November 18, 2017

Finding Purpose

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For we are God’s workmanship
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,

which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

What is my purpose?  This is a question that everyone has to answer.  People struggle with answering this question…people die trying to answer this question…people search their whole lifetime trying to answer this question.  Some of us start asking this question at a very young age; some have just always known.

I have never been one of the latter.  How lovely it would be to know what you want to do with your life from a young age.  I am one of those people who, well into my late twenties, am still trying to figure out my purpose.

I can’t say for sure what the big picture is, but I can say that focusing on the end game has caused me to miss out on a significant amount of present time.  I believe that yes, a goal should be in mind; but when you don’t know what the future holds (which is often), you should do what you know to do right now.  Doing nothing is a waste of time.

For instance, I have had quite a few jobs in my working career and just about each one I have treated as a means to an end.  I do my job and I do it well.  I excel in the actual performance but my attitude has not always been the best.  Instead of going in with the mindset that this job is what is paying my bills now, I go in with the mindset that this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life, so it’s not important.  Have you ever tried to do a job that you didn’t think was important?  Coupled with the fact that I’ve always had the mindset that there are always more jobs…disaster is what occurs.  And I’m not a bad employee.  It is just the way that I approach the job that is the problem.  I feel that ‘If this were my purpose, then I would be happy doing it.”  Ha! Being content is something that is cultivated, it doesn’t just happen because the circumstances are good.

So, your purpose? Well, your purpose can be in the moment. Your purpose doesn’t define your worth. Your worth is always found in God himself. Your purpose is simply the role(s) you are in at any given moment. Your attitude during any season determines whether you see you in your purpose. Purpose isn’t just a one-time ultimate goal. It shifts. God has “good works” for us. Not just one single work /purpose.

Make sure that you are mindful of your current purpose…and not blinded by your end game goal.

CHRISTLife — FORTY: Embracing A Glorious Future

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What an opportunity, privilege, and awakening we have experienced in the last 39 days of this study.  We have been made aware again, or perhaps for the first time, that God created us because He loves us.  He created us on purpose to have a relationship and fellowship with Him.  We didn’t come crawling out of some swampland.  We came out of His heart.

We discovered that the ideal mirror to look into is not our bathroom mirror but the mirror of God’s Word, which is His Truth and His Love.  It is the “reliable, unchangeable grounds for accepting ourselves.” (Ruth Myers)

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

1 John 3:1

~~ * ~~

Yes, we each came into this study with images of ourselves influenced by our past; many of those were negative experiences, failures, and hurts.  But God chose this time, this study, and each of us to destroy those images and replace them with His image of us from His Word, transforming our minds to line up with His mind.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern  of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Romans 12:2

~~ * ~~

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

~~ * ~~

But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16

~~ * ~~

Through this study we have begun to recognize and accept God’s description of us, His followers.  We “have chosen the way of Truth” (Psalm 119:30, NKJV).  I flipped back through the book, CHRISTLife, and was blessed to read again what God calls us:

created, child of God, daughter, called, chosen, loved, saved, sanctified, desired, beloved’s, bride, quilt-free, blessed, clean, redeemed, forgiven, righteous, purified, justified, alive, alert, new, holy, victorious, obedient, Christ-like, delivered, united, fruitful, transformed, temple, priest(ess), filled, complete, receiver, empowered, strong, enlightened, belong, accepted, approved, friend, citizen, servant, worshiper, worthy, delighted in, favored, honored, royal, nurtured, satisfied, secure, treasured, competent, beautiful, bold, confident, overcomer, anointed, purposeful, witness…and more!

Wow!  After reading those I’m breaking out into a little song and dance—what about you!?  Those affirmations fill me with hope, and confidence for now and for my future. As Ruth Myers said, “In God’s unlimited view, He sees our increasing glory as His Spirit transforms us into finished works of art.”

…Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

~~ * ~~

Ladies, these “works of art” (us!) weren’t created to hang on some museum wall and gather dust.  We weren’t even created to walk this dusty earth forever.  Oh no, God has created us for purpose: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’” declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).  Our hope will be complete when we meet Jesus face to face (Isaiah 33:17).   Our future will be for all eternity, worshiping and serving in the presence of our King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 1:5-6).

Time after time in the Scriptures, God shares His desire and plan for us to spend eternity with Him in Heaven.  Here are just a few passages for you to look up as you study today:

John 3:14-17, 17:2-3
Psalm 16:11
Romans 6:22-23
1 Timothy 6:12
Titus 1:2, 3:4-7
1 John 1:2, 2:25
Jude 1:21
Revelation 3:5

Ecclesiastes 3:11 even tells us that He has set eternity in the hearts of men, even though we can’t fathom everything He has done for us.  God loves us, God has chosen us, God planned from before time began for us to spend eternity with Him.  That desire is in His heart, and He placed it in our hearts—and Jesus went to prepare a place for us (John 14:1-4).

If you have given your heart to Jesus, then you have everything you need to spend a glorious future in the very presence of our Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  It’s time to embrace your true and deepest identity, for “God is the strength of your heart and your portion forever” (Psalm 73:26).   “I AM Who God Says I Am!”

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

~~ * ~~     ~~ * ~~     ~~ * ~~

Dear Lord, we have completed the study of this book, but I pray that we never stop studying from Your Book what You have to say to us and about us.  Thank You for loving us and choosing us to be Your children so that we can spend both here and in Heaven a glorious future with You.  I pray that You, the God of peace, will sanctify each lady in this study through and through.  May their whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.   The One who “…calls each of us is faithful, and He will do it”(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).  I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

GCH:POTs (Parents of Teens)- Glorifying God by Fulfilling Your “This I Must Do” Dream!

 

Greetings again, POTs!

Over the past few days, we have been exploring the first 2 of 3 purposes God has for your teen’s life… Do you remember what they are?

  1. To love God by belonging to Christ
  2. To love God by loving others

So… that leads us to what we will be unpacking together today, the third purpose:

To glorify God by fulfilling your “This I must do” dream

We are all here on this earth to glorify God by doing the one big thing that God has so divinely commissioned you, and you alone, to do to help fulfill His purposes here on earth to build His kingdom. This specific, unique, and significant purpose directs you to pursue your God-designed life mission with pure joy and to deliver God-inspired life message to those you are eager to serve.

This purpose is God’s personalized gift to you… specifically YOU! It is a dream that reflects your passionate ache and divine urge…. You’re heart’s desire. This fascination was planted in your soul by God before you were even born… how awesome is THAT!?!? It is what drives your life… what you feel you MUST do. It is what you are called to do… what you feel you can’t NOT do! What is YOUR “must do” dream?

What you must understand is that it is up to each and every one of us to decide if we will actually take on this huge commitment to make this eternal contribution that is obviously impossible without God’s help. It is our choice.

THIS is the exact focus of the time we are going to spend together here for the next few weeks. I understand that you probably know inside YOU, as an adult, what this dream is in your life. Maybe you are fulfilling it or maybe you have gotten side tracked. Maybe it’s too big for you to even fit into your head right now. THAT is not my concern at the moment. Whatever you have done with your dream isn’t my focus…. I am concerned with making sure that you do everything you can to help this be realized for your teenager! In the process, you will probably find that your dream comes to surface and could even take off as well. Wouldn’t that be amazing for God’s kingdom?

Throughout the Bible, God gives us example after example of planting such “must-do” assignments in the hearts of people. Remember Noah? He HAD to build an ark before the great flood (Genesis 6:13-21). Moses HAD to go to Pharaoh and demand the release of God’s people (Exodus 3:10,20). Paul HAD to proclaim the good news to the Gentiles (Galatians 1:13-16) and Samuel HAD to anoint David king in spite of ensuing turmoil (1 Samuel 16:12-13). There are countless more of these moments in the Bible where God commissioned ordinary people to do extraordinary things that took a lifetime to see final completion or where God called ordinary people to complete impossible tasks that defined and shaped the rest of their lives.

Why would you or your teen be an exception to that pattern of the ordinary person being used by God to do the extraordinary? God is glorified when we’re stretched beyond our personal ability to complete an impossible task! God needs His people to live their dreams out loud and I am here to guide you through this so that you can in turn help your teenager SOAR!

Over the weekend, spend some time in prayer asking God to reignite the passion for your dream He so divinely placed in your heart. Seek God and on this and ask Him to begin to show you how He needs you to begin to plant these seeds in your child. Be ready to dive right in on Monday with me here on this blog!

Let’s pray:

Thank you Lord for creating us each so uniquely to fulfill Your purposes here on earth, Every situation and circumstance of our life is divinely orchestrated by You for Your purposes to be fulfilled and we are so thankful to be able to live this out loud for Your kingdom. Help us to be passionate for our dreams once again, Lord, so that we can bring this to life for our teenagers. Help us live BOLDLY for You and your kingdom. Amen <3

Blessings to you and yours,

Megan

megan@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

https://www.facebook.com/megan.smidt

Sign up for one of our Online Bible Study or Fellowship Groups for Women and Teen Girls here:

http://girlfriendscoffeehour.com/sign-up-for-girlfriends-coffee-hour-online-bible-studies/

GCH:POTs (Parents of Teens)- Love God by Loving Others

Hi POTs!

Yesterday I posted about the first of 3 purposes for your teen’s life… To love God by belonging to Christ. So, today we will explore the second purpose:

To love God by loving others

 

It is so easy for us, as adults, to get distracted by the millions of fiery darts that get thrown our way every day… and I KNOW you know what I mean! You start your day in the Word, you give your day to the Lord, you say your “amens” and the next thing you know….. You are discouraged left and right from all the distractions satan throws at you to get you off track. Can you imagine trying to stay focused on what God has for you as a teenager… Not yet equipped with some of the skills necessary to navigate those fiery darts?

 

Matthew 22:39

Jesus added, “A second (commandment) is like equally important: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

All of us, as Christ followers, have the purpose to love God by living each day, with love, in order to fulfill the responsibilities, daily tasks, and major roles that God has so divinely assigned to each of us as individuals.

This includes honoring God by serving with Christ-like love in all your life domains:

  • Personal
  • Family
  • Relationships
  • School
  • Job
  • Ministry
  • Community
  • ____________(other)

 

What does that look like? Well, it means that we all are commanded to trust the Lord for the strength and power needed to fulfill our commitments and meet the challenges that propel our day in all of these areas.

If we are not walking in step with God throughout our day we will certainly be knocked off course. It is so important that our teens see us walk this out. When you get thrown a distraction, how do you handle it? What are you modeling for your teen? I would like for you to go to the Lord in prayer today and ask Him to show you the areas where you might be struggling in this area and ask Him to give you HIS eyes to see where you need Him most. This should give you better insight into how to approach this with your teen. If you can relate to them where you struggle, they are more likely to listen and learn with you. Please let God into those areas where you are struggling so that He can help you break free and keep those distractions where they belong…. Out of your way!

I pray that by this point, your teen has been able to open up with you about some areas where they are struggling. Please keep an open heart and mind as they share with you. I would love to hear how this is going and please know that I am right here with you every step of the way!

Tomorrow we will discuss the third purpose, To Glorify God by fulfilling your “This I must do” dream… and I pray it is a blessing to you and your household.

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord, I thank you so much for what You have been showing us this week as we have been seeking your wisdom and guidance as we help mold our teens’ hearts and souls. Keep strengthening us, Lord and keep us open to what You have for our family through this journey. Help us to see our relationship with our teens with a new perspective and keep us focused on what You have for us. We thank you for this provision, Father. In Your Son’s name we pray, amen <3

Blessings to you and yours,

Megan

megan@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

https://www.facebook.com/megan.smidt

Sign up for one of our Online Bible Study or Fellowship Groups for Women and Teen Girls here:

http://girlfriendscoffeehour.com/sign-up-for-girlfriends-coffee-hour-online-bible-studies/

GCH:POTs (Parents of Teens)- Love God by Belonging to Christ

Hello POTs!

It has been 3 days now since I posted about God having 3 purposes for your teen’s life… Do you remember what they are?

  1. To love God by belonging to Christ
  2. To love God by loving others
  3. To glorify God by fulfilling your “This I must do” dream

Today, we will dive into the first purpose mentioned: “Loving God by belonging to Christ.” I pray that you were able to go to the Lord in prayer about this very purpose over your own life. . Really, if you are able to articulate about how God has impacted your life in this way, it will be much easier to relate it to your teen! If you found it challenging to get started digging deeper about this on your own, that’s okay…. You can work through it with me today and I pray this lesson will help encourage some awesome conversation between you and your teen!

Matthew 22:37-38

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul

 and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.

As a Christ follower, it is our purpose to love God by choosing (yes, intentionally making a choice…) to be transformed into a new person in the image of Christ. How do we go about doing this in real life? Well, it begins by reading God’s Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach to you fully surrender to Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

It is critical that you have help from people around you here on earth to walk this out. I’m specifically talking about your church family (including prayer partners, accountability partners, and mentors). In belonging to Christ, you have chosen to commit to a life of holiness, integrity, right motives, peace, and worshipping your Creator…… as well as helping others to do the same.

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by

 the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test

and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

As adults…. This is HARD to do, right? Can you imagine how much harder it is for teens? Typically, their biggest fear is not fitting in with their peers. I know this has been tough for many of my kids, especially in middle school through 9th grade. If we can pinpoint and put names to our struggles with this very idea, then it will be much easier to relate to our teens about it. Do you struggle with this in your workplace? Maybe with friends you still have from before you were a believer? Maybe it’s your extended family that makes it challenging for you to live not of this world?

I urge you to spend some time with the Lord on this in prayer before you start the conversation with your teen. Let Him guide you in opening up with them about what this looks like in your life.

John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.

No one comes to the Father except through me.

Do you believe this? In your heart and soul, do you believe this? If so, how does this impact YOUR life? Explore that a bit before talking to your teen about it. I truly wish I could be a fly on the wall and hear every conversation each of you have with your teens about this divine purpose God has for their life! Read this scripture with your teen and help them unpack it. You know, they might just teach you a thing or two about your walk with God!

I would love to hear about how this is going in your home. Please share with me in a comment on this blog or by email how it is going working through this with your teen. After all, we are all in this together!

I will be back tomorrow to explore the second purpose God has for your teen:

To Love God by Loving Others!

 

Blessings to you and yours,

Megan

megan@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

https://www.facebook.com/megan.smidt

Sign up for one of our Online Bible Study or Fellowship Groups for Women and Teen Girls here:

http://girlfriendscoffeehour.com/sign-up-for-girlfriends-coffee-hour-online-bible-studies/

GCH:POTs (Parents of Teens) God’s Purposes For Your Teenager

For the Lord is the one who shaped the mountains,

stirs up the winds, and reveals his thoughts to mankind.

He turns the light of dawn into darkness

and treads on the heights of the earth.

The Lord God of Heaven’s Armies is his name!

Amos 4:13

 

I hope you enjoyed getting to know your kids better last week. What types of questions did you ask them? How did they respond? I would love to hear all about it!

This week, we are going to focus on preparing you and your teen for change. I know, I know…. Not many people are fans of things changing, but change is imperative if you want to have a different outcome in any situation. Parenting and communication with your teenager is no different. Having five teens under my roof at the same time, I learned early on that I needed to be willing to try different approaches with each one constantly in order to bring out the best in them and our relationship.

We all want to know our life’s purpose…. Don’t we? Well, our teenagers are no different. In fact, what I have seen with my own kids is that every way they turn, they are even EXPECTED to know their life purpose at younger and younger ages. I’m 37 and I just figured it out two years ago!

I have always admired my oldest son, James, because he knew in kindergarten that he wanted to be a chef and has been unwavering in that goal. Straight out of high school, he went into culinary school and is now a chef! But, what I am finding, is that his focus with his God-given gifts is uncommon and most of my other kids have had thoughts swimming around in their heads like….

  • Why was I born?
  • Will my dream ever come true?
  • What major should I have in college?
  • Should I go to college?
  • Where do I fit in this world?
  • What on earth am I here for?

Our society prompts us, as parents, to pray for God to bring someone or some situation into our kids’ lives to encourage their kids to live more purpose-filled and significant lives beyond video games and texting. Parents want their kids to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior and to live with His peace and joy in their hearts. They want their kids to be self-sufficient and to live rewarding lives in and out of the home.

 

I have news for you. In all of my coaching, parenting,  and mentoring the one way I have found to help make all these pieces fit into place for your teenager is to help them to discover how they specifically have been wired by God with unique, God-given Gifts to make an impact on this world. I am so happy that we are on this journey together…. Now let’s get started!

God has three purposes for your teen’s life:

  1. To love God by belonging to Christ
  2. To love God by loving others
  3. To glorify God by fulfilling your “This I must do” dream

This week, we will be diving into these three purposes to help lay the groundwork with our teenagers. These three purposes are meant to work simultaneously in order  to unleash God’s best in their life. Are you ready to get started?

What I need you to do the next few days is spend some time thinking and praying on how these three purposes fit into YOUR life. Seek the Lord on these three purposes and see what He shows you. If you can talk about how God has impacted your life in these ways, it will be much easier to relate it to your teen!

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord, I thank you for every parent and adult who is reading this blog who has the desire to help bring out the very best in their teen! Thank you for putting this desire in their hearts and I pray that You will continue to strengthen them and give them Your boldness to dare to be different! Help them think outside the box in relating and communicating with their teen to help being out Your gifts in them. Thank You for this provision, Father. In Your Son’s name I pray, amen <3

Blessings to you and yours,

Megan :)

megan@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

https://www.facebook.com/megan.smidt

Sign up for one of our Online Bible Study or Fellowship Groups for Women and Teen Girls here:

http://girlfriendscoffeehour.com/sign-up-for-girlfriends-coffee-hour-online-bible-studies/