Archives For purpose

I love A.W. Tozer. Perhaps no one has had a greater impact on my walk with Jesus than this late, great preacher. Tozer once wrote, “Anyone can do the possible; add a bit of courage and zeal and some may do the phenomenal; only Christians are obliged to do the impossible.” I understand this isn’t scripture, but A.W. was a man who walked incredibly close to our God. I hold what he said in the highest regard.

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Did you catch what he said about doing the impossible? He didn’t say we should try to do it, or we should pray to be able to do it, he said we are obliged to do the impossible. Obliged means to “make (someone) legally or morally bound to an action or course of action.” In other words, we are morally bound to do the impossible!

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What matters most to you? Before you answer, you may want to review your last couple of days, weeks, months, and maybe even years. Would your actions leading up to today support your answer? I am guilty of allowing life to roll on too quickly without taking the time to make certain I’m not simply be dragged along with it.

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If you aren’t intentional about the way you are living, what difference does it make what’s most important to you? Unless you are living life on purpose you won’t be doing what matters most to you. That’s no way to live. We all want our lives to count, to mean something to someone. As followers of Christ, we all want our life to matter for the Kingdom.

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I have a friend who frequently laments they don’t have any gifts to use for the Kingdom. I have to consistently remind them if they have breath, then they have been created with a unique combination of skills, talents, and passions to be used for building the Kingdom of God here on earth. I will say the same thing to you: if you are breathing, you have gifts! No one is here by accident.

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While some gifts may be more visible and obvious than others, it takes all of us working together to accomplish the work Christ has given us to do. Never minimize your contribution, because you have the potential to do everything God intended you to do.

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It’s easy to get discouraged in a world determined to tear us down. Every day we are bombarded with obstacles and difficult circumstances that get in the way of living the life we want to live. The death of a loved one, job loss, physical ailments, health concerns, rocky relationships, and flat-out fatigue push us to the brink. Sometimes we wonder if we’ll survive and are tempted to give up hope. It happens to all of us. No one is alone in feeling despair.

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This world is a fallen place, inhabited by dark forces seeking to destroy our dreams and aspirations. Above all, Satan is intent on foiling any attempt we make at drawing closer to God. He will stop at nothing to distract you from Christ. When discouragement comes, you need to change your perspective. You need to see this world for what it is and refocus on what matters.

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A couple of days ago I told the Lord I’m not playing anymore. I’m done with the pathetic commitment I’ve demonstrated in my life. No more. I’m done. I can’t take it anymore. There is Jesus and nothing else. I’m tired of living life as a split-personality, living for Christ one day, and for myself the next. Have you ever come to this point in your own life?

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There comes a moment when you recognize you are either going to live for Jesus or you aren’t. We can’t do this thing half-way. We’re in or we’re out; We are for Him or we are against Him. There is no middle ground. There has never been, and if we continue to live like there is, we are only fooling ourselves.

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The curse of mediocrity has infested the Western Church. Instead of blazing a trail of fire for the sake of the Kingdom, or even disappearing from the scene with cold hearts, we do just enough to let people know we’re still around, but never enough to make a difference. It’s disgusting to me in my own life and it’s intolerable for Jesus (Revelation 3:15-16). I learned the word mediocre has its origin in two Latin words which, translated literally, mean “halfway to the peak.” Half-way. Unfinished. Lazy. Uncommitted. This is the curse of mediocrity.

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A.W. Tozer noted of the origin of the word mediocre: “This makes it an apt description of the progress of many Christians. They are halfway up to the peak…. They are morally above the hardened sinner but they are spiritually beneath the shining saint…. Do we really think that this halfway Christian life is the best that Christ offers—the best that we can know? In the face of what Christ offers us, how can we settle for so little?”

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Are you settling for less than what God has for you? Do you even know if that is true in your life? How does one know if they are settling for less if they are not certain about what they have been created to do? I would say if you cannot answer the question of whether or not you are settling for less with an emphatic ‘No!’, then you probably are. People living out their God-given mission know because they are so in tune with God there can be no doubt.

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For the rest of us, we either suspect we are settling for less or we know for a fact we are. So, we have a two-fold problem: first, how do we know if we are settling for less, and second, what do we do about it if we are?

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Life is an adventure. We don’t know if this adventure will be long or short. Like all great stories, we often do not know what will happen next. While we may not know the path to reach the end, we do know the ending is wonderful, satisfying, and unequivocally worth the journey. One need only look at the life of Jesus to recognize our lives will never be dull.

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So little was recorded about Jesus’s time on earth, but look how much life is packed into the few pages of details we are blessed to have. As we endeavor to follow in His footsteps, how can we conclude anything other than the fact our life will be an amazing adventure?

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We are as close to God as we want to be. Or, as A.W. Tozer put it, “Every man is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wants to be.” There’s no wiggle room. You can try and rationalize, look for the gray area, or the loophole. It isn’t there. We are as close to God as we want to be. Paul tells us in Romans 8:38-39 it is impossible for anything to separate us from God: not death, angels, demons, rulers, authorities, height, depth… nothing!

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There’s one thing he doesn’t cover though: ourselves. We are the “X” factor. We are the only thing that can separate us from God. We can choose to walk away. We can choose to keep Him out of our lives. Only us.

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Today is a gift, but one most of us never discover. We use it, but rarely take notice of it. It comes and it goes, and our life passes by along the way. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote, “The day was God’s first creation, something miraculous and mighty in the hand of God. For us the day has completely lost its creaturely and wondrous nature.

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We use it—and abuse it—but we don’t accept it as a gift. We don’t live it.” None of us knows how many days will be gifted to us. Some will have more than others, but we never know until they’ve all been counted. At that point, it’s too late to matter.

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