Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails ~ Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
All these knowledge and insights I’ve garnered these past days will amount to nothing if I don’t put them into practice. To ensure that I don’t derail, I must craft a Purpose Statement and review it regularly.
My purpose statement summary: The reason I live is to worship God, be grafted into His family to enjoy sweet fellowship, minister to other believers with my SHAPE, mature into christlikeness and spread the gospel to unbelievers so God receives ALL the glory
Living life with a due sense of responsibility, not as those who do not know the meaning of life but as those who do ~ Ephesians 5:15 (Ph)
Dunno why I was thinking of work-life balance when I saw the topic. This is even more critical – my life is well balanced when I’m completely living out all my 5 purposes: worship, fellowship, ministry, discipleship and mission (evangelism)
To live a balanced life, I must do these…
- Be accountable to a spiritual partner or a small group.
- Regular spiritual checkup and HONEST self evaluation
- Keeping a spiritual journal so I don’t develop spiritual amnesia along the way. Also, so that I can pass on what I’ve learned
- Generously share lessons and insights from my spiritual journey. Generously pass on knowledge I’ve gained along the way.
Regardless of my age, the rest of my life can be the best of my life. I can start living on purpose today (My favourite line in this chapter 😁)
Jesus said to His followers, “Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone” ~ Mark 16:15 (NCV)
Being a worldly Christian is not when you listen to Celine Dion or other “worldly music”… It’s not when you wear trousers and make-up. It is when you are self-centred and would rather God fulfils YOUR own purposes rather than the ones He created you for.
Reality Check: I have been more of a worldly Christian than a world-class Christian…
Henceforth my mindset has to reflect the following:
- Being other-centred not self-centred. See others through God’s eyes and earnestly desire that they be saved
- Think globally not locally. At least start the basic step of widening my prayers to cover not just my family and friends but also unbelievers all over the world.
- Know that life is much more than what I see here on earth. Have an eternity perspective. This would enable me to focus on what’s really important and to quit wasting time on trivialities
- Quit making excuses and just obey
Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony of God in them ~ 1 John 5:10a (GWT)
Being a messenger of God is the only one of my purposes I can fulfill only on earth; the other four I will keep fulfilling for eternity. This means I cannot waste time dilly-dallying because life is short
I don’t need a bunch of scriptures to witness to unbelievers; they won’t be bought that way. Instead sharing my personal experiences is sure to get their attention and connection. This is the “seed” that God will then water and cause to blossom.
I love the explanation Rick gave about us being witnesses and not attorneys. Sharing the gospel doesn’t require us getting into hot arguments to prove a point. It is not about us and God doesn’t need us to be voltrons for Him.
In summary, my life message is divided into 4:
- My testimony: The story of how I began a relationship with Jesus
- My life lessons: The most important lessons God has taught me
- My godly passions: The issues God shaped me to care about most
- The Good News: The message of salvation
A very important question I should always consider: Will anyone get to heaven because I led them to Christ?
The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me~ Acts 20:24 (NCV)
One more for Jesus! Wow! The story about Rick’s dad was the highlight of this chapter for me.
I must get serious about my mission. I must care about what God cares about.
My prayer should always be: “God who have You put in my life for me to tell about Jesus?”
I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9a (LB)
Everyone has weaknesses, even the people that appear to have it all together.
God specialises in showing His power through our weaknesses. Therefore, my weakness shouldn’t be something I should be ashamed of or hide away. Instead, I should yield to God to use me Inspite of my limitations. Not doing so is pride and God resists the proud but gives Grace to the humble.
My weaknesses make me dependent on God and interdependent on others. That whole thing about “strong and independent” is nonsense and can be the loneliest thing ever because it creates distance/isolation instead of fellowship. Therefore, I must never be afraid to be vulnerable and open about my weaknesses. This is the only way I can influence and minister to others
Another thing is that the understanding that we are all mere mortals- frail and weak – would increase my capacity for empathy and keep me from putting anybody on a pedestal.
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of Himself ~ Philippians 2:5 (MSG)
God is more interested in my motive and attitude than in what I actually do. The “what” is not as important to Him as the “why”. Which is why I should constantly check my heart in all I do to be sure I’m not doing it for the wrong reason.
- I have the mindset of a servant when I am others-focused not self-focused or Self-serving… Ouch! I’m on this table a lot of times if I’m being honest. Hmmm all the times I think I’m being taken for granted when I’m not appreciated for my “service” is self-service. Correction taken…
- We’ve somehow been conditioned to expect (read as demand) blessings from God when we serve. So much so that I think it has consciously or unconsciously become a bargaining chip for service. This is a major unlearning curve we must take.
- I have the mindset of a servant when I am a Kingdom Builder not a Wealth Builder. Making and having lots of money (which I absolutely love) shouldn’t be for my selfish interest but to be given away for Kingdom Building. Blessed to be a blessing is the motto. And God can give you more blessings than you need, and you will always have plenty of everything. You will have enough to give to every good work ~ 2 Corinthians 9:8
- I have the mindset of a servant when I don’t compare or compete with other servants. Doing these is as senseless as a striker dribbling his own team mate and scoring a goal in his team’s net. Also, I have no right to resent another person for not serving or be critical about his/her way of serving. Classic case of “Uche face your work”.
- I have the mindset of a servant when I’m not always striving to prove my worth. My efforts neither add to nor substract from my worth. My identity in Christ and my worth in His eyes are intact by His grace not by my works. Serving in ways considered to be “undignified” doesn’t reduce my worth or erase my identity in Christ. This brings to mind how Michal despised David for dancing unto God in an undignified manner. Yet her opinion didn’t stop God from seeing David as a man after His heart.
- I have the mindset of a servant when I see service as an opportunity not an obligation
Whoever wants to be great must become a servant ~ Mark 10:43 (MSG)
The measure for greatness is service NOT status
Without a heart of service, knowing my SHAPE in itself will not give glory to God
My SHAPE reveals my ministry but my servant heart reveals my maturity
- Real Servants grab every opportunity to serve
- Real Servants always notice when people are in need. They are not self absorbed
- Real Servants make do with what they have, even though average. They start where they are and improve as they go along.
- Real servants do not see any task as beneath them. It’s all a matter of doing what needs to be done, not seeking status/fame by doing the “great” tasks
- Real servants are reliable and trustworthy. They are committed and faithful
- Real servants don’t seek attention or praise. They don’t participate in eye service. They don’t steal the shine of others or accept the compliments for work they did not do.
Since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be ~ Romans 12:5 (MSG)
- Seeking feedback (not validation or compliments) from others on my abilities and capabilities would confirm what I’m good at.
- Another way I can discover what I’m good at is to be open to trying new things and going out of my comfort zone. I may be surprised that I’m actually great at that thing I thought wasn’t my forte… Lol this reminds me of a friend that was suggesting I give “ted talks” and I was like I’d stick to writing because public speaking is not for me
- The Comparison Trap: Two possible outcomes are discouragement/self esteem issues and pride/arrival mentality
- Health and fitness experts recommend the combination of a healthy diet and physical exercise to keep in shape. In the same vein, I must continually keep in SHAPE by eating the right diet (investing in learning and trainings) and consistently working out (honing my skills and abilities through consistent practice) so that I don’t get out of shape and become unfit for my eternal responsibilities.
You shaped me first inside, then out; You formed me in my mother’s womb ~ Psalm 139:13 (MSG)
- My abilities are my natural gifts. Talents that I was born with. My abilities are not just for making money; they are first and foremost for service to God and others.
- There is no right or wrong temperament for ministry. Acceptance of all personalities is important. We cannot all be sanguines or introverts. The variety and mix make things more interesting and balanced.
- God never wastes a hurt. So so true! My painful experiences have been some of my best ministry tools. Instead of tucking painful experiences away in the hall of shame, we must be attentive to grasp the lessons from them and generously pass them on. No covering up! Authenticity and openness about our failures and weaknesses are what would encourage people going through what we’ve gone through.
- If nobody learns from my experience, then that experience is a wasted one…