Today we continue our series, “As Jesus Is”, under the banner of the overall series for the year, “Supernatural Manifestation.” We have been looking at 1 John 4:16,17 for months. This week we added Colossians 1 to it. Let’s get back to both passages today.
The Apostle John said:
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
(1 John 4:16, 17 KJV)
The Apostle Paul said:
“I am happy in my sufferings for you. There is much that Christ must still suffer. And I gladly accept my part of those sufferings in my body for the good of his body, the church. I became a servant of the church because God gave me a special work to do. This work helps you. My work is to tell the complete message of God. This message is the secret truth that was hidden since the beginning of time. It was hidden from everyone for ages, but now it has been made known to God’s holy people. God decided to let his people know just how rich and glorious that truth is. That secret truth, which is for all people, is that Christ lives in you, his people. He is our hope for glory.”
(Colossians 1:24-27 Easy To Read Version)
Today I will focus in on this statement: “I became a servant of the church because God gave me a special work to do.” Paul discovered His God-given purpose.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
- In Paul’s opening remarks to the believers in Galatia, the Apostle said, “Greetings from Paul, an apostle. I was chosen to be an apostle, but not by any group or person here on earth. My authority came from none other than Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Jesus from death.” (Gal 1:1). When you know God called you and you know what He called you to do, your confidence comes from Him, and you don’t have to ask the permission of men to be who God called you to be.
- Paul said, “God had special plans for me even before I was born. So he chose me through his grace. It pleased him to let me see and know his Son so that I could tell the Good News about him to the non-Jewish people.” (Gal 1:15,16). Paul knew God made plans for him before he was born. He knew the plans were specific and tailor-made for him. He discovered God’s plans and he pursued them for the rest of his life. This is how you succeed in life. You cannot find success outside of God’s plans.
- If you become a success in the eye’s of this present world, only to get to heaven to find out that you spent your life becoming someone God did not call you to be, then you were never a success. There is no earthly success outside of God’s divine purpose.
- While Paul made it clear, in several letters, that he was called to a specific assignment, he also made it clear that he was not special in this regard. We are all called to a specific assignment in the earth. In Paul’s letter to the believers in Ephesus, the Apostle said, “God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he had already planned for us to do.” (Eph 2:10). Did you catch that? We are supposed to spend our lives doing the good things God ALREADY planned for us to do.
- You cannot choose or decide your purpose in life, because God chose and decided it before you were born. Therefore, purpose cannot be decided, it must be discovered. Your job is to discover it, develop in it, and then deploy into it; to find it, follow it and finish it, before you die!
- When you discover your purpose, like Paul did, you can spend the rest of your life pursuing it, becoming the man/woman God called you to be, and making the impact you were born to make.
- Discovering your purpose, as the Apostle Paul taught us, is one thing. But in order to complete it, you must do what the Apostle John taught us. You must fully embrace the love of God. You have to accept the fact that God called you despite your flaws. You must internalize and embrace His undeserved grace. And then, as the icing on the cake, you must see yourself AS JESUS IS, in this world. If you do these things, you will leave a mark in the earth (by the grace of God), that will far outlive you!
Closing Confession: Father, this is a year of Great Victory for me. I know who I am and I know what I am called to do. My purpose is not something I decided. It is something You decided and I discovered. I am who You say I am. I can do what You say I can do. And since I have consulted with You, I don’t need to approval of man to be who You called me to be. I enter this day with fearless confidence and unshakable faith. Because I know You love me and You have called me to change the world. This is why I boldly declare: “As Jesus is, so am I, in this world!” I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.