Tag Archive | purpose

Created for a Purpose

Family“In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will,” Ephesians 1:11

When my husband and I rededicated our lives to Christ, it was the first time I really believed God had a purpose just for me. I had always felt I was here for a reason, but didn’t really know what it was, what I should do about it, or that I could actually know that purpose with certainty.

One night, as I was lying in bed ready to fall asleep, I let my mind go to this place of purpose. This was often the time I spent asking God various questions over the years: at night, in the dark, quite and feeling alone with Him. My mind immediately went to the thought of a dangerous mission trip. “Don’t go there! Don’t give God permission to send you there!” (As if God needs my permission to decide what His purpose is for me…) Rather than think of all the things that could be my purpose, I finally settled on simply asking Him the question and allowed myself to fall asleep.

As I began to wake up, while I was still in that foggy place of coming to, I sensed God sharing His vision for me.

“Love your husband and support him in his work. He works hard to provide for your family.

“Love, care for and teach your children. You do not know what they may grow to do, what I have planned for them.

“Manage your home. Do not let it be a burden to your husband. He has enough to deal with. This is your responsibility. Remove that weight from his shoulders.”

Three simple tasks. Was that really all there was to my purpose? Did I just make that up? Was I taking the easy way out of a mission trip? What purpose would this serve?

Loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength is my first call. This is my second.

When I lose sight of this purpose, my world begins to fall apart. I am not weak; I am just not living in my sweet spot. I am not living in alignment with God’s will for my life.

My life. Not yours or someone else’s, but mine. And yours will be different or may be similar.

I love my husband’s heart for his work. Craig has an honest desire to work hard and help his company be successful. He also has a desire to see the client’s best interest served and that they would prosper as well. I know God has a purpose for him where he is so I need to honor God by honoring my husband.

I admit, many women I have known over the years would not have agreed with this purpose and would not have encouraged me. But God did not put a yoke of oppression or burden on me. He said to me, “You are able and capable of doing this. It is not too much for you nor too little. I will help.”

And then there are my children. I have often wanted to say, “Do what you want! I give up. It’s your choice.” But as the thought crosses my mind I realize I cannot give them that permission. I cannot relinquish my authority or influence in their lives. I cannot nor should I squelch the Spirit in their lives; while at the same time, I need to teach them the difference between the Spirit and the flesh.

They now, at their young ages, have a stronger, firmer foundation of faith than anything I had at that same age. My husband is moving toward God in all areas of his life. Did these three simple tasks change the entire trajectory of my family? Did simply loving my family the way God called me to show them His love for them?

My purpose serves His purpose not only in my life, but in the lives of others around me. I am grateful to God for how He has worked in me and through me to make a difference in the lives of my husband and my children for Him. It was a bigger, greater purpose than I could imagine.

Something to Consider…

As my children grow to adulthood, my authority and influence in their lives will change. I’ve made it clear I will use whatever authority and influence I have, but do understand it will be different. I know that as my life changes, God will have new opportunities for me to serve a purpose for Him.

Do you know your purpose? Have you asked God what He has planned for you? Are you willing to move forward should He give you His vision for your life?

Have you been living in His purpose for you? Are you at a crossroads in your life with a decision to make about how you proceed? Is there a dream in your heart that is beyond your imagination?

No matter how big or small your purpose may seem, God will be served. He will bring good things from it not only for you, but for those around you as well.

What Do You Think On?

View of Geiranger Fjord from the mountains in Norway“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 (ESV)

It didn’t take long after I woke up Monday morning for my mind to start thinking about all I had to do. And it wasn’t just about what I had to do that day; it was my whole week right in front of me.

My mom told me that when she found out she was pregnant with me (she and my dad already had six kids between the two of them) all she could think was that there was going to be another pile of laundry. Maybe you’ve picked up on the fact that I was not planned and when I think of this story, it’s easy to assume I was more of a burden than a bundle of joy, but that’s not true.  I am loved and have always known it; but as an adult, I now have a very clear idea of what she was feeling.

I have piles everywhere! There is no order to the piles; there is no order to the placement of the piles. The piles never really seem to go down. Just as I remove and check off some items, more gets thrown on top. My mom had no idea how she was going to do more and provide more without being more. She couldn’t see an end to the piles or the process. I feel this same way at times: scattered, helpless and overwhelmed with no end in sight.

While my piles are not physical piles of clothes, toys or dishes; they are the things that weigh on my mind, take my time and cause me to invest myself sometimes at levels that I am consumed with love, sorrow, joy and regret all at the same time. When I am on top of things, dealing with one specific pile, things are good. But it’s the running between the piles, back and forth with no clarity or plan where I struggle.

The valley: the place I need God to meet me, settle my heart, bring focus and clarity to my mind and walk me from pile to pile, mountain top to mountain top in His time, in His way.

Sometimes I think it would be easier to stop, but I do truly love what I do! Everything I get to do centers on what I believe God wants me doing. So why are the piles so overwhelming? Why does it appear that there no order when God is all about order – planning, preparation and purpose fulfilled?

Because my thoughts go to what I can’t do in my own power, what will happen if I don’t get through my piles and what other people will think of me and my efforts or lack thereof. And that’s the kicker…what others will think of my lack of ability to perform at a high enough standard to meet their expectations.

I haven’t even talked to anyone for them to tell me their expectations, if they even have any, and I’ve already assumed the worst about them and myself!

Regardless of whether you run your own business, work for a Fortune 500 company or stay at home with the kids, there’s stuff to get done! But according to Philippians 4:4, I’m not supposed to rejoice in meeting the expectations of others. I’m supposed to rejoice in the Lord – always! He is with me in everything I do and He alone brings peace to my mind, heart, and soul. When I rely on Him to help me work through it, rejoicing and thanking Him each step of the way, I will be doing what He expects of me. I will be moving forward in His power, plan and purpose for my life.

Something to Consider…

How does what you think about determine your ability to rejoice and be thankful?

Do you experience peace? Do you turn to something or someone other than God to fill the gaps between the piles?

What are your piles? Are there some that can go? Which are your priorities? Which ones are God’s priority for you?

Seek Him today in the valley between the piles. Thank Him today on the mountain top of progress. Rejoice in Him always!

God’s Glory

“Ascribe to the Lord, O might ones, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.” Psalm 29:1-2 (NIV)

This past weekend, I was working on a Bible study for an upcoming women’s retreat. One of the questions is, “We are to experience God’s glory, Christ’s love and the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives. Which do want to experience in a greater way? Explain.”

I often spend time reflecting on what I write, asking God if it’s accurate, true, what He wants said, but I also ask myself the questions and reflect on my answers just like I ask others to do when participating in a study. So this morning, as I opened the blinds to see the sun rise, I considered God’s glory and what that really means. What does it mean to experience God’s glory?

I sat down to read, not sure of what I’d choose, I just opened my Bible to begin the search. I looked down to see where I was and there was Psalm 29.

“The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.” Psalm 29:3-4 (NIV)

It goes on to describe the powerful force God is in nature and His glory that is revealed to us every day.

I am not one to worship at the throne of celebrity. I’ve never been into backstage passes, autograph signings or pictures with the stars. What they do is cool at some level and I enjoy it in some way but they are just people like me whose life just happens to be on display for all to see.

So I wonder: do I put God in this category as well? Do I just feel so comfortable with Him that I don’t give Him the glory and honor due? Do I ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name? Do I worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness? Sometimes, yes, but not nearly with the gratefulness or fullness that I should.

Bill Cosby use to tell a joke about his children and him telling one of them, “I brought you into this world, I can take you out.”

This is the God who can destroy everything at the mere sound of His voice. I think of this world and the bad things that happen and wonder why He doesn’t just wipe us out. We hurt each other regularly, some worse than others. If we don’t kill physically, we kill each other with our words emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

This God whose voice can shake the desserts and twist the oaks; instead of destroying, He gives strength to His people and blesses them with peace. We have done nothing to deserve such compassion and grace.

God in His glory decided to bring us into this world. He chose us as His own. He could take us out if He wanted, but He doesn’t. Instead, He brought His son into this world to take our place, to take upon Himself the weight of our transgressions and sins and iniquities, our infirmities and sorrows. All so we could be reconciled to God and live with Him forever. All so we could experience His strength and peace. What a mighty and great, loving and compassionate God we have.

“The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:10-11 (NIV)

Something to Consider…

Spend some time taking in all God has created, all of the beautiful and intricate detail He has put into everything He has made. Everything in nature fulfills its purpose for Him.

Consider the care He took in creating you, precious and unique in His eye. Do you use what He gave to fulfill His purpose for you? Do you bring Him honor and glory in what you do and how you speak to others? Can your voice, like His, destroy? Or do you speak with His strength and peace?

Go Ahead, Ask the Question!

I don’t have one but I see them everywhere. The fish. It’s usually on the bumper of a vehicle. You see it and you know it refers to God , Jesus, Christianity. I knew the story of the fish and loaves, the feeding of the 5,000 and the fishermen called to be fishers of men, but I learned there is so much more to the story of how a fish on a bumper shows the world who you follow.

The other day I saw a fish with legs and in the body it said, “Darwin”.

I admit it put me off at first, but then I began to think about it and ask some questions.

  • At what point did a fish grow legs?
  • And if one fish grew legs, why didn’t all of them?
  • Did more than one have to grow legs in order to mate and continue the cycle?
  • If so, what are the chances that at least two fish of the opposite sex that could grow legs would be in close enough proximity to each other that they could mate and would mate?
  • How many years does it take to morph into a completely different creature?
  • If they can trace the finches of the Galapagos Islands back to a single bird, why is it crazy that all people came from a single man?
  • If we came from apes, where did the apes come from?
  • If survival of the fittest means the weaker species die off, why are there still apes if humans came from them? (I owe this question to a friend of mine.)
  • If evolution is true, how many different species of humans are there really? There wouldn’t only be one, would there?
  • If survival of the fittest is the way of the world, can we as humans really be created equally?
  • Is it easier to believe that everything in this universe is chance, that there really is no meaning to any of it OR that a Creator God lovingly formed everything with intricate detail and care, thought and love?

As I consider the purpose of the fish, the meaning behind it and thought of the name of Darwin being stamped over the middle, I heard God asking me a few questions.

  • What can Darwin do for you?
  • Does he show you what it means to love?
  • Does he teach you how to have compassion for others?
  • Did he know your name before you were born?
  • Can he heal, hold and carry you through the difficulties of life?
  • Does he give you a purpose and meaning beyond yourself?

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” Genesis 1:26-28 (ESV)

Something to Consider…

When my husband and I were dating, we got on the subject of asking our parents questions. The conversation ending with me say, “My children are going to know they can ask me any question. I may not give them an answer. They may not like the answer I give them. But, they will always be able to come to me and ask.”

I believe God wants us to ask. If we are open to asking Him the question, we just might be open to receiving His answer.

Who do you look like: an intelligent ape, a distant relative or a loving and faithful Father in heaven? Do you walk like His Son, Jesus?

What questions do you have? Do you know your true identity? God would love to tell you who you are to Him.

“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.” Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

Shining His Light

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

I’m sitting here feeling like I’m frittering away my time. I’m enjoy some mindless activities but I know I have things to do today and people who are expecting me to be where I need to be when I need to be there. It feels like it should be a “pajama day”. You know those days when you just wear your comfy clothes all day, don’t worry about your hair or make-up and watch movies or read all day long. Yeah, that’s today.

But, then reality hits. I need to exercise. I have been hit and miss with this activity for way too long. And if I exercise, I definitely need a shower. I can’t even be around myself without cleaning up after a run. I do need to go grocery shopping which also includes checking my calendar, making a menu and organizing my shopping list…which is done by aisle so I can be efficient.

Once I’m home and groceries are put away, it’s out to dinner with my mom, daughters and friends for some food, fun and fellowship. Eating is considered a fun activity which is why I do need the exercise. And to finish off the night, we are doing a little summer clothes shopping. I will probably not be able to keep my eyes open at the end of the night for a movie or a book.

As I look at the day ahead, I wonder what else I’ll be doing. Who will I run into? What unexpected things will come my way? How will I handle the challenges and potential problems I may face? Will I reach out to someone, be willing to adjust and trust that all that needs to get done will get done?

Before I go or do anything, I quiet myself and spend some time with God.

Lord, what are your plans for my day? Who do you want me to talk to? How will I be able to shine your light to someone who needs to see it? What words of encouragement will you have me speak to someone who is wanting to hear it? Lord, this day is not my own. I give it to you. I pray I will let your light shine for all to see. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Something to Consider…

Our fellowship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit takes place in His light. Our joy is made complete when we shine His light and share in His fellowship with others.

Who are the people you see and do life with day in and day out? Is there somewhere you spend time that is dark in attitude and heavy in atmosphere? Consider how you can shine the light of Jesus in this place and with these people so they may also have fellowship with us.

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard,  so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3 (NIV)

Victory in Jesus

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the LORD, because you know that your labor in the LORD is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

Have you ever purchased an item that you just had to have only to get rid of it a year or so later? You didn’t use it as much as you thought you would or it didn’t work the way it said it would. I’ve done this way too many times. Usually, I’ve been looking for something that would make life easy and convenient. Sometimes, we just want the hot new product so we can be part of the “in” crowd. Sometimes, we just want to prove we can have it.

I recently saw a restaurant menu that said, “You can have it all!” The truth of that statement is you can have it all…eventually. It comes at a price. And then, you will be empty again because it does not last.

This is the way of the world. We can have it all. All the world has to offer, that is. And the lie the enemy wants us to believe is that it’s worth the price. You can satisfy your every desire. You deserve it, you’ve earned it and without it, you won’t really be happy.

The truth of Jesus says you don’t deserve it, you can’t earn it but with Him, you will have unending joy. In Jesus, there is joy and satisfaction like you’ve never experienced. No food or drink can feed your hunger or quench your thirst like the love of Christ.

When we live like we believe this, we are not distracted from our work, our purpose in the LORD. God has something for each of us to do for His world, His kingdom. The enemy loves it when we don’t complete our missions, don’t live out our purpose and are completely ineffective for Christ. He throws material possessions, status, and conveniences at us hoping to distract us. He uses struggles, troubles and temptations through our circumstances and people in our lives to try to get us to give up. We may begin to think we will never really be able to do what the LORD has called us to do. We can’t really have victory in Jesus here and now in this time and place. It’s just too hard, too much work.

We allow the perishable things of this world to keep us from a life of victory in Christ. Once we accept the gift of Jesus and His salvation, we know we will be with Him in heaven some day; but, we do not need to wait until then to live in that victory.

Something to Consider…

Where do you go to find satisfaction? Do you look to the people and things around you to fill you and bring you happiness?

Do situations, emotions and others move you? Do they cause you to doubt your faith or why you do what you do?

If we stand firm in our faith we cannot be moved from the purpose God has set before us. And what is that purpose? To share Jesus with others. What does the way you live your life say about what you believe about Jesus?

Ask Him to show you any areas of your life where you do not believe victory in Jesus is really for you right here, right now. He has overcome the world. In Him, so have you.

Our Desire, His Plan

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

I have had plans and dreams that I assumed could never happen. I’ve also had plans that I thought would satisfy and fulfill some deep desire but still fell short. There are things I always thought I would do and those that I said I would never do. And yet, here I am; nowhere near where I thought I would be.

Recently, I was thinking about our retirement plans. We still have a number of years before that reality but we’ve always had a general idea of where and how we wanted to live. Somewhere warm and near water would be perfect! No snow, no seat warmers in the car, no shovels, snow boots or ice melt needed. Then out of the blue, just the other week I thought, “I don’t want to move. I can’t imagine leaving and giving up what we have here. This means way too much to me!” How would I ever tell my husband that I didn’t want to go south?

But to my surprise, just a few days later, we were driving through the neighborhood and he said, “We’re going to be living here the rest of our lives, aren’t we?” He didn’t have a defeated tone, just one of fact. All I could say was, “Yes.”

God had changed our hearts and lead us to a new way of thinking; a new desire in our hearts.

I have found lately that God has a different plan for me than my deepest desires; at least those desires I had before I really knew Him. The idea of “giving up” my desires for Him was so scary. If I really stepped into what He wanted for me and from me, what would it require of me? What would I have to give up?

So far, it’s been some material possessions, self-gratifying activities and ultimately, fear.

I had to give up the fear that I would never have what I really wanted – a life of convenience, ability, and fun.

The truth is God has shown me how much more fun my life is when it’s not all about me. There are conveniences that free up my time, help me stay in communication with others and allow me the opportunity to do things I wouldn’t otherwise be able to do; but the focus is on serving, not being served. As I step away from the desire to have things, I move closer to the ability to provide for others.

“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24

Just as we didn’t see a past move to California coming, there may be something else God has up His sleeve for us. And just as we did think we would be moving back to Minnesota, we know God’s plans for us will be good.

Something to Consider…

The deepest desires of our hearts cannot come close to the plans the Lord has in store for each of us. Until we begin to understand this, we may tend to approach God with a bit of fear and intimidation worried about what we will have to change or give up.

The dreams and desires this world says we should crave and fulfill are empty and dissatisfying. God has good plans for you when you seek Him and His desires and dreams for your life. Boldly come to Him and lay your plans out before Him. Ask God to show you how His plan not only brings glory to Him, but can truly fulfill the deepest desires of your heart.

The Lighter Side of LYF – What is Beauty?

“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” Psalm 95:1-2

I love music. It truly touches a place deep inside me. My husband says there is no bad music. Personally, I enjoy classical music, am highly irritated by jazz, and move to a funky R&B groove. But, I LOVE rock when there is a get-down, heavy electric guitar. My soul sings when I hear fingers fly! I also love “whalers”. A term coined by a friend of mine for those singers who open up their mouth wide and a smooth, full-force voice comes forth and resonates with very little effort on their part. They carry the notes with what seems like unending breath. Not everyone sings this way and not everyone should. Different voices with different styles singing in different octaves – all beautiful in their own way. But the one that FILLS the room is the one that will most likely catch my attention.

I saw an article recently commenting on people’s ability to stop in the middle of their busyness and notice beauty. It made me stop and think. What is beauty? What makes something beautiful? Is the same thing beautiful to all people? Should it be? Why do some stop and notice while others keep moving? If people don’t stop, does that mean that they don’t take notice, consider it beautiful or are not blessed by it in some way?

“When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe man’s labor on earth – his eyes not seeing sleep day or night, then I saw all that God had done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.” Ecclesiastes 8:16-17

Then I wondered, what isn’t beautiful?

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

Can two people do the exact same thing and get different results? I wonder if God blesses intentions. Does one who sets out to test man according to what he thinks is important and beautiful get the same results as the one who sets out to bless man with what God says is important and beautiful? Maybe, if what we do, anything we do, when done solely for the glory of the Lord will be beautiful and noticed by those who are meant to notice and be blessed by it.

I admit I have not always stopped for those things God has wanted me to stop for. I have been hurried at times, distracted, and my mind set on my own plans; but I do know that I don’t want to stop for what someone else assumes I should stop for. And I don’t want to assume I know a person’s story, thoughts, or heart solely by how they measure up to my expectations.

Maybe, when we consider beauty, our plans and our expectations of each other; the best we can do is stop when God says stop and move when God says move. That just might be beautiful.

Something to Consider…

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26a, 27

If we were to stop to notice every beautiful thing around us, would we get anything done? Regardless of your position, name, talent or trade, each person is beautiful because we are each made in the image of God.

When was the last time you really looked a stranger or a loved one in the eyes and saw the beauty of God within them? Can you even begin to comprehend the plans God has laid out before them or you?

Choose today to bless, not test, those God puts in your path.

God’s Will for You

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

“…for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18b

Really, is that it? Is that all I have to do to be in God’s will? Sound too easy – be joyful, pray and give thanks?

Here’s the hard part: be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances. That sounds impossible!

What does it mean to have joy?

Joy is our excitement in expectation of good. It is also our enjoyment of the good we already have. It is not the same as simply being happy. Joy is an emotion but it is an emotion provoked by knowing, not feeling. We know that as followers of Jesus, we have received the Holy Spirit. Christ is in us. We have received the Eternal Life. It is with us always. We also know that we have been sealed with Holy Spirit guaranteeing our inheritance, salvation through Christ. Regardless of the battles and turmoil we face every day, we can have joy always.

How can we pray continually?

So often we think of prayer as carving out time to sit and be still. We lay out all of our prayers at one time. We get all worked up when we miss one and can be really hard on ourselves. But God knows our hearts and our thoughts at all times. It is necessary to spend intentional time with Him, talking to and listening to God; but, as we go through our day we can continue to lift up each situation, conversation, relationship, and burden to Him and lay it at His feet.  Sometimes, the simple prayers are the best because it means He is at the forefront of our minds at all times. We don’t just give Him the big things, the things we think we can’t handle or control; we give Him the small, simple things that we tend to think we can handle and control without His help.  When we are in constant communication with God, we will be better able to recognize His will.

Why should we give thanks or even be thankful in all circumstances?

Life is hard. We don’t want to deal with or face some of the situations and problems we do each day. Why should we be thankful when it doesn’t appear God has helped us, when He hasn’t taken our problem away? Isn’t that how we know God is with us? He answers our prayers the way we want Him to? We are to be thankful because He has made it possible to be joyful always and has given us the ability to be in prayer, communication with Him continually. We know that no matter what our situation, no one and nothing can take away what He has guaranteed. While all circumstances are not good, we know that He works all circumstances out for His good so that He can be gloried bringing others to know Him and have the same guarantee we do. We are an active participant in the kingdom of God. And that makes our joy complete!

Something to Consider…

Do you lack joy? Jesus is joy. Remind yourself daily of what Jesus has done for you and what that means going forward. His kingdom is here for you now. Enjoy what you have already received.

Do you feel like you have no time to pray or don’t know how?  He is the friend who sticks closer than a brother. Talk to your friend, Jesus, about anything and everything on your mind.

Do you wonder how you can possibly be thankful in the middle of your mess? We are not our circumstances but we do have the opportunity to show others the love of Christ in the midst of our circumstances. How will you show Christ’s love to others facing difficult circumstances?

Wishful Thinking or Truly Resolved

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)

I have not been one to follow through on my resolutions. Each year, I would make them and by February had fallen short and given up. So rather than fail, I simply chose not to make resolutions.

What I was really doing was making a wish list. So many nice-to-do’s but nothing that would last. You can’t take it with you so if it’s uncomfortable, inconvenient or troublesome, why bother?

And that is what resolutions are all about – doing the hard thing. If it was easy, we’d all be doing what we know we should. We’d be doing what is good for us and others not needing new resolutions.

To be resolved is to be convinced and satisfied that the purpose we pursue is true and worth the effort. We are bold, unshaken, constant, steady, and determined because we understand that what we do or don’t do really matters.

What can matter to the point that we are not only determined in our pursuit but problems cannot hinder or stop our efforts?

“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2 (NIV)

Jesus Christ and salvation through His death and resurrection. There is nothing that lasts longer or is more important than knowing Christ.

So how do we become resolved in knowing Christ?

As we seek God with all of our heart, we become open to His truth, will and way in every part of our life. Jesus is that Truth. We read His Word and spend time with Him in worship and prayer. God does not hide himself from us and when we earnestly seek Him, we find Him. And then we point others to Him.

What does this resolve look like in our lives?

We stand firm and let nothing move us: When we know the truth and reason about why we do what we do, we can speak and act with certainty and boldness not being moved when questions or doubts are raised. We are not easily excited or entangled in debates and we don’t let the troubles of life or complaints from people stop us or derail us in our work and efforts.

Why are we able to continue in our work?

We know our labor in the Lord is not in vain: Everything God calls us to do has a purpose. When we give ourselves fully to His work, we will point others to Him. We even find purpose in our failures, learning and growing from them.

Do you know God’s truth for your life, your eternal life? Do you know that truth with certainty or are you more wishful in your thinking? Are there inconveniences or problems that are keeping you from stepping into God’s purpose for your life?

Something to Consider…

In what way is God calling you to be resolved?

Do you need to know Jesus? Consider taking an Alpha class. Alpha is for anyone who has questions about God, the Bible, Jesus and the Christian faith.

Do you know Jesus but are easily moved by your emotions or questions raised by others? Consider joining a Bible study group such as Bible Study Fellowship. Studying God’s Word solidifies His truth. We are able to learn from each other and stay accountable.

Do you wonder if what you do really makes a difference? While we may not always see the results of our work, we can be certain that if we are seeking God and His will in all we do, He will use our work to accomplish His purpose.