For the next three Sundays, we are going to talk about finding purpose. We all have looked in the mirror at one time or another in life and asked, “What am I here for?” “What’s my purpose for living?” It’s a question I have asked many times throughout my life. Last Sunday we talked about no matter what you ultimately decide as your purpose, it has got to begin with Christ. Everything you do needs to be firmly rooted in Him before you ever start out on your journey. Every conversation you have has to have Jesus woven into its fabric. The words you speak and the actions you make show the world that you are either walking with God or away from Him.
My Thought for your week: We are only here for a flash of time and there for a REALLY long time. What higher purpose could you need that following Christ?
Just think about this: we don’t pray to a God who has no idea how we feel or has no idea as to what we may be going through. Our God knows. He knows for two very real reasons:
He has dealt with billions of us people over the years. If you just think about that in terms of experience and information; what a massive “database” that would be
He has been here and done it! He has been through whatever you are feeling!
In the book of Hebrews 4: 15-16 the author writes, 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
We believe that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are three manifestations of the same. The “Three-in-One.” God came here as a man, experienced all the feelings we have; anger, frustration, sadness, joy, anxiety, pain and sorrow. He knows what you are going through “first hand.” When you say, “God I am sad…” Believe that he knows how “sad” really feels. When you say, “Lord, I’m struggling with temptation” know that He knows what temptation can feel like.
My Thought for Your Week Communicate with God. Pray every day. Pray without ceasing. Know that He truly knows what you are feeling.
In December of 2018, I talked about the fact that “We are Legos.” The idea here was that all of us come with a limited amount of connection points. We have connections with family, work, friends, etc. When all of those connecting points are full, we struggle to find room for more relationships.
Here’s another thought about how we are Legos: As Christians Jesus calls us to get connected to God. He even cleared the way so that we can, truly, connect to God. We are called to become a piece of the Body of Christ. We are called to do our part in the workings of the Church. We are Legos in that we come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. God calls us as we are, where we are, and how we are. Each one of us connects to the Body of believers with our own uniqueness, experiences, personalities, flaws, quirkiness, backgrounds, struggles, likes, dislikes, ugliness, and beauty. None of us are saints. None of us are more worthy of playing a role in Gods house than anyone else. The building labeled “church” is just a place to gather and worship. We are the church. In my mind, I see a multi-colored, Lego church where everyone is welcome, and everyone plays a part. Unity and Diversity in the Body 1 Corinthians 13: 12-14 (NIV) 12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
The image here is a 65-foot tall church-shaped public pavilion for the 2011 Grenswerk Art Festival in Enschede, The Netherlands.
Several years ago, I owned an ornamental iron and sculpture company. We created lots of unusual things. (Click the button below and see the giant bugs in the Downing Children’s Garden at Botanica, Wichita, KS) We painted most of the pieces we created with specialty finishes and very concentrated enamel paint. Many times, I would get the paint on my hands and found that, even though it washed off my skin easily, sometimes it really stuck to my fingernails. One day, in a grocery store, I realized that the paint on my nails made people a little uncomfortable. I thought to myself, “Hmm. This could be fun…” Over the years I’ve had lots of fun making people wonder. Today, I call them my “Jesus nails” and here’s why: When was the last time you talked to someone you didn’t know about Jesus? Opening a conversation about our Savior can be a pretty hard thing to do. We don’t want to offend. We don’t want people to think “Oh, here we go with the “Jesus” thing again.” Talking about Christ can really put us on-the-spot and may even cause us to have to follow up with that person. When people ask me or make a comment about my nails, I say this, “These are my Jesus nails. They remind me to treat you with respect, love, and kindness just like Jesus tells me to do; with no judgment, no condemnation. Jesus loves and takes you just as you are, how you are and where you are.” Research has shown over and over again that non-believers see Christians as condemning, judgmental and intolerant. That is terribly sad. This world is hurting, fractured and fighting and needs to see our Savior for what He really is; love, hope, forgiveness and open to everyone!
My thought for your week: Find your own way to start a conversation about Jesus this week. Turn your “Jesus switch” on and be ready to share the most important thing you can – Jesus loves everyone just as they are.