November 02, 2009

My Purpose (?) Driven Life

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NAS95)

Long time no see! It’s great to be back in writing saddle once again. I have deeply missed being “together with you.” I hope you enjoy the quick link and more presentable format. I had fun putting it together. [Janice, thanks for the help!] Now perhaps you are wondering what I’ve been doing will all my free time? Well, let’s see. . .

I knew at the beginning of the year this would be a year of challenge and adventure. And indeed, it has been. It’s just things didn’t always come packaged as I thought they might.

In the last few months, I’ve dealt with multiple life issues which have created, let’s say, stress. I have also been privileged to travel throughout Florida to share my testimony. Thus my spirits have soared some days and crashed and burned on others.

During the more chaotic moments, I found myself wondering about my exact purpose in life. Lord, I know you have a specific purpose for me, but could you give a clue as to what it is! Can anyone relate? I’ve heard so much lately about having a “calling” that I once again wonder what I am called to do!

I find myself green with envy of those I know who seem to have a clear concise vision of what God expects from them--including the details. Let me give you an example. My boss (and dear friend) Cheryle, knows without doubt that she is called to travel the United States and talk to people about their faith. She is quite certain and adamant on the where and how of her calling. On the other hand, I know that God has given me a heart (a call) to teach but I use that gift as God brings the opportunity. I never know when or how that might come. Ashamedly, there are moments I doubt my purpose. So I did some pondering.

One of my favorite spots to ponder is in the shower. I don’t know why. Maybe with all the soap on hand, it’s my way of coming clean before God. Hey, don’t laugh! It works for me! While in the shower, a thought came upon me. I wonder if we spend so much time and energy trying to discover God’s purpose, that it can’t discover us?

Then in quiet time that day God turned on the light as I read Matthew 5:16! It’s all so clear now. In this verse, Christ gives us a blueprint for a purpose driven life (to borrow the phrase from Rick Warren). It tells me the who, the what, the how and the why of His purposes. Now that is pretty specific.

The Who “Let your light shine” We are to shine. Please note this does not say, let your self shine, but your light! In Matthew 5:15, we are discouraged from hiding our light under a bushel. Light was meant to be seen. Since Bible Basics 101 tells us that any light we have as a believer, is from Christ, we are to let the light of Christ shine in our lives.

The What “your good works” We don’t need a degree in Theology to define good works. It is anything helpful, productive, and positive. It can encompass a whole range of actions from standing before thousands giving testimony of what God has done in your life, or it sharing with a co-worker at lunch. You could write a book or write a note of encouragement. You could be a role model for hundreds or a model mom for a few. While it is grace not goodness that saves us, there is no doubt that good works play a vital part of the Christian life.
The How “in such a way before men” This is imperative because it leads into the “Why”. My perception of ‘such a way’ is a way that lends credence or authority to the ‘what’ and the ‘why’. It’s not done selfishly or in a manner that would invalidate the ‘why.’ I believe we can relate this to living a consistent lifestyle that is God-honoring not self-serving. Which brings us to. . .

The Why “And glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Is what we do going to bring glory to God? That is the point of all points. If our works and our ministry are not for the glory of God, then our life has no purpose and no meaning.

Whether you are the person who knows beyond question that God has called you to a specific task or if you are the one who shares your gifts as God brings opportunity on more a daily basis, if you can get down the proper aspects of who, what, how and why – then you are on your way to living a purpose fulfilled life! You are living your call!

It is my prayer that you will review and ponder over this verse as I have done. I am so grateful to God for allowing me to discover new insight into His Word and grateful to have the opportunity to share with you. While, I desire to be an encouragement to each of you, I write to the glory of God.

I leave you with Deut. 32:3:

“Because I publish the name of the Lord, ascribe ye greatness unto our God!”

Lovingly, Barbara

4 comments:

  1. THANK YOU Barbara!! This was wonderful and encouraging, and it is so great to have you back and writing and sharing the Word of God each Monday.... I always look forward to reading, thank you! Praying for you!

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  2. Just for the record - I too wake up some mornings and doubt my call. This devotion was wonderful. Please post it on www.pocketfullofchange.org - I'm following your blog on my blog. Thanks for all that you mean to me. I love you.

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  3. As always your words touch deep within my heart where I hold you so dear. Thank you for continuing to seek and follow God's will for your life. You give me hope that one day, I too might know what God's will for my life is. (susan)

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  4. Barbara, it is so good to read your devotionals again! Thank you!

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