Purpose

Greater Outcomes

There are greater outcomes when we endure the furnace of affliction with grace, allowing God to birth in us a deeper compassion through the fire.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Maple, Autumn, Leaf, Red, Leaves – Free Image on …

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The Purpose of Scars

My son is very proud of his scars. He loves to share the stories of how they came to be, giving play-by-play accounts of how he got that scrape on his knee or the bump on his elbow. In vivid detail, he’ll describe exactly where he was on the playground, what he was doing, and how he tripped and fell or whatever other catastrophe transpired. If we’re lucky, we might get a re-enactment of the event, minus a repeat injury.

As much as he loves elaborating upon stories of his own calamities, he equally enjoys sharing how his friends got their ouchies. It’s not that he revels in their pain, but that he empathizes. When a friend gets hurt, he understands. He’s been there.

At times, I’ve seen him put his arms around the shoulder of a crying friend, sharing one of his many stories of just why he can relate to their pain.

Imagine a world void of such compassion. It’s terrible enough to suffer. And yet, to suffer alone?

Some churches falsely teach that we’ll never suffer. “Christ suffered in our place, on the cross,” they reason. “And by his wounds we are healed. Therefore, we’ll never be wounded.”

Yes, by his wounds we are healed. But have we forgotten that we also are called to be like Christ?

If he suffered, how are we to presume that we will live a life free of suffering? And if we are healed through his suffering, shall we not bring healing to others through our own suffering?

I’m not saying that we can bring the supernatural, all-consuming healing that only our Savior can bring. But I believe that through our scars we bleed blood-red compassion that brings others to know the healing that is found in Christ.

I’ve found that those who adhere to the false prosperity gospel tend to be most impoverished of compassion, judging and condemning those who endure any amount of suffering.

But I’ve also found that those of us who bear scars love on deeper levels than those who have not endured the fires of affliction.

We’re each granted our own share of battles that when we emerge victorious we might also battle on behalf of others. Financial lack frees us to empathize with those in poverty. Barrenness enables us to understand loss. Physical pain helps us to relate to those enduring far worse.

Given the choice, the selfish part of me would choose a more comfortable path. But I know there are greater outcomes when I endure the furnace of affliction with grace, allowing God to birth in me a deeper compassion through the fire.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Leaves, Autumn, Colorful, Clamp – Free Image on …

At the End

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At the end of our lives, do we want to be known for building, or for destroying? For loving, or for hating? For bringing freedom, or bondage? For living to gratify our fading flesh, or to benefit our generation…and generations to come? Because only God knows when we’ll take our final breath.

 

Source: Life IS Short

Photo Credit: Free stock photo: Cliff, 12 Apostles, Australia – Free Image on …

Eternity in our Hearts

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“God has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

 

Photo Credit: Sun Rays | A sunset at Sunriver Resort in Central Oregon www.flickr.com

Purpose

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Take time, now. Before it’s too late, consider. Your life has a purpose far greater than your wildest imagination. You’re here for a reason. And it’s not to be a slave to mindless, meaningless routine.

 

Source: the Mad Equation

Photo Credit: Sunrays Green Meadows | Sa Pa, Lao Cai, Vietnam | Flickr

More to this Life

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We’re not here just to go through the motions of life and spend our fleeting free time plugged in to our TVs, computers and mobile devices. There is more, so much more, to this life.

 

Photo Credit: Free stock photo of night-television www.pexels.com

The Mad Equation

Blog_Equation01I have an equation for all of you brilliant of mind out there. What does sleep + wake + eat + drive + work + eat + work + drive + eat + watch + sleep x 24/7 x 365 equal? Let’s wait a moment while the imaginary game show theme music plays in the background. Got the answer?

If not, I’ll clue you in.

The survey says: insanity.

Yes, insanity. To spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year caught in the monotonous routine of sleep, wake, eat, drive, work, eat, work, drive, eat, watch, sleep is enough to push anyone over the edge.

So why do we subject ourselves to that which steals our sanity?

Necessity, perhaps. We feel we need to sleep so we can have energy to work so we can afford the car to drive to work so we can afford the food that fuels our work so we can pay for the large screen TV that lulls us back to sleep after work and launches us into another day of maddening routine.

Or maybe it’s fear that keeps us bound. We’re afraid of not having enough, of being insecure. We prefer the familiar comfort of routine to the unstable terrain of the great unknown.

Yes, we need to work to care for our basic needs. But somewhere in the midst we have to stop and ask ourselves…what’s it all for? We’re not here just to go through the motions of life and spend our fleeting free time plugged in to our TVs, computers and mobile devices. There is more, so much more, to this life.

Take time. Now. Before it’s too late. Consider. Your life has a purpose far greater than your wildest imagination. You’re here for a reason. And it’s not to be a slave to mindless, meaningless routine.

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)