One of the biggest questions people ask is, what is my purpose? This question drives us, causes us to move towards what we want to attain. We are unique people designed for more than simply existing. We are unique people, created by God, with a purpose. Our purpose is to love God with everything that we are and treat other the way we would want to be treated. Last week I wrote a post about this idea, but now we are left with a new question, what now? We have the broad idea, an outline for how we should live our life, but how can we truly narrow down the way that our unique talents can be used to grow the kingdom? You see, there is an idea that I have been think about and kicking around in my head (not physically, that would be kinda nuts), it’s the idea of being dedicated. This past Sunday was baby dedication Sunday at my home church of Daystar. It is always a cool thing to experience, parents take a class to think about what they will do to help their child grow spiritually, and choosing verses that they want to pray over their child and write a letter to them as a prayer for their future. As I sat in service I was struck by the word of dedication. The definition of the word is, the quality of being committed to a task or purpose. This struck me, and inspired me to dive into the quality of being dedicated to a purpose.
A student of mine recently had been talking to me about their quiet time and looking at the early church in Acts, explaining to me that the early church was filled with such passion and drive to spread the gospel. It was inspiring to me, so I have recently been reading through the book of Acts. After thinking about dedication, a verse that had stuck with me not long ago came to my attention. Acts 2:42 says, “They (meaning the early church) devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Guess what one of the craziest revelations about this verse I had (I bet you can’t guess, and high five if you did), the word “devoted” is a synonym of the word “dedicated.” Boom, mind blown. I like words a lot and I love the meaning behind them for simple revelations like this. So, what does this mean exactly for discovering purpose? Well, the verse is outlining exactly how we should be living to step into what God has for our lives. Today I want to unpack this piece of scripture, because we have an awesome God who wants to grow us into the people that he created us to be in the beginning, so let’s go!
Never lose the ability of learning new abilities.
I recently met with someone this past week who in our conversation told me this incredible truth. He explained that successful people keep this at the forefront of their mind. I believe that it is not only true for being successful in our careers, but in our spiritual walks. The first part of that verse explains that the early church were focused on the teachings from the apostles, they were dedicated to it. For us, we sadly can’t call up the apostles and have them teach us, but we actually have something better, we have all the teachings collected into a book called the bible. We have the answers to the test and the tip of our fingers, we can carry it around wherever we go. So many people forget how vital reading scripture is to our walk, this is where we find truth, find the way we should treat others, and find the way God has made us in his image. Never lose the ability of learning new abilities, and we find these abilities in the word inspired by the presence of God.
Eat dinner with other believers.
I love this part of the verse, the early church had fellowship through the breaking of bread with one another. There is something so simple about this idea, the early church was one that met in homes and they would worship, listen to teaching, and eat with each other. This is a perfect example of how a small group should be, meeting in a home, learning and growing, and eating together. One of my favorite things about the high school ministry I serve at, is the after party. After service many times we will go to Steak n Shake or some other restaurant, and just simply have fun together. What could seem like an irrelevant time of snapchatting and shooting straw wrappers at each other, is in reality, building a relational currency between students and leaders. When people know that they can laugh and be goofy around you, they know they can trust you. Don’t believe me? Try it out, in small group or with people you want to connect with, go to dinner, make jokes, be goofy, and I guarantee you will create a bond with each other that is filled with trust. Besides, that’s what Jesus did. He ate with his disciples and the people that were misfits in his culture, and though it is not explicitly stated, I am certain that Jesus had fun with those he ate with. So follow the example of the early church, eat dinner with believers and you will create trust with one another.
This is so vital to our walk with Christ and understanding our purpose for the kingdom. Prayer is the way we directly communicate with God, it is the only way we can further our relationship with him. Now, prayer does not always mean you will hear an audible voice from God, like Moses and the burning bush, but it is the way God can reveal his purpose for you. I always remember my senior year. I kept getting rejection letters from colleges, I remember being alone in my room and crying out to God, “What am I supposed to do now!” I was in the midst of anger, frustration, and sadness all wrapped up into one. I simply wanted guidance. I remember looking at my movie shelf and seeing my copy of the first two seasons of the TV show Community, a comedy show about people in a community college, and I remembered that Greensboro community college was something that could give me the starting place and eventually put me into a university (which is where I am now). It wasn’t a burning bush or voice from heaven, it was simply me crying out to God and looking at a dvd for a TV show. When we pray, we open a communication with a God that made us, and he will show up in the moments when we need him the most. We need to remember that we can always pray, because we have been made by God for a purpose that he wants to reveal to you.
Today I didn’t tell you what your individual purpose is, sorry about that, but what we were able to do was discover how we can figure it out. We find our purpose from the one who created us. We find our purpose through reading the word, fellowship, and prayer. These simple tasks will allow our minds to dive into the things we never thought our life we do, God shows up in the moments of wandering when we are dedicated to following him. Our purpose is to love him with everything and love others, when we follow that, he will lead us down pathways that will open our hearts towards the direction we should go. So when you learn by his word, have fellowship with other believers, and always pray he will tell us to go. When he gives us the call, it is then up to us to answer the call and go.
Dedicate your life to the purpose you were created for, and go.