Bible Study: Does It Matter?

All people – or at least most that I meet – want their lives and work to “matter.” Sure, they want to be happy, achieve their goals, have satisfying relationships – but they also want to have “made a difference.” That’s how it should be. Not to be self-absorbed with oneself, but be seriously about the business of living a life that is more than just self-gratification. I think this aligns well with the teachings of scripture. Psalm 90:16-17 says, “Let Your Work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.”

That passage points to the fact that if what we do – who we are – is to have eternal significance – it must align with God’s will. In the New Testament we see the added component that the greatest work there is for us to believe and follow Jesus Christ. John 6:28-29: “Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God,that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

As we reflect on God’s work in the world, God’s work through the church, and God’s work in our individual lives, it’s also good for us to honestly reflect on how – or if – we are a part of it unfolding. Can we honestly say that we are using our God-given talents and abilities, our unique personality, to be part of the great work of God’s kingdom come “on earth, as it is in heaven.”

What does that look like? I think it manifests itself in our bringing love, healing, wholeness, peace, and hope – among other things – into the lives of others, in Jesus’s name and to His glory.

Find real, tangible, concrete ways of doing that and you will know that your life matters.

For more study and reflection: Matthew 16:18

What did Jesus say was going to be the earthly foundation for his church worldwide? In whose life was that foundation evident? Was that person perfect? (Here’s a hint: the foundation is rock-solid.)

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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