Thursday, January 15, 2009

Purpose Driven Life - Seeing Life from God's View

Today's chapter is titled "Seeing Life from God's View"

Quotes that stuck out are:

"The way you see your life shapes your life."

"How you define life determines your destiny. Your perspective will influence how you invest your time, spend your money, use your talents, and value your relationships."

"If I asked how you pictured life, what would come to your mind? That image is your life metaphor."

"The Bible offers...metaphors...Life is a test, life is a trust..."

"Life on earth is a Test...God continually tests people's character, faith, obedience, love, integrity, and loyalty...Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test. You are always being tested...You will be tested by major changes, delayed promises, impossible problems, unanswered prayers, undeserved criticism, and even senseless tragedies...God tests my faith through problems, tests my hope by how I handle possessions, and tests my love through people...When you understand that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life...Every day is an important day, and every second is a growth opportunity to deepen your character, to demonstrate love, or to depend on God...The good news is that God wants you to pass the tests of life, so he never allows the tests you face to be greater than the grace he gives you to handle them."

"Life on earth is a Trust...Our time on earth and our energy, intelligence, opportunities, relationships, and resources are all gifts from God that he has entrusted to our care and management...We never really own anything during our brief stay on earth. God just loans the earth to us while we're here...The first job God gave humans was to manage and take care of God's "stuff" on earth...Everything we enjoy is to be treated as a trust that God has placed in our hands...Our culture says, "If you don't own it, you won't take care of it." But Christians live by a higher standard: "Because God owns it, I must take the best care of it that I can"...At the end of your life on earth you will be evaluated and rewarded according to how well you handled what God entrusted to you."

"Most people fail to realize that money is both a test and a trust from God...God says there is a direct relationship between how I use my money and the quality of my spiritual life. How I mange my money ("worldly wealth") determines how much God can trust me with spiritual blessings ("true riches").

Today's Point to Ponder is "Life is a test and a trust."

Today's Verse to Remember is "Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won't be faithful in large ones." Luke 16:10a (NLT)

Today's Question to Consider is "What has happened to me recently that I now realize was a test from God? What are the greatest matters God has entrusted to me?"

I have a hard time believing that everything is a test from God but I do believe that God can use all situations to test us! If that makes sense. Every situation that I come up against is just another opportunity for God to allow my faith to be tested. Can I really pinpoint something that happened recently? That is a hard one.

Every Wednesday night is a test of faith for me. I am combating culture and sometimes I don't think I am being very effective. That is when I have to remember that there is nothing I can do to change a person's spiritual condition. I can't go up to a teen and change him or her. It is impossible. The changing really is the Holy Spirit's job. Yes, I am very privileged to be used by the Holy Spirit. What I have to be sure about is that I am living the way God wants me to live. The Holy Spirit can use my actions and words to speak to others. I have to constantly be asking myself "Am I truly reflecting Christ to those around me."

I am tested everyday. My prayer is that I pass the test, but the truth is I am not going to pass every test and that's okay. Don't get me wrong. I shouldn't purposely fail the test, but if I could pass every test that comes along I wouldn't be in need of Jesus. Yes, God doesn't let me endure anything that I can't handle, but I can only handle it when I place my trust in Christ.

So the greatest matter God has entrusted to me is how I live out my relationship with Him. I want to be an instrument used by God to help people see Jesus, introduce them to him, and help them grow in their relationship with him. I do this by making sure God is my continued focus, my very life. I shape myself according to what the Bible says and the example Jesus set. God has called me to work with the teens and I want to be a shape they can emulate. Paul said in one of his letters that those he wrote to should imitate him as he imitates the Lord. I would like to be able to say that to the teens. "Do what I do as I do what Jesus does."

Father, I want to pass the tests of life. I know that the only way I can do this is by your power. Help me to be like Jesus. You have entrusted me with this purpose and in turn you have entrusted me with being an example to teenagers. Help me to be the teacher you would have me to be. I do this for your glory. Amen.

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