Why are we here?
Read John 10:1-10
The verses from John 10:1-10 have caused me to sit and meditate for days until like a slow wave the meaning was revealed and I could no longer unsee what was so vividly made clear to me. And as I started to unpack it and apply it more intimately, I came up with one blaring question that I needed to explore before I could think about “Why are we here?” I needed to know how I got to this place of openly declaring my love for Jesus. My “how” came in the form of 3 gifts. Gift #1: people that love me so deeply prayed continuously that my heart would find its way back into God’s fold; that my heart would soften and as I discovered the deep abiding love God has for me. Embarking on this journey, I had no idea about Satan and his attempts to drag me back into his camp; this is where gift #2 comes in. Luke 4:8 “Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.”(GW) and James 4:7-8 “So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life.”(MSG) became my “fighting” words. The peace and calm that rushes in is palpable and what I consider to be gift #3 but this one is from our heavenly Father. Now that I have the tools to fight Satan’s attacks, discerning God’s voice from Satan’s lies is my next task, which leads into my exploration of “why are we here”. Before we go any further, I ask you to ponder on your “how’.
As Christians, we are to gather more and more of God’s sheep into the fold. In John 21:15-17, I love the exchange between Jesus and Peter because it summarizes nicely our duties: if we love Jesus then we are to feed and take care of his sheep and lead them (back) to Jesus. As John 10:1-5, 14:6-7 says, the only way to salvation and to the abundant life is through belief that Jesus is the gate to God.
Some may wonder how I can believe what I can’t see and trust it? 1 Peter 1:8-9 and 2 Corinthians 5:7 say we believe by blind faith and through this we have salvation. 1 John 4:19 says we have the capacity to love because God loved us first. It is because of the love we have for God that we want to intimately get to know His character and one such way is to read The Word. In getting to know more about Him, we get to know more about ourselves and others.
This knowledge helps us to relate to others and therefore, develop relationships with other people with the hope of conversing about God, His promises, and the abundant life that can result by getting to know (and exemplifying) His character. I have a key verse that helps me remember His character - For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT. My challenge to you is to find a key verse that you can use as a segue way to talking about God’s character.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
Take a minute and ponder what it means that: we are his workmanship” – literally his masterpiece. God has provided you with unique skills and abilities with which to serve him in his kingdom. He has created you for “good works”: and prepared the way your way before you “that we should walk in them.”
But wait. We’re created “in Christ Jesus” for good works. What does this mean? Could it be that if God has stopped with our skills and abilities that we wouldn’t be ready or able to do the good works that He has prepared for us? “In Christ Jesus” we are saved, we are righteous before God through faith in Him. The deep burning in our hearts from knowing what Jesus has done for us – His love – frees us from the law and makes us ready for the joyful service that He has prepared for us. We are here to receive His love each day ad to share it with those He has prepared by walking with him in joyful service. Knowing that we are saved; we are ambassadors for Christ seeking salvation for all people.
Prayer: Lord thank you for creating me, saving me and preparing before me a path of righteousness. Make me aware of that path each day. May I remain in you and do many things in your kingdom. In Jesus name, Amen.
Read Luke 19:1-27
The story about Jesus having lunch with Zacchaeus has had a warm place in my heart since I was young enough to sing, “for I’m going to your house today!” The intentional way Jesus makes relationship happen as we see it in this story is indeed Good News. But Jesus wants me to notice that it’s Good News for other ears, too. My purpose is to represent Him and His intention to meet and greet, to walk on in - that’s the part of the story that blows my mind. “The son of man came to seek and save the lost.” Learn it well and get with it!
Just to make the point clear, Jesus tells a story about ten men commissioned as agents by an absent King. The contrast between each is not their personal productivity, but their intentional public investment on behalf of the King, even in a hostile environment. Some jump in, one decides to duck and cover.
That’s when I think of life at Trinity. I see intention. I see a value of seeing and hearing people who come across the path. I haven’t seen a hint of taking the easy, safe route when it comes to being God’s Kingdom here in Trinity’s expanding sphere of influence. It’s exciting to surf on this wave, but I’m also feeling the challenge to address my personal sphere of influence with the same purpose. I want to have the same intentional approach to all my relationships, including the ones I can begin at the base of a tree along a road. Lord teach us Your way!
Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:22b-23 NLT
“I do everything!” Not somethings. Not a lot of things. Not scattered instances. Paul says there’s no piece of my life that is not in God’s Kingdom and therefore defined by my role as agent for the King. Every relationship; close, intimate, circumstantial and accidental is shaped by my relationship with Him. Why am I here? To reflect Him.
But back up just a bit. Paul says the key in our mission is our common ground. The Good News of God’s love and His offer of Kingdom living is grace for all of us. I breathe it in like a personal offer, but Paul says there are things in common. Imagine being in a diving plane. The instructions say once I’ve strapped on my oxygen mask, I need to fit one onto the person in the next seat. When I got on the plane I didn’t think we had anything in common, but everyone needs oxygen.
God has supplied me with the one thing needful. My purpose is to find the common human thread I share with every person I share breath with. Lord, I want to breath you deeply into my being so that all my words and deeds bring your new life to others. Amen!
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