2 Timothy 1:7-10
God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control. 8Don’t be ashamed to speak for our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, just because I am in jail for serving him. Use the power that comes from God and join with me in suffering for telling the good news. 9God saved us and chose us to be his holy people. We did nothing to deserve this, but God planned it because he is so kind.
Even before time began God planned for Christ Jesus to show kindness to us. 10Now Christ Jesus has come
to show us the kindness of God. Christ our Savior defeated death and brought us the good news. It shines like a light and offers life that never ends.

Who is this Looking Back at Me?

Looking in the mirror,
Who is this looking back at me?
Is it the person of just here and now,
Or is it the person of eternal destiny?

Am I really just this person of faults and blems?
Am I just a person that exists, grows old and dies,
Or am I a being fashioned in the image of Him,
Fulfilling the divine destiny that before me lies?

Condemnation, fear and doubt would cloud that view.
When I survey my land the giants seem quite a few.
But look at that fruit in the land of milk and honey,
My life is so much more than houses, lands and money.

God has deposited a part of heaven in me.
Christ shed His blood, gave me His Spirit to set me free.
I can live out of what I see and touch and feel,
Or I can live out of the Word that I know to be real.

What report will I believe, as I stare, looking back at me?
Will I identify with my Lord and who He says I will be,
Or will weakness, doubt, circumstances and this world,
Shape, order and direct my eternal destiny?

Kent Stuck


Romans 8:28-30
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Called According to His Purpose

At some point in life we all ask the questions about who we really are, what is our purpose and what is my life really about?  I remember going through this in college.  I had grown up in a wonderful Christian home with parents and grandparents that were godly and had always taught me about Jesus.  I had a relationship with Jesus, but it had always been built on mom and dad’s values.  Now I had to figure out are my values and purpose the same as theirs?  I went through my times of worldliness and self.  What I found was that I was going through the actions of having fun, partying and living my life, but at the end of the day it left me feeling empty and without purpose.  Fortunately it didn’t take me too long to realize that the same Lord and Savior I grew up knowing through my parents was the same Lord that brought reason and purpose into my life.  As I began to turn my heart back to Him and seek Him for more, what I discovered was there was so much more to the Christ-filled life than just church, messages about salvation and trying to live a good life.  I began to find relationship with Christ in a dimension that I had not previously known before.  I began to get that sense of His destiny and calling in my life.  Many of you may have had similar experiences in how God has called you into His purpose and eternal destiny. It amazes me as I look back over the years and see how many times the Lord has had His hand upon me, protecting and preserving me, teaching and instructing us, keeping us from massive blunders, because we sought His counsel and asked Him to direct our paths.
I am just speaking from my heart here.  God can be so near and so real at times and seemingly so distant at others.  There are times in your life when you know they are  God moments, events and happenings.  Then there are those times of desperation when we call out to God and it doesn’t seem He hear or answer.  Does that mean His calling or His purpose has changed concerning us?  No,  He doesn’t change, neither does He repent of the gifts and callings He has placed in our lives.
It is easy to love and trust someone when they are always there, always doing and providing for you, but what about when they pull away, when they disappoint you and you become disillusioned?  Do you still love them the same?  When you are in the heat of the battle and there are no reinforcements are you still as committed to fighting the good fight or do you just want to give up and quit or die?
There is a vision I heard shared, I believe by Gene Edwards, and the short version went in effect like this.  ‘Jesus came down the road and met three women one day.  The first he embraced, kissed and covered with attention.  His love was so evident to her.  The second He placed His hand on her shoulder  and gave her a reassuring smile.  The third woman He verily glanced at as He walked by her.  When the recipient of this dream or vision questioned the Lord about why He acted differently to the three women.  Why did He seem to love the first one so much and the last one so little?   He was shown that the first woman is like a new Christian.  They need to touch and feel the Lord’s love so they know He is real.  The second woman had known and walked with Jesus.  She knows He is real, but still needs that reassurance of His love.  The third woman knows Jesus so intimately that Her love for Him is not based on His showing outward affection or love.  She just knows that she knows, that she knows.  Rather she sees the evidence of God’s moving or presence, her faith is not shaken, because she simply knows that He is.’  As we mature in Christ that third woman is the place that He is taking us, because she, that was outwardly loved the least was truly loved the most.  She knew her purpose and who she was in Christ.  Outward circumstances could not shake that from her.
In Jeremiah 1:5 what God spoke to His servant Jeremiah He is speaking to all of us that are called according to His purpose.  ” “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  Know that all things are working for the good of those that are called according to His Purpose, even if they don’t seem good at the time.  Know Him, trust Him and don’t allow anything to move you away from your purpose in Him.


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