Archives For purpose

Those who have been reading my work for a while know I set a theme for each year in my life. One of my favorites from the past remains, “Consume less, contribute more”. That principle has stuck with me and continues to shape the way I live. As I contemplated this year’s theme, I kept bouncing between several ideas and could never seem to land on one. When I awoke on the first day of the year, I still had no theme.

to be like you,scandal of grace,hillsong united,aaron pelsue,discipleship,commitment,grace,mission,purpose,word of the year,one word,yearly theme

image © digitalskillet1 via Fotolia

As I was standing in the quiet of my house in the early morning, I suddenly felt compelled to go to my knees in prayer for the upcoming year. Out of this time, my theme very naturally presented itself. As I was praying, the chorus to the song, “Scandal of Grace”, began playing repeatedly in my head. It begins, “Oh to be like You”. I knew in an instant this would be my theme for the rest of the year.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

You don’t need a New Year to make a new start, but there is something cleansing, refreshing, and hopeful about the change of the calendar year. A new year presents a clean slate, a fresh palette, and a blank page. New dreams and possibilities dance playfully before our eyes. There are new moments waiting to be lived, new roads to be explored, and expanded heights for us to reach.

new beginning,commitment,discipline,love,mission,purpose,new year,resolution,habits

image © DedMityay via Fotolia

While the temperature in many parts of the world registers a deep chill, our blood boils nonetheless with warm vigor and boiling dreams. These are days that must be more than lived, they must be tasted, held, and molded to form new possibilities. I love a new beginning. It reminds me of what Christ did for each of us when He laid down His life so we might experience a new and better life of our own.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

The light of Jesus shows up best in dark places. It was into the darkness that Christ came as a baby. His light shone so brightly it brought shepherds in from their fields. Seekers from far off lands traveled two years to reach the light given off by Christ at His birth. Countless prison ministries find men and women encountering Jesus in the darkest depths of their lives.

light of Jesus,baby Jesus,nativity,shepherds,three wise men,magi,prison ministries,prison ministry,purpose,mission,love,God's Son,Jesus is the only way,Christmas,light of Christ,love of Christ,love of Jesus

image © bf87 via Fotolia

Persecuted Christians encounter Jesus in ways few of us can imagine in some of the darkest places on earth. When we are at our lowest, at our worst, the light of Jesus shines best. It calls us to Him. It promises something better, something cleaner, something more. In what areas of your life do you most need the light of Jesus today?

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

How might your life look different if you knew you had only thirty days to live? Pastor Craig Groeschel says you would do three things differently. First, you would turn your “when” into “now”. Second, you would trade your intentions for actions. Last, and certainly this applies only to those who are determined to be Christ’s disciples, you would devote your whole heart to Jesus.

thirty days to live,30 days to live,Craig Groeschel,life.church,lifechurch.tv,fear,perspective,mission,purpose,priorities,commitment,discipleship,procrastination,intentions,focus

image © biker3 via Fotolia

I agree with Mr. Groeschel. I think we recognize all these points to be worthwhile changes in our lives. If time were winding down, we’d want to make the most of it. I have news for you: time is winding down for all of us. The question then begs to be answered, “Why wouldn’t we alter our lives to affect those changes now?”

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

Dorothy Day once said, “The greatest challenge of the day is how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each of us.” This is the challenge for disciples of Jesus. Christ Himself was a revolutionary. The things He taught were unlike anything His listeners had heard before. His compassion dwarfed all who had come before Him. The wisdom of Jesus was unrivaled, and He demanded obedience and devotion to Himself and the good news He brought.

revolution of the heart,revolution and change,commitment,discipleship,starbucks,the church,mission,purpose,security,comfort,devotion,viva la revolution,viva la revolucion

image © dbvirago via Fotolia

Fast-forward to today, and we find churches full of so-called Christians content to live their lives in complacency and mediocrity. Instead of committing ourselves to the One who makes all things new, who brings new mercies to bear every morning, we succumb to the philosophy of “there is nothing new under the sun”. We need a revolution of the heart, and we need it today.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

It seems to me in this day and age Christians are content to stop short of holiness. Our churches don’t talk about this very much. We talk about many ways to get along with and in our culture, but little is said about living life in a countercultural way. The vast majority of sermons I hear these days are almost a sort of self-help message wrapped in a Christian cloak.

holiness,holy,Mark 4:1-9,parable of the sower,comfort,security,God's sacrifice,love,salvation,purpose,commitment

image © Mele Avery via Fotolia

When was the last time you left a church service less comfortable than when you entered the building? Today’s typical Christian is content with comfort. This is a travesty disciples of Jesus cannot possibly let stand. The whole point of our lives is to live a holy life looking like Jesus. How can we glorify a holy God with a life so far removed from His holy standard?

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

In his book, “All Things New”, author John Eldredge writes, “Where we take our fantasies is a helpful way to know what we are doing with our Kingdom heart”. Which begs the question, “What is it about which you are fantasizing?” Said another way, when you daydream, about what are you dreaming? We go in the direction of the things about which we think. Indeed, we grow in the direction of the things about which we think.

fantasies and daydreams,dreams,purpose,mission,Kingdom of God,God's Kingdom,commitment,mission,discipleship,Neal Peart,Rush,drums,drumming,drummer,John Eldredge,all things new,wild at heart,greatest drummer,great drummers

image © Yulia Buchatskaya via Fotolia

Our fantasies and daydreams reveal the deepest desires of our heart. Far from fancy or whimsy, and regardless of their implausibility, fantasies and daydreams reveal what we would be if we were God. What are your fantasies and daydreams revealing about you? Are they revealing a God-focused, others-centered disciple? Or are they revealing a prideful and self-centered individual?

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

When all else has passed away, faith, hope, and love will remain (1 Corinthians 13:13). Faith, hope, and love are the essence of our belief in God. They are the underpinnings of all Christianity is meant to be. On a personal level, they are the glue holding our lives together. Take any one of the three out of the equation, and things begin to unravel. Together, they are the anchor of our soul.

faith hope love,faith,hope,love,1 Corinthians 13:13,love will remain,Matthew 21:21-22,prayers that move mountains,Hebrews 11:6,impossible to please God,pleasing God,I Corinthians 13:1-3,if I have not love,clanging gong,love chapter

image © suzyloon100 via Fotolia

Without faith, hope, and love it would be impossible to please God or serve others. Without faith, hope, and love we could never know or understand God. While the apostle Paul singles out love as being the most important of the three, I submit without faith and hope, you could never have love in the first place.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

In Philippians 4:8, Paul instructed the church to think beautiful thoughts. He encouraged them to think about whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, of moral excellence, and worthy of praise. How often are our thoughts centered on things like these? I confess my own mind is not naturally inclined to go to such places. I will also tell you when I do think of such things, my mood improves dramatically.

beautiful thoughts,hope,beauty,evil,atrocitities,terrorism,mass shootings,bombings,commitment,discipleship,purpose,mission,Philippians 4:8,whatever is beautiful,whatever is lovely,think on these things

image © carloscastilla via Fotolia

Such thoughts are a natural tonic and trigger the endorphin rush we all crave. When we dwell on dreadful things, our mood sours and our hearts darken. The question we must then ask is, why do we not spend our days thinking beautiful thoughts?

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

To live a life worth living, you must know Jesus is the truth and Satan is a liar. Until you understand this beyond an intellectual level, you will struggle and continue to live an ineffective life for the Kingdom of God. Every sin, every distraction, every temptation in your life started with you believing what the devil told you. Let me assure you, as the father of lies (John 8:44), everything coming out of his mouth is a lie.

satan is a liar,John 8:44,father of lies,mission,commitment,truth,absolute truth,mission,God's Kingdom,Kingdom of God,sin,temptation,empty promises

image © Victor Moussa via Fotolia

You never should wonder if it might be true, it isn’t. Conversely, anything Jesus says is an absolute and undeniable truth. You never should wonder about this either. Jesus is the truth and Satan is a liar.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…