Passionate Purpose

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“But I consider my life of no value to myself; my purpose is to finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24

Every day I am witness to the wandering purposelessness of mankind. Humans racing from here to there, searching, striving, seeking to find some sense of purpose or fulfillment, mostly in all of the wrong places. Why am I not more outspoken of the answer I carry within me? Where is the boldness and courage to testify to the magnificent, unparalleled grace of God?

Once upon a time ago, the phrase “life verse” was commonly used within the church. I don’t hear it as frequently these days, but if someone were to ask me, my response would be automatic, Acts 20:24. “But I consider my life of no value to myself; my purpose is to finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.” I would have provided that answer 20+ years ago as well. Yet what it means to me now has grown and convicted me in new ways. This verse has taken root in my soul and wrapped itself around my heart. At various times throughout my life, I have felt frustrated by the fact that I wasn’t living out the ministry God called me to. In hindsight, I can see that I had the opportunity and the means to testify to God’s grace, but did not utilize them. The rearview mirror has revealed to me that God also needed to do some refining, purifying, and sifting in me. With every refining fire, every purification process, and every sifting season, God has faithfully uprooted something in my life that was preventing His work and movement in my life. In some seasons, I turned my back on the Lord and utterly neglected my faith walk with Jesus. In my younger years, I did not realize just how fleeting life really is. I felt like I had all the time in the world to fulfill God’s purposes for my life. I would wait for the exact right time for Jesus to catapult me into the ministry He had prepared for me, but, God doesn’t move like that. He wants our faithful obedience in the routine of everyday life. If I could not faithfully testify to the gospel of God’s grace right where I was, why would He move me on to the next thing with more responsibility?

When I read Acts 20:24 now, my heart is drawn to the opening words: “But I consider my life of no value to myself.” I missed that part for a long time. I cannot live for myself and for Jesus at the same time. What has prevented me from finishing my course and the ministry I received from the Lord? My desire to chart my own course, to satisfy my wants and my desires, to live for myself–basically my selfishness and old sin nature that I failed to fully crucify. Yet when I begin to consider my life of no value to myself, then I have learned to release my pride, my striving, my selfishness, and my focus has shifted to the grace of the Lord Jesus in my life. And how can I withhold sharing so beautiful a Savior and Redeemer while others scurry about, seeking their own fulfillment?

The purpose and passion of the Christian faith is not to be kept to ourselves. It is meant to reach far beyond the doors the sanctuary on Sunday mornings. The life lived for Jesus requires boldness and courage. It demands a setting aside of our rights. The fear is what holds us back. The fear asks us what about what we want? And Jesus promises that what He has for us is far beyond anything we could ask, think, or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). If we are grasping tightly to what we want, then our hands are all tied up and unable to reach for what God has for us. But, are we willing to trust Him? Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:1). David says this in Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” When we focus on the mission and the purpose of testifying to the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, our hearts desire HIM. Jesus gladly and willingly gives us more and more of Himself. He wants us to learn what it means to delight in Him and then not keep that to ourselves. Testify to His grace, friend!

Daily, I am surrounded by people, and I wonder what makes them tick. I wonder if, when they lay their heads down on their pillows at night, do they ever ask what this life is all about, what the purpose of life is. I watch as people try to find meaning in social media, but are merely wasting their time with mindless scrolling. I see the struggle to stay young and thin and fight the aging process. To grow older is a gift not all may be able to experience. I am becoming more appreciative of the days because, with age, for me, has come wisdom, and another day lived with the Lord. People have grown hardened, defensive, angry, and rude as a way to protect themselves from a plethora of things, thoughts, feelings, relationships, experiences. The sad and mistaken mantra of this current culture is that everyone has their own truth. But, the absolute truth is found in Jesus Christ, and He Himself said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

I find myself more and more relating to the words the apostle Paul penned to the Philippian church: “For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). When people do not know Jesus, then they have no true sense of purpose. I know my purpose: to consider my life of no value to me and to testify to the gospel of God’s grace. When I–and you–are living out our passionate purposes in Jesus, then we are inevitably inviting others to join us. We are offering hope and truth to a lost and dying world. And, friends, the people around us are hurting, are broken, are lost, are searching, and are without hope. Testify to the gospel of God’s grace! If you know Jesus, then you have a story of grace to share. I find myself graced by Jesus on the daily. Who am I telling? With whom am I sharing that grace? I want to live out the life verse Jesus gave me all those years ago: “But, I consider my life of no value to myself; my purpose is to finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.” I have wasted enough time–I don’t want to waste another day. Do you?

Published by Dawn413

Jesus is the lover of my soul. Throughout my life, in both triumphs and challenges, Jesus has shown me that He is the ultimate source of satisfaction. There is no other. I love words, and He has filled my heart with a passion for Him, His Word, and writing. I am a mom of both humans and furry canines. I love running, hiking, reading, the ocean, baseball, basketball. I love spending time with my friends and family and doing any activity that can include my pups!

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