36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew22:36-40NIV
A friend of mine has traveled extensively and spoken to numerous pastors and church leaders. As a result, he’s discovered there is an epidemic. It seems there is a vacuum in many hearts; the vacuum is often discovered when believer’s feel / sense there must be more to life than what they are living. They may be encouraged to pray, worship, journal, read books, attend conferences, attend church or meditate upon scripture to fill their void. In reality, the vacuum they are sensing may be a purpose deficit.
All inflow, with no outflow, creates a sick heart. You and I were created to flow outward, to do good works.
Eph 2: 8-10NIV
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We are saved by grace through faith not by works. However, we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
If you and I are not giving our lives away by serving others… somewhere… we, at our core, are purpose impaired.
The below diagram illustrates:
Everything in life flows from our connective relationship to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Everything. He is the source of our identity. Knowing Whose we are enables us to draw near with confidence.
In Him, we live and move and have our being. Our heart connection is so important. We draw near, and He draws near to us. His promise is true.
All life flows from our relationship with Him. We draw near to give: to give our hearts, to give our lives, to give our worship.
I give my worship because He is so worthy, so gracious, so loving, so forgiving.
It’s amazing… as we give, we often receive. (I personally believe we receive more than we are aware when we spend time in His presence.)
What we receive is a by-product of our worshipful giving. I give my time, I give my life as worship. He, in turn, pours His love and grace into my heart. When we receive, we then have something to give. Knowing Him, I can then make Him known. (I John 1:1-9)
The great Investor invests into our lives so that we are built up, and have something to give away to others.
He gives us love, joy, hope, faith, grace, power, talents, giftings, gifts, and passions for others.
As I make Him known, through active love and service, He in turn, gives something back… a sense of destiny, a sense of purpose, a sense of fulfillment.
It’s in the very act of giving, laying our lives down for others we receive. We receive encouragement when someone is genuinely encouraged and cared for through our service. We also can sense God’s favor as we give away what we have received. When we bless others, we are blessed.
My friend Shana has a new photography business. She decided to dedicate 10% of what she earns to help people in need. Yesterday, she went shopping for groceries and toiletries. She then headed up to Trotwood to deliver the groceries and supplies to women in crisis. She stayed awhile encouraging the women and children.
Here is a snippet of her story.
“There are days when my envy for what others have makes it hard to breathe and others when my heart aches for what others do not. Every day I work hard to be a humble servant, putting others ahead of myself in my relationships and in my business. All the money in the world would mean nothing to me if I couldn’t help others.
Today was hard and beautiful all in the same, I was able to gift a car full of groceries to the Mustard Seed Foundation in Trotwood, a home for teenage mothers. These girls are facing challenges on so many levels and I am so thankful this home exists. I was greeted with warm smiles and big hearts and I left behind a little goodness and grace.”
Her passion intersects with God’s purpose.
Her passion:To care for people. Her purpose:Release her creative gifting to care for others, both in her chosen profession as a photographer and giving to people in need.
Guess where her tank is filled? Shana’s life passion is connected to her life purpose. She genuinely cares for her clients and for the people in need in her community.
My wife teaches literacy enrichment.
Her passion:Child development. Her purpose:Teaching literacy.
She wants to love the kids as Jesus loves. She has done this well. She is loving, creative, joyful, kind and open hearted. Guess what? Kids love being with her. Her love for Jesus overflows in creative teaching.
Note: Both are not “full time” church workers. They are full-time Jesus followers.
Where does your passion intersect with God’s purpose?
Together:A Missional Community.
When we, together, worship, love, serve and care for others we become a missional community; a community on mission.
I’ve heard it stated, “If you pursue community you may develop community, but you may not be on mission. However, if you(all ya all), as a group of people, pursue mission you will form a community.”
Upward:Give. Give thanks and praise for what He did in you and through you and through… all ya all. Community on Mission=Missional Community.