Living With Purpose

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”- Ecclesiastes 3:1 

Most people struggle with three basic issues in life. The first is identity: “Who am I?” The second is importance: “Do I matter?” The third is impact: “What is my place in life?” As Jesus was concluding  His last day of ministry with His disciples, He washed their feet as an example and said, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them”-John 13:17. Once you know what God wants you to do, the blessing comes in actually doing it. 

There are many “good” things you can do with your life, but God’s purposes are the five essentials you must do. Unfortunately, it is easy to get distracted and forget what is most important. It’s easy to drift away from what matters most and slowly get off course. Can you imagine if we had the future all figured out? Life would not be as exciting! As you progress in your purpose and God reveals more information to you, keep a dialogue open with Him, pay attention to the road signs He provides along the way and listen to Him speak to you through His Word and the Holy Spirit.

God created each of us on this earth for a purpose to do His divine will. When we discover our purpose, then we have to walk in it. In my opinion, working for the Lord is better than working on a physical job itself. A job is a channel, but God is the source! There’s no doubt that God wants you to fulfill your purpose. In fact, it’s your duty since He has given you gifts to do so. However, be mindful not to neglect any of the areas that make up who are while you do His work.

I never knew what my purpose was growing up but God had to open my eyes to a lot of things that I never saw before. No matter who you are, or what you want to accomplish, the only leader you need to move toward your purpose is the Holy Spirit. What’s the purpose of life? Why was I created? Why am I here? Many ask these tough questions and many live their entire lives with these questions unanswered. Well, I have good news! God has a great plan for you. God not only created you with purpose, but with value. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:10 that “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. God planned and prepared your purpose before your parents even knew you existed. 

Knowing your God-given purpose will give your life direction and fulfillment.!

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Made for a Mission

In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. (John 17:18)

The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me (Acts 20:24) 

You were made for a mission. God is at work in the world, and He wants you to join Him. This assignment is called your mission. God wants you to have both a ministry in the Body of Christ and  a mission in the world. Your ministry is your service to believers, and your mission is your service to unbelievers. Fulfilling your mission in the world is God’s five purpose for your life.

Your life mission is both shared and specific. One part of it is a responsibility you share with every other Christian, and the other part is an assignment that is unique to you. Our English word mission comes from the Latin word for “sending” . Being a Christian includes being sent into the world as a representative of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you”– John 20:21 Jesus clearly understood His life mission on earth.  At age 12 He said, “I must be about my Father’s business”-Luke 2:49, and twenty one years later, dying on the cross, He said, “It is finished”-John 19:30. 

Like bookends, these two statements frame a well-lived, purpose driven life. Jesus completed the mission the Father gave Him. The mission Jesus had while on earth is now our mission because we are the Body of Christ. What He did in His physical body, we are to continue as His spiritual body, the church. What is that mission? Introducing people to Jesus! The Bible says, “Christ changed us from enemies to His friends and gave us the task of making others His friends also“-2 Corinthians 5:18

God wants to redeem human beings from Satan and reconcile them to Himself so we can fulfill the five purposes He created us for: to love Him, to be apart of His family, to become like Him, to serve Him, and to tell others about Him. Once we are His, God uses us to reach others. He saves us and then send us out. The Bible says, “We have been sent to speak for Christ”– 2 Corinthians 5:20. We are the messengers of God’s love and purposes to the world. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR MISSION

Fulfilling your life mission on earth is an essential part of living for God’s glory. The Bible give several reasons why your mission is important:

1.) Your mission is a continuation of Jesus’ mission on earth. As His followers, we are to continue what Jesus started. Jesus calls us not only to come to Him, but go for Him. Your mission is so significant that Jesus repeated it five times, in five different ways, in five different books of the Bible. It is as if He was saying, “I really want you to get this”! In the Great Commission Jesus said, “Go to the people of all the nations and make them my disciples . Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I told you”– Matthew 28:19. This commission was given to every follower of Jesus. This is your commission from Jesus, and it is not optional. If you are apart of God’s family, your mission is mandatory! To ignore it would be disobedience.

You may have been unaware that God holds you responsible for the unbelievers who live around you. The Bible says, But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.- Ezekiel 33:9 You are the only Christian some people will ever know, and your mission is to share Jesus with them. 

2.) Your mission is a wonderful privilege.  Although it is a big responsibility, it is also an incredible honor to be used by God. Paul said, “God has given us the privilege of urging everyone to come into His favor and be reconciled with Him“- 2 Corinthians 5:18. Your mission involves two great privileges: working with God and representing Him. We get to partner with God in the building of His Kingdom. Paul calls us “co-laborers” and says, “We are workers together with God” -2 Corinthians 6:1 

Jesus has secured our salvation, put us in His family, given us His Spirit, and then made us His agents in the world. What a privilege! 

3.) Telling others how they can have eternal life is the greatest thing you can do for them. For example, if your neighbor had cancer or AIDS and you knew the cure, it would be criminal to withhold that lifesaving information. Even worse is to keep secret the way to forgiveness, purpose, peace, and eternal life. We have the greatest news in the world, and sharing it is the greatest kindness you can show to anyone. One problem long-term Christians have is that they forget how hopeless  it felt to be without Christ. We must  remember that  no matter how contented or successful people appear to be, without Christ they are hopelessly lost and headed for eternal separation from God. The Bible says, “Jesus is the only One who can save people” -Acts 4:12. Everybody needs Jesus!!!

4.) Your mission has eternal significance.  It will impact the eternal destiny of other people, so it’s more important than any job, achievement, or goal you will reach during your life on earth. The consequences of your mission will last forever; the consequences of your job will not. Nothing else you do will ever matter as much as helping people establish an eternal relationship with GOD. This is why we must be urgent about our mission. Jesus said, “All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the One who sent me, because there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end”- John 9:4. The clock is ticking down on your life mission, so don’t delay another day. 

Get started on your mission of reaching out to others now! We will have all of eternity to celebrate with those we have brought to Jesus, but we only have our lifetime in which to reach them. This does not mean you should quit your job to become a full time evangelist. God wants us to share the Good News where you are. As a student, mother, teacher, salesman, or manager or whatever you do, you should continually look for people God places in your path with whom you can share the Gospel. 

5.) Your mission gives your life meaning. If you fail to fulfill your God-given mission on earth, you will have wasted the life God gave you. Paul said, “My life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus-the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love”- John 9:4 There are people on this earth whom only you will be able to reach, because of where you live and what God has made you to be. If just one person will be in Heaven because of you, your life will have made a difference for eternity. Start looking around at your personal mission field and pray, “God, who have you put in my life for me to tell about Jesus”? 

6.) God’s timetable for history’s conclusion is connected to he completion of our commission. Today there is a growing interest in the second coming of Christ and the end of the world. When will it happen? Just before Jesus ascended to Heaven the disciples asked Him this same question, and His response  was quite revealing. He said, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”- Acts 1:7-8 

When the disciples wanted to talk about prophecy, Jesus quickly switched the conversation to evangelism. He wanted them to concentrate on their mission in the world. He said in essence, “The details of my return are none of your business. What is your business sis the mission I’ve given you. Focus on that”! No one knows the day nor the hour when the Son of Man shall appear- Matthew 24:36. What we do know for sure is this: Jesus will not return until everyone God wants to hear the Good News has heard it. Jesus said, “ The Good News about God’s kingdom will be preached in all the world, to every nation. Then the end will come.”– Matthew 24:14

It is easy to get sidetracked from your mission because Satan would rather have you do anything besides sharing your faith. He will let you do all kinds of good things as long as you don’t take anyone to Heaven with you. But the moment you become serious about your mission, expect the devil to throw all kinds of diversions at you. When that  happens, remember the words of Jesus: “Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the Kingdom of God“- Luke 9:62

WHAT IT COSTS TO FULFILL YOUR MISSION

To fulfill your mission will require that you abandon your agenda and accept God’s agenda for your life. You can’t just “tack it on” to all other things you’d like to do with your life. You must say, like Jesus, “Father…I want your will not mine.” You yield your rights, expectations, dreams, plans, and ambitions to Him. You stop praying for selfish prayers like, “God bless what I want to do”. Instead you pray, “God help me to do what you’re blessing”! You hand God a blank sheet with your name signed at the bottom and tell Him to fill in the details. The Bible says, “Give yourselves completely to God-every part of you… to be tools in the hands of God, to be used for His good purposes.” Romans 6:13

If you will commit to fulfilling your mission in life no matter what it costs, you will experience the blessing of God in ways that few people ever experience. There is almost nothing God won’t do for the man or woman who is committed to serving the Kingdom of God. Jesus has promised, “God will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. Matthew 6:33

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When GOD Seems Distant

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like God was nowhere around you? God is real, no matter how you feel. It is easy to worship God when things are going great in your life-when He has provided food, friends, family, health, and happy situations. But circumstances are not always pleasant. How do you worship God then? What do you do when God seems a million miles away? The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of the pain, thanking God during a trial, trusting Him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving Him when He seems distant.

Friendships are often tested by separation and silence; you are divided by physical distance or you are unable to talk. In your friendship with God, you won’t always feel close to Him. “Any relationship involves times of closeness and times of distance, and in a relationship with God, no matter how intimate, the pendulum will swing from one side to the other”. That’s when worship gets difficult. To mature your friendship, God will test it with periods of seeming separation- times when it feels as if He has abandoned or forgotten you.

God feels a million miles away. Besides Jesus, David probably had the closest friendship with God than anyone. God took pleasure in calling him ” a man after my own heart”. Yet, David frequently complained of God’s apparent absence: “Lord, why are you standing aloof and far away? Why do you hide when I need you the most?” Why have you forsaken me? Why do you remain distant? Why do you ignore my cries for help?” Why have you abandoned me ?’ Psalm 10:1-3

Of course, God hadn’t really left David, and He doesn’t leave you. He has promised repeatedly, ” I will never leave you nor forsake you”.- Hebrews 13:5 But God has not promised “you will always feel my presence”. In fact, God admits that sometimes He hides His face from us. There are times when He appears to be MIA, missing-in-action, in your life. Floyd McClung describes it as this: “You wake up one morning and all your spiritual feelings are gone. You pray, but nothing happens. You rebuke the devil, but it doesn’t change anything. You go through spiritual exercises…..you have your friends and church family pray for you….you confess every sin you can imagine., then go around asking for forgiveness of everyone you know. You fast….still nothing. You begin to wonder how long this spiritual gloom might last. Days? Weeks? Months? Will it ever end?….it feels as if your prayers simply bounce off the ceiling. In utter desperation, you cry out, “What’s the matter with me”? 

The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with you! This is a normal part of testing and maturing your friendship with God. Every Christian goes through it at least once, and usually several times. It is painful and disconcerting, but it is absolutely vital for the development of your faith. Knowing this gave Job hope when he could not feel God’s presence in his life. He said, “ I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find Him. I do not see Him in the north, for He is hidden. I turn to the south, but I cannot find Him. But He knows where I am going. And when He has tested me like gold in a fire, He will pronounce me innocent”. Job 23:8-12

When God seems distant, you may feel that He is angry with you or is disciplining you for some sin. In fact, sin does disconnect us from intimate fellowship with God. We grieve God’s Spirit and quench our fellowship with Him by disobedience, conflict with others, busyness, friendship with the world, and other sins. But often this feeling of abandonment or estrangement from God has nothing to do with sin. It is a test of faith- one we all must face: Will you continue to love, trust, obey, and worship God, even when you have no sense of His presence or visible evidence of His work in your life? 

The most common mistake Christians make in worship today is seeking an experience rather than seeking God. They look for feeling, and if it happens, they conclude that they have worshiped. Wrong! In fact, God often removes our feelings so we won’t depend on them. Seeking a feeling, even the feeling of closeness to Christ, is not worship. When you are a baby Christian, God gives you a lot of confirming emotions and often answers the most immature, self-centered prayers- so you’ll know He exists. But as you grow in faith, He will wean you of those dependencies. 

God’s omnipresence and the manifestation of His presence are two different things. One is a fact; the other is often a feeling. God is always present, even when you are unaware of Him, and His presence is too profound to be measured by mere emotion. Yes, He wants you to sense His presence, but He’s more concerned that you trust Him than that you feel Him. Faith, not feelings, pleases God. The situations that will stretch your faith most will be those times when life falls apart and God is nowhere to be found! This happened to Job. On a single day he lost everything- his family, his business, his health, and everything he owned. Most discouraging- for 37 Chapters, God said nothing! 

How do you praise God when you don’t understand what’s happening in your life and God is silent? How do you stay connected in a crisis without communication? How do you keep your eyes on Jesus when they’re full of tears? You do what Job did: “Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mothers womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, may the name of the Lord be praised” -Job 1:20-21

Tell God exactly how you feel. Pour out your heart to God. Unload every emotion that you’re feeling. Job did this when he said, ‘I can’t be quiet”! I am angry and bitter. I have to speak!” He cried out when God seemed distant: “Oh for the days when I was in my prime , when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house”. God can handle your doubt, anger, fear, grief, confusions, and questions. Did you know that admitting your hopelessness to God  can be a statement of faith? Trusting God but feeling in despair at the same time, David wrote, “I believed , so I said, ‘I am completely ruined!” -Psalm 116:10 

Focus on who God is-His unchanging nature. Regardless of the circumstances and how you feel, hold on to God’s unchanging hands. Remind yourself what you know to be eternally true about God. He is good, He loves me, He is with me, He knows what I’m going through, He cares, and He has a good plan for my life. “Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light”! When Job’s life fell apart, and God was silent, Job still found things he could praise God for:

  • That He is good and loving
  • That He is All Powerful
  • That He notices every detail of my life.
  • That He is in control
  • That He has a plan for my life
  • That He will save me.

Trust God to keep His promises. During times of spiritual dryness you must patiently rely on the promises of God, not your emotions, and realize that He is taking you to a deeper level of maturity. A friendship based on emotion is shallow indeed. So don’t be troubled by trouble. God’s grace is still in full force; He is still for you, even when you don’t feel it. In the absence of confirming circumstances, Job held on to God’s Word. He said, “I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread”. -Job 23:12  This trust in God’s Word caused Job to remain faithful even though nothing made sense. His faith was strong in the midst of pain: “Though he slay me, Yet will I trust in Him.” -Job 13:15 When you feel abandoned by God yet continue to trust Him in spite of your feeling, you worship Him in the deepest way. 

Remember what God has already done for you. If God never did anything else for you, He would still deserve your continual praise for the rest of your life because of what Jesus did for you on the cross. God’s Son died for you and me! This is the greatest reason for worship. Unfortunately, we forget the cruel details of the agonizing sacrifice God made on our behalf. Familiarity breeds complacency. Even before His crucifixion, the Son of God was stripped naked, beaten until almost unrecognizable, whipped, scorned and mocked, crowned with thorns, and spit on contemptuously. Abused and ridiculed by heartless men, He was treated worse than an animal. Then, nearly unconscious from blood loss, He was forced to drag a cumbersome cross up a hill, was nailed to it, and was left to die slow, excruciating torture of death by crucifixion. While His lifeblood drained out, hecklers stood by and shouted insults, making fun of His pain and challenging His claim to be God. 

Next as Jesus took all mankind’s sins and guilt on Himself, God looked away from that ugly sight, and Jesus cried out in total desperation, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me”? Jesus could have saved Himself-but then He could not have saved you or me. Words cannot describe the darkness of that moment. Why did God allow and endure such ghastly, evil mistreatment? Why? So you and I could be spared from eternity in hell, and so we could share in His glory forever!  The Bible says, “Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made Him share our sin in order that in union with Him we might share the righteousness of God”. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus gave up everything so you and I could have everything. He died so we could live forever. That alone is worthy of your continual thanks and praise. Never again would I wonder what I have to be thankful for even when God is silent! 

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Worship That Pleases God

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.- Mark 12:30 (NIV)

God wants all of you. God doesn’t want a part of your life. He asks for all of your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. God is not interested in halfhearted  commitment, partial obedience, and the leftovers of your time and money. He desires your full devotion, not little bits of your life.

Where you worship is not as important as why you worship and how much of yourself you offer to God when you worship. There is a right and wrong way to worship. The Bible says, “Let us be grateful and worship God in a way that will please Him”.-Hebrews 12:28 The kind of worship that pleases God has four characteristics:

God is pleased when our worship is accurate. People often say, “I like to think of God as…”, and then they shared their idea of the kind of God they would like to worship. But we cannot just create our own comfortable or politically correct image of God and worship it. That is idolatry.  Worship must be based on the truth of Scripture, not our opinions about God. “True worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks”-John 4:23-24. To “worship in truth” means to worship God as He is truly revealed in the Bible.

God is pleased when our worship is authentic. When Jesus said you must “worship in spirit”, He wasn’t referring to the Holy Spirit, but to your spirit. Made in God’s image, you are a spirit that resides in a body, and God designed your spirit to communicate with Him. Worship is your spirit responding to God’s Spirit. When Jesus said, “Love God with all your heart and soul”, He meant that worship must be genuine and heartfelt. It is not just a matter of saying the right words; you must mean what you say. Heartless praise is not praise at all! It is worthless, and an insult to God.

When we worship, God looks past our words to see the attitude of our hearts. The Bible says, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”.-1 Samuel 16:7 Since worship involves delighting in God, it engages your emotions. God gave you emotions so you could worship Him with deep feeling-but those emotions must be genuine, not faked. God hates hypocrisy. He doesn’t want showmanship or pretense or phoniness in worship. He wants your honest, real love. We can worship God imperfectly, but we cannot worship Him insincerely.

Of course, sincerity alone is not enough; you can be sincerely wrong. That’s why both spirit and truth are required. Worship must be both accurate and authentic. God-pleasing worship is deeply emotional and deeply doctrinal. We use both our hearts and our heads. Christians often differ on the most appropriate or authentic way to express praise to God. God wants you to be yourself. You don’t bring glory to God by trying to be someone He never intended you to be. 

God is pleased when our worship is thoughtful. Jesus’ command to “love God with all your mind” is repeated four times in the New Testament. If worship is mindless, it is meaningless. You must engage your mind. Jesus called thoughtless worship “vain repetitions”. 

God is pleased when our worship is practical. The Bibles says, “Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship”. Why does God want your body? In worship we are to “offer our bodies as living sacrifices“. God wants us to live for Him! One thing worship costs us is our self-centeredness. You cannot exalt God and yourself at the same time. You don’t worship to be seen by others or to please yourself. You deliberately shift the focus off yourself.

When you praise God even when you don’t feel like it, when you get out of bed to worship when you’re tired, or when you help others when you are worn out, you are offering a sacrifice of worship to God. That pleases God. 

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God’s Power in Your Weakness

We are weak…yet by God’s power we will live with Him to serve you.”-2 Corinthians 13:4 (NIV).

And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.- 2 Corinthians 12:9

God loves to use weak people. Everyone has weaknesses. In fact, you have a bundle of flaws and imperfections: Physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.  You may also have uncontrollable circumstances that weaken you, such as financial or relational limitations. The more important issue is what you do with these. Usually we deny our weaknesses, defend them, excuse them, hide them, and resent them. This prevents God from using them the way He desires. 

God has a different perspective on your weaknesses. He says, “My thoughts and my ways are higher than yours”, so He often acts in ways that are the exact opposite of what we expect. We think that God only wants to use our strengths, but He also wants to use our weaknesses for His glory. The Bible says, “God purposely chose…what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful”,-1 Corinthians 1:27. Your weaknesses are not an accident. God deliberately allowed them in your life for the purpose of demonstrating His power through you.

God has never been impressed with strength or self-sufficiency. In fact, He is drawn to people who are weak and admit it. Jesus regarded this recognition of our need as being “poor in spirit”. It’s the number one attitude He blesses. The Bible is filled with examples of how God loves to use imperfect, ordinary people to do extraordinary things in spite of their weaknesses. If God only used perfect people, nothing would ever get done, because none of us is flawless. God using imperfect people is encouraging news for all of us.

A weakness, or “thorn” as Paul called it, is not a sin or a vice character defect that you can change, such as overeating or impatience. A weakness is any limitation that you inherited or have no power to change. It may be a physical limitation, like a handicap, a chronic illness, naturally low energy, or a disability. It may be an emotional limitation, such as a trauma scar, a hurtful memory, a personality quirk, or a hereditary disposition. Or it may be a talent or intellectual limitation. We’re not all super bright or talented. 

When you think of the limitation in your life, you may be tempted to conclude, “God could never use me”. But God is never limited by our limitations. In fact, He enjoys putting His great power into ordinary containers. The Bible says, “We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us”.  -2 Corinthian 4:7 Like common pottery, we are fragile and flawed and break easily. But God will use us if we allow Him to work through our weaknesses. For that to happen, we must follow the model of Paul.

Admit your weaknesses. Own up to your imperfections. Stop pretending to have it all together, and be honest about yourself. Instead of living in denial or making excuses, take the time to identify your personal weaknesses. If you want God to use you, you must know who God is and know who you are. Many Christians, especially leaders, forget the second truth: We’re only human! If it takes a crisis to get you to admit this, God won’t hesitate to allow it, because He loves you.

Be content with your weaknesses. We want to be freed from our weaknesses, not be content  with them! But contentment is an expression of faith in the goodness of God. It says, “God, I believe you love me and know what’s best for me”. Whenever you feel weak, God is reminding you to depend on Him. Our weaknesses also prevent arrogance. They keep us humble. God often attaches a major weakness to a major strength to keep our egos in check. Our weaknesses also encourage fellowship between believers. 

Honestly share your weaknesses. The more you let down your guard, take off your mask , and share your struggles, the more God will be able to use you in serving others. It can be scary to lower your defenses and open up your life to others. When you reveal your failures, feelings, frustrations, and fears, you risk rejection. But the benefits are worth the risk. Opening up relieves stress, defuses your fears, and is the first step to freedom. We have already seen that God “gives grace to the humble“, but many misunderstand humility. Humility is not putting yourself down or denying your strengths; rather, it is bein honest about your weaknesses. The more honest you are, the more of God’s grace you get. You will also receive grace from others. 

Glory in your weaknesses. Instead of posing as self-confident and invincible, see yourself as a trophy of grace. When Satan points out your weaknesses, agree with him and fill your heart with praise for Jesus, who, ‘understands every weakness of ours,” and for the Holy Spirit, who “helps us in our weakness”. Sometimes, however, God turns a strength into a weakness in order to use us even more. If you want God to bless you and use you greatly, you must be willing to walk with a limp the rest of your life, because God uses weak people! 

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What Drives Your Life?

Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbor. This is also vanity and vexation of the spirit-Ecclesiastes 4:4

The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder- a waif, a nothing, a no man”– Thomas Carlyle

Everyone’s life is driven by something. Most dictionaries define the verb drive as “to guide, to control, or to direct”. Whether you are driving a car,  a nail, or a golf ball, you are guiding, controlling, and directing it at the moment. What is the driving force in your life? Right now you may be driven by a problem, a pressure, or a deadline. You may be driven by a painful memory, a haunting fear, or an unconscious belief. There are hundreds of circumstances, values, and emotions that can drive your  life.

Many people are driven by guilt. They spend their entire lives running from regrets and hiding their shame. Guilt-driven people are manipulated by memories. They allow their past to control their future. They often unconsciously punish themselves by sabotaging their own success. When Cain sinned, his guilt disconnected him from God’s presence, and God said, You will be a restless wanderer on the earth”- Genesis 4:1-16. That describes most people today-wandering through life without a purpose. We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it. God’s purpose is not limited by your past. He turned a murderer named Moses into a leader and a coward named Gideon into a courageous hero, and He can do amazing things with the rest of your life too. God specializes in giving people a fresh start. 

Many people are driven by resentment and anger. They hold on to hurts and never get over them. Instead of releasing their pain through forgiveness, they rehearse it over and over in their minds. Some resentment-driven people “clam up” and internalize their anger, while others “blow up” and explode it onto others. Both responses are unhealthy and unhelpful. Resentment always hurts you more than it does the person you resent. While your offender has probably forgotten the offense and gone on with life, you continue to stew in your pain, perpetuating the past. Listen: Those who have hurt you in the past cannot continue to hurt you now unless you hold on to the pain through resentment. Your past is the past! Nothing will change that. You are only hurting yourself with your bitterness. The Bibles says, “To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do” – Job 5:2. 

Many people are driven by fear. Their fears may be a result of a traumatic experience, unrealistic expectations, growing up in a high control home, or even genetic predisposition. Regardless of the cause, fear-driven people often miss great opportunities because they’re afraid to venture out. Instead they play it safe, avoiding risks and trying to maintain the status quo. Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be. You must move against it with the weapons of faith and love. 

Many people are driven by materialism. Their desire to acquire becomes the whole goal of their lives. This drive to always want more is based on the misconceptions that having more will make more happy, more important, and more secure, but all three ideas are untrue. Possessions only provide temporary happiness. Because things do not change, we eventually become bored with them and then want newer, bigger, better versions. It’s also a myth that if I get more, I will be more important. Self-worth and net worth are not the same. Your value is not determined by your valuables, and God says the most valuable things in life are not things! The most common myth about money is that having more will make me secure. It won’t. Wealth can be lost instantly through a variety of uncontrollable factors. Real security can only be found in that which can never be taken from you- your relationship with God.

Many people are driven by the need of approval. They allow the expectations of parents or spouses or children or teachers or friends to control their lives. Many adults are still trying to earn the approval of unpleasable parents. Others are driven by peer pressure, always worried by what others might think. Unfortunately, those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it. I don’t know all the keys to success, but one key to failure is to try to please everyone. Being controlled by the opinions of others  is a guaranteed way to miss God’s purposes for your life. Jesus said, :No one can serve two masters“. 

There are other forces that can drive your life but all lead to the same dead end: unused potential, unnecessary stress, and an unfulfilled life. Without a purpose, life is motion without meaning, activity without direction, and events without reason. Without a purpose, life is trivial, petty, and pointless. Knowing your purpose gives meaning to your life. We were made to have meaning. When life has meaning, you can bear almost anything; without it, nothing is bearable. Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope. 

http://www.lucretiacargill.com

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The Reason For Everything

For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. A-men’.-Romans 11:36 

The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. -Proverbs 16:4

It’s all for Him. The ultimate goal of the universe is to show the glory of God. It is the reason for everything that exists, including you. God made it all for His glory. Without God’s glory, there would be nothing. What is the glory of God? It is who God is. It is the essence of His nature, the weight of His importance, the radiance of His splendor, the demonstration of His power, and the atmosphere of His presence. God’s glory is the expression of His goodness and all His other intrinsic, eternal qualities.

Where is the glory of God? Just look around. Everything created by God reflects His glory in some way. We see it everywhere, from the smallest microscopic form of life to the vast Milky Way, from sunsets and stars to storms and seasons. Creation reveals our Creator’s glory. In nature we learn that God is powerful, that He enjoys variety, loves beauty, is organized, and is wise and creative. The Bible says, “The heavens declare the glory of God”-Psalm 19:1.

Throughout history, God has revealed His glory to people in different settings. He revealed it first in the Garden of Eden, then to Moses, then in the tabernacle and the temple, then through Jesus, and now through the church. It was portrayed as a consuming fire, a cloud, thunder, smoke, and a brilliant light. In heaven, God’s glory provides all the light needed. The Bible says, “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light”- Revelation 21:23

God’s glory is best seen in Jesus Christ. He is the Light of the world that illuminates God’s nature. Because of Jesus, we are no longer in the dark about what God is really like. The Bible says, ‘The Son is the radiance of God’s glory”-Hebrews 1:3. Jesus came to earth so we could fully understand God’s glory. God’s inherent glory is what He possesses because He is God. It is His nature. We cannot add anything to this glory, just as it would be impossible for us to make the sun shine brighter. But we are commanded to recognize His glory, honor His glory, declare His glory, praise His glory, reflect His glory, and live for His glory. Why? Because God deserves it! 

We owe Him every honor we can possibly give. Since God made all things, He deserves all the glory. The Bible says, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything”-Revelation 4:11 Jesus honored God by fulfilling His purpose on earth.  We honor God the same way. When anything in creation fulfills its purpose, it brings glory to God. Birds bring glory to God by flying, chirping, nesting, and doing other bird-like activities that God intended.

There are many ways to bring glory to God, but they can be summarized in God’s five purposes for your life: 

We bring God glory by worshipping Him. Worship is our first responsibility to God. God wants our worship to be motivated by love, thanksgiving, and delight, not duty. Worship is far more than praising, singing, and praying to God. Worship is a lifestyle of enjoying God, loving Him, and giving ourselves to be used for His purposes. 

We bring God glory by loving other believers. When you were born again, you became apart of God’s family. Following Christ is not just a matter of  believing; it also includes belonging and learning to love the family of God. It is your responsibility to learn how to love as God does, because God is love, and it honors Him. Jesus said, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”- John 13:34-35

We bring God glory by becoming like Christ. Once we are born into God’s family, He wants us to grow to spiritual maturity. What does that look like? Spiritual maturity is becoming like Jesus in the way we think, feel, and act. The more you develop Christlike character, the more you will bring glory to God. The Bible says, “As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more”- 2 Corinthians 3:18 God gave you a new life and a new nature when you accepted Christ. Now, for the rest of your life on earth, God wants to continue the process of changing your character. 

We bring God glory by serving others with our gifts. Each of us was uniquely designed by God with talents, gifts, and skills, and abilities. The way you’re “wired” is not an accident. God didn’t give you your abilities for selfish purposes. They were given to benefit others, just as others were given abilities for your benefit. The Bible says, “God has given gifts to each of you from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you…Are you called to help others? Do it will all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then God will be given the glory”. 1 Peter 4:10-11

We bring God glory by telling others about Him. God doesn’t want His love and purposes kept a secret. Once we know the truth, He expects us to share it with others. This is a great privilege- introducing others to Jesus, helping them to discover their purpose, and preparing them for eternal destiny. 

Living the rest of your life for the glory of God will require a change in your priorities, your schedule, your relationships, and everything else. It will sometimes mean choosing a difficult path instead of an easy one. Even Jesus struggled with this. Knowing He was about to be crucified, He cried out: ‘My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, “Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour, Father, glorify Thy name. God will give you what you need if you will just make the choice to live for Him.

http://www.lucretiacargill.com

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