Sunday, March 2, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 72: Of Purpose and Prayer

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 72, March 2, 2014
Readings: Psalm 72, Exodus 18, Ezra 8, Romans 8:18-39

Do you know what your purpose is? Perhaps you've read a book (or many) on the subject. Maybe you don't know yet. Maybe you don't even want to know - because then you'd have to do something about it. But what if you did have a purpose? Who would guide you through it, and help you along the way? Who would assess your performance in it? How would you know you'd achieved it?

For those who call themselves Christians, our purpose is set, and it is simple. We don't need a book to tell us what it is. Our purpose is to follow God wholeheartedly. To devote our time, energy and resources to His kingdom. And while that may play out in different ways, we are still called to God's purpose - not ours. So how do we understand that? What about what other people say?

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:26-30)

We are called to be conformed to the image of Christ. We are called to his purpose. The Holy Spirit will guide us, direct us, and show us how we can live this out. Christ's purpose was to reach the lost, and to bring them back to God. Our purpose is the same. Now, this is played out in different ways - some are called to be teachers, evangelists and so forth. But all of us are called to be like Christ. And that doesn't just mean being a loving person.

Being like Christ is an intensely difficult and high standard. We have the Holy Spirit with us to guide us and grow us, using every situation to work all things together for good. Not for our earthly good, in possessions and jobs and the like. No, for our heavenly good. That we may become more like Christ. That we may love others more. That sinfulness may be rooted out of us. And this will often be a difficult process. If it was easy we wouldn't need the Spirit in our weakness!

So if you're considering your purpose, if you think you've got it figured out or you don't know where to start, ask the Spirit. How is He asking you to be like Christ? What does He want to change in you? How does He want to grow you?

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