christ the plentiful pleasure that satisfies forever.

Zuma’s Interrupted Speech and the Reconciliation Storm

South Africa’s President Zuma was delivering the Reconciliation Day address when the warm sunny day turned into a huge storm that suddenly lifted the north side of the giant tent he was speaking in high into the air. As attendees fled for cover and Zuma’s bodyguards rushed the President to safety, everything was in chaos. 

Reconciliation Day is South Africa’s day of celebration of national reconciliation. Sadly, this national reconciliation falters as South Africa struggles through greed, crime and disunity. Ironically, Reconciliation Day arises on the day of the Battle of Blood River, where many Zulus lost their lives, and the formation of Mkhonto weSizwe (MK), a militant arm of the ANC. Neither event was an act of reconciliation but the day is to look forward to the future, rather than the past. 

As South Africa grapples with the legacy of racism in the daunting shadow of greed and crime, it is important to make a few observations. First, South Africa’s focus on reconciliation has been marked by human icons. From Mandela to the MK, human icons have dominated the political and social landscape in South Africa as it strives to make progress to what it sees as reconciliation. Second, reconciliation still seems poorly defined within public dialogue. To some it looks like separate traditional groups remaining separate but equal (how is this different to the old regime?).  Others think that the old ways impede progress and are willing to cast aside tradition for what they view as western progress. Another way reconciliation is poorly defined is by adding to the idea of ethnic reconciliation ideas of ‘social progress’ such as gay marriage, abortion and other social agendas. Third, the road to reconciliation is obscured by how reconciliation must be achieved and with whom. It is this last point that this article will concentrate.  

When we agree that reconciliation is required, we acknowledge that we were once alienated. Reconciliation is the restoration of friendly relations. To require restoration of friendly relations there must have been some falling out. Some animosity has come about but now they now want peace. Therefore the ‘who’ of reconciliation is enemies or alienated persons. 

Therefore, as South Africa strives for reconciliation it must ask itself whom have we alienated and how must we make peace? We need to keep three truths in mind.

The first truth that we need to keep in mind is that God “made from one man every nation of mankind” (Acts 17:26). The Bible says God made each human group from one human common ancestor, unlike the evolutionary philosophy that claims humans have emerged from different nonhuman ancestors. Genetics has recently supported the Biblical viewpoint by showing that all humans have a single common human ancestor only some thousands of years ago. The false philosophy of evolution has supported racism and radical adherence to the Bible has refuted racism. Reconciliation of diverse ethnic groups depends on knowing and affirming the truth. The root of racism is found in false views about where we came from. Truth is the foundation if true unity. 

But the above passage does not simply stop there. It continues and gives us the purpose of God’s creation of various human ethnic groups. It goes on to say that He “determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him.” We have found ourselves separated from God, but he wants us the find reconciliation with him. While “all have sinned”(Romans 3:23), “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them…” (2Corinthians5:19). This reconciliation with God means that the “dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:14) is now broken down which once divided Jew and Gentile, Black and White from God. 

This reconciliation with God is desperately needed. “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent   because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” The storm that interrupted Zuma’s speech will be nothing compared with the “day on which he will judge the world”. We must be reconciled with God before he returns to judge. God’s judgment will come more suddenly than the storm that surprised the President. You can’t delay and you don’t know when it will come. 

If reconciliation is to be meaningful and real, it must begin with making peace with God. Thankfully Jesus settled the dispute on the cross when he paid the penalty of our trespasses and rose again defeating death, the primary symptom of sin. Since God commands everyone everywhere to “repent”, let us turn to God through Jesus his Son. Abandon your sins and trust in Jesus.  

Want to know more? Click here. 

How did life begin?

How did life begin? This is a question that intrigues scholars and the average person alike. Science has shown that the trillions of cells, that make up our bodies, are unfathomably complex with prescriptive information codes at their very core. This issue has two layers that point strongly in one direction: authorship

Spontaneous generation

In medieval times, it was commonly thought that rats, flies and other vermin spontaneously came into existence in certain conditions such as dark and moist cavities (rats) or meat (flies). This belief was handed down from pagan philosophy, centuries before. It was an ignorant and superstitious belief that was largely due to our ancestors’ lack of understanding of life cycles.

Spontaneous generation was soon exposed as false by Rene and Pasteur who demonstrated the doctrine of biogenesis: that life comes from life. The idea that life could spontaneously arise in certain favourable conditions was disproved by robust experiments.

But recently, atheists have revived the old superstition of spontaneous generation and given it a new name. But more about that in a moment.

Chicken or egg? What came first?

Life has many important components but DNA, RNA and proteins (made of amino acids) are essential. Without any one of these three components, life is impossible. DNA is the prescriptive information code that carries the instructions for the blueprint of life. Proteins perform many functions include reading, writing and proof reading DNA and RNA. RNA is a prescriptive information code that is less durable than DNA but more versatile. Proteins transcribe DNA instructions into the temporal code of RNA. A specific type of RNA is used by proteins to produce proteins. But a further type of protein is then needed to fold the proteins so they can function.

Without DNA, there are no instructions or blueprints for proteins. Without RNA, the DNA instructions cannot be translated into proteins. Without Proteins, the DNA and RNA instructions cannot be read, replicated, executed or proof read.

Subscribers to the newly revived superstition of spontaneous generation are trying to cloak superstition with science. Different ideas have been put forward. One idea is that life started when a strand of DNA accidentally formed. Those who push this view point out that proteins require DNA instructions. DNA is exceedingly more stable than RNA. Others argued that, DNA is too rigid, but RNA is more flexible and that is was what spontaneously strung itself together. While some others claim a protein world hypothesis, where a complex protein suddenly formed in a bubbling soup of amino acids. They would point out the RNA is far too unstable to support life.

The fact is they’re all half right. DNA is too inflexible and cannot replicate itself. RNA is incredibly unstable and would not be able to remain stable for long enough to spontaneously generate into meaningful codes. Both DNA and RNA wouldn’t be able to replicate without proteins. And the protein world view is dead in the premordial soup, too, since proteins do not carry their own instructions. Protiens are completely dependant on DNA and RNA for instruction on how to form and function. They all have a deeper problem.

Encoded Information

The difference between life and non life is the existence of functionally specified complexity, which is information. This is not any type information either, but prescriptive information. The question “how did life begin?” can be phrased “How did all that prescriptive information get there?”

The information encoded in DNA is incredibly complex. It is not merely functional or shannon information but a very specifically prescriptive information code. It has not only data but also metadata. In fact, there is more metadata than basic data. Much of the data is contingent on the metadata. This is apparent in DNA splicing. DNA splicing is a process where different parts of multiple genes will be cross read to reveal another code. For example, if you took the capitalised letters out of the following words, you would have “creation”: inCRedible Evidence ATtracts thInking Observers Normally. It can do this because of the metadata in the DNA that tells the protein how to read the code. This is just another reason why mutations can’t improve the genome overall, even when beneficial, since one improvement in one gene will inevitably destroy other genes.

Authorship of life

“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” (Heb 11:3)

The best explanation for encoded prescriptive information is an intelligent author. Human experience, common sense and science supports this.

The Bible teaches all things were made by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3; Genesis 1). So it is no surprise that there is a code in all living things and natural laws that underlie the universe. DNA is a written record of God’s prescription for living things. God made all things by His word and that is why it is so finely tuned!

But something went wrong. We were separated from the Author of life. This led to decay and eventually death. The separation was caused by sin; we had disobeyed the Word of God and so we became separated from the Author of life.

The Author of life

Thankfully, the “Word became flesh”, the very flesh it created, “and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). He came to pay the penalty of our sin on the cross so that we could live in him, reconciled with the Author of lIfe. His name is Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

People rejected and crucified “…the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.” (Act 3:15)

How do you “speak” blessing into your life?

Ever heard that your “words have power”? Ever studied how to “declare” blessings in your life? Here are three Biblical principles that will unlock your understanding of the spiritual implications of words.

Declaring your plans

The Epistle of James was written to Jewish believers in Christ in the earliest era of the church. Keep in mind the following passage is speaking to Christians as you read it. It gives us the most important lesson about speaking.

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:13-17 )

When we read, “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring”, we see not only that our words don’t inform the future but they also don’t affect the future. Therefore, if you assert the future with your words reflecting your will “you boast in your arrogance” not acknowledging the will of God.

Conversely, this is where the key to blessing is! As the proverb says, acknowledging God’s will is crucial.

Proverbs 3:5-7 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.”

Rather than arrogantly declaring the future according to your “own understanding” being “wise in your own eyes”, boldly “acknowledge” God and his sovereign will in everything and “he will make straight your paths”. This is the first crucial step.

Jesus gives us a lesson on words

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Mat 12:33-37)

Words come out of our heart and therefore reflect the inner condition of our hearts. If we speak lies, our hearts are full of deceit. Conversely, if we are filled with the Word of God, then we will boldly speak God’s words. Out of the heart the mouth speaks.

Because our words demonstrate the inner condition of our hearts, we are going to be judged for our words. Since the fruit of the heart ripens from our lips, we will make our hearts known when we open our mouths. Therefore, what we fill our hearts with is the crucial next step.

“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.” (Psalm 119:11-16)

How to speak blessing

The Apostles found themselves in difficulty and challenge and their response is our example. In the book of Acts 4:29, the Apostles prayed asking for deliverance 

“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,”.

There are two things to note about speaking here. First, the apostles make supplication not declaration. They don’t boldly declare but humbly beseech. They don’t think their words can affect the future but they do think the One who hears their words can. Secondly, the words they seek to speak are not desired outcomes, positive thoughts or even “words of faith”, rather they seek to speak God’s own word boldly. This ought to remind us “not my will by thine” and not our words, but God’s words. Fill your heart with God’s treasures and he will lead the way.

Gods words vs our words

If I want to turn on the light, I can say “light, turn on.” But if I do not get up and put my words into effect with my actions, then the light will remain switched off. There is a separation between words and effect that is bridged by action and other factors.

God’s word is powerfully like no other. When God said “Let there be light” there was light. God created all things by his word (Genesis 1; Hebrews 11:3). Instantly God’s words caused and affected God’s will. There is no separation between words and effect for God. God’s words carry their own effect. For the rest of us, we must live by God’s word.

“But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'””(Mathew 4:4 )