This weekend Ben Snyder asked the question, “What will we be surprised by in heaven?” Ben went on to share that we will be surprised by the fact that our lives on earth had tremendous potential for God. When our life is reviewed in heaven, we will see that our past experiences prepared us to serve God and others. We will also see that God equipped and designed us perfectly to live out the purpose that he created us for. Finally, we will realize that God placed us on earth at a specific time and in a specific place to make an eternal difference. This life review will show us that our past, our personality, and our placement had potential with God while here on earth.
The good news is that you don’t have to wait for a life review to see your potential. You can begin discovering your purpose today. In order to do that though, you will need to trust that there is potential inside of you. You will need to realize that no matter what is in your past, it doesn’t disqualify you from living out your purpose. Often, it is your past that qualifies you by giving you perspective and experience. It’s also important to know that God has gifted you with the exact talents and personality that you need to fulfill your purpose. In fact, even the parts of your personality that you don’t like make you unique and equipped to make a difference in a way that no one else can.
Over the next few days, we will be looking at four different characters of the Bible that God used to make a difference. Each of these characters had potential in them that led them to fulfill the very purpose that God had for them.
2 This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing. 3 Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. 4 But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.
Joseph’s past, personality, and placement had a purpose. Joseph, one of Jacob’s 12 sons, had been born to him at an old age and was obviously his favorite. Joseph was overly self-confident; His natural self- assurance, increased by being Jacob’s favorite son and by knowing of God’s designs on his life, was unbearable to his older brothers. They hated him. The fine robe that Jacob had made for him became a symbol of Jacob’s favoritism and aggravated the already strained relations between Joseph and his brothers. His youthful pride, immature attitude, and boastful manner fueled the fire of jealousy between them. No one enjoys a braggart. Joseph learned his lesson the hard way. His angry brothers sold him into slavery to get rid of him.
Joseph’s self-assurance and painful life experiences, combined with a personal knowledge of God, allowed him to survive and prosper where most would have failed. He added quiet wisdom to his confidence and won the hearts of everyone he met, eventually even his brothers’!
The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did
Joseph’s story is captured in Genesis 37-44. Perhaps you can identify with one or more of the hardships Joseph experienced. Hopefully, you can also imitate his positive responses, transforming each setback into a step forward, and even victory!
As long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a teacher. When I was little, my father, who worked in construction, gave me some seats from a one-room school house that he had salvaged from a worksite. As I grew up, the neighborhood children and I played school with them often. And when we played, I was, of course, always the teacher. After high school, I started college as a math major with the intent of teaching at a high school someday. I have always been shy and introverted. Four weeks into my first education class, I came to the realization that I did not have the personality to stand up in front of a group of people every day. Fortunately, while planning my schedule with a guidance counselor, she suggested that I take a computer programming class.
Many years later, with my three children in school and many work experiences under my belt, I found myself helping their school set up a computer lab. I was not teaching per se, but I was using my knowledge of computers and my passion for education in a setting that would help people I cared about. Another few years forward, I found myself using my MBA skills to help in my role as an elected school board member, helping more than 7500 children in the local district. A few years later, I found myself using the skills I learned on the school board to help children in over 45 schools around the state whose parents had chosen to send them to a charter school that was sponsored by the organization I volunteer for.
God used Joseph’s past, personality, and placement for a purpose. And I believe he uses these in us, too!
How is God using your personality for a purpose to make an eternal difference in his kingdom?
Start by purposely choosing one of these: your past, personality, or passions to make a difference.
Lord, thank you for giving purpose to my life. Help me believe that I matter in your kingdom. Guide me to use my past, personality, and passion to make a difference! Amen.
21 Days of Prayer – Day 16
This Week’s Prayer Focus:
Personally, ask God to help you identify where you can take steps in living out your purpose today. Ask God to help you grow in your understanding of your purpose and how your past, your personality and your placement has potential with God. Collectively, let us pray that CedarCreek will be a place where people will know they matter to God and that he has a purpose and clear vision for their life.
Today’s Prayer Focus:
Day 16 – Our Church’s vision for 2018 – building projects, campus launches, conferences, finances, leaders
This post was written by Pam Haynam. Pam is a writer for the LivingItOut Bible Study, a Lead Mentor Mom for Momentum, and a cook for the weekend worship band. She has a passion for education and has served on a public-school board and currently serves on a charter school board. She is married with 3 grown children—two whom are married—and two grandsons.
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