I just saw Rick Warren recently promoting what I believe is a new book he has written entitled, “Why in The World Am I Here?” That is a good question – Why does God save us and invite us into an intimate relationship with Himself? Are we just to mark time until He sends for us and invites us to meet Him in His Father’s house? There has to be more.
The Apostle Paul begins several of his letters like this – “This letter is from Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Jesus Christ…” There is a lot in that statement. Let’s look closely at what he shared. He says he was “chosen by God.” In John 15:16, Jesus said, “You didn’t choose Me, I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name.”
Referring to Paul again, he understood his God-given purpose. He was chosen by God. He was appointed by God. This wasn’t something he aspired to do. He also refers to himself as an apostle. That word means, “one sent out by God to preach the gospel.” Before his conversion to faith in Christ, Paul was a persecutor of Christians. After his conversion, he became a proclaimer of the good news about Jesus Christ. How often do you ask yourself –
§ Lord, why did you give Your life for me?
§ Why am I in the world?
§ What is Your purpose for me?
§ How can I best serve You?
In Matthew 28:18-220, we have the Great Commission given by Christ to His disciples. He said, “I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this; I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
We are to make disciples. These were Jesus’ last words and He gave a command, “Make disciples.” This is our God-given purpose. When we know what our God-given purpose is, it helps us to establish our priorities. We fix our sight on accomplishing that purpose. Note also, that we don’t accomplish this mission alone. Our LORD sends us out under His authority to accomplish our purpose. His promise – “I am with you always.” God’s work, done in God’s way, will never lack His blessing.
There is a very important word in this commission and it is the word, “GO”. The tense here is significant and should read, “As you are going, make disciples.” Jesus expects us to obey His command and commission. To not take Him seriously is to disobey our Commander in Chief.
In Ephesians 5:15-16, the Apostle Paul wrote, “So, be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.” If the days in which Paul lived, were evil, how much more so today. So, he is saying that there is a sense of urgency. We don’t have time to waste. God will give us opportunities to witness for Him and we must make the most of these opportunities when they come our way. We need to determine that we will be alert and embrace the opportunities that God gives us to impact our world for Him.
Finally, we need to realize that each of us has a life story that God has been developing that we can use to advance His kingdom.
In Romans 8:28 we read, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” I have often thought of Joni Ericksen Tada, who at the age of 17, had a diving accident and has been a quadriplegic ever since. She has had a worldwide ministry to handicapped people for many years since.
There are many stories like this where people saddled with different issues, discover their God-given purpose, and have made a huge difference in this world for the glory of God. However, you don’t have to be handicapped to be effective for Christ. You/we just need to be obedient.
Let’s make a difference.