Christ in me – Living My Purpose

In wondering about our purpose, we explored the great mystery described in Colossians – Christ in me, the Hope of Glory.  This picks up where that left off.  If you’d like to read it before this one, click here and it will open in a new window.    Jesus announced His ministry by quoting the Prophet Isaiah.  Exploring His announcement focuses us on the purposes that emanate from His life within us.  Isaiah 61:1-5 are our base text.

The Father sent Jesus to those who were crushed to their core—the broken-hearted. Jesus was to wrap them up, heal them and govern these broken ones.  These are the ones who can hear. These are the ones Jesus sought.

Do I seek to find and share Christ in me with the broken?

Jesus then said He was sent to proclaim truths—proclaiming means calling out truth, accosting ‘hearers’ with reality!  The first truth involved freedom for those harnessed to lies.  Jesus came to call out those who could hear to come out of the lies that hold God’s

children captive.  Then Jesus promised light in the darkness the lies created so that  prisoners could leave. Hearing a truth without light to find the way out would be cruel.  Jesus proclaims to those bound to lies, to those imprisoned, that He gives light!  The hearers must seek the Light to find their way.

Is Christ in me confronting the lies of world and showing captives the way to freedom?

Often, those who hear the first messages:  you don’t have to be harnessed to the lies, there is a way out, falter in fear.  Jesus said it was (it is) His purpose to proclaim that MercyNOW is the age of God’s favor.  Fear does not need to keep anyone in darkness…but Jesus also said His purpose involves declaring a day of vengeance.

It is never the purpose of Jesus to deny the reality of God’s anger with sin. In the ‘acceptable year’ in the ‘age of favor,’ is a day of vengeance.  Christ in me proclaims that as clearly as He proclaims the ‘year of favor.’

Am I faithful to the fullness of Jesus Christ’s purposes?

 

Proclaiming the day of vengeance is necessary and beautiful.  Those whose hearts really seek and see God will mourn the devastation of sin just as God does.  Christ’s purpose is to comfort those who mourn—not comfort those who are in distress because of sin.  And Christ’s comfort is what transforms hearts.  The comfort of Christ:

  • provides mourners gleaming crowns of beauty in exchange for the ashes of repentance, for the grief of rejecting God!
  • provides a richness of life to those who mourn the cost of living without God.
  • wraps those who feel obscure and frail with praise for the glory of God.

Does Christ in me have opportunity to give to those who grieve over sin?

All that Jesus does is for an even more beautiful purpose.  Jesus accepted the assignment of Savior so that those who received Him could be known as ‘trees of righteousness planted by God.’  He didn’t do it for His reputation…or to gather glory for Himself.  Jesus never has and never will do things for that purpose.

Jesus’ driving passion—His purpose–is ensuring that God, the Father, receives the glory due Him.  Christ in me seeks the same:  to give and generate glory for God!  Isaiah went on to say that all Christ did was so that we (those who receive Him) will be called ‘trees of righteousness planted by God.’

Jesus purposes for his followers to be strong, magnificent givers of glory to God.  He lives in us for that purpose…to strengthen us and to bear fruit through us.  My purpose—your purpose as a follower of Christ—is to allow Christ in me to fulfill His purpose.  So that more will become ‘trees of righteousness!  Together, we will give glory to God as through us He rebuilds the dried up, wasted and decayed places sin has created.

 

Are you ready to live Christ’s purpose?

It is the purpose you seek!

Are you busy & burdened? Come.

Working.  Carrying burdens.  Struggling to keep up, to carry on.  Does it sound like a description of your life?  Does it sound like a description of a blessed life?

We live in a busy world.  Our technology is a blessing and a curse.  The more we can get done, the more we feel we must get done.  It can put us on a vicious treadmill.  In the midst of the vortex, Jesus calls to us to come aside.  His call must be our priority.  Everything else will fall in place if only we will listen to His urging.  But how?

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  Matthew 11:28-30  

Early in the book of Matthew is an explosive passage known as the Beatitudes.  In it, Christ gives startling insights into the life of a believer.  His words take our views and set them on their head; it is almost an upside-down picture of blessing.  Blessed are the needy, grieving, meek and persecuted ones.  What?!  Yet, if we will pause, we will see the wisdom.  Today, let’s just look at the third blessing, Jesus proclaimed in that passage:

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.  Matthew 5:5

Meek.  It isn’t even a word in our standard vocabulary today.  Many mistakenly substitute the idea of ‘weak’ in its place.  They couldn’t be more wrong.  Meek is a glorious, gentle strength that doesn’t quit.  We see it in the call of Jesus as a word He uses to describe Himself.  Jesus invites us to join Him—to be yoked to Him as we go through this life.  Our earthly lives matter to God—to Jesus.  In the Old Testament, God instructed His people to make an altar of earth.  In effect, our lives are an altar of earth.  We can live as sacrifices of praise to God! If we will heed the call of Jesus.

“Come to me.”

He wants to help us carry life’s burdens; to find rest in our lives on earth so that we can and do live to the praise of His glory.  We are created for purpose…eternal purpose that is beyond our ability and personal capacity.  We need the gentle strength of Jesus to accomplish the mission God has designed us for.

The natural world often instructs me in the heart of God, so I searched for videos on how farmers train oxen to the yoke.  Perhaps you’ll enjoy this look at how oxen learn—and how it ties to our faith walk.

It pierced me!  I have not been a very teachable oxen over the years.  I’ve stopped when my Jesus wanted me to move on.  I’ve charged ahead when my Jesus would have had me wait.  Yet He never tired of me or gave up on me.  His meekness…His gentle strength…held me in check.  As the video described, I’ve given myself some injuries yanking on the yoke instead of learning from Jesus…but His loving, patience is healing and transforming me.  He longs to do the same for you.

Are you tired?  Are you carrying burdens that are crushing you?  Yoke up!

Focused on Purpose

Whether we are riding a horse, driving a car or trying to get through the school year, the same truth applies: where your eyes are sets the course of your path. If we spend a lot of time looking at what we ‘can’t do’ or the things that we would rather do or all the terrifying possibilities, we won’t accomplish all God would have us do. We need to fix our eyes on TRUTHS from the Word of God and trust Him to help us over the rough patches.

can't

“Can’t” is a detour with a huge PIT. When our eyes focus on what we can’t do, we miss the path to what we can do. Can’t will keep us from a struggle but it will never strengthen us or accomplish our purpose. Can’t is a word we need to shorten to can. Focusing our eyes on what we can do will help us get where we need to be.

“Want to” is another powerful force; the human will is where most ‘want to’ comes from. God gave us free will. The greatest gift we can give to God is to surrender that will and echo the words of Jesus to our Father, “Not my will but thine.” When we accept the purposes of God as our own, great and mighty things come from our lives.

“Fear” is the last detour we’ll consider how to avoid. Fear goes by many names…sometimes it masquerades as ‘common sense;’ other times it hides in ‘comfort zones.’ F.E.A.R. is often just ‘false evidence appearing real.’ The bottom line of the matter comes straight from Scripture: anything not of faith is sin. Faith and fear don’t live on the same street.

Setting our eyes on the purposes of God will take us beyond our abilities, give us new desires and call us outside of our comfort zones. Let’s choose God’s purpose as our own. Refuse to focus on ‘can’t’ and ‘want’ and see what God will do!

Determined!

“Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.”  Proverbs 4:25

Do you ever struggle to ‘stay the course’ when you have begun a project?  I do!  Our bulldog, Barnabas fulfilled his role as “Encourager” this week as he set his mind to a task.  After receiving a new ‘toy’ – a tractor tire – he set his mind on finding a way to bring the toy into the house.  Enjoy this little slideshow and think on Barnabas when you are finding a project daunting!

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While stubborness is as witchcraft according to Scripture, learning to ‘fix our face as flint’ as Jesus did is necessary in the Christian life.  Our great and glorious God is worth every effort!  As Nehemiah admonished those rebuilding the temple, ‘Think on our God, great & glorious and fight for your families and your homes.’

Be determined to do all God puts on your heart!

You matter

Know your identity

Here are some verse vitamins for every day that reminds you WHO YOU ARE in CHRIST!

You are accepted in Christ. You are secure in Christ. You are significant in Christ.
Ephesians 1:5 Romans 8:28-39 John 15:16
1 Corinthians 12:27 Philippians 1:6 Acts 1:8
John 1:12 2 Timothy 1:7 2 Corinthians 6:1
Colossians 1:14 1 John 5:18 Ephesians 2:10
Romans 5:1 2 Corinthians 1:21,22 Matthew 5:13,14
Colossians 2:10 Hebrews 4:16 2 Corinthians 5:17-21