Gifts and purpose are somehow always a topic of conversation no matter where you go and no matter who you are speaking with at the time.
Purpose. We all wonder about purpose. Our purpose and why it is we were put here on this Earth. It’s not uncommon. And some of us wrestle back and forth with the idea everyday asking ourselves, why am I here? what is it that I’m supposed to be doing? (myself included).
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever, Amen. 2 Peter 3:18
When I first started this blog, faith was the last thing that I wanted to talk about. For one, I was willing to put the topic to the side because I thought it would bring more visitors to my site. Nobody wants to here about Jesus all the time, is what I said to myself. I didn’t want to seem too “churchy.” Secondly, I thought I thought it was boring.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the world, but lose his own soul? Mark 8:36 (KJV)
I wanted to talk about growth and change and being different and overcoming past mistakes that once held me back. I wanted to talk about being free and the fact that there was a whole new life to live–one that was better than our old ones that left us feeling broken and hurt, alone and confused, that kept us going in circles wondering if the disappointment we felt would ever end.
I thought back to some of those times and the sadness that used to be a part of my life.
Then I began to think about who it was that gave me a new life.
Yet, I didn’t want to talk about him.
If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way that I am leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels. Mark 8:38 (MSG)
Another version says, “If any of you are ashamed…” and I was in fact, ashamed. I was ashamed because of all of the things they say about him and even more about what they say about people who believe in him.
I did not want to talk about him when I got around my “fickle and unfocused friends” who mostly weren’t even friends, just mere acquaintances, and I certainly didn’t want to talk about him on this blog. For all of the world to see? There’s no way.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 (NIV)
We often equate this with natural gifts. And while we do have natural gifts, James is specifically speaking about the gift that God designed (humans) and His original intent for us as human beings. Within this passage, James is speaking about trials and temptations and he goes on to say that we are going to have them because we are not exempt from them, but that we should not be deterred from our faith because of them, nor should we allow ourselves to sin or be separated from God.
He doesn’t want that for us, instead He wants us to operate in goodness and in faith– as a product of His creation.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord…
2 Timothy 1:7-8 (NIV)
God gave us His spirit. Some are aware of this and others are not. The ones who are aware have acknowledged this and accepted it as truth and have therefore chosen to live according to this truth.
And even those who have come into this truth are sometimes “timid” (afraid) or “ashamed” about sharing this truth. Nonetheless, God gives us the “power” and the ability to go forth and proclaim the truth or share the “testimony about our Lord…”
Now, some of us do that in different ways than others.
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them… Romans 12:6 (ESV)
As long as we have God, as long as we can attest to the fact that God has done something for us and we believe wholeheartedly that it is Him who has done so, a testimony will always be a part of our purpose. How we do that is “according to the grace [God has] given to us.
SO, back to this whole ordeal about me wanting to write and not mention anything about Jesus. What was I thinking?
What’s more important than pointing someone in the direction of the person who saved me? I’m not perfect and I don’t have it all together. But I know that my life is far better now than it was when I didn’t know Him.
And even as I’m writing this now, I’m afraid of who might find it and see me talking about Jesus. One, because my life isn’t perfect and two, because talking about Jesus isn’t necessarily popular. I’m afraid of all the things that they will say about me. Afraid of the “persecution” so to speak.
But there is one thing that I can’t deny.
Then Jesus asked, “But who do you say I am…”
Mark 8:29 (CEV)
That one question settles my fear and gives me strength. Who do I say He is? Who Has he been to me?
What right do I have to keep it to myself? How selfish is that? For every one hundred people that deny Him, there’s one person that might be looking for Him.
So, I write to inspire. I write to encourage. I write to share my truths. I write to talk about what Jesus did for me and who he is to me.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through him. Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
What I’m learning is that this journey is not about being perfect. It’s about growing in faith. It’s about doing the things we believe in our hearts will honor God. It’s about making the best of our lives because we know that’s what God wants us to do. It’s about doing what we can to show that we value the life that He has given us. That’s what this is about.
So maybe you’re confused about your purpose or the gifts that God has given you.
One thing for certain is that, you know that He gave you life. How do you want to live it? What do you want to do to show His love, His mercy, His grace, His forgiveness, His creativeness, His inventiveness, His kindness?
Who is He to you? Who has He been to you? How did he make you?
We can go forth in that confidence and live our lives as such.