Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Purpose

I’m reading “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dilbow. The chapter I just read, “A Faulty Focus,” encourages us to write out our life purpose statement. I spent several hours one morning while on vacation praying, searching God's word and journalling, and I was able to put into words what I believe my purpose in life is:

Loving God

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Dt. 6:4 -5)

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Matt 22: 36 – 41)

The first commandment, and according to Jesus, the greatest commandment, was to Love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength -- wholeheartedly. I don’t want to be legalistic and follow rules just to please God, but I want my love for God to be my motivation for everything I do. I want my life to worship God and to show my love for him..

Striving for Excellence

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Col 3:23 – 24)

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. (Eph 6:7-8)

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:48)

His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' (Matthew 25:21)

God has called me to put my whole heart into everything I do; I cannot do something half way or half-heartedly. I also know that God has blessed me with gifts and that I must use these for him. So what I do, I want it to be the best that it can be. I long to hear my master say “well done” some day because I used the gifts he gave me well.

Serving Others

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others (Phil 2:3-4)

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. (Gal 5:13)

I want to meet other people’s needs, to put them before me and so to reflect God.

Reflecting my Master

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (I
Pet 2:12)

In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. . . . so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive (Titus 2:7 – 10)

I want to live my life so that it is a reflection of God. I want my words, my actions, my appearance to be above reproach so that others will see God in me. Sometimes this come across as legalism (again) and rule following, but I never want it to be about me, but about my Lord. I long for people to see my life and to glorify God (not me).

Leaving a Legacy

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Dt. 6:6-9)

O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things
from of old- what we have heard and known,
what our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next
generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power,
and the wonders he has done.
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. (Psalm 78: 1 – 7)

Not only do I want to LIVE my life to glorify God, I want to tell others – I want to tell my children who will tell their children. I want to teach young people that it is possible to love God with your whole life and to serve him. I want others to inherit my passion for God and to pass it on to others. What “charges” me the most is this concept --- that I may teach those who teach and that my legacy of Loving God with my whole life, to the best of my abilities will be passed on to future generations.

This then is my purpose -- why I am here: to love God, to strive for excellence, to serve others, to reflect the Master, and to leave a legacy. My prayer is that these aren't just words, but something I will live by.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Reports from abroad

I have found myself checking google reader and my facebook frequently the last few days . . . and I am SO grateful for technology.

My girls are in Guatamala, and thanks to technology they have had opportunity to blog and to post to their facebooks. Hanna's blog is "changing hearts" and Joy's is "Giving into your Gravity." Links to both of their blogs are below.

In addition, Hanna's team leader has been posting pictures & videos of what they are doing!