Giving the world a "new" approach to life
The following famous quote has been attributed to renowned mathematician, physicist, and philosopher
"There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus."
Life is the pursuit of fulfilling basic human needs. If we try to meet them with our own understanding, we will become disillusioned, frustrated, discouraged, and depressed. However, if we follow God's design, we will experience the joy and fulfillment that comes from achieving our basic life purposes.
God designed us in His image and likeness so that we would have a continuous fellowship with Him. He also made us so that we would need Him and His daily provisions for us. This interaction is not to be based on a man-made "religion" but on a God-ordained relationship through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
Man's way to meet this need: study different religions
God's way to meet this need: learn Christ's commands
Jesus promises that we will know God and His love through His commands, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him"
Every person wants to be special to those who are important in his or her life. If there is favoritism in the family, then friends outside the family are looked to for acceptance and approval.
Man's way to meet this need: make close friends
God's way to meet this need: make strong disciples
As we teach the "life transforming" commands of Christ, our hearers will become very special to us. We, in return, will become important to them. Paul experienced this with those whom he discipled.
Loneliness is experienced when we have no one with whom we can share our innermost thoughts and feelings. However, if we share the secrets of our heart with friends, we run the risk of them leaving us and misusing the information we gave them.
Man's way to meet this need: share secrets with friends
God's way to meet this need: share truth with disciples
New Christians are compared to children that need feeding: "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (I Peter 2:2). Jesus said to Peter, ". . . lovest thou me . . . feed my sheep" (John 21:15-17). Peter said to the elders, " "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof"
(I Peter 5:2).
It is not enough to simply share our heart with other people. We want them to understand what we are saying. We do not want them to be confused and later misquote what we said.
Man's way to meet this need: do more talking
God's way to meet this need: explain deeper truths
A mature believer will understand the deeper truths of God's Word and maturity comes by understanding right and wrong: "Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age [mature], even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:16).
We long to do great works because we were created in God's image and likeness, and He is a God of great and mighty works. However, we are not to do great works for ourselves, but rather to advance God's Kingdom. As God states, "Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not" (Jeremiah 45:5).
Man's way to meet this need: fulfill personal ambitions
God's way to meet this need: make "disciple-makers"
If one believer made ten disciples each year and those disciples did the same, mathematically speaking, within ten years every person in the world would be discipled. Nothing could be greater than this.
Thus we are told, "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (II Timothy 2:2).
It is not very fulfilling to do great things which fade away. We have a need to accomplish things that will last beyond our lifetime. No doubt this was the motivation that caused pharoahs to build pyramids. However, even pyramids will be destroyed in time.
Man's way to meet this need: build personal monuments
God's way to meet this need: lay up eternal treasures
There are two things that will last beyond our lifetime:
We are in the spiritual lineage of those whom Paul led to Christ, and we are strengthened by the epistles he wrote to Christ's disciples.
Those who give their lives for great achievements may receive a medal, a trophy, or some other human recognition, but as generations come and go, the glory of this recognition fades.
Man's way to meet this need: work for man's praise
God's way to meet this need: work for God's approval
We can receive no greater recognition than that of our Heavenly Father saying, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
(See Matthew 25:14-46.) He also promised that if we are faithful unto death, He will give us a crown of life that fadeth not away. (See 1 Peter 5:4 and Revelation 2:10.)
Paul described his disciples as his joy and his crown. (See Philippians 4:1.) Based on that description, the more people we disciple in the commands of Christ, the more awesome our crown will be throughout eternity.