Understanding and embracing your “reason for being” is a big deal! It’s the difference between pointless living or purposeful living – aimless drift or actionable goals – frustration or fruitfulness!
This morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord,” Romans 1:8-15 was my Bible reading from the Epistles… In that passage it seems to me that Apostle Paul gives us some clues to the fruitful life he enjoyed to guide us in the new year…
First of all he prioritized sharing the Gospel with others – the wonderful message of Christ and His power to transform lives! Here is his testimony… “First of all, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve in the gospel of His Son… I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish! So I am eager to preach [proclaim] the gospel to you also who are in Rome. I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek!” (Romans 1:8-9, 14-16) I’ve got to tell you, there are few things more satisfying than sharing the message of the gospel with others and then watching it powerfully transform their lives as they embrace it by faith! Wow! How good is that!!!
The second thing that impressed me in this passage was the “others orientation” of Paul’s purposeful living. He understood selfless investment in others brought rich satisfaction and a sense of purpose! Now, you need to keep in mind that Paul did not start the church in Rome… In fact, at the time of writing this epistle, he had never been there to invest in their spiritual growth and wellbeing! So this is what he had to say to these relative strangers: “Without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers! I ask that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you! I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you – that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith – both yours and mine!” (Romans 1:9-12) Hey, here’s a guy that understands satisfying, purposeful living is found in focusing on others! He was also aware it was a reciprocal relationship – He’d invest in their spiritual wellbeing with the gifts God had given him, but they’d also contribute something rich and wonderful to His life! It works like this… I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gone to someone in deep need or pain to encourage them, to read Scripture to them, and pray for them; and before I left their side I discovered they had uplifted and encouraged me! It just works that way!
So two keys to fulfilling, fruitful living in 2018: First, share the gospel with someone as often as the Holy Spirit “nudges” you and you have an opportunity! And second, selflessly reach out to others and simply seek to be a blessing to them and invest in their lives! Believe me… you’ll discover, or rediscover, your “reason for being!”