Monday, January 27, 2014

(40 Days of Focus) Day 23: "Created with Purpose"

Read: “Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them…” (Romans 12:6, AMP).
Think About It: One of the greatest and awe-inspiring moments that I have as the pastor of a local church is driving up the side of the hill that lands me in the parking lot outside of our ministry facility. From the moment I encroach upon the entrance of the driveway I am instantly reminded of the efforts and labor of love of those that keep the grounds kept, the driveway salted and plowed, and the lights working in the sign. I unlock the doors (locks that were changed by one in our church family that is skilled in that area) and walk into a freshly-cleaned facility by those that find it a blessing to do what I deem as a curse! An office staffed by those that do more than what is required or compensated because they feel that “this is my church, too” adds to the evidence that God has gifted each person with something different. From those who lead in song, play an instrument, greet people and gather the offering, to those who change diapers, wipe noses, hug little treasures and impact them with the love of Jesus, I see the work of God all around. There are preachers and teachers, grass-mowers and weed-eaters, and all, together, are being used in a purpose to further the cause of the love of Jesus. 

Going Deeper: Every person, regardless of age, gender, experience, or background was created by God and crafted with gifts, skills, and talents in order to fulfill a purpose greater than themselves. You are not the designer of your own destiny, nor are you the giver of your own gifts. The grace of God, the gift of God, has determined that you, evidenced by the breath you breathe, have an undeniable and irrevocable purpose in this life. Paul, the writer of the Letter to the Romans, gave both strong encouragement and challenge to those who would read. He admonished them to know that God had given them gifts to use; to identify what they were or might be; and to use them for the glory of God and for the benefit of one another. God created you to live out the concept of community, but also to serve one another in the context of love. There are different people who come from different backgrounds with different personalities that have been given different gifts. You are one of those that are different. But every element of different was designed to work together for the same purpose. That purpose originates with Jesus and always reflects back to Jesus.

Next Step: “But I don’t have any gifts or talents.” “I don’t have anything to offer.” “I’m not as good as others are in those areas.” Have you ever fallen prey to some of these thoughts? These statements have been craftily tooled by Satan, himself, to paralyze you from connecting to the purpose of God in impacting untold numbers of others with the gifts He has given you. Ask yourself some of these questions, “What do I enjoy doing?” “What am I good at?” “What do I do for a living?” “How could I connect any of these answers with the purpose of reaching others with the love of Jesus?” If you are a part of a church family, take a look around you. Where are there opportunities for you to connect your skills for His service?

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