Tag Archives: Purpose

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?

Big Words: Providence, Sovereignty

20 Aug

I’ve been thinking about some “big words” this week. Words that may be familiar, but the meaning not well understood. Or words that are weighty in meaning and difficult in subject matter.

This week’s Bible reading journey took me through the entire book of Esther. Just above the beginning verses of Esther, my Bible points out that the name of God is never mentioned in the entire book. Yet, it also says “…in no other portion of the Bible is God’s providential care of his people more evident.”  (NIV New Scofield Study System)

Providence can be defined as “God’s care.”

If you’re not familiar with the story, you must read Esther to understand why someone would consider it the ultimate demonstration of God’s care for his people. How else do you explain a young, orphaned girl of foreign decent, held captive in a conquering country becoming Queen and a pagan King finding repeated favor for her and her requests?

Consider the detail of providence in the King being sleepless one night and “happening” to have someone read the chronicles of his kingship, from a very section that brought recognition to the secret uncle of Queen Esther, both Jews marked for annihilation.  (There’s a reason Hollywood made a movie of this story!)

One of the most quoted verses from Esther is 4:14. It’s a secret message to Queen Esther from her Uncle Mordecai.

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?  

God’s care included cooperation from Esther. It included encouragement and faith from Mordecai. God could have done it any way he pleased, but Esther and Mordecai’s actions show they recognized God’s care and power, and they responded.

I also read about spiritual gifts this week in 1 Corinthians 12. That’s what lead me to consider the topic of soverienty. Just as Esther and Mordecai cooperated and were used with God in his providential protection of the Jews, we have been given spiritual gifts in which we should cooperate with God. He has soveriengly given them to us. That means He is supreme and has chosen in his wisdom for his purpose what gift to give each believer. (See 1 Cor. 12:11 and 18.)

So what did Esther do to cooperate with God? How’d she prepare? Read Esther 4:6 – 17. If you are not sure what gift God has given you to use for his providential care of believers (his people, both Jew and Gentiles through Christ), then perhaps Esther’s response can serve as a model of how to begin to cooperate with God so you can be included in his work.

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