Living with purpose: Part 1 - Hope 103.2

Living with purpose: Part 1

Morning Devotions is for those curious about the Christian faith and who want to explore Christian issues that relate to their daily life.

By Chris WittsWednesday 27 Mar 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


One of the popular TV shows shown in various forms is the program “Extreme Makeover”. You may have seen it. Each week the program makes a dream come true for 3 people who may undergo plastic surgery,or have their hair changed or are transformed into a different person. I guess it’s intriguing to see ordinary people with all their imperfections and physical blemishes changed in a makeover with extraordinary results. Usually at the beginning they say how ugly or overweight they might be – in other words,their self esteem is generally pretty low,and they often lack self confidence. A nip here,a tuck there,new clothes – and their friends hardly recognise them. I think deep down many of us feel we need a makeover. We’re not very happy with the way we are. I’m not talking necessarily of the way we look,but in our general attitude to life. I’m talking about this word “powerlessness” – an inability to move ahead in life,being dependent on what others think of us.

Why is it that so many people lack the courage to do something positive with their life,and instead of making choices,are looking for someone or something to blame. They wait for something to happen to them,instead of making things happen. It’s like living life as though it were an accident. Why do some feel as if their lives are without any meaning,and they have no reason to face the day? In a Gallup poll taken a few years ago,people were asked a simple question “how do you experience life?”. 51% of those who responded said they felt life was flat and meaningless,with little rhyme and reason. This is sad,because the Bible has a tremendous verse in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; Instead His Spirit fills us with power,love,and self control” (GNB). What is this power that Paul is talking about? It is the divine power that God gives us when we surrender our life to Him; when we are transformed by the power of Jesus Christ who indwells our body,mind and soul when we give our lives over to Him. Millions of people down through the ages have discovered a new purpose and power when they surrendered their life to Jesus Christ. They discovered their life had meaning beyond this life,and that God was the centre of their living.

In the movie “City Slickers” 3 men spend a few weeks out on a ranch roughing it away from their city life. Jack Palance tells the city slickers they have a problem. “You spend 50 weeks a year getting knots in your ropes,and you think in 2 weeks here you can come and untie them. None of you get it. Do you know what the secret of life is?” They don’t know what he means,but he holds up one finger and says “Just one thing – stick to one thing and nothing else matters”. Billy Crystal laughs and says “That’s great. But what’s the one thing?” Jack Palance laughs loudly and says “That’s what you’ve got to figure out”. It may only be a movie,but isn’t it true? We have to figure out one basic thing in life – our purpose in life. What is my life all about?  The true joy of life is in knowing our purpose.

The early disciples struggled after Jesus had died. They had dared so much for Jesus only to see Him crucified,and they thought that was the end. They retreated in terror and fear of their own lives,and hid behind closed doors. But Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to these followers,and yet they were still very doubtful. But at Pentecost,the Holy Spirit came and they discovered a new purpose. They could hold their heads high and eyes burned with passion,and their faces filled with conviction. They had undergone some kind of divine extreme makeover. Jesus had said to them “” am sending upon you what my father promised. You are to stay here until you have been clothed with power from on high”. We call that experience Pentecost,an example of power. The power of the Holy Spirit transformed these defeated,fearful disciples into courageous and faithful witnesses who were prepared to die for their faith.

This is not a power that wants to control other people or to act as the boss. No,this is of God,a divine power,that is all about service,humility,gentleness,and a willingness to put others in front of yourself. This is seen best in Jesus who came as a servant,someone to give His life for the world. If you think you’re a powerful type of person,how do you treat others? Let’s be careful how we define power. It certainly is the strength and courage to accomplish something in life. Like the disciples,we need to be witnesses to Jesus,not ourselves. The message to them was very clear “You are to be My witnesses in Jerusalem,and in all Judea and Samaria,and to the ends of the earth”. Suddenly their lives were directed outside themselves. They had been given a mission which would transform the world. But they couldn’t do it in their own power. I wonder if you’ve discovered what God wants you to do.