purpose of living

New Beginnings

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Dogwood-Tree-Blooms-Spring-Flower1,photo by Kennan Ward-Corbis

Life is the culmination of new beginnings, seasons of growth and change. As God put it, while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)

But there is more to life than just existing on this earth from birth to death. There is a divine purpose to our existence that God desires to fulfill and it begins with acknowledging the source of true life. Moses told the people of Israel to look forward to a future prophet that God would raise up like him, one that they should be careful to listen to.

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers – it is to Him you shall listen.” (Deuteronomy 18:15)

For all those who looked toward the fulfillment of this promise, this prophet, who like Moses would lead the people and the world into new beginnings of eternal life through Him, would take center stage in the world as we know it.

“…behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.'” (Matthew 17:5)

Today presents an opportunity for new beginnings. There is more to life on this earth than merely existing aimlessly, void of purpose and a life left wanting. Jesus said that those who believe in Him would have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) His desire is for us to know Him, not only in His death on the cross (seedtime) but in the power of His resurrection (harvest) in newness of life. (Philippians 3:10)

“I am the good shepherd, I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father;and I lay down My life for the sheep…and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, One shepherd.” (John 10:14,15)

New beginnings begin with listening to Jesus!

Bold, Italics are mine.

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Faith Heals

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gift of light

Faith is real and we all have faith in something or someone. Faith convinces us to trust with unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence.

The word faith is easily associated with religious beliefs or traditions but what about faith and healing? Do you find it easier to have faith in God yet struggle with the idea of a God who heals situations in your life or body?

There was a woman in the bible who suffered with a physical issue for 12 years, an issue of a discharge of blood. And because any prolonged bleeding by Jewish law made her ceremonially unclean it forced her to become an outcast, not even allowed to enter the Temple. A seemingly hopeless situation in her day.

One day, however, when she heard that Jesus was passing through she said to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will be made well.” (Matthew 9:21) It was in this moment that she placed her faith in Jesus from whom all healing comes.

When she touched His garment the scripture tells us that Jesus turned in the crowd of people, knowing that healing power had gone out from Him. He saw this frightened woman who had stepped out boldly and reassured and affirmed her healing.

“Jesus turned, and seeing her He said, ‘Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well.’ And instantly the woman was made well.” (Matthew 9:22)

Faith heals. Faith places its trust in a trustworthy God who loved us before we loved Him. Faith believes that nothing is impossible with God.

“…if you have faith like a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

Take heart, your faith will make you well.

River of Blessing

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Photo: HD Walls
Photo: HD Walls

Blessed living leads to a blessed life.

A blessed life does not imply a life without trials or suffering, it implies a life of consistently bearing fruit that in turn blesses us and those around us.

We tend to think of fruit in the natural mind that is useful to the human body. However, in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ we have been given the capability to produce tremendous fruit if we stay planted near the river.

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:3)

In other words, there are no fruitless seasons of life if we stay near the water source, the river of blessing. There will never be a season when we are not enjoying the fruit of our labors in Christ.  Jesus promised that;

“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” (John 7:38)

We can toil all our lives and never experience the ‘river of blessing’ that God has specifically designed for our lives. We must first believe in Jesus who is the river of blessing. When we find our delight in Him we become like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season.

“Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary.” (Ezekiel 47:12)

Are you planted near the river?

Faith & Wisdom

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Do you ever feel like your faith walk is easily affected by life’s circumstances? Do you seem to waver between trusting in God and trusting in yourself to work through the trials of life? When you don’t know what to do, what do you do?

The bible tells us that faith and wisdom work together to bring stability into our daily lives.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…” (James 1:5,6)

Did you notice the warning to ‘not doubt’?  Doubt embraces uncertainty and distrust, it makes us hesitant to believe, fearful or apprehensive about the truth. God encourages us to receive wisdom from Him and then warns us not to doubt the instruction in truth that He gives. If we doubt we are described as unstable and tossed about as the wind.

“…for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6-8)

Faith in God and the application of His wisdom in our daily lives will give us the stability we desire that will position us to weather any trial or test that comes our way. This is God’s promise to those who love Him.

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12)

Perseverance Leads to Fulfillment

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Perseverance is the key to fulfillment. Many are inspired to fulfill their designed purpose and yet so few enter into their promise land. Perseverance implies a continued, patient effort towards a desired end that leads to fulfillment.

The decision to perseverance is just the first step, finishing well requires a strength beyond our ability. The prophet Jeremiah was called by God to persevere. He was also given assurance that he would have divine protection in his difficult pursuit of fulfilling God’s plan for his life.

“And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land…They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.” (Jeremiah 1:18, 19)

Even with this powerful promise of protection from God, Jeremiah struggled with all the threats and opposition he received early on, just as we struggle. God used it all to show Jeremiah his need beyond his own abilities. The Lord answered his complaints by addressing his inadequacies to go the distance without God’s help.

“So, Jeremiah, if you’re worn out in this footrace with men, what makes you think you can race against horses? And if you can’t keep your wits during times of calm, what’s going to happen when troubles break loose like the Jordan in flood?” (Jeremiah 12:8, The Message)

Like us, Jeremiah had to learn how to depend on God’s strength to persevere. With every deliverance Jeremiah’s trust in God’s power and presence grew. He achieved the fulfillment of God’s purpose for his life and received all that God promised him.

Whatever God has asked of you, His power and strength will get you there, not your’s. Choose to persevere, trusting in His daily provision. May the ‘few’ turn into the ‘many’ who persevere to the end, fulfilling their purpose on this earth!

“…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Love is Kind

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Image of Love by J. Shauk
Image of Love by J. Shauk

Love is kind, a very becoming character trait in a person. When seen exhibited in a person it tends to spread. One kind act often leads to another.

It is easy to display kindness towards kind people but how do you respond to an unkind person? Did you know that Jesus said we get no reward for being kind to kind people. He modeled kindness to an unkind world towards Him.

“but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

We’ve all benefited from God’s kindness, His blessings are shed abroad, even upon the unkind.

“…For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 7:45b)

Let kindness begin in your closest relationships. I have found this to be the hardest test to pass but once you master being kind in your own household it will easily spread abroad. Kindness brings out the greatness in us when done through the kindness extended to us from God.

“…Your kindness made me great.” (Psalm 18:35b)

Love is Kind.

“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?” (Matthew 5:46)

A Visionary Life

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Foggy Morning Nature

If you have a ‘life vision’ you are living with purpose, you are a visionary. The best visions come from God because His vision for you comes with the power to achieve fulfillment. His vision for your life places you into a company of great visionaries that have come before you, impacting their world for the better, inspiring change and bringing hope and help to all nations and people groups. Don’t settle for the ordinary life that lacks vision when God has given us an extraordinary opportunity to use our gifts and talents to fulfill His will for our lives.

God spoke long ago to those who would follow Him with a trusting heart. He predicted that they would speak of His awesome deeds one day upon the fulfillment of their vision.

“They shall speak of the might of Your awesome deeds, and I will declare Your greatness.” (Psalm 145:6)

I have received many visions from God without a clue as to how God would lead me into the fulfillment. Looking back, He has certainly performed awesome deeds on my behalf to support me and my path of fulfillment. His ways cannot be compared to our way of doing things, we must trust in His higher way.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8,9)

A vision has to move from the mind to the heart and then to reality. Small faith steps lead to cumulative results that begin to have the impact that God envisioned for us.

What vision has God given you? It’s never too late to start moving and aligning your life toward it. Submit the process to God and with His help you will see the fulfillment and discover your purpose!

“A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul…” (Proverbs 13:19a)