What is your purpose in life?

Is your purpose to live, get as much money or other things as possible and then die, leaving them all behind?  That’s fairly depressing, isn’t it?  But that is what many in the world believe.

 

What is your purpose in life?

As Christians, we believe that our purpose in life is so much more. We believe that we are here to bring glory to God and to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. We think of the great commission in Matthew 28:19-20 where Jesus tells his disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

I have a question for you though. Do the “all nations” include our neighbor across the road?  Does it include the attendant at the petrol station?

We can be so focused on the “all nations” that we forget about the people we see and interact with every day. If our purpose in life is to glorify God and spread the good news of the Gospel, then should we not be doing it with these very people?

Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you” John 20:21.  Think about this statement and the way Jesus approached the people in his life.  In every situation, he was looking for a way to talk to them about God and to share the Gospel. It didn’t matter if he had just finished a long walk and was thirsty and tired (the woman at the well in John 4).  

It didn’t matter if he was among the crowds being jostled (Bartimaeus in Mark 10). No matter what, Jesus always had awareness of the people around him and how he could speak into their lives.

 

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Well, in the same way, that God the Father sent Jesus into these situations, Jesus is sending you into the lives of people around you. Your neighbor? God placed her next to you for a reason. It didn’t happen by chance. That person who backed into your car? That didn’t happen by chance.

God is orchestrating everything around you. You never know, God may have been working on someone’s heart just so that you could share something with them next time you are at the shops.

Isn’t this exciting? We have a purpose to live for! Jesus has sent us into every single encounter and every single relationship that we have. Imagine if you lived your life with this purpose always at the forefront of your mind. Imagine the changes you could bring in everyone’s lives around you.

 

Last thoughts 

And you know what’s even more amazing? It’s sometimes glossed over because of the emphasis on the first part of the Great Commission. But read again the last sentence: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” As God is sending you into these situations and relationships and chance meetings, he has promised that he will be there. You don’t have to worry about saying the right things, you just have to say, “God how will you use me to fulfill your purpose in this situation?” And then be ready and hear his voice. 

Why do you do the things you do?

YOUR LIFE FOLLOWS YOUR VALUES 

Imagine you are cooking dinner tonight. What will you cook? You will choose something you like, right? You wouldn’t choose foods that you don’t like. Your choice of dinner would follow the “value” that you place on different foods.

In the same way, every choice you make in your life expresses your values. The Bible talks about this a lot. In Matthew 15:19 Jesus says, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts…”  Solomon wrote in Proverbs 4:23 “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”

That means that you can’t change your life in any meaningful way without changing the values that drive it. Do you want to start living as a witness for Jesus in your everyday relationships? Then ask what values would drive that kind of lifestyle!

If we try to live for God or change a bad habit, that choice won’t turn into reality unless the values we have are right. We may stop the habit for a little while, or start something good for a couple of weeks, but after a little while, our life again begins to follow our values.

Most of us have seen this reality in our lives. You have probably made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept for the first month or two and then you reverted to your old ways. Why? Because you were trying to change an action but all the while your were not changing. 

 

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Here’s another example. Daily time with God is so important; we know that we should be taking this time. But so many of us struggle to actually do it. Why? Well, what are our values?  Do we really value getting closer to God? Or do we place a higher value on a little more sleep, or that TV episode we have been dying to watch since the cliffhanger last week?

There is that saying “You are what you eat.” That’s true of your body but think about this principle on the spiritual level. You are what you think, aren’t you? That’s because what you think about ends up setting your values. What values are reflected in your thoughts and how are those values driving your life?

You want to learn to talk about Jesus with people you run into as you go about your life. If that is to become the way you live, then you need to change the way you think. It’s your turn to cook dinner, right? What’s in your mind as you go to the grocery store?

 

A SHIFT IN MENTALITY 

Of course, you are thinking, “What do I need to pick up for dinner?” But what if you were also thinking, “I wonder who God will bring across my path at the grocery store? How can I speak into their lives? What will God do with me there?” Can you see the shift?  All of a sudden your trip to the grocery store is not about you—it’s about the people around you! It’s about how God can use you in their lives to help them journey towards him.

That changes everything. 

If that is what you want for your life, it’s time to work on the values that will drive that way of living. Remember, your life will not change unless your values change!

 

Last thoughts 

This blog starts a series of twelve blogs, focusing in on the lifestyle priorities that will grow you into a witness for Jesus. Your life is just the expression of your values, so if these values become yours, you will not have to force yourself to live as a witness. Rather, being a witness is what will just flow from your values.

Keep this principle in mind and look for our next blog post!

 

The gospel is about what God has done not what we can do

All other religions ask the question, “What do I have to do to be saved?” Christianity is unique because it completely sets this question aside. Only in Christianity do we find that what we do has nothing to do with our salvation and cannot contribute to it. The gospel is not what we do or don’t do, the gospel is about what God has DONE. This is the good news of the gospel. 

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Welcome to the AFCI Office!

It’s been a big few weeks here in the office.  We have been preparing this new website for launch, and I for one am extremely excited about it.  Have a look around and let us know what you think!

 

We have also been madly preparing the materials and resources in preparation for the launch of EvangelismSHIFT.  What is EvangelismSHIFT you say?  Have a look here for a quick run down.  Personally I think it is the most exciting thing that I have ever been involved in.  I cannot wait to see the way in which God will use it.