For His Purpose

The all encompassing question as we go through the ever moving pages of the calendar, What is my purpose?Looking back upon yesterday or last week, the month or year that came and has now gone; what was my purpose, my intent? Have I accomplished anything that matters, did I fulfill the purpose for which I was born? Its a question that fills each of our minds from time-to-time.

It was my 50th birthday that really caught me in deep reflection of these questions. Questions that caused me to consider the importance of the days that add up to create the years that become the story of our lives. As I greeted that day, that moment of time in which I reached that number 50 in my story, I was asking where had the time gone. What did I have to show for those years, what filled the pages of my story? My husband actually turned my attention to the wall of pictures that lined our hall. The faces of my children, my grandchildren, family members that have come and those that have gone. Nothing that sat around my home, no artifact or painting became a semblance of my life, but the faces that I saw lining the hall, the face that were pieces of my life revealed the purpose for which I had been created. My purpose was within each of those relationships, each of the stories that came about because of the pages of my story.

Each day, I interact with others. Sometimes it is family, sometimes it is friends, but sometimes it is people that I may never see again. Within each of those interactions I have the opportunity to be used for a purpose, God’s purpose. The fulfillment of my purpose lies in how I respond to that single moment in time.

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” II Timothy 1:9

According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Ephesians 3:11

His purpose within each of our lives is an eternal purpose. What we do today may not seem that relevant, yet in the pages of eternity it has the ability to become a monumental day. Not all of our moments seem like those that will have such significance, but it becomes the overall affect of those moments linked together that establish the testimony that takes on eternal value in the lives of those we meet along the way. For His purpose we have been given the riches of His grace not for us to keep to ourselves, but for us to share with others. He has given us all that we need to fulfill His purpose, He has imparted to us the knowledge and wisdom we need to share the mystery of all that He is and will be in eternity past, present and future.

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace: wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence: having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself” Ephesians 1:7-9

So it is that we live today with purpose, knowing that in us and through us He works toward the good of all that we meet along the way. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

For His Purpose . . .

In the Beginning God

I recently joined a ladies Bible Study group and the first assignment was to read the first book of Genesis. As I began to read I wasn’t able to get past the first phrase of the first verse. “In the beginning God . . .” Wow, have you ever paused there and just contemplated the power of all that is represented by that phrase?

I did a search to look at the word God found throughout the Bible, as I scrolled through I could not help but see my smallness (minuteness, meagerness, inadequacy) and His massiveness (immenseness, vastness, sufficiency).

Genesis 1:3 “And God said, . . .”

Genesis 1:4 “And God saw, . . .”

Genesis 1:5 “And God called, . . .”

Genesis 1:7 “And God made . . .”

Genesis 1:21 ” And God created . . .”

Genesis 1:22 “And God blessed. . . “

So much is contained within the first chapter of the Bible, so much is revealed about the power and magnitude of the God that we serve. Each aspect of our lives should reveal the attributes of the God that we see in Genesis 1. We should be demonstrating to the world the realization of the Creator that we serve, the Master of the universe, the Redeemer of the world. Each day should begin with the knowledge of all that we have within our reach, the ability to come before the God of all beginnings, the Father of all that come unto Him.

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22: 13-14

In the beginning God . . .” Genesis 1:1

In the Midst of Vexation

“And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries.” II Chronicles 15:5

When reading this scripture I was struck by the close resemblance to our current time. Even though this scripture was written centuries ago, it was as if it were the latest headlines of a local newspaper. My heart pauses within me and my head bows low as I struggle with tears that form. I often think back over the past ten, fifteen, twenty years, thinking about the differences that now exist; differences we would never have dreamed possible even five years in the past.

Today the “vexation” of the spirit can become so overwhelming that despair would surely set in if it were not for the promises that we can find in God’s Holy Word. Though we live in the present, facing the struggles that are common to all, we know the rest of the story. We know that in the midst of vexation, God stands ever present caring for those that belong to Him.

“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.” Isaiah 65: 13-14

In the midst of vexation, I will lift my eyes toward Heaven looking to the author and finisher of my faith who has promised to deliver me.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Loved Unto the End

We have all read, heard, or watched a love story where the love of two people lasted all the way to the end. A true love story, but what about the greatest story ever told of love unto the end? What about the love of a Savior that never faltered or failed even when He was beaten and crucified to pay for the sin of the ones He loved? What about the truest love of all unto the end?

“Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” John 13:1

Even when His body was being ripped apart, He loved us. Even when He hug upon a cross dying in our place, He loved us. Even when His Father turned His back on Him, He loved us. Even when the thirst became too much, He loved us. Even when He suffered the utmost shame as He took upon Himself our sin, He loved us. And as He lifted up His eyes to heaven declaring it all to be finished, the price to be paid for sin was complete, He loved us. He loved us even unto the end.

“Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:” Galatians 1:4

He died to make a way for us to be reconciled to God. He paid the penalty of our sin. He gave Himself for us, He loved us until the end. He rose from the dead that we might live in Him.

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” Revelation 1:5

He loves us until the end and one day He will carry those who have accepted His love and trusted in the work that He did upon the cross home to be with Him !!! Truest of all love until the end . . .

Fear Not

In the quiet darkness of night, in the overwhelming chaos and heaviness of life, fear can grip you in it’s gut wrenching grasp. The report that comes back positive, the unknown future it holds, there is fear that completely buckles you at your knees. The unexpected knock at the door, the news that leaves you utterly broken inside, fear threatens to crush you.

Yet, that still quiet voice can be heard from within . . . “Fear Not”.

“Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.” Isaiah 35:4

“For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” Isaiah 41:13

“And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

So in the quiet darkness of night, in the overwhelming chaos and heaviness of life, when fear threatens to grip you in it’s gut wrenching grasp . . . “Fear Not”. The report that comes back positive, the unknown future it holds, the fear that works to buckles you at your knees . . . “Fear Not”. The unexpected knock at the door, the news that leaves you utterly broken inside, the fear that comes to crush you . . . “Fear Not”.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10

Fear Not . . .

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” Psalm 56:3

Come Boldly

Growing up I was often reluctant to ask my Mom and Dad for things to the point that I would have my sister do the asking. The problem then became that a lot of the time she would not pose the “ask” correctly and I’d become frustrated with the outcome.

Sometimes I’ve reflected upon that in relation to the “asking” of my requests before God. Sometimes I fail to pose the “ask” correctly and then I’m frustrated with the results. Quite often I fail to ask believing it’s actually going to happen. I feel as though what I’m asking for is such a small detail that my Heavenly Father is more concerned with much larger aspects of the universe. Often, my requests are half hearted, failing to be clearly stated toward the listening ear of a Father that stands ready to hear from me.

In Matthew 17 we find the lack of faith exhibited by the disciples. “ Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Matthew 17:19-20

Our Heavenly Father has given us the gift of prayer, the opportunity to come before Him believing not only that He will hear but that He will answer. Not only do we possess the gift of prayer, we possess the power of prayer. With God, the “ask” is always answered correctly, it’s up to us to come before God knowing that He will answer.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

God stands ready to hear us, but He wants us to come before Him in boldness believing that He cares about our request and that He stands ready to answer. A half-hearted request is not of much importance, but a request that comes boldly from the heart of a child to their Father captures His attention.

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:21-22

We have been given His promise, let us with boldness grasp the gift we have been given.

“So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Hebrews 13:6

In His Presence

Sundays are my favorite days. I have the opportunity to rest without feeling guilty, time to slow down a bit and enjoy the peace and quiet of the day. Time to see my church family and catch up on the events of their week. Time to sit back and enjoy an afternoon with my husband and son. But first and most of all, I have the ability to enter into the presence of my Heavenly Father in His house.

“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” 1 Chronicles 16:29

As I come before Him in worship in His house, I am able to experience a refreshing strengthening renewal of my soul that breaths new life within me after a long and stressful week. Through His word I am reminded of His commandments and His promises. I find strength, strength to once again face the struggles of life; new hope as I enter a new week.

“Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.”1 Chronicles 16:27

Even though I am able to experience His presence throughout the week in my life, it’s not the same as coming before Him on Sunday morning in His house. As I enter His presence in His sacred place set aside for worship, I feel as though I catch an ever so tiny glimpse of what it will be like one day when we stand in His presence in Heaven. I can’t even imagine what that will be like, but for now I am going to soak in the joy of experiencing Him together with my church family on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. I am going to come into His presence with an ever so thankful heart !!!

“Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:2-5

Unceasingly Dependent

As a child I often thought about how small I was compared to God in the perspective of a board game with tiny pieces moved around the board by the masters hand. The difference becoming more apparent the longer I live that more times than not we act and move as if we were the ones controlling our next move. We act in the moment without thought or regard to how that one action, that one move affects the entirety of our life or the lives of others. We act as if we are in control, dependent only upon what we deem to be the most appropriate next move.

The reality is that we are completely and totally dependent upon the mercies of our Heavenly Father. Even though life is not a board game and He has given us free will to move, it is in recognizing our “unceasing dependence” upon Him that the next move, the next course of action for our life becomes the one that moves us toward His ultimate goal for our lives.

“O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” Jeremiah 10:23

“The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:24-26

As I look back over the various choices I have made, the moves I have taken, the ones I made on my own versus the ones directed by God are very evident. The more time that passes I realize more and more just how “unceasingly dependent” I am upon my Heavenly Father. Every decision I make affects the direction in which I move, either closer to God or farther away; closer to His plan for my life or farther away.

“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:6-7

My Anchor is Steadfast

“O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.” Jeremiah 16:19

In a day when we see so many falling victim to the entrapment of this world full of lies and wickedness, we have a stronghold of hope. We have a place of refuge, an anchor when the storm is growing stronger all around us. We are able to stand firm, secured by the promise given to us by God in His Word that this world is not our home.

“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast” Hebrews 6:19a

Our hope is anchored steadfast in the knowledge of what lies ahead, we have the promise of an eternal home in Heaven. We are not bound to the things of this life, our promise is above.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

We have an anchor that will stand fast as we travel through the storm, our master has promised to see us safely to the other side.

My Certainty

I am uncertain of so many things, but there is one thing I know . . . God is my Certainty !!! He knows my tomorrow, He knows the way, and I’m trusting in Him today !!

Proverbs 20:24 “Man’s goings are of the Lord ; how can a man then understand his own way?”

Psalm 31:14 “But I trusted in thee, O Lord : I said, Thou art my God.”

Today I will trust God to direct me and to guide me toward the path I need to take tomorrow.

Psalm 143:8 “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.”

My Heavenly Father is my Certainty !!