I have been given a Purpose

Refocused

And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” ~ Luke 10:27, NASB

God has purposed life for me. He has had a plan since the foundation of the world. But it isn’t all about me. Life, my life is not all about me; my pursuits, my hopes and dreams. My life isn’t supposed to be centered on myself.

I need to refocus of God’s purpose.

Though all my plans and striving and frustrations, God’s purpose isn’t complicated. In writing, we talk about a hook–the pitch that boils down the entirety of our work, which can range up to three or four hundred pages. Boiling that down to one sentence is one of the hardest exercises for the writer’s brain. But it’s a must–it focuses our work, defines our efforts and refines the final product.

God’s purpose is refined in one statement as well. Love The Lord with all my heart, and love others. In this twin command we gain clear definition. It applies to every aspect of living, and makes clear God’s purpose in that life He has promised. And it defines His vision for my life, which gives me purpose. . . refocused.

I have been given a Purpose

I Have Been Given a Purpose

 

For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. —2 Cor. 5:4-6, NASB

Reading this gave me chills. I was doing a search to Biblically define life’s purpose. I was thinking more along the lines of the Westminster Short Catechism—“to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Don’t get  me wrong—I think that’s a correct statement, but this verse jolted me right out of the here and now, out of the practical applications that we all crave, and into an eternal mindset. What is God’s purpose for me? Did you see it up there? Right before the pledge, which is the Spirit, we have a statement of intent. He prepared His people to be ‘swallowed up by life.’

Isn’t that glorious? SWALLOWED up by life! LIFE! Not just pinched by it, not nipped, not tickled by it. But swallowed. Completely.

My everyday living and doing varies. Today I’m on my own, which is very rare in my busy household. But today, God’s purpose for me is life. Tomorrow, all four of my children will be around, we’ll be hanging out together at a horse show, and then we’ll come home hot, sweaty and smelling like an arena. But in all that, God’s purpose for me is life. In several days I will see a friend I haven’t seen in a decade. I’ll meet her sweet family, spend several days reacquainting our lives while we revisit sweet memories of the past. And in all that God’s purpose is life.

Not that I will fully know it. Paul said that we groan as we look forward to leaving what is mortal in exchange for the eternal. But in the days in between longing and fulfillment, I get to look forward to it. Imagine it. Rehearse it. Life. Eternal life.

Because He has prepared me for that very purpose.

Note: Please join me in continued prayer for our lovely friend Susan. The process of moving has her occupied again this week. We’ll look forward to her wisdom another week.

I am a trophy of grace

Not Left on the Shelf

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. ~Philippians 1:6-7 NASB

Partakers of grace. That’s a different kind of trophy. Not the kind that is won, set up on the shelf, and left to collect dust. We, the prize of Christ, the proof of His power and of His grace, are also instruments of that very grace. Commissioned to participate in His Kingdom not only as jewels to His crown, but as citizens and ambassadors of His love.

I received a dictionary about twenty years ago—a nice one. Hardback, embossed with my name and everything. It was a prize, a trophy of sorts, for an academic achievement. It’s the only trophy from my high school days I still keep on the shelf. Not because I use it to brag about accomplishments long since won, which is not the point of this post, but because it’s useful. It doesn’t serve merely as a decorative dust-collector. It has a commission in my life and continues to be useful.

Jesus didn’t win us to His kingdom simply to put us on His display shelf. His love and good intentions go so far beyond that. We have been called to display His character to the world. Called to bring Him praise with everything we do. We’re a unique kind of trophy. Won for His glory and commissioned with purpose.

Has the dust begun to gather? Seek His kingdom. Participate in His gospel. Approve the things that are excellent. Let Him fill you with the fruit of His righteousness. Partake in His grace.

There is much to do. Praise God, His grace does not leave us on the shelf.