Come Alive with Purpose / Day 4

BIBLE READING

Ephesians 5: 14-18

This is why it is said:

‘Wake up, sleeper,

rise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you.’

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit….

Matthew 25: 14-30

‘Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

‘After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.”

‘His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

‘The man with two bags of gold also came. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with two bags of gold: see, I have gained two more.”

‘His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

‘Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. “Master,” he said, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.”

‘His master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

‘“So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

REFLECTION

“The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but life without a reason. It is dangerous to be alive and not know why you were given life. One of the most frustrating experiences is to have time but not know why.” (Myles Munroe)

Yesterday we looked at Romans 12: 2 and considered how God’s purpose for our lives will be found at the convergence of what is good (it carries favour), pleasing (it will bring pleasure) and perfect (it leads to maturity). However, the preceding verse in Romans 12 is also foundational, as our unique purpose can only be built upon our posture of surrender and obedience to God:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” (Rom 12: 1)

Many Christians sadly believe that they can live however they choose and God will always have His way in their lives. This is neither biblical nor true. Obedience to God’s Word and surrender to His will are key to unlocking our purpose and releasing our destiny. God has such good plans for our lives, but we get to choose to walk in them. God gives us gifts, but we must decide to be good stewards and develop them. God places opportunities before us, but we have the responsibility to take hold of them.

Remember the parable of the talents. The servants weren’t judged according to what they were given, but according to what they did with what they had.

Novelist H.G. Wells said that wealth, notoriety, place, and power are no measures of success whatsoever. The only true measure of success is the ratio between what we might have been and what we have become. In other words, success comes as the result of growing to our potential. It’s been said that our potential is God’s gift to us, and what we do with it is our gift to him.

In John 4: 34 Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” Many people start out with great passion and enthusiasm, not many finish well. Jesus knew His purpose and was fully committed to living it out, fulfilling it completely, even unto the point of death. That is a posture of absolute surrender and obedience.

In his latter years George Bernard Shaw lamented: "The person I miss most is the one I could have been." As we grow old and reflect on our lives, may we not have regrets about wasted potential. Rather, like the Apostle Paul, may we be able to say:

"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day..." (2 Tim 4: 6-8)