“O to know purpose and meaning in this life!” That has been the cry of humanity since Solomon expressed “Vanity of Vanities! Life is meaningless!” To know that we were created for a purpose is to be rich indeed! The first steps have been taken in the discovery of our purpose—an understanding that:
>God has a purpose for each of us
>God created us in his image
>Before we were even born, God knew us—God had a plan for us
>His plans for us include a hope and a future, and even more
“So, Heavenly Father, tell me of your plans for me, I pray Thee!”
¨’My greatest plan for your life is relationship with Me,’ our Lord would answer. ‘Nothing in this life or for eternity matters more than that. Knowing Me is life, which is why my Son said,’
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.1 ‘
As in all relationships, there will be no growth, no understanding without knowledge of one another, time spent together; you can get to know Me through my Word—you can get to know Me through conversing with M.’ Friends, how cool is that? The Creator of the Universe wishes to know you well—he will recognize your voice when you talk to him, and he wants you to recognize his. Do you see how your life takes on meaning—your life takes on purpose in him?? In this we bring him glory.
¨For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.2
Handiwork? Indeed! ‘You, Child, are my masterpiece, a poem crafted by my hand; before you were born, I had your creative, good works in mind. When Jesus said ‘love your neighbor as yourself,’ he meant for you to have a mindset of serving your neighbor. Look around you—how might you love Me by serving your neighbor?’
¨’What tools will you need to serve? What are your talents, your training and experiences—even your trials, your failures (because once submitted to me, I will redeem them)? And, remember, when you chose to make Me the Leader of your life, I endowed you with a spiritual gift, like Paul talked about’: Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.3**
Notice with me that the spiritual gifts are to be used for the common good—they are to be used to bless others, especially the body of Christ—not for personal glory-seeking. The main thing to know about stepping out to serve is that you were created to do it. We do not all possess the same talents or gifts or experiences, and in turn, we do not all serve in the same capacity. So get in the game . . . what are you waiting for? Where? Look around you . . . where do you see God at work? Participate. Or where do you see a void? Just do it.
¨And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.4 Indeed, however you set out to serve, do it well. Do not let your work be schlock. Be faithful. Do excellent work. Be diligent. Be on time. Stay at your post. And stay tapped into the Source of your creativity or heart of service; don’t let your service make you too busy to be with your Creator.
The piece of artwork is not great in itself; great is the one whose mind conceived of it, whose hands created it. The sculpture or painting points toward the artist; and if it is well-received, it brings glory to that artist.
You and I were conceived of in the mind of God; it is ours to bring glory to him. We do that by being in relationship with him, obeying him, and then by using our talents and gifts to serve him—in these three, we find our true purpose. And then, symbiotically, in doing so, we know the greatest joy and fulfillment in this life. Sweet.
1 Mark 12.30-31
2 Ephesians 2.10
3 1 Corinthians 12.1, 4, 7-11 **not an exhaustive list of the gifts; if you want to study this topic more, go to www.Pastorwoman.com , Morning Briefings, and read those briefings on 1 Cor. 12-14.
4 Colossians 3.17