God’s Grace Brings Purpose - First15 - May 5, 2018

God’s Grace Brings Purpose

Weekly Overview:

Grace is a gift most of us don’t know how to receive. We’ve been so inundated with the earthly systems of give-and-get and work-and-earn that grace is a concept few ever fully grasp. Yet it’s grace alone that has the power to transform lives. Grace alone has the power to bring freedom to the captives. By grace alone we are saved. There could be no better use of our time than consistently and passionately pursuing a greater revelation of God’s grace.

Scripture:“[God] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.” 2 Timothy 1:9

Devotional:    

One of the greatest gifts we’ve been given by God is purpose. From the time of Adam, God has always made clear the purposes we were created for. In Genesis 1:28 God says, “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.” Throughout time our purposes have changed, but God has made it clear that we all are to have lives that are valuable and effective. Have you lived days where you’re simply going through the motions? Have you had days where you feel as if what you do doesn’t matter? Those days in my life are my absolute worst. I would rather go through trial and persecution with purpose than live a meaningless day. It’s in purpose we find satisfaction. In purpose we find out our lives matter. And in purpose we discover the reason we were created.

2 Timothy 1:9 says, “[God] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.” Because of God’s grace and purpose we have been called to a life of wonderful and satisfying works. The Bible teaches us a truth in opposition to the teachings of the world. The world says to work enough to live a life of comfort and ease. Work is done for the purpose of relaxation and comfort. God says that we are created for a life of eternal value in which everything we do is to have purpose higher than our own comfort and relaxation.God has placed value and worth on your life to an extent you have yet to discover. He has a plan and purpose for your life that he’s assigned to no one else. Your life is meant to make an eternal impact for his kingdom which will reign for all time. But in his grace he has also given you control of your own life. You can choose to live your life according to his purposes or your own. And you can choose to pursue comfort and meaningless relaxation or a life of true rest and satisfaction that comes only from living entirely for God. My hope is that in looking at two purposes God has for your life, you will choose to live your life completely with and for your heavenly Father. And in doing so, you will discover the incredible joy and passion the Spirit longs to birth in you.

The first purpose for which you were created is relationship with God. Jesus says in Mark 12:30, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The Westminster Shorter Catechism says it this way: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”Loving God is your highest calling, and in loving God you will experience the fullest joy and satisfaction available. When you stand before God in judgment, he will not look for possessions, promotions, or social status, but rather at the fervor with which you loved him. You will be rewarded for acts of love, not self-seeking glorification. And this chief purpose of loving God is the only path to the abundant life he has in store for you here.

The second purpose for which you were created is loving others in response to your love for God. Mark 12:31 says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Acts 26:16 says,“But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you.” We are called to love others out of the amazing love we’ve been shown. As our hearts are filled with love for God through encountering him in the secret place, we will be filled with a longing to see his desires for others around us come to fruition. God’s greatest longing is for relationship with his crown of creation, and he wants to use us to guide others to himself. In loving others we will discover the incredible satisfaction of seeing the lost and hurting be found and healed. Incredible passion and joy comes from seeing a life transformed through the Spirit working in us.

How incredible is the grace of our God that his purposes would be entirely rooted in love. We are called to simply love him and others with the very love we’ve been shown. He’s like a father who gives his children money to buy him a present. He fills us with the love and enjoyment he feels for us, and then in response we can love him and others. He fills you with the breath of life and then patiently waits for you to live your life as a beautiful song of worship to him. May you experience today all that God’s grace has afforded you. May you choose to live your life with purpose and passion that only comes from loving him and others.

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on God’s desire to lead you to a life of abundant purpose.

“[God] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.” 2 Timothy 1:9

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.” John 15:16

2. Reflect on your own life. Where have you been living with the purposes of the world rather than God? In what areas are you living for yourself rather than him and others? And in what areas of your life do you feel meaningless and passionless?

3. Receive the rejuvenation that comes from living with his purposes as your chief goals. Allow God to revive relationships that seem tired and passionless. Allow God to fill you with desire for your work, friendships, or marriage. Ask for the Spirit to reveal specific ways he desires to use you today.

The passion and purpose God has for you never ceases. There will be days or seasons he leads you to rest for the purpose of renewing, loving, and filling you. There will be times of work and striving in which he purposes to mold, shape, and use you. Wherever God is leading you today, trust that he absolutely has the best plan for you. Choose to live your life with his purposes in your heart and experience the passion that can only be found in living for God.

 

Extended Reading: Mark 12

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