Purpose

Published on Feb 17th, 2016 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Purpose

Purpose

In Acts 10 Peter has a vision; Cornelius meets with Peter and God’s great plan continues forward.  The OT law is no longer binding and the Gentiles are now equal partners with the Jews in the spreading of the truth.  It is a passage that I have found myself chewing on for quite a while.  The Jews were God’s chosen people to be the nation that would be responsible for spreading the truth of God and for living lives that became an object lesson for those truths.  They fulfilled that calling…sometimes.  Often they failed.  In fact they failed so much that God has set them aside and has created the Church.  The church now becomes the beacon of the truth.  Our lives are to be living object lessons of how the truth of God changes a person.  Our marriages are to be object lessons of the love of Christ and the church.  We are to be ambassadors, witnesses, and preachers of the truth.  I began to meditate on what might be written about us.  Would our generation be like the book of Judges where we all did what was right in our own eyes or would we be like the time of David when the kingdom was strong?

I love the fact that although we are all individuals we are also the body of Christ.  Each part important.  Romans 12 reminds us that when one rejoices we all rejoice.  When one mourns we all mourn.  I was so encouraged to chew on all of these truths together.  Our church has a group of young people that have been going to the local motels to share food and Christ.  Two boys have come to know Christ.  A number of us went out to our neighborhoods and “super caroled” at Christmas.  What a joy to be able to spread the gospel in that way.  Our local body has several teachers in the public schools that have been seeking to make Christ known each day.  I just spoke with part of our body, now moved away, whose wife is facing a lousy medical future but is spending several days a week serving others in a nursing home.  One part of our body has been faithfully sharing Christ with his Muslim co-worker.  We have several body parts that have been faithfully sharing with unsaved family members.  They share each Wednesday night their burden for those who are lost.  One member is currently on a trip with an unsaved neighbor and is asking us to fervently pray that God would open doors to share.  Another member called me excitedly about wanting to be baptized.  He took the time to share with his family his decision and asked each family member if they were ready to follow Christ in this way.  One part of my spiritual family shared with me their desire to demonstrate Christ to a neighbor who is being less than neighborly.  Several parts of our body are spread around the globe sharing Christ. One of our children’s workers shared with me how one first grader eagerly proclaimed that she was a missionary because one of the kindergarten students at school did not know Christ and so she was explaining the gospel to them.

Sometimes I may feel that I need to open my mouth in a bolder witness for Christ.  That is probably true.  But I rejoice that the local body of Christ that I am associated with, while not perfect, is eagerly sharing the gospel. Their stories are part of my story.  They give me strength to live openly and courageously for Christ.  I know that each week I will meet with them and they will understand my passion for the purpose God has given to me.

I would also like to share that being an ambassador of Christ is part of my heritage.  As I reflected on Acts 10 and my purpose I found my mind drifting to my father as such a great example of this.  We are just about at the one year anniversary of the passing of my dad and the memories of that and this passage became very intertwined in my mind.  My dad was all about his purpose from God.  There are several memories I have of my dad living his purpose.  He turned down promotions and more money because it would have caused him to travel and miss ministries he was involved in.  I remember my mom and dad seriously considering buying an RV.  It was the hot thing to do at that time and we loved taking short trips as a family.  My dad shared that they had decided not to buy an RV because they would have felt obligated to use it on the weekends and that would have meant giving up serving at the church.  When I was a late teen my dad had read an article that people really wanted to talk but were too shy.  So he decided that when we were in a line (one time at motor vehicle) he would speak loudly with the hope of sparking a chance to witness with those in line (I was totally embarrassed and it did not work too well).  When my dad was in the hospital he made a commitment that no one would leave his room without hearing about the Lord.  The doctors even commented to my mom.  At his funeral service I was so grateful to hear of those my dad led to the Lord.  My dad was saved later in life and it was fun to hear about how much he changed at work and how boldly he witnessed there.  He was still well liked but many began to avoid his desk.  Whenever I spoke with my dad we would speak a little about sports and a ton about the things of God. He was all about his purpose.  I don’t share these things to brag about my dad but to remind myself that it is possible to live a life of purpose.  To not allow ourselves to be too distracted.  I also share these truths because they are part of my story.  Not simply because he was my dad but because we are spiritually of the same body.  His victories, are in many ways, my victories.

God has created the church to walk together and to fulfill the purpose of glorifying Christ by being witnesses of the gospel…together.  It is our purpose here on earth.  When you share Christ with someone today you not only fulfill your purpose but you help me, in some way, fulfill my purpose today.  It does not excuse my lack of boldness today but it encourages and helps strengthen me to be bold tomorrow.  It is part of sharing our lives together.

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”  Francis Chan

 

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