Do you know what God’s purpose for your life is? Years ago, I knew exactly what mine was. I created a mission statement and action steps, and I assembled an accountability group to support me in completing it. Convinced that the secret to fulfilling my potential in the Lord and running the good race was located mostly outside of my four walls, I was eager to take on opportunities that came in my path and stretch myself to the very max.
Then life happened—I found myself for a long time, sitting with the Lord in my chair, as my body would not allow me to do the very basic tasks in my day. It’s interesting what chronic pain will do to a person and how quickly you learn that control is only an illusion.
On one of those days, a friend, who was much farther along in years, visited me. She asked me, “April, are you valuable and loved right here, sitting in this chair?” I would be lying if I said I believed I was valuable or loved at that moment, not living the plan I was so sure God had given me.
Then something really ugly stood up inside me. I realized two things—I did not believe I was loved unconditionally, and I had been striving to make myself worthy in God’s eyes for years.
The truth of what Christ did for me and you finally got inside of me that day.
“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
He died for all of our past, present, and future sins, and he handed us a new life that we get to freely participate in. Whether you find yourself at work, at home, or in a hospital bed, God has a very special purpose for you right there.
As I truly received God’s unconditional love that day, I realized that his purpose for me is not complicated. Over the next few years, I learned that God had freed me to care for loved ones who needed me. God wants to show you and me how to extend the love he gives freely to everyone we come in contact with. I know, and Jonah knew even better, that some people are hard to love. Sometimes it is easier said than lived out.
Thank you, God, for the body of Christ that makes this transformation to the likeness of Christ possible. We are never alone!
Whom in your life do you need to love better?
Ask God to reveal a place you are holding unforgiveness.
Do an act of kindness for a difficult person in your life.
Take time to call or write a letter to someone that has loved you well.
Day 5 Focus – Our Leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
Dear God, grant our leaders wisdom. Help me to extend grace and confidence to the leaders you have placed over me. Guide and protect the leaders in our government, churches, communities, businesses, schools, and families as they make difficult decisions day in and day out. Thank you for allowing me to be an encouraging voice to the leaders in every area of my life. Amen.
Saturday – Day 6 Focus – For My Love for God and Others to Grow (Matthew 22:36-39)
Dear God, you said that the greatest commandment to follow is to love you with all my heart, soul, and mind. As I connect with you over these 21 Days of Prayer, grow my trust in you and my heart for you so that I will love you more. Then, as my love grows for you, help me to love those around me more and more each day. Amen.
Sunday Day 7 Focus – Our Churches (Matthew 28:18-20)
Dear God, today, we pray for our churches. As we meet today, help us point people to you as the answer to our questions and struggles. Help us see our role in the world and to embrace the mission you have given us to introduce people to Jesus and the life-changing adventure with him. We trust that you give us an amazing life of purpose and it’s a gift you want to give everyone around us. In Jesus’ name — amen.
This post was written by April Willer, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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