“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was His plan from before the beginning of time – to show us His grace through Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:9)
The last two days, we have been talking about our purpose in life – and how Jesus’ work for us has made it possible for us to be continual recipients of God’s love.
Now we come to the finale. God has a purpose for each of us and it is more amazing than we can ever understand.
God set us apart (made us holy) so we could simply be the objects of His love. Faith in Jesus is saying “yes!” to God’s Personal love for us. And when we personally receive what Jesus has done for us, we ARE brought into God’s purpose for us.
What is His purpose (AND our purpose)? “To show us His grace through Christ Jesus!” We so often think that God’s purpose is about using us to impact His world – and this is true, but not in the way we usually think. We have the tendency to think that God “works through” the faithful. All others are disqualified. If you are not faithful enough, God just can’t use you. And if He’s not using us, we cannot experience our purpose in life (until we get our act together!).
But the Bible tells us a different story. Our declared faith in Jesus has already qualified us for God’s purpose – because His purpose is simply to display His grace in our lives. That’s it. That is all. Faith in Jesus has made us continual recipients of God’s grace. Not just when we are good – but even when we aren’t so good. His grace is available to be poured out to us in our “strong” times… and in our weak times. When we get it right (because of His grace) and when we don’t.
God’s purpose for every one of us is to have each of us BE a means to display the wonders of His grace. Jesus earned this for us. Jesus’ work did this for us. It is the culmination of our salvation… “in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:7) Notice… there is no mention of “work.” There is no mention of how God wants to “use us.” God’s desire, from “before the beginning of time” has been to set apart people upon whom He could pour out the unlimited favor of His grace.
This changes everything. Our purpose, then, is not to be perfect people, doing all the right things, always. But to be people who are simply “vessels” who openly receive God’s immense grace. We get filled with God’s grace and we overflow with God’s grace (in the same manner in which we received it!).
“Why should I become a Christian?” …Because it is God’s only plan to make you into a continual “vessel” of His favor – and the continual recipient of His infinite grace. That is His purpose for all of us. We were made to receive the fullness of His kindness, by receiving His immeasurable grace – and then, letting that grace (within us) flow out to a world that needs so desperately to know that kind of unconditional love.
Christians and Christianity have received a “bad rap” because we have often been focused on all the wrong things. When we return to the simple understanding that everything God did for us was to make us the objects of the display of His divine love and favor – then we can BE what we were all made to be… the living (and accurate) representations of the God Who made us in His Own image.
In this coming year, I would just encourage every one of us to cease all the striving to be perfect Christians… and live in the perfect work that Jesus did for us – to make us all into the beloved, grace-filled, people He has called us to be. There is no greater earthly purpose than to be a means through which the whole world can see the power and wonder of God’s immense love.
Prayer to receive Jesus… “God, thank You for loving me – and for sending Jesus to die for my sins… and for paying the price that my sins deserved. Today, I receive what He did for me. And from this day on, I choose to trust Jesus with my life. I surrender everything that I am so that I can be everything You want me to be. Let me experience Your love in all its fullness – now that I belong to You… Amen!”
“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)