You Are Saved for a Purpose

Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? . . . So let people see God in and through your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20).

There’s an amazing paradox to God’s grace. It’s absolutely free to all who come to Jesus in faith. Yet the grace of God is the costliest gift we’ll ever receive.

It cost God’s Son his life.

So in light of what Jesus has done for us, how should we respond? We must be grateful. One way we can show our gratitude to God is by making our lives count.

You can’t really understand the grace of God and the price he paid to make it available to you while living how you want to live, ignoring the commands of Jesus, or wasting your life on things that don’t matter. The Bible says it this way: “Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? . . . So let people see God in and through your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20 The Message).

After the failed assassination attempt against President Ronald Reagan, I remember him saying, “I have a new sense that I was spared for a purpose and that all my time belonged to God after that.”

We all should have the same sense of purpose. Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we were spared for a reason: to make a difference with our lives. Jesus didn’t die on the cross so we could go on living any way we like. He made us for a purpose—and he redeemed us for a purpose, too. He wants us to fulfill that purpose.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms”(NIV). You were given spiritual gifts, abilities, education, and relationships for a reason—to help other people and tell them about Jesus.

Have you trusted Jesus for your salvation?

The Bible says we can only get to heaven by trusting in God through his Son, Jesus Christ. And we don’t have to earn God’s love or work our way into heaven. The Bible says, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast”(Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).

If you haven’t trusted in Jesus and committed to following him, why wait any longer? If you’re ready to step across that line and make a decision to believe in Jesus Christ and follow him, pray this prayer:

“Dear Jesus, you have promised that if I believe in you, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven, I will learn the purpose of my life, and you will accept me into your eternal home in heaven one day.

“I confess my sin, and I believe that you are my Savior. You have promised that if I confess my sin and trust you, I will be saved. I trust you when you say that salvation comes by grace, through faith, and not by anything I do. I receive you into my life as my Lord. Today I’m turning over every part of my life to your management. You have the right to call the shots in my life.

“Jesus, I want to relax in your love. Thank you that I don’t have to earn it or work for it. I want to use the rest of my life to serve you instead of serving myself. I humbly commit my life to you and ask you to save me and accept me into your family. In your name I pray. Amen.”
Talk About It

  • How have you seen people squander their spiritual gifts?
  • Are you concerned you may be squandering your spiritual gifts? Talk to God about what he wants you to do. He’s gifted you for a reason.
  • What spiritual gifts and talents has God given you that you can use to help others?

Summary Of Micah

The book of Micah is a Prophetic Oracle. The prophet Micah wrote it 742-686 B.C. shortly before the Northern Kingdom’s fall in 722 B.C. Key personalities are all the people of Samaria and Jerusalem.

The purpose of the book of Micah was to proclaim warning and judgment to both the Northern and the Southern Kingdoms. His message was similar to that of Isaiah and was written at about the same time. Micah described the impending judgment that would eventually exile the nation.

•    Chapters 1-5 specifically explain the judgment for the wicked nations, “For I will make Samaria a heap of ruins in the open country, planting places for a vineyard. I will pour her stones down into the valley and will lay bare her foundations” (1:6). Then chapter five Micah miraculously predicts the birthplace of the Messiah in Bethlehem. Also in verse 2, he teaches that the Messiah is an infinite Savior, from everlasting, “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity” (5:2).

•    In chapters 6-7, Micah declares what God requires of men, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (6:8). Micah then proclaims God’s restoration and salvation to His people, “Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love” (7:18).

Five Ways to Relax in God’s Grace

Be careful that no one fails to receive God’s grace” (Hebrews 12:15 NCV).

How do you learn to “R.E.L.A.X.” in the liberating grace of God?

R—Realize nobody’s perfect.

Psalm 119:96 is a verse directed toward God, and it declares, “Nothing is perfect except your words” (TLB). What society tells you isn’t perfect. What popular opinion tells you isn’t perfect. What you learned growing up isn’t perfect. But God’s Word is perfect. When you get in the Bible and build your life on it, you will have a perfect foundation.

E—Enjoy God’s unconditional love.

The Bible says, “See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children—think of it—and we really are!” (1 John 3:1 TLB) When you become a follower of Christ, you’re not just a servant of God anymore. You are a child of the King. A servant is accepted on the basis of what he does; a child is accepted on the basis of who he is. A servant starts the day anxious and worried that her work will please her master; a child rests in the secure love of her family. A servant is accepted because of his workmanship; a child is accepted because of his relationship.

L—Let God handle things.

What do you do about the uncontrollable things in life? “Cast all your anxiety on [God] because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV). When you’re fishing and you cast a line, there comes a point where you have to take your finger off the button and let it go. Just like the essence of casting is letting go, to overcome perfectionism you have to let go and let God do his work.

A—Act in faith, not fear.

Remember how you got into God’s family in the first place. Ephesians 2:8 says,“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith.” There’s no other way to get into heaven except by grace. You’ll never be good enough, and you can’t buy your way in. It’s a free gift from God.

X—Exchange your perfectionism for God’s peace.

Perfectionism destroys peace. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-29, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest . . . Learn the unforced rhythms of grace” (The Message). What a deal!

You’re going to fail a lot in life. But you don’t have to worry about it if you’ve received God’s grace. In fact, there’s only one failure you ever need to worry about: “Be careful that no one fails to receive God’s grace” (Hebrews 12:15 NCV). Receive it right now, and then rel
Talk About It

  • What troubles, grudges, or guilt can you let go of when you remember that nobody’s perfect?
  • What aspects of God’s love can help you relax?
  • How do you need to respond today to God’s offer of grace?

You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Used By God

If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21 NLT).

If you want to be used by God, purify your heart.

You don’t have to be a perfect person, but you do have to have a pure heart. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:21, “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work” (NLT).

God uses all kinds of people. He uses shy people. He uses outgoing people. He uses people from all different races, ages, stages of life, and backgrounds. He uses men and women. God will use plain vessels, and he’ll use ornate vessels. He’ll use big vessels and small vessels. But there is one thing that God will not use: He will not use a dirty vessel. You have to be clean on the inside.

How do you do that? How do you purify yourself? You do it through a simple word: confession. Augustine said, “The confession of bad works is the beginning of good works.” The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing” (GNT).

The word confess in Greek is the word homologeoHomo means “same,” and logeo means “to speak.” So homologeo literally means “to speak the same about my sin that God does.” It means you agree with him: “God, you’re right. It wasn’t a faux pas. It wasn’t a mistake. It was a sin. It was wrong.” It doesn’t mean you try to bargain with God (“I’ll never do it again”). It doesn’t mean you try to bribe God (“I promise to read my Bible every day if you’ll forgive me”).

You just admit it.

That may seem too simple to you. You may say, “All I’ve got to do is admit it, and God will forgive me?” Yes! It’s called grace!

Here’s what I suggest you do if you really want to be used by God: Take time this week to sit down with a pen and a pad of paper, and say, “God, what’s wrong in my life? Show me. I’m going to write it down, and I’m going to admit it. I’m going to confess it to you.” Then, when God gives you an idea, write it down.

The first time I did this, I thought I was going to write a book! And I’ve done this many times since. Make a list, and then write 1 John 1:9 over it and say, “God, I admit these to you. These are wrong. I don’t want them in my life.” Ask God to cleanse your life. God will forgive you!

This is the starting point to being used by God. You must purify your heart.
Talk About It

  • What will you need to change about your schedule so that you can take time each day this week to write down your confession?
  • You may not be able to write down your confession to God every day of your life, but what healthy patterns can you begin to establish by doing this?
  • What is the difference between a mistake and a sin?

Summary Of Jonah

The book of Jonah is Narrative History and a Prophetic Oracle. The prophet Jonah wrote it approximately 785-760 B.C. before Assyria conquered Israel’s Northern Kingdom. Key personalities include Jonah, the captain and the ship’s crew and the people of Nineveh.

The purpose of this book is to show that God is a merciful and gracious God. Although the wicked city of Nineveh deserved to be crushed immediately, God was patient towards them. A reluctant prophet, Jonah originally ran from God before delivering a message of repentance to the nation of Nineveh.

•    In chapter 1, God directed Jonah to go to Nineveh however; Jonah disobeyed, boarded a ship and headed for Tarshish. The sailors of the ship became concerned because of the great storm that brewed and Jonah explained that God was bringing judgment upon him. The sailors threw him into the sea where he was swallowed by an enormous fish. “And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights”(1:17).

•    Chapter 2-3, After God had the fish cough him up, three days later; Jonah obeyed God and went to Nineveh to fulfill his mission. Jonah preached a message of repentance and to his surprise, the sinful city repented. “Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them” (3:5).

•    In chapter 4, God deals with Jonah and teaches him about His love and compassion.

“…knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity” (4:2). Nineveh’s repentance must have been short-lived; it was destroyed in 612 B.C.

Stay Focused on God’s Plan for Your Life

Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62 TLB).

I have met thousands of people who’ve told me they want to be used by God but who will never be used by God. Why? They’re too busy. They’ve got their own agenda going. They’ve got their plans and dreams and ambitions, and they don’t have any time! In the midst of their busyness, they try to carve out a little sliver from the pie of life and say, “I’ll give this to God.” But it doesn’t work that way.

If you’re serious about being used by God, you have to say, “Lord, what do I need to let go of? What do I need to cut out? What barriers are holding me back and keeping me from running the race you have for me?”

Lots of different barriers will hold you back from God’s plan for your life. One of the biggest categories: distractions. Jesus said in Luke 9:62, “Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the kingdom of God”(TLB).

Here are a few of the many things that could distract you from your life mission:

The expectations of other people. You’ve got to decide whom you’re going to please first in life. You can only have one number one.

Hobbies. There’s nothing wrong with these things. But if they distract you from the most important things, then you need to let go of them.

Your past. Maybe you refuse to let go of your past—whether it’s guilt or resentment or grief. But if you’re stuck in the past, you cannot get on with the present, and you certainly can’t get on with God’s future for you. Your past is past. It’s over! You need to let it go.

What do you need to let go of? The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:23, “‘Everything is permissible,’ but not everything is helpful” (HCSB). What does that mean? It means this: A lot of things aren’t necessarily wrong; they’re just not necessary. Life often means choosing either “Am I going to do something good?” or “Am I going to do what’s best?”

If the Devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy. He’ll get you so busy that you don’t have time for the important stuff—time alone with God, ministry, and mission.

You need to simplify your life and eliminate distractions so God can use you. Don’t try to do it all. Do what matters most!
Talk About It

  • What are the most important things in your life?
  • Think of some of the good things that you’ve put first in your life. How have they distracted you from the most important things and from God’s mission for you?
  • Why are we so easily distracted by seemingly good things that are not God’s best for us?

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑