Tag Archives: purpose

The Lord is Coming

weekly theme #1 The Lord Is Coming*    

the first Sunday of Advent

Sometimes I wish I had been with Jesus while he was on earth, but I know I’m in a better spot now.  I am privileged to have written accounts of his arrival, life, and departure.  Most importantly, I have the Holy Spirit with me constantly to comfort, convict, and guide.  Then I would have just been with Jesus, but now the Lord is in me.

Paul says that Jesus the Christ has made peace between God and all creation through his willingness to sacrifice himself.  (Colossians 3)  His coming was a response of God’s love for his creation.  Even now God comes to me because of his love – not my works, virtue, or sacrifice.  He comes to me, not because of my beauty or value but because of his.

Jesus entry as a babe had a purpose of grand and eternal significance.  He came to complete his work, to be the Lord and the Truth.  My work is not nearly so grand.  In fact, I may be here only to exemplify love and faithfulness to others.  Perhaps I can be the Jesus they see in an ordinary situation that, unknown to me, has eternal results.

In the times of the Old Testament, priests offered blood sacrifices for sins, and only at certain times could a certain Priest enter the Holy of Holies – the presence of God.  Jesus changed everything.  His sacrifice erases sins forever, so no further blood sacrifices are needed.  Additionally, Jesus, as High Priest, has opened the Holy of Holies to me so I may enter God’s presence.  Jesus continues to change everything.  He is the change.  All the things I think change the world are actually tools he may use for change: education, prayer, generosity, humility, military power, science, creativity, religious organizations, and more.  The Lord changes everything.

*A Guide To Prayer For Ministers And Other Servants by Job and Shawchuck provided the scripture references and readings that inspired these reflections.  I found this devotional to be the most heart changing of any I’ve used.  It truly lives up to its title.

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Chosen By God

weekly theme #27*

week containing the Sixth Sunday of Easter

When I think of being chosen by God, I think of having some mission or purpose to accomplish.  Yet the first part of being chosen, the first part that never ends, is receiving.  I receive his guidance, care, protection, and discipline.  Until I receive from him, even the amount of my faith in him, I have no hope of accomplishing any mission.  God’s mission for me is unique from the missions of others because each of us is unique.  He uses a great variety of us to work in harmony for his fame and glory.

Paul says God reached out to me before I showed any interest in him.  In fact, Paul writes that God restored my relationship as his friend while I was still his behaving as his enemy.  (Romans 5:8-10)  He did this knowing beforehand what a rebellious, inconsistent, and dull follower I would be.  God chose me despite my qualities, not because of them.  What’s more, he invites me to join in carrying his cross, to suffer with him.  My willingness to do this is my expression of love to him.  It is an opportunity, not a punishment.

How involved is God in the details?  I have no doubt that he knew of me from the start of time, but was it by his design that I was born at this specific time and place.  I think so, and that makes the people and conditions in my path potentially divine appointments.  Why now?  Why here?  Why me?

The mind seeks to know and understand, and the heart seeks to be known and understood.  My mind seeks to know and understand God, but my heart’s longing is that he will know me and accept me as I offer myself to him.  The heart is content for he has called and chosen me as his own.  How I respond to being chosen has more to do with my actions than my feelings.  The question is whether I obey even when it’s painful.

I wondered what Psalm 126:6 meant, “They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.”   The Amplified Bible helped understand why they wept as they sowed.  They were in a famine.  This grain they were sowing could sustain them for the short-term, but they would starve in the long-term if they planted no crop.  And if there was no harvest, the sowing was for nothing.  Their act of sowing the seed was a total commitment in faith.  That is the proper response to being chosen – all-in obedience.

*A Guide To Prayer by Job and Shawchuck provided the scripture references and readings that inspired these reflections.  I found this devotional to be the most heart changing of any I’ve used.  It truly lives up to its title.

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What Will I Do? part 1

Just recently I have come to realize that this simple sentence contains four important questions.

What will I do?  Knowing the what seems to be more important than ever.  So many choices lie before me.  In fact, the options seem to multiply the more I explore.  But I’m learning that sometimes there isn’t a perfect what.   It seems that every what has some risks as well as rewards.  Some negatives as well as some positives.  I will never be able to state with any confidence that I know the outcome of my choice.  And of course my current choice of what may only be a stepping stone to what is next.

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What Will I Do? part 2

What will I do?   The question doesn’t ask what I want to do.  Honestly, what I want to do is sometimes selfish, worthless, indulgent, shortsighted, or even illegal.  It doesn’t ask what I like to do.  It doesn’t ask what I promise, intend, or even what I should do.  It asks what I will do.  It’s asking what am I going to start and finish.  My life is littered with projects started but poorly finished, if finished at all.  This question exposes my will power.  What will I do?  Come challenges or obstacles or opposition, what will I do?

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What Will I Do? part 3

I usually fail to connect the following two sentences into one thought.  

Somebody should do something.  I am somebody. 

What will I do?  The question doesn’t ask me what the government will do.  It doesn’t ask what the church will do.  It doesn’t even ask what my neighbor  will do.  Somehow I have convinced myself that “they”, whoever that may be, should do something, but I am not the one to do it.  I have exempted myself.  But this question won’t let me step aside.  It pushes me to the edge until I cry,  “Okay, I will do something!”  I am accountable for me, and my sins of inaction outweigh my sins of action.  Besides, what I will do may prompt others to action.  My model of action may prove more important than my actual action.

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