Partnering in His Purposes - First15 - November 30, 2017

Partnering in His Purposes

Weekly Overview:

To know God is to experience God. Just as we experience aspects of one another as we grow in friendship, we experience the wonders of God as we seek to simply know him. God is calling us to a life of seeking him with all we are. He is calling us to value relationship with him above all else that we would love no other but him. May you encounter wonderful aspects of relationship with your heavenly Father this week as we wholeheartedly seek to know him with all we are.

Scripture:

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

Devotional:

True friends are those who are willing to partner with us in things that really matter to us. True friends are willing to help simply because they love us, even if the task isn’t something they would have ordinarily valued. In John 21:15 we gain insight into a conversation between two friends, Jesus and Simon Peter. Scripture says,

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

Jesus didn’t ask Simon Peter if his heart burned for taking care of his people. He didn’t ask Peter his plans after Jesus had gone. After being established in the heart of Peter as Lord, Jesus simply asked him if he loved him.

I’ve spent so much of my life trying to figure out what I liked—what I felt like doing. I’ve taken all the gift tests, personality tests, and strength tests. And while God absolutely fashions, forms, and equips us for unique purposes, I believe God is asking the same question of you and me that he did of Peter. I believe that our purposes are to be foundationally birthed out of utter devotion to Jesus above what we want or feel equipped to do.

Jesus is looking for disciples who will say yes to that which is greater than they could have ever imagined doing. He’s looking for friends like Simon Peter who will follow him wherever he leads, even if it means to their death. He’s looking for those who are so in love with him that at a single statement from his lips we willingly and obediently respond by taking up our cross as he did and living a surrendered, purposeful life.

Take time today to hear the voice of your Lord saying, “Do you love me?” Assess today whether he truly is your greatest love. And in response, open your heart to receive any command he would speak to you today. If you are faithful to respond with your life, you will find his strength to accomplish any purpose and the reality of his love to be your unshakable joy.

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on John 21:15. Allow the word of God to search your heart.

“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’” John 21:15

2. Assess whether Jesus truly is your greatest love. If he isn’t—if you wouldn’t follow him anywhere—take time to surrender anything you’ve placed above him. Confess any idols you have in your life that he might truly be crowned King of your heart today.

“Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.” Jonah 2:8

3. Ask him to speak his will to you today. Ask him what he would have you do and where he would have you do it. Be faithful to respond in obedience and trust today.

“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:21

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

In John 15:12-14 Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” Rather than placing yourself at the center of your thoughts, actions, motives, and emotions, choose to center your life around others today. Choose to serve and love others as Jesus did. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you his heart for those around you that you might be a reflection of his great love in the earth. Seeing God’s kingdom come is nothing more than choosing to love and live as Jesus did. You can be a conduit for his purposes in the earth today. May your day be filled with spectacular wonders as God manifests his kingdom through your life.

Extended Reading: John 12

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