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Posts Tagged ‘purpose’

I love spring.  The bursting forth of new life thrills my soul.  The awakening of the countryside from the drab greys and browns of winter to multi-colored flowers set against the backdrop of green simply makes me happy.

We recently experienced the birth of our 4th grandchild.  My wife helped with the delivery and today Lilah Joy is 7 days old. We actually have two grandchildren now who were born on Good Friday.  Jasper Leland was born on Good Friday 4 years ago.  As I held Lilah last night I couldn’t stop thinking about what a precious gift I held.  As she lay restfully sleeping in my arms she was totally at peace.

I was reminded that this is what God wants for each one of us… to rest in Him, to put our trust in Him, to be His child and be at peace.  Holding this precious child and considering the amazing love God has for us was both humbling and inspiring.  Roman 8:14-17 comes to mind.  We are His children and He wants to be known as our “Abba”, our Daddy.

It seems appropriate that for most of us Easter corresponds with spring.  Jesus’ resurrection marks the ultimate of new life.  There are a number of ways that Jesus coming to earth, His sacrificial death on the cross, and His resurrection changed the world forever.

There is salvation.  The price for our sin has been paid and we can enter into a right relationship with God as our Father through what Jesus did on our behalf.

There is freedom.  The power of sin is broken because of what Jesus did.  We can experience freedom from the dominating and destructive habits of our old self because of the cross and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit given to each one who accepts God’s gift of salvation.

Oh, and there is purpose.  We no longer are subject to the whims of a fickle nature.  We are called and equipped to live a life that has God-ordained purpose.

There is praise overflowing.  God gave us new life to live in Him and to live for Him.  Our lives are testaments to the one, wholly, and Holy Other.  God is worthy of our constant praise.  We do this best by living in close communion with Him and responding in prompt obedience to His nudges.

Yes, spring has sprung.  The tomb is empty.  And there is new life… radical…rich…full… abundant new life available to all who trust in and give their lives to Jesus – the lover of our souls.  Rejoice my friend.  He is ALIVE!  And so are we.  Death no longer has a hold on us.  Neither does sin, at least it doesn’t have to.  The only power sin has left is the power we give it.  Let sin no longer reign in your body, but live your life totally immersed in Jesus and His saving, cleansing, healing, delivering power.  Again I say REJOICE!

Be blessed today my friend as you bask in the new life Christ Jesus provides.

As a new grandpa’s prerogative, I included a few pics of our new grand-daughter who helped inspire today’s blog.

 

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I hit the drive-thru for supper this evening.  At the window I noticed the attendant yawn in boredom as she waited for my order.  A high schooler making a little pocket money perhaps.  Hopefully not a single mom trying to make ends meet.  I meant to slip in, slip out, and quietly eat my gyro in the room while I finished up some work for the plant, but because I had to wait I took the time to notice.

When she turned to hand me my order, I looked her in the eye gave her the most sincere “Thank you, mam” I could.  Behind the thanks was a heartfelt prayer that the Lord bless her and help her to know she is adored by a loving Father in heaven….

I got word a little while ago that a friend’s father passed away suddenly last night.  He had been up and down with illness, but until last night every down was followed by an up.  Actually, I guess last night was the ultimate recovery for one who knows the Lord.  But it is still a time of separation and loss for the family left behind.  Our heart goes out to them in empathy, sharing a small slice of their pain.  We will grieve with them as they offer up their last goodbyes to Big John.

At 55 years old I am most likely past the halfway point in my earthly life – closer to the end than the beginning.  Since I gave Jesus my life almost 33 years ago I have not worried about dying.  With my heart issue, I really haven’t fretted about dying even though I was on the cusp of a potentially fatal heart attack.  But I have pondered becoming irrelevant.

I want my life to count.  Not in a famous or noteworthy way, but in accomplishing those things that God wants me to accomplish.  Ephesians 2:10 says: “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  I know God is at work, but I also understand he has not made me a puppet.  I am given choices.  I can choose to take the easier way, the popular path.  I can go with the flow if I decide to.  But that is not what I sense in my spirit is God’s best.  Simply sliding through life does not line up with where I hear God calling me.  I don’t think it is where God is calling you either, dear reader.

The call is becoming clearer.  It is birthed in intimacy with God, our Father, in blessed union with Jesus our Lord and Savior, and confirmed by His Holy Spirit in our inner being as we willingly submit to His direction in our life.  It is a life of supreme relevance to those the Lord brings into our lives, regardless of how long or how brief that contact may be.

Tonight as I come to the end of the day, I ask for guidance on how to make these final moments count.  “Lord, please pray through me.”  “Father, show me who needs a word of encouragement.”  “Jesus, please prepare me for a day of relevance in your kingdom work and the lives you touch through me tomorrow.”

You are loved and you are relevant my friend.  God has called you into the deepest intimacy with Him.  It is beyond our reckoning.  But that’s okay because He will initiate it, He will draw us deeper, and He will accomplish His purpose as we simply seek Him with all that we are.  From out of that intimacy He makes us relevant.  It is tied first to the fact that we are His adopted children (Romans 8:15), but it is made manifest in the people we meet and get to love on every single day.

Be blessed today and be a blessing!

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We all have a purpose.  In fact, most of us have multiple purposes.  For example, with four children I know that one of my purposes is to love, train, and encourage my children to find and fulfill their purpose in life.  I also recognize that I have a specific calling to be an encourager.  It is a joy for me to have an apt word that picks someone up, that opens their eyes to possibilities, to see a truth click within them.  Since I am flying a lot now I get to meet new people almost every trip.  Yesterday I had the pleasure of sitting next to an encourager.  Her name was Jeb.

Jeb is a two-time cancer survivor – 8 and then 5 years ago.  She was actually traveling home for an intermediate stay between visits to a hospital in another state.  She is having follow up treatments for different ailment, one that had almost claimed her life recently.  However her joyful, exuberant spirit belied her medical challenges and, if she had not told me, I would never have guessed that she had been through these challenges.  One of the things we learned fairly early is that we share a faith in God and recognize that Jesus Christ in our savior.

One story that Jeb shared about her second round of chemo really resonated with me.  Having been through surgery and chemo once already, the memory of how difficult it was the first time weighed heavily on her mind.  She asked the Lord to help her through and she specifically asked to see a minor miracle each day as she walked through the trial of chemo.  Well, our Father honored that prayer.  I was blessed as she shared a number of ways that God provided minor miracles every day.  The side-effects were actually more severe the second time, but as she experienced God’s touch through miracles, primarily through nature, I could see that He provided just what she needed, when she needed it.

Jeb accepted that she had cancer.  But she chose to seek life holding firmly onto God’s hand.  And because she did, I had the opportunity to be encouraged by her.  Thank you Jeb for sharing your life with me in that hour or so we sat and chatted.  And thank you Father for arranging divine meetings.

I recognize that not everyone has the calling of being an encourager, but we all are called to know God and make Him known.  I encourage you today to seek His face.  He is there and He will respond.  Faith is necessary, but my experience (as well as the testimony of scripture) is that if you truly and earnestly seek Him, God will meet you where you are and draw you to Himself.  And life with Him is our ultimate purpose.

I hope to post an encouraging word each day through Lent.  Please feel free to comment.  I would also love to pray for or with you.  Send me a private message and we will correspond.

Be blessed today my friend.

 

 

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