People are the Purpose

This past Sunday my church called Daystar Church began a new series titled, “Made for This,” which is focusing on our purpose that God has called us for. Dr. Allen Holmes kicked off the series by telling the story of Zacchaeus, who was a hated man that stole and cheated the people, and how Jesus went out of his way to serve and bless him. This story was always very intriguing to me, because it shows Jesus, the son of God and who was without sin, make time for a man who was nowhere close to being like Jesus. The story is a perfect example of how we, as believers, should treat people around us. One specific quote that stood out to me and really caused me to stop and think about my life. Dr. Allen said,

“Jesus always made time for people, because people are the mission.”

This statement really forced me to stop and think introspectively, asking myself, do I make time for people? I try to be effective in the time I have with people that I influence and pour into, people in my small group, the students that I mentor, the people I serve each week. But I have to ask myself, what about other areas of my life, the people I sit in class with, the cashier at the store I’m in, the friends of mine who need help but are afraid to ask. Often I find myself just trying to get in and out of errand runs, or talk to friends about things that may not matter as much. Do I really make time for people? God has a way of taking an expectation and raising the bar when I ask questions like this, and he answered me in Matthew 28. Verse 19-20 says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

God wants us to be purposeful with everyone we come into contact with. Everyone.

The verse above is known as the great commission, meaning, that thing Jesus tells us to do without exception. I find myself being purposeful to people in some areas, but in others, I stink. I go to class every day and find myself just trying to get through it, and move on. Why? It’s filled with people who could use some life giving words, and I was called to do it. Now before you think I’m going to start getting in someone’s face asking them if they have heard the good news, that’s not the point. Honestly that is an ineffective way to reach people. What I mean is, when talk to anyone, be different in how I act, show them that I actually care. That may lead to a conversation where I invite them to church, or it may not.

My purpose is to plant the seed of truth and life in their life, and let God work the rest.

Looking at the story of Zacchaeus, Jesus didn’t act weird around him, he just said hey you want to grab some food, I’ll buy. While it may have been a little intimidating because Jesus was pretty well known, in my own life, I can be intentional towards others in the simplest ways. Jesus was a man who wasn’t living for what he wanted, he was living for others. The way he spoke to others, the way he put others first, it made him so appealing to everyone around him. It makes me want to be like Him, to treat others with that honor and plant seeds of truth in their lives. We are able to do this because we have been in the shoes of Zacchaeus before.

God used someone in your life who brought you to freedom, now it’s your turn to take part in your purpose.

The story of Zacchaeus shows a man who was a terrible sinner, one who many thought could never amount to anything, yet Jesus made time for one who probably didn’t deserve it. Sound familiar? That’s my story just like yours, yet in our lives someone came along and gave us the time, extended an invitation, or dragged us to a life changing point. So why is it that we don’t always try to do the same? It seems crazy, and trust me, I haven’t mastered it myself, but that’s alright. Nothing is stopping me or you from starting right now, make people a priority at every moment. God’s purpose for our lives was to reach the world and save the lost, don’t walk away from your purpose. Step into what you were made for and make people a priority in your life.

-Joshua Thomas

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