VIDEO The Compelling Purpose of God – Discovering Your God-Designed Destiny

The Compelling Purpose of God

He…said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem…” —Luke 18:31

Jerusalem, in the life of our Lord, represents the place where He reached the culmination of His Father’s will. Jesus said, “I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 5:30). Seeking to do “the will of the Father” was the one dominating concern throughout our Lord’s life. And whatever He encountered along the way, whether joy or sorrow, success or failure, He was never deterred from that purpose. “…He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem…” (Luke 9:51).

The greatest thing for us to remember is that we go up to Jerusalem to fulfill God’s purpose, not our own. In the natural life our ambitions are our own, but in the Christian life we have no goals of our own. We talk so much today about our decisions for Christ, our determination to be Christians, and our decisions for this and that, but in the New Testament the only aspect that is brought out is the compelling purpose of God. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…” (John 15:16).

We are not taken into a conscious agreement with God’s purpose— we are taken into God’s purpose with no awareness of it at all. We have no idea what God’s goal may be; as we continue, His purpose becomes even more and more vague. God’s aim appears to have missed the mark, because we are too nearsighted to see the target at which He is aiming. At the beginning of the Christian life, we have our own ideas as to what God’s purpose is. We say, “God means for me to go over there,” and, “God has called me to do this special work.” We do what we think is right, and yet the compelling purpose of God remains upon us. The work we do is of no account when compared with the compelling purpose of God. It is simply the scaffolding surrounding His work and His plan. “He took the twelve aside…” (Luke 18:31). God takes us aside all the time. We have not yet understood all there is to know of the compelling purpose of God.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The fiery furnaces are there by God’s direct permission. It is misleading to imagine that we are developed in spite of our circumstances; we are developed because of them. It is mastery in circumstances that is needed, not mastery over them. The Love of God—The Message of Invincible Consolation, 674 R


T.D. Jakes: Discovering Your God-Designed Destiny

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To My Dear Friend

The elder, to my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. 3 John 1

What the apostle John did for his friend Gaius in the first century is a dying art in the twenty-first century. John wrote him a letter.

One writer for the New York Times, Catherine Field, said, “Letter-writing is among our most ancient of arts. Think of letters and the mind falls on Paul of Tarsus,” for example. And we can add the apostle John.

In his letter to Gaius, John included hopes for good health of body and soul, an encouraging word about Gaius’s faithfulness, and a note about his love for the church. John also spoke of a problem in the church, which he promised to address individually later. And he wrote of the value of doing good things for God’s glory. All in all, it was an encouraging and challenging letter to his friend.

Digital communication may mean letter-writing on paper is fading away, but this shouldn’t stop us from encouraging others. Paul wrote letters of encouragement on parchment; we can encourage others in a variety of ways. The key is not the way we encourage others, but that we take a moment to let others know we care for them in Jesus’s name!

Think of the encouragement Gaius experienced when he opened John’s letter. Could we similarly shine God’s love on our friends with a thoughtful note or an uplifting call?

Lord, help us know how to encourage others who need a spiritual boost from us.

Encouraging words bring hope to the human spirit.

By Dave Branon 

A Call to Be Merciful

Luke 6:31-36

It’s common today to have a simplistic view of Jesus. This can be true even of believers if they aren’t sufficiently familiar with Scripture. Many Christians who passionately claim, “I just want to love like Jesus” have no idea what that entails.

One thing Christ requires of His followers is selfless love for those who mistreat them, and He gives the following reason, based on God’s character: “For He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men” (Luke 6:35). In essence, Jesus is telling us to have the same mercy for others that God has for us.

Mercy is not simply feeling pity; it means acting with compassion. Instead of just sympathizing with us, God did something about our desperate condition—He sent His Son to save us from sin and its horrendous consequences. Although we can’t save anybody by showing mercy, we can demonstrate God’s kindness to others despite their treatment of us.

Being merciful to those who don’t deserve it is contrary to our natural inclinations and is possible only through the power of God’s Spirit within us. What we naturally want is justice. To extend mercy seems to say the offense against us wasn’t very bad—but this is a misunderstanding of the word’s meaning, because where no wrong has been committed, there’s no need for mercy.

When you are merciful, you are giving to others what God has given to you. And aren’t you glad that He doesn’t immediately deal out retribution for every sin you commit? So remember, God wants you to trust Him with all your hurts. And He also wants you to treat others (even your enemies) as you want to be treated—with mercy.

“I Am” is in the Pentateuch

“And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.” (Genesis 15:7)

There are seven “I am’s” in the book of Genesis. The first is a beautiful figure of speech (“I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward,” Genesis 15:1), but the others are all names and titles of God. The first of these is in our text above, identifying Jehovah Himself (the LORD) with the “I am.”

The next is Genesis 17:1: “I am the Almighty God.” The Hebrew here is El Shaddai (“God the nourishing sustainer”), also found in 35:11. Next is in 26:24: “I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee.” Then, “I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac” (28:13). “I am the God of Bethel” (31:13). Beth-el means “the house of God.” Finally, God says: “I am God, the God of thy father” (46:3).

In Exodus, there are 21 places where God says “I am.” Most of these are merely variations of the different names of God as noted above in the “I am’s” of Genesis, but six do give new insight. The first, of course, is the great assertion of Exodus 3:14 where God identifies Himself as “I Am That I Am.” The others: “I am the LORD in the midst of the earth” (8:22); “I am the LORD that healeth thee” (15:26); “I the LORD thy God am a jealous God” (20:5); “For I am gracious” (22:27); “I am the LORD that doth sanctify you” (31:13).

In the remaining books of the Pentateuch, the phrase “I am the LORD your God” occurs very frequently, but there are two important new “I am’s.” “I am holy” occurs six times (e.g., Leviticus 11:45), and “I am thy part and thine inheritance” is recorded in Numbers 18:20. The great theme of all these claims and names of God is that the mighty God of time and space is also a caring, personal God. We can trust Him, and He cares for us. HMM

Be not faithless, but believing

John 20:19-31

Our Lord showed himself to an assembly of his disciples after his resurrection.

Luke 20:19

His presence among them when the doors were closed must have astonished and delighted them. While they were trembling he came to re-assure them both by his words and his smiles.

Luke 20:20

And well might they be, for his presence is ever a wellspring of joy. Mark the loving familiarity which thus unveiled his scars, and note the full proofs of his identity which those wounds afforded them. Even now the Lord reveals himself unto his chosen as he doth not unto the world. Oh, for a view of him by faith.

Luke 20:23

He gave them a commission and added the power to carry it out by the gift of the Holy Ghost. Moreover he promised to put force into the sentences which they pronounced in his name, so that when they preached remission to penitents, the Lord granted that remission, and when in the name of Jesus they declared that the sins of unbelievers remained upon them, it was so. The gospel is not our word, but the word of Jesus who has sent us.

Luke 20:24

He neglected the week-night service and lost a blessing, as many have done since.

Luke 20:25

He had no right to claim such a proof; unbelief is unreasonable in its demands.

Luke 20:27

Infinite was the Redeemer’s condescension. Knowing the doubts of Thomas he stooped to meet them, for he knew him to be sincere and willing to be convinced.

Luke 20:28

Thus in a moment reading the Deity of Jesus in wounds. A sweet lesson. Oh, to learn it every day afresh.

Luke 20:29

The richest blessing falls to the share of those simple minds who believe the word of God, even when surrounded with difficulty and unsupported by signs and evidences. The more childlike the faith the happier the heart.

Luke 20:30, 31

Have we so believed? If not, the Bible has been read by us in vain.

 

Crown him, the Lord of Love;

Behold his hands and side,

Rich wounds, yet visible above

In beauty glorified.

 

Crown him, the Lord of Peace,

Whose power a sceptre sways

From pole to pole, that wars may cease,

Absorb’d in prayer and praise:

 

His reign shall know no end,

And round his piercèd feet

Fair flowers of Paradise extend

Their fragrance ever sweet.

 

All hail! Redeemer, hail!

For thou hast died for me:

Thy praise shall never, never fail

Throughout eternity.

 

Thank You God for You Conviction

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth; and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! (Proverbs 15:23)

Modern mankind can go anywhere, do everything and be completely curious about the universe. But only a rare person now and then is curious enough to want to know God.

We do not thank God enough for seeking us and finding us and making it possible for us to say to His invitation: “Jesus, I come!”

I have meditated often on the Holy Spirit’s quiet dealing with the heart of this untaught lad when I was only 17. We had a neighbor—I only knew him as “Mr. Holman”—and I had heard that he was a Christian.

One day we happened to be walking on the sidewalk together, and he said, “I am glad to have a chance to talk with you. I have been wondering if you are a Christian?”

I told him, “No, I am not a Christian. But I thank you for asking and I am going to give it some serious thought.”

After that, I heard a man preaching on a street corner. He quoted Jesus’ invitation, “Come unto Me,” and the sinner’s prayer, “Lord have mercy on me!” Those were the two things that bumped me into the kingdom of God. Sometimes it takes a very little word to stir an unnoticed desire for God and His truth!

 

The Right to Holy Things

“But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat.” Lev. 22:11

Strangers, sojourners, and servants upon hire were not to eat of holy things. It is so in spiritual matters still. But two classes were free at the sacred table, those who were bought with the priest’s money, and those who were born into the priest’s house. Bought and born, these were the two indisputable proofs of a right to holy things.

Bought. Our great High Priest has bought with a price all those who put their trust in Him. They are His absolute property — altogether the Lord’s. Not for what they are in themselves, but for their owner’s sake they are admitted into the same privileges which He Himself enjoys, and “they shall eat of his meat.” He has meat to eat which worldlings know not of. “Because ye belong to Christ,” therefore shall ye share with your Lord.

Born. This an equally sure way to privilege; if born in the Priest’s house we take our place with the rest of the family. Regeneration makes us fellow-heirs, and of the same body; and, therefore, the peace, the joy, the glory, which the Father has given to Christ, Christ has given to us. Redemption and regeneration have given us a double claim to the divine permit of this promise.

 

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