Tag Archives: goals

To Do Lists and Purpose – Luke 4

9 Dec

Are you one of those people who starts each day with a to do list?  Most of the time I do, and if something gets done that’s not on the list, I write it down just so I can mark it off.

But, there are times when I don’t want a to do list. I like the idea of doing what I feel like doing.

No matter which scenario fits you best, most of us have something in common: We want a passion or purpose in our lives that is overarching – more than just the things to get done in a day.

In Luke 4 (continuing the plan to read all of Luke through December), I see Jesus focused on his purpose.

But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”  Luke 4:43 NIV

How did he know? Yes, he’s Jesus so we can say that’s how he knew. Fair enough. But, we also see a model of how we can know.

  • He was led by and followed the Holy Spirit (in this case, into the desert)
  • He fasted and prayed
  • He fought the devil with word of God (which happens to be the sword of the Spirit, see Ephesians 6:17)
  • He contitnued to get alone in a solitary place to pray
  • He was not swayed by what men wanted him to do

Jesus was on a mission. As we read the continued story of his life, the season of his mission changed. For a time, he preached. Later, a time came when he sacrificed himself on a cross. Then the precious day came when he arose. For now, he sits at the Father’s right hand in heaven, interceeding for us, until God sends him to earth as judge.

So what’s this mean for us?

We should expect our purpose to have seasons of doing different things. In order to know what they are, we need to follow Christ’s example from Luke 4.

God, help me to focus on you. To get still and listen, to be led by your Spirit. Interrupt my plans for life and my very days with your assignments. Give me courage to then follow, relying on your strength.

What’s your biggest challenge in being focused on God’s desires for you?   Does each day’s to do list relate to your purpose?


Afraid of the Ball?

23 Sep
Our dog is totally nuts over a tennis ball.
She trots throughout the house, ball in mouth. If no one’s willing to toss it, she’ll play alone. She might chew on it, pretend to bury it in her bed, or nose it around on the floor. She naps with it under her chin, barks with it in her mouth, and paces when it’s stuck under the furniture. Even when she’s in full sleep, one bounce of that ball bolts her into action. 
Shaka’s ball is her favorite thing. It’s who she is.
Yet, any ball larger than she is appears to be a source of terror. Volleyball, basketball, beachball. Doesn’t matter. She becomes paralyzed.
Now I know Shaka can’t play with these other balls the same way, and maybe I spend too much time alone with this dog during the day. But, she gives me glimpses of human behavior sometimes. The things we are passionate about can often be the things we’re afraid of doing in a bigger way.
Consider the one who loves to play with children, but is hesitant to commit as a mentor. Someone who’s talented in art, poetry, writing, but doesn’t want anyone else to see their work–it may not be good enough. The one who loves to study, but won’t commit to teach. A person who sings, but never in public.
Passions and abilities are woven into each of us with a plan in mind.

For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well. 
My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be  Psalms 139: 13 – 16 (NIV).

What might we be missing out on if we’re afraid to do the things that seem too big for us? 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do     Ephesians 2:10 (NIV).

Leave a Comment. Can you share an experience when you acted in faith to overcome fear? You might just encourage one of us. Or, tell us what thing you feel compelled to do yet overwhelmed to try? Let us encourage you.
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