Week of May 1

Encountering Jesus

The significance of smaller

Day 1: John the Baptist was created with a purpose – and his expressed purpose is stated in the book of John…” I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’”. How refreshing to live in the freedom of clear purpose. Have you considered your life’s purpose?  What part of your story does He want to use? What events and which people led you to Jesus? Take some time to consider the following questions. Do I know what my purpose is? How have I encountered Jesus? How do I show others the greatness of Jesus? Slow down for a few minutes and put some responses on paper. Reflect and pray. 

 

Day 2: Read John 1:19-23. Put in your own words and describe John’s job description? Do you think he struggled with his purpose or ever wanted to exchange it for something else? The idea of purpose is not a small topic, and it’s one the people everywhere wrestle with often. How well did you articulate your purpose?  Look back at yesterday’s response. Ultimately, our purpose is to worship and adore God and tell others about Christ. It is to reflect the greatness that already exists in God. But HOW that looks for each of us is different because we are all uniquely, creatively gifted. There is NO ONE else created with your exact gifting and abilities, so He is looking for YOU to fulfill your calling (at school, work, home) in the unique way YOU were created. Think about the gifts and experiences that God gave to John. What gifts and abilities has God given to me to further His purpose? What mistakes or trials has He used in my life to impact another?  

 

Day 3: How are you doing on your questions about purpose? Keep working on the delightful discovery process. Today, you can take another step in your relationship with Jesus. One way to honor Jesus is to pursue the passions and desires inside of us. These are the wrongs, sins or injustices in this world that break our hearts. Write or speak the answers to these questions: “What breaks my heart that mirrors the heart of God?” “What makes me ‘come alive’?” and “What is a Holy passion that I have already done something about?” As you do write down some thoughts, ask God to speak to these passions. In this way, you are encountering Jesus. Talk about these questions at small group or with a friend this week.

 

Day 4: Where Holy passion meets Holy purpose is a sweet spot to live. There is freedom and an ‘alive-ness’ that gets us out of bed and excited to live this beautiful life God gave us to live. How wonderful! But what happens when God’s purpose and plan include taking a lesser ‘seat at the table’ or it is marked with pain and suffering? What if you are not recognized for the efforts or you just feel like you are waiting your turn?  Or what if you are not seeing fruit and feel like you are just treading water? Read Colossians 3:23-24. Consider John and his efforts at elevating Jesus, even to his dying breath. These are difficult questions to wrestle with. Are we serving for some recognition from another or seeking to serve God? What is the motivation for fulfilling your purpose?

 

Day 5: What a huge week! Celebrate the times of reflection with Jesus as you reflect on your purpose, which ultimately brings glory to God. You’ve gained an understanding your true purpose, plans and passions that God has for you along with identifying your unique abilities and experiences to love others. In living your purpose, you are encountering Jesus on a daily basis. The world sees Jesus through you. John the Baptist knew his purpose. Jesus knew His purpose. We can have direction in our lives if we know our purpose. Do you have the courage to live it out – day after day, week after week, year after year? That would be a life well spent. Write down five ways you can fulfill your purpose that honor God and value people over the weekend. In this way, you are taking steps to know and become like Jesus.

 

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