Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
By clicking any link on this page you are giving your consent for us to set cookies. More Info
[Steve] Have you ever asked people around you "What do you think is the biggest problem in the world?"
Well, if you did, you'd probably get a lot of different answers. I did.
Is there any word that describes kind of the situation right here?
> Yeah, I believe the word would be "mistrust."
>> It's selfishness.
[Steve] What one word describes what's been going on?
>> To me, it would be "senseless." I don't understand it. It doesn't make any sense to me.
[Steve] The world can be a chaotic and confusing place today. Your world can be a chaotic and confusing place.
How do you begin to deal with the problems? How can we individually win the challenges in our lives?
And where should you start? Well today we're going to examine three of the most incredible concepts in the Bible.
Stay tuned to Beyond Today as we discover, "Three Mind-Bending Truths."
[Announcer] Join our host, Steve Myers and his guests, as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today !
[Steve] I think we all know the world's in a mess. As I talked to people on the street, it seemed like an endless list of problems.
> It's greed and the way we treat the earth.
>> The inequality of wealth.
> We've got to rid of racism here in this country, which, honestly speaking, I don't think we ever will.
[Steve] What do you think is the biggest challenge that faces the world?
>This disturbing precedence for violence and destruction, all the wars we've seen.
>> A lot of people spend so much time hating and hating.
> We are looking at so much death and destruction, so much war. What have we learned? It does not appear as though we have learned a lot.
[Steve] We have learned that issues go unresolved--and as we come closer to home, we have to deal with the economy, addictions, the breakdown of the family.
> I have been so concerned about the--like, the depletion of the world resources and I've been so depressed and pessimistic about the political situation…
>> That people have no concern for other people. It's "me, me, me."
> Everybody's walking around almost like they're just waiting for that ball to drop.
[Steve] Well what's going to happen? That kind of stress and pressure around us can steal our hope and our joy. If ever there were a time to be reminded of the consequences, it's now. There is a terrible cost to sin.
Now--we all have problems. Between the problems of the world and our own personal problems, it's not surprising that we feel stressed and at times overwhelmed.
Do you feel out of sorts? If so, you have to ask, "What's the point?" If we're to find an explanation, we have to question: What am I doing? What is life's purpose? You know, if we're to find a new perspective, a permanent solution, we have to start with the core understanding of: Why?
Now think about it for a moment: Have you ever felt like a fish out of water?
Well living in this world, without knowing God's plan, is like being a fish out of water.
When my kids were little, I liked to take them fishing. It wasn't serious fishing--it was just for fun, off the stream bank. Well on one of our expeditions, I remember catching quite a few little perch. Of course, the kids couldn't just catch and release them. They wanted to take them home for supper! So I put them in a live well basket to keep them until we were ready to go.
Well as we were fishing, my son got distracted. I looked over and there he was trying to play with a fish on the shore. Of course it was flopping and jumping all around. So I came over to my son and I said well, what's going on? He said, he was teaching the fish to like it on the shore.
Well I told him, that's going to be pretty tough convincing that fish--that he's wiggling and jumping all over the place. So in his little-boy wisdom, he reasoned: "it would be good if he learned to like it on the land. It would be so much easier for me to play with him."
Well I thought for a moment on how to help him understand. I said, "We've got to put that fish back because it can't be what it's been created to be when it's out of the water."
So we grabbed that little fish and put him back in the water, and sure enough--that little fishy desperation was gone, and it seemed to come to life, and it swam and it swam. You know, we couldn't help smiling about it.
I think my son realized at that time that no matter how long that fish flopped around on the beach, it would never adjust to land. It would never fit in on the shore and it couldn't be satisfied. It couldn't be happy. Now even if the fish tried to believe it could adapt and learn to like it--it never could succeed. In fact, it would eventually die.
So here's the question: Do you feel like a fish out of water?
Facing all the challenges of life--your problems, your job, your dissatisfaction and yes, even your religion can make you feel like a fish out of water.
In fact, could it be possible that God is telling you that you are a fish out of water in this world? I think so.
You were created for a great purpose. You don't have to be like that fish. And if it seems like you're flopping and wiggling your way through life, it's time for a change. Don't let the world around you try to convince you to just blend in or fit in and conform to its ways.
You see the point? It's tough to be what you've been created to be when you're a fish out of water--not knowing your ultimate purpose.
You need a more reliable stream, a satisfying stream. This world is making you a fish out of water. It's a shoreline of disaster that wants to mold and shape us all into something that God didn't intend.
It shows itself in our lives when we feel like: What's the difference? Is there more than just getting up, going to work, coming home, going to bed and then repeating that thing all over again?
Life is more than just making money, gaining social status and getting all the right stuff.
Is there really a purpose to life?
> I'm sure there is--I don't know, maybe I'll find out at the end of it.
[Steve] What is our purpose?
> To live. Enjoy life.
[Steve] Enjoy life?
>> I concur with that.
[Steve] Okay, so is that it though? Just to live life and enjoy it, and that's it. At the end of the day, that's it?
> I've got to live for today. And right now, it's not a beautiful thing to see.
[Steve] It seems like there's so many difficulties. I mean, is there really a purpose? When you really get down to, here's my life--what is the point? What's the purpose?
> That's a good question. I've often asked myself that.
[Steve] Now when you answer that question:--what is God's purpose for me?--it makes all the difference in the world! You can breathe and swim--and really live!
Wouldn't you love to have a confidence that can't be shaken, no matter what the consequences, no matter what those circumstances in your life are?
Wouldn't you like to have clear-cut direction on your life's journey?
How about a new perspective that frames not only the sorrows and the struggles of this world, but also a fresh viewpoint that's a framework for the good, as well?
You see, when you understand God's plan for you, you can have help for today and hope for tomorrow.
So, today we're going to examine some of the most incredible, mind-bending truths about the great love and amazing plan that God has in store for you!
This tiny glimpse into your remarkable potential will help motivate and encourage you through the trials and challenges you face in this river of temporary life that we have.
Now the reason I call these passages mindbenders is because a mindbender is something that radically affects your thinking and perceptions--something exciting, beautiful, maybe even shocking. This truth of God is exactly that. It's something that should drastically change your thinking and perception of God, of religion and the message of the Bible.
Today, we're going to discover three mind-bending truths.
God is an extraordinary family. He wants a close relationship with us. Now today, it can be hard to find a good example of what family should be. Families are too often dysfunctional. Relationships broken. A concept of a wonderful, loving family is often, from our experience today, it's hard to find. But with God--it's different. You have a truly loving Father--a God who wants the absolute best for you. Notice how much He wants for us:
"... it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2). Now what exactly does that mean? What does it suggest by saying, "we shall be like Him"?
From the beginning, His purpose was to create an extraordinary family. You may remember what He said in Genesis: "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...So God created man in His own image" (Genesis 1:26-27). You see, there is no doubt that men and women are created in God’s image and His likeness. Why? To be like Him.
But wait a minute. Did you notice something odd about that verse? "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." You see there's more than one individual being mentioned here. Now that should be a mindbender to you!
Did you realize that at the beginning, there were two divine Beings: God and the Word--the One who would become the Son, and the Father. That's why your Bible says, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness."
You see from the very beginning, the word "God" used in this passage is not just referring to the Father but that it's a family name. Have you ever thought about the God family? God is a divine family made up of more than one person.
So who is in the God family right now? Now the God family is made up of the Father and the Son: God the Father and Jesus Christ. There is one God family--consisting of more than one God Being. Father and Son. You see this points to the extraordinary family they have. You see, it's all about family!
Mind-bending Truth #1: God is an extraordinary family.
Now, even though we live in what often feels like a crazy, mixed up world, God has an amazing destiny in store for you--and it has to do with family. Now to help you better grasp what lies ahead, let me tell you about our free Bible study aid: The Gospel of the Kingdom. The term "gospel" means good news. Having the knowledge and the hope of what lies ahead--and your part in it--can make all the difference in your life today.
So request your free copy of The Gospel of the Kingdom by calling us toll free: 1-888-886-8632.That's 1-888-886-8632. Or, go online to BeyondToday.tv . Knowing God's purpose will change your life for the best. Find out more about it by ordering your free study aid today.
Understanding God's purpose for you makes all the difference in the world! You don't have to feel like a fish out of water. You see when you know God's purpose, it brings help for today and hope for the future--for tomorrow.
What do you think it is that lies beyond this life?
> I don't know. It's something that you think about and you wonder.
>> I would love to know. I don't know if anybody's given you the answer to that yet. I don't know. You know, that is the greatest mystery in our world--we don't know.
[Steve] But we can know! You can know your future--the purpose for which you were created.
That's why we began looking at an incredible, mind-bending concept--God is a family. Right now the God family consists of the Father and His Son Jesus, but there are many, many more to follow.
Now as incredible as it may seem, God wants to add you and me to His divine family. He will increase the God family, with us as His very own children!
Now that's a mindbender. You may have been taught that you die and you go to heaven, and maybe sprout wings and be like an angel; or perhaps you'll stare into God's face for eternity; or sing and sing and sing forever at His throne. But you know, these are myths. If you'll take the challenge, if you'll check it out, you'll find that it's not what the Bible teaches.
Do you think there is anything beyond this life?
> Yeah, I feel there's an afterlife. I feel there is.
[Steve] Any idea what that might be like?
> Hopefully it's better than what's going on here on this earth!
[Steve] What's beyond this? If there's some existence beyond what's going on now, what is it like?
>> I cannot answer that.
> It still casts a shadow of a doubt. It means you're not for sure.
[Steve] But you can be sure. The plan is about family.
Mindbender #2: God is producing spiritual children. Now you don't have to believe me, but if stay with me for a moment, you'll see for yourself what God inspired in your Bible.
In a nutshell, your incredible potential is to be born into God's own family--His children, having His attitude, His perspective, His character, His own divine nature. You see, that's not kind of like an angel, or sort of like a cherub or something like that.
Think of it this way. We've all seen the SUV's with the stick figure family decals. Even if you're in Australia or Europe, you've probably seen them. The characters represent the family: dad, mom, son, daughter.
Well, here's the point: God gave us the human family as a representation of what He is doing spiritually. When you're born into a physical family, you're like your Father. And when you're born into the God family--you'll be like God.
So looking at the car window, you can tell that whole family goes together. The little ones--they're not pets or some other kind of being--they are like mom and dad.
So for a moment, let's imagine looking at what God's car window might look like. The Bible reflects that window. It started at creation. You remember the story. God created night and day, sky and sea, land and plants, stars and planets, sea creatures and animals, too.
But have you ever noticed what God said as He created plants and animals?
Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind; and it was so" (Genesis 1:24).
How did they reproduce? It says, "each according to its kind." So, lions produce lions and giraffes produce giraffes, and flowers produce flowers, dogs produce dogs.
But here's the mind-bending truth: It's no different for mankind. After what "kind" were we created? People were created according to the "God kind"--not just to be physical beings. That's why God said: "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness."
You see, God’s purpose goes far beyond the creation of mortal, physical, perishable human beings. He wants us to ultimately be a part of His spiritual family. In His Kingdom, we are to be like God--spirit members of His family.
If you think of it this way, looking at God's car window, it would have God the Father--the head of the family, and Jesus Christ--our elder brother, and our potential? It's to be right there on the window too--of the God kind--a part of the divine family! We wouldn't be the cat or the dog or something down there at the end of the line. We'd be full-fledged family members.
No wonder God also tells us, "I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty" (2 Corinthians 6:18). And He really means it. The Father wants us to be His full children, to transform us into the very kind of beings that He and Christ are now.
You see that family relationship--becoming children of God the Father--is right there at the heart and core of God’s incredible plan for mankind and for you! God wants to bring you into His eternal family forever as one of His offspring.
Have you ever noticed this mind-boggling passage before? God says this to us--to human beings: "I said, 'You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High' " (Psalms 82:6).
Now, what will God's children be like? Well God’s children will be like the Father and be like Jesus Christ--their divine Brother. Jesus Christ is God the Son. He is like God the Father with the same kind of glory and power.
So can you grasp it? Scripture tells us that God’s other children--you and I--resurrected and glorified, will be like the Father and like Christ! That's talking about us. We will be the same kind of beings that the Father and Jesus are--divine beings!
Now if it weren't right there in black and white in your Bible, you might say--that's farfetched. But it's not. God is opening your eyes to truly see. Take note of all of those biblical passages that prove it to be true. I mean here's another one: "God is the One who made all things, and all things are for his glory. He wanted to have many children share his glory...Jesus, who makes people holy, and those who are made holy are from the same family. So he is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters" (Hebrews 2:10-11, NCV).
I am sure you caught the wording. What does God want? Many children; they share His glory; they are made holy, they are of the same family; they are brothers and sisters of Christ. Now isn't that the kind of family you've always wanted? That's the ultimate family.
And this awesome future is the whole purpose and reason that God made mankind. It's why we were born, why we exist! Just imagine it.
Now up next is Mindbender #3, right after I remind you about our free Bible study aid: The Gospel of the Kingdom.
The Kingdom of God is the central theme of the Bible and it has everything to do with your future and destiny. Call us at: 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632 and order your free copy of The Gospel of the Kingdom. Or, go online to BeyondToday.tv and download your free copy.
You need a positive message--the good news of the coming Kingdom of God. So, I encourage you to pick up your phone or go to our website and order your free copy of our study aid, The Gospel of the Kingdom.
And when you do, we'll also send you our free bi-monthly magazine. Each issue is filled with articles to help you better understand the Bible. If you'd like to know what's ahead for our world and more about your great purpose in life, you need this magazine.
To order our free publications call: 1-888-886-8632 or go online at BeyondToday.tv . You are also welcome to write us at the address shown on your screen throughout the program [Beyond Today, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254].
The three truths we've been discussing today can drastically change your thinking and perception of God and His amazing plan. When you understand His purpose, it can make all the difference.
Now to our third mind-bending truth.
Not just a little bit of God--now, what do I mean by that? Well notice how the apostle Paul explains it. He says he was given the job to "reveal for all people what is the fellowship of the mystery…according to the eternal purpose…" (Ephesians 3:9-11).
So he's talking about God's purpose for you--His plan--God's commitment to you. He's says that plan is so amazing and His purpose is so incredible that it causes him to worship:
"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named… and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:9-19, MEV).
What does it mean? Well let's break it down. If you're named after God, what's your new family's last name? Well, it would have to be "God." And the Bible says you're named after God--meaning you've got to be a full-fledged member of God's family.
Now, this is incredible: If you're filled up to all the fullness of God, what are you? It can only mean that you'd have to be a divine spirit being like God, in His eternal family.
So the mind-bending part of the plan is: we won't have just a little bit of God, or be sort of, kind of, something like God. Holy Scripture reveals that we will be filled with the fullness of God. In fact, not just a little bit, but all the fullness of God.
You see the startling reality is that God is building His family--and in the Kingdom of God, you can become a literal son or daughter. Imagine it--a God-being, a full member of His spiritual family. So no wonder God's called our Father. He's fathering His Own spiritual children.
That's why the apostle Peter says: "He has given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, so that through these things you might become partakers of the divine nature…" (2 Peter 1:4).
Did you catch that priceless promise? We can be given God's divine nature. The Father and Christ will be at the top of the family forever, reigning supreme and we can be spirit-born members of His family. That's the mind-bending purpose for which you were created. It's the incredible truth as to why you and I were born! It's the ultimate potential destiny of all mankind. Your future can’t get any better than that!
Now, remember our free offers. Order your free copy of our study aid, The Gospel of the Kingdom of God . And, we'll also send you your free subscription to our bi-monthly magazine. Call us toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632. Or, you can read both The Gospel of the Kingdom and our magazine at BeyondToday.tv .
Now remember, all of our publications are absolutely free of charge and offered as an educational service. You can be assured your name and address will not be given to anyone. So, please call us or write.
And, if you'd like to learn even more about the wonderful truths of the Bible, be sure to watch our live, bi-weekly, Wednesday night Beyond Today Bible Studies on the Web. To find them, simply go to our Beyond Today website and click on "Bible Study Tools."
The United Church of God has hundreds of Sabbath-keeping congregations meeting on Saturday across the United States and in many other countries around the world. To find us, simply go to BeyondToday.tv and click on "Find a congregation." You are welcome to call or to e-mail one of our pastors, ask them a question or find out some additional information about the Church.
God has an incredible purpose for your life. He doesn't want you to feel like you're a fish out of water. Your destiny, the reason you were born is to become immortal children in God's family.
The mind-bending reality is that God is a family. The Father and Jesus Christ will head up the family of potentially billions of divine children forever.
Today, we may be ordinary people but we have an extraordinary Heavenly Father. He is creating in His children His own divine character, His holy, righteous character and giving us His family name.
So never underestimate the value of your life. You were born to become one of God’s children. You were born to receive His nature and eternal life.
This amazing truth should change your thinking and perception and the way you live your life today.
You were born to become an immortal child of God in His divine family forever. So keep looking to His Word, and learn more of His plan for you.
Well that's our program for today. Thanks for joining me. Don't forget our free offers and be sure and tell your family and friends about us. Tune in again next week for another edition of Beyond Today and join me in praying, "Thy Kingdom come." For Beyond Today , I'm Steve Myers. Thanks for watching.
[Announcer] For the free literature offered on today's program, go online to BeyondToday.tv . Please join us again next week on Beyond Today !