God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.
A young man who was at the end of his training, soon he would go on to be a teacher. Like all good pupils, but he needed to challenge his teacher and to develop his own way of thinking. He caught a bird, placed it in one hand and went to see his teacher. ‘Teacher, is this bird alive or dead? He asked His plan was the following: if his teacher said ‘dead’, he would open his hand and the bird would fly away. And If the answer was ‘alive’, he would crush the bird between his fingers; that way the teacher would be wrong whichever answer he gave. ‘Teacher is the bird alive or dead?’ he asked again. ‘My dear student that depends on you’ was the teacher’s reply. The fate of that little bird rested in the hands of that young man just as the destiny of your soul rest in your own hands. God does not determine where you will spend eternity that choice is made by you. To accept Christ as Saviour or to reject Him is totally up to you. How close you want to be with God is your decision. Life presents you with choices and the choice you make determine your where you will depend your eternity.
Do you know how important it is to plan for our eternal future. Of those who plan for forever with God, they live with purpose and know their eternal destiny by how they live on the earth. This will provide them a grand entrance into the Kingdom of God.
What Does The Bible Say About Your Purpose and Eternity
If you take a look at (1 Corinthians 3:12-15) meditatively; You will gather rich nuggets that will put you in fire to know that purpose is more important to God than the plans you have in your heart.
“If any man builds on this foundation (Jesus Christ) using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his will work will be shown for what it is, because the Day (when Jesus Christ returns) He will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping the flames.”
Building with gold, silver and costly stones means “building on Christ” by obeying Him and His calling (or purpose) for your life. (You can call fulfilling your destiny).
But Building with wood, hay or straw means following your own fleshly desires to live life your own way regardless of God’s plan. Can you imagine working your entire life, doing good works and accomplishing things that you thought would matter to God, then finally meeting him face-to-face only to realize that you were only doing what sounded good to you and that you weren’t “building on Christ” at all? I call it (successful failure).
Granted, no one builds entirely on Christ because we often sin and we are generally selfish. For this reason, I’m glad that salvation does not depend on works (Eph. 2:8-9), instead, we are justified through the blood of Christ (1 Cor. 6:11). But as you can see, heavenly rewards do depend on works and those rewards we will be a direct result of how we lived on the earth, Perhaps these heavenly rewards are a reason why Paul exhorted the Philippians to work out their salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12).
All of this doesn’t mean that if you are a stay-at-home mom that you should feel guilty or that “I should be doing more for Christ.” Neither does it mean that if you are not in the ministry that you should run out to become a missionary. Instead, remember that God’s rewards will be granted based on obedience to fulfil whatever vocation or purpose He has called you to, whether you’re a doctor, teacher, stay-at home mom, employee or business owners. Therefore, your life’s purpose must begin and end with Him. So when He reveals what He wants you to do with your life, do it wholeheartedly! Then, when you come into His Kingdom, you will hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21).
I would like you to travel with me back to 1940. To a place is London, England. The man we’re going to look at is Winston Churchill, a man who lived with purpose. In 1940, the world was in crisis. Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany was overrunning Holland and France. The German advance appeared to be unstoppable. On May 9, 1940, the Prime Minister of England, Neville Chamberlain, resigned in disgrace. He had been duped by Hitler and discredited. When he resigned, it was if he threw up his hands and said, “Let’s see if anyone else can handle this mess.” It’s safe to say that the outcome of the war and the future of Europe would rest on the leadership of the new Prime Minister.
So, On May 10, 1940, Winston Churchill was summoned to Buckingham Palace to see King George VI. The King stared at Churchill quizzically for some moments and then said, “I want to ask you to form a Government.” Churchill agreed to do so. How would you feel if you were Winston Churchill?
Following his appointment, Churchill met with political and military leaders and advisors, and they put together a coalition government. If I were Churchill, I no doubt would have felt the terrible pressure of leadership at that moment. But Churchill wrote:
As I went to bed at about 3 A.M., I was conscious of a profound sense of relief. At last I had the authority to give directions over the whole scene. I felt as if I were walking with Destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial…My warnings over the last six years had been so numerous, so detailed, and were now so terribly vindicated, that no one could gainsay me. I could not be reproached either for making the war or with want of preparation for it. I thought I knew a good deal about it all, and I was sure I should not fail. Therefore, although impatient for the morning, I slept soundly and had no need for cheering dreams. Facts are better than dreams.
What caused Churchill to possess such confidence? He was taking over an unprepared country against the greatest military machine that had ever been created up until that point in history. What caused Churchill to experience relief? I would say that Churchill had built a life of purpose. Churchill hadn’t lived an easy life or even a successful life. But Churchill knew his purpose. And through the efforts of one person, strategically placed and courageously living out his purpose, the spirit of Britain turned from despair to hope. And gradually the war was won, not only saving Britain from defeat, but some would claim, in retrospect, saving democracy as a form of government in the world.
Everybody ends up somewhere in life. Some end up there on purpose. Like Churchill, you have a destiny to fulfil. I know that right now many of you are saying, “I’m not Churchill.” You’re right. But you’re you. And God has placed you here for a purpose. You were put on this earth with gifts, talents, and relationships that are waiting to be exploited to fulfil God’s purpose for you. But the sad reality is, most people do not live a life of purpose.
You were designed to fulfil something here on earth. God has a purpose for your life. And until you discover his purpose and follow through there will hole in your soul.
There’s one individual in Scripture who illustrates this better than anyone else. His name was Nehemiah. In 587 B.C., the Babylonians invaded and destroyed the city of Jerusalem. The temple was destroyed. Some eighty years later, the Jews had returned to Jerusalem, but things did not look good. The temple was not being maintained. Sacrifices had ceased. The Jews had adopted the lifestyle and culture of the surrounding nations. The spiritual and social conditions in Jerusalem were deplorable.
But one man, back in Persia, was about to be used by God. His name was Nehemiah. Nehemiah was about to discover and live out God’s purposes for his life. How can I develop a life of purpose? Nehemiah teaches us three actions that we must take
A life of purpose always begins with a concern that God has given you. Purposeful people cultivate that concern. Churchill spent six years learning and preparing and strategizing. Why? Because God had given him concern years before; Purpose always begins with a God-given concern.
Read with me Nehemiah 1:1-4:
In late autumn of the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was at the fortress of Susa. Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had survived the captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem. They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been burned.” When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.
Nehemiah’s concern over Jerusalem consumed him. He couldn’t get it out of his mind. For days, he mourned and fasted and prayed. It changed the way he looked. Later on, we find out that the king noticed that he was feeling down. This was bad news because the king had the power to kill you if he didn’t like the way he looked. Something was bothering Nehemiah and others, frankly, couldn’t care less. And it’s from here that we learn the first action about living a life of concern: cultivate a concern.
God’s purpose for you will always begin as a God-given concern. I’m not talking about a passing concern. I’m talking about something that sticks with you.
What I mean is. You will hear or see something that gets your attention. A thought related to the future will generate an emotion. Something will bother you about the way things are or the way things are headed. Unlike many passing concerns, these will stick with you. You will find yourself thinking about them in your free time. You may lose sleep over them. You won’t be able to let them go because they won’t let you go. (Envisioning the desired future)
I believe that God is in the process of birthing and maturing that concern in many of your hearts right now as you are reading these motivational write-ups. See few observations about concerns or burdens:
NOT EVERYONE WILL SHARE YOUR CONCERN.
Did you notice that nobody else seemed to be concerned about the wall? For years, the walls of Jerusalem had been broken down. But as I read Nehemiah, I get the impression that no one else was crying about the broken-down walls. Nehemiah’s concern was Nehemiah’s alone.
It’s possible that God has given you a concern, but you haven’t cultivated it because nobody else seems to share that concern. Stop waiting for other people! God has given you that concern for a reason. It’s up to you to begin to cultivate and to pray about that concern.
The second observation
NOT EVERYONE WHO HAS A CONCERN WILL DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Question for you: do you think that anyone else had tried to rebuild the walls? Yes! Some had even tried, but had given up. But I imagine that many had the concern and had done nothing about it. Talking and doing are two different things. Even if others are concerned, they don’t always act. There are two kinds of people in this world. News makes and noise makers, Which one are you?
The Third Observation
GOD OFTEN GIVES A CONCERN BEFORE HE GIVES A SOLUTION. A lot of you have God-given concerns, but you haven’t done anything about it. Why not? Because you can’t see yourself as the solution to the problem, Nehemiah was a cupbearer and a nightmare to the king. He was responsible for ensuring the safety of the king’s food and drink. Nehemiah wasn’t really in a position to do anything about the broken-down wall. He didn’t have the authority to go and rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Many times God will give you a concern, and it won’t be immediately obvious that you can do anything about it.
I do know one thing: God has given a concern to every single person here on earth. It may be something that you have ignored. The concern he has given you might be completely unique. There may be nobody else who shares the same passion as you do, at least to the same extent. God may have given you a passion for recent immigrants or for young adults or single parents or for business executives. But I guarantee that God has given you a concern. Your job is to cultivate that concern. Pray about it. Fast over it. Bring it before God.
A great man said, “There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue them.” The first action that you need to take to build a life of purpose is to cultivate a concern.
The second action is this
How does this work? 1Timothy 6:18says, “Use your money to do good… always being ready to share whatever God has given you. By doing this you will be storing up real treasure for yourselves in heaven – it is the only safe investment for eternity! AND you will live a fruitful Christian life down here as well”. When we use our time, money, and abilities for eternity, we not only make the only safe investment, we also gain the benefit of living a fruitful life here as well.
What are some of the ways that you can centre your purpose on the eternal? Ask yourself these questions:
WHAT PEOPLE CAN I INFLUENCE? Take a look at the people around you – your family, your neighbours, your co-workers and all. The reason why God has put these people into your life is so you could influence them. You’re not living where you are because of some co-incidence. What people has God brought into your life?
A second question you can ask is:
WHAT MONEY CAN I INVEST? Industrialist Andrew Carnegie said, “The man who dies…rich, dies disgraced.” His goal was to leave nothing behind. You and I have incredible opportunities to invest our money for eternity. If we’re to live a life of purpose, it will completely change the way we look at money. A lot of us think, “If I give God 10%, then everything is fine.” We give God a little and keep the rest to ourselves. But when I go to a restaurant and receive good service, I wouldn’t think of just leaving a 10% tip. Smart people invest all of their money for eternity.
Leonard Sweet tells the story of Fran and Chuck, a couple in their eighties, who decided that they were at a time of life that they could live on a reverse tithe. They lived off of no more than 10% of their income, and gave the rest away. Their goal was to spend as little as possible on themselves and to give away as much as possible on causes they believed in. They followed the advice that John Wesley gave years ago:
Gain all you can, without hurting either yourself or your neighbour…with intermitted diligence, and with all the understanding which God has given you. Save all you can, by cutting off every expense which serves only to indulge foolish desire…And then, Give all you can, or in other words, give all you have to God.
Jesus said, “I tell you, use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. In this way, your generosity stores up a reward for you in heaven” (Luke 16:9).
One more question: WHAT CHARACTER CAN I DEVELOP? The best way that I know how to build a life of purpose is to build my character. The more I’m like Jesus, the more God can use me. Jesus said in John 15:4, “You cannot be fruitful apart from me.” You’ve got to establish a relationship with Christ, and build his character into your life.
How do you build a life of purpose? Three actions, Cultivate a concern. Center on the eternal. There’s one more action you will need to take:
CONCENTRATE YOUR ENERGY
I am going to fast-forward a little in Nehemiah’s story. Nehemiah overcame years of lethargy and opposition, and when we pick up the story in Nehemiah 6, the wall was almost complete. Nehemiah was only days away from completing the project. But Nehemiah’s enemies were stirring up trouble. Listen to Nehemiah 6:1-2:
When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies found out that I had finished rebuilding the wall and that no gaps remained—though we had not yet hung the doors in the gates—Sanballat and Geshem sent me a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages in the plain of Ono.
Sanballat and company invited Nehemiah to a meeting. Their plan was to get him off the project, away from all his supporters, and kill him. I don’t think Nehemiah knew the full extent of their plan. But listen to Nehemiah’s response in Nehemiah 6:3. It’s a verse that every person here should underline, highlight, and circle, and then underline again in their Bible. It says: “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down”. This is a verse that all of us need to keep in front of us: “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.” Nehemiah knew that if he was going to live a life of purpose, he would have to deal with the greatest enemy of purpose. He would have to deal with distractions.
When I came to Dubai newly and attended Charismatic fellowship, I saw what I have not experienced before and vow to bring the prayer group to height which later achieved because I have concern over it not until people like Sanballat came into leadership and see my exploit as nightmare. They went to the Church authority and lie against me. They went to the Church fellowship and feed them another cribs and believe me they succeed that time and everybody sees me as guilty of their lies. And I was screamed a bandit. Believe me Destiny can never be dined the leader in question did not complete their regime and the Emirates divorce him out of the country.
Every day of our lives, opportunities have a way of coming up that have the potential to distract us from the main things that God has called us to do. Many of these distractions aren’t even bad things. But we can be out six nights a week taking advantage of good opportunities. At the same time, we could be making less and less progress toward the purpose God has for our lives. To build a life of purpose, we have to learn how to say no to some good things. When you begin to live a life of purpose, you need to live with this verse etched on your mind: “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”
I wrestle with this as much as anyone. When I was five or six years old, I clearly felt God calling me to be what I do today. I even enter the school of seminary thinking that it is there. It is even painful when we were spelled but I have a good mentor who directed my step. I have the joy of living out my purpose. I could tell you my mission, my values, my roles. And yet I’m amazed by how easy it is to get pulled off purpose every single day. I can give out anything to fulfil to do the work of my purpose. And I always remind myself my mission, “Good is the enemy of the best.
One man wrote, “Keep in mind that you are always saying ‘no’ to something. If it isn’t to the apparent, urgent things in your life, it is probably to the more fundamental, highly important things. Even if the urgent is good, the good can keep you from your best; keep you from your unique contribution, if you let it.
You were put on this earth for a purpose. Truly great people live out their God-given purpose. Which would you like as your epitaph? “He made his car payments”? Or would you like the epitaph that was given to David in Acts 13:36: “David had served God’s purpose in his own generation.
I once read a story about a man who gave his sister a very small gift and God noticed it, too. The man, a high-dollar philanthropist, was also a mover and a shaker in higher education. Unexpectedly, he became ill and died for a few moments. At this time, Christ appeared to him and shows him scenes from his life. While reviewing each scene, Christ revealed the value
He placed on each of the man’s actions. Surprisingly, Jesus didn’t do cartwheels because the man had given away large sums of money. And He didn’t say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” when He reviewed the man’s academic achievements. Rather, it was a simple encounter the man had with his sister that pleased the Lord.
One day when the man noticed that his sister was heartbroken in an effort to comfort her, he embraced her tight for a long time. In Christ’s book, this was the man’s greatest accomplishment.
While you are seeking God to reveal your life’s purpose, sometimes little acts of love can seem mundane and unimportant, like helping your husband balance the check book, choosing to have patience with one of your children or reaching out to a neighbour that you find less than desirable. But remember, God notices. So the next time you’re beating yourself up because you’re not sure of His purpose for your life, think of this man and his brotherly embrace. Then smile, because if you are building your life on Christ with love, what you do will matter for eternity.