So, You Want to Make a Difference

so-you-want-to-make-a-difference

So, you want to do something extraordinary?

 

Yeah, me too.

 

Make a difference. Change people’s lives. Bring hope to those seemingly hopeless. Impact, encourage, and inspire the world.

 

Sometimes, we just have this ache to…do something.

 

We see the model Christians over in Africa, digging wells and building schools, and those young teens starting nonprofits. We watch as people intervene in crises, take in refugees, adopt a houseful of kids, have this whole change-the-world-plan by age fourteen, and we’re over here in our cozy little homes drinking pumpkin spice lattes and sweeping the kitchen floor and feeling guilty.

Continue reading “So, You Want to Make a Difference”

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You Have A Purpose

You Have A Purpose-2

Yesterday afternoon, I had a wonderful idea for today’s blog post. “I’ll remember it,” I told myself. Did I remember it? Of course not. So goes the life of a blogger.

 

Recently, I’ve been addressing topics having to do with life and purpose. I haven’t explicitly stated that, but let’s look at the most recent ones and you’ll see what I mean.

 

In There is Always Hope, I discussed how we can have hope even in the darkest situations of our lives. Similarly, in Where Does Your Strength Come From? I explained that we need to rely on God to get through our difficulties. In Don’t Regret Where You Are and There is A Plan For You, I talked about living lives glorifying to God right where we are. That it doesn’t matter what point in life we’re at, but that we make the most of the lives that God has given us. In Christianity: Hypocrisy vs. Authenticity, I wrote about living authentically as a Christian.

 

As you can probably see by my past five posts, life and purpose are important to me. So to tie those posts together, I’d like to explore purpose today.

 

Before we get into why purpose is important, I want to establish what it is.

 

The handy-dandy dictionary.com says that purpose is “the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.”

 

Therefore, it stands to reason that our purpose is the reason we were made. Why we’re here.

 

As Christians, we’re not left in the dark about this, though. We don’t need to wander aimlessly through life, crossing our fingers and hoping we make the right decisions. We can live a life full of purpose and meaning, and we don’t have to wonder what that is.

 

Firstly, we must acknowledge that God creates our purpose for us. His purpose is worked out in our lives through us.

 

One of my favorite verses is this one.

 

Job 42:2

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

 

It’s so encouraging to me to know that God’s plans surpass my own, and that no one can get in the way of His purpose and will. But what is His will?

 

John 6:40

“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

 

I find that to be an interesting verse. It’s such assurance to know that everyone who calls upon the name of Jesus will be saved, and that salvation is not withheld from anyone who wants it.

 

2 Timothy 1:9

“[God] who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began”

 

His salvation of us is by His grace alone, and not by our works. Because of His grace, we have been called to live in holiness – that is, as new creations in Christ, the holy people He has transformed us to be. We have purpose in this – to live out new, transformed lives.

 

Purpose is what gives our lives meaning. Purpose gives us a reason to live. A reason to get up in the morning. A reason to put others before ourselves and press on through hardships.

 

In this life, we’ll have difficult times. We’ll struggle, and stumble, and mess up because we’re not perfect. This life can get us down, stressed, depressed, discouraged, whatever. But because of salvation, we have such a great hope. We have the hope (and assurance) of everlasting life in Heaven, and God is not withholding that from us.

 

God desires for us all to choose Him, for us all to choose everlasting life.

 

This doesn’t mean that everyone on earth is saved, but that everyone who calls upon Him for salvation will receive it. It’s our choice. And His grace.

 

Romans 10:13

“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”

 

With this purpose in our lives, a reason to live, and an assurance to inspire us to press on, we don’t have to fumble around. We can live confidently, hopefully, and peacefully, in knowing that there is, in fact, a purpose for us.

 

*aj

Searching For Significance? I Found It.

Searching For Significance? I Found It.

Significance.

The meaning of life. What is it?

The question we’ve all been asking since we came to the realization of what life is.

We are born, we live, we die. And in those moments in between, during the moments that we live and move and breathe, we get glimpses of joy and peace, and sorrow and tragedy. And we think to ourselves, Is this really what life’s all about?

The feelings? The pleasure? The darkness, the light?

The dreams, or reality?

These are the questions we ask ourselves.

What is morality? Truth? Is it even real?

My friends, I want to share some things with you. Things that I know we all have questioned, and things that have real answers.

We all search for significance.

No matter who we are, we all want to make our imprint in the world. A lot of us want to be famous, or loved, or rich, or successful. In essence, we want to be happy.

That’s why so many people cling to the line, “follow your dreams,” even if their dreams lead them down the wrong path.

“Follow your heart” becomes the replacement for true significance, because that’s what people think will lead them to be fulfilled.

If life ends once we die…and we only live once…then it stands to reason that we should enjoy life while it lasts, right?

Well, yes and no.

The thing is, when we pursue significance by chasing fleeting happiness, we discard the idea that what happens after we die matters. We adopt the lie that says that the here and now is what’s of utmost importance.

As a Christian, I cannot accept that.

Humans are eternal beings created by an eternal God. (More on this in a minute.)

We were all born with a craving. A craving for love, for meaning, and for hope.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that we live in a broken world.

But it does take Someone as powerful as God to fix it.

Don’t ask me why God created this world when He knew that we’d rebel against Him and mar it. Because I don’t know.

But what I do know is that His love is more powerful than our sin.

And the search for significance? We search because without God, things do not make any sense.

 

Why would things spring into existence? Let’s just say that if things could spring into existence, they’d be like cloned blobs of matter.

Why would God create a place that would doom itself to destruction?

Because He had a plan all along.

His plan was to save us, and in doing so, He showed us love.

Love is where we find our significance.

 

But not in some human relationship.

 

The only significance and meaning we will ever find is in a relationship with God, which we can now have.

 

We can know love by the grace of God and blood of Jesus.

 

I said earlier that we are eternal beings. Death is not the end; it is the gate. The gate to all eternity is opened at death, and it’s decided by what happens in our lives.

The gate to heaven is only opened by believing on Jesus to forgive our sins on this earth in order to be right with God. And the crazy cool thing is this:

What satisfies us on this earth — a relationship with God — is what grants us salvation and entrance into heaven.

 

There needn’t be any more search for significance. It’s finished.

And there is a beautiful solution.

Love has come to us. Love has won us over. And love will lead us to our eternal home.

*aj