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Imitation of Christ Series

The Purposeful Christian

He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 46:9
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

The idea of this series of devotionals came from a conversation had at my house on New Year’s Day with friends.  From the conversation, I realized that many Christians have varying degrees of how they view God and Christ.  We are all different with various backgrounds, personalities, and experiences therefore with some things our lens of interpretation may be different.   On that day as I was challenged about my beliefs and hopefully challenged others as well, I was left thinking, “What exactly do we (proclaimed Christians) believe?” My hope is that through this devotional and the ones I hope to follow will challenge and cause you to examine your personal convictions and beliefs in light of what the Bible actually says.  In other words, I hope to make you study and think as will I.

Have you ever wondered what your purpose as a Christian is?  Not why you were born, but what your purpose as a Christian is supposed to be? In the overall scheme of Christian living, what are any of our purposes?  I believe our purpose as a Christian closely aligns with the purpose of Christ: redemption and reconciliation. Christ’s purpose and work is not for you to just get to heaven, it’s for you to be redeemed, reconciled to The Father, and made whole. The whole purpose of Israel and the reason for God’s promise to Abraham was to redeem and reconcile man back to God and make us whole. God has always had a plan and His children’s purpose has always been tied to that plan.

As Christians our purpose is to take up where Christ left off. Not to be saviors because we can’t; but to deliver the good news of the Savior. We are to be the hands, feet and voice of the Gospel. But are we living up to our purpose? Are we imitating Christ with our lives – words and actions- that we point others to Christ so that they may be redeemed and reconciled also? Evangelism is not my strong point or gift, but simply telling someone about Christ is the most basic thing I can do. It’s the most basic thing you can do. Yet are you? Are you living your purpose as a Christian? Israel was supposed to be a light to other nations so that the nations could see the work God was doing in Israel and to naturally conclude that their God was the One TRUE God.  If the surrounding pagan nations were to see Israel, they too would desire redemption and reconciliation.  They would recognize that what they sought in idol gods was only available from the one true God and what they were missing and seeking would be found in Him.  However, sadly, through the centuries Israel would fail time and time again.  When other nations looked at Israel, they saw jealousy, in-fighting, rebellion, and more because of their refusal to follow and submit to God.  Yet Israel is no different than we.  Agnosticism is growing, Scientology is growing, Islam is growing, and Atheism is growing as so many Christians are not living up to their purpose.  We are not living up to our purpose because of jealousness, we have taken on traits of the world and accepted them as the norm, we are fighting amongst ourselves, and we reject submission to God’s authority.  We have not only lost our salt (preservative quality of the TRUTH), our light is becoming dim as well (Matt. 5:13-16).

Just as God has a plan for humanity, He has a purpose for you.  God called you forth and set you apart not to dim your light, but so that you can be a light to others (Matt.5:13-16).  As Christians, we all share the same purpose. That purpose is not to bring others to our side and way of thinking.  That’s not what our faith is about.  But there is a hole in each of us that only God can fill so that we may be reconciled to Him.  It’s up to us to share how that hole can be filled and to share that love with others through Christ.   Salvation will not be brought to the ends of the earth unless we bring it.  This day and every day after strive to live up to your purpose.