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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Purpose God's Will - Part 2"

Date published: 04/11/2016
Matthew 26:52 “‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.’” (NIV) 

   Part 1 of this four part devotion showed how God has a higher purpose. Today’s focus is on “what goes around comes around.” Too often Christians thwart God’s purpose by “playing God.” Jesus’ purpose was not to be on earth a long time, but to do God’s will. God had already shown Jesus (through His constant communion with God) the appropriate amount of time on earth to teach and demonstrate God’s anointing. Jesus had already deferred going to Jerusalem several times prior to this because the time was not right. Jesus knew that God’s purpose for Him did not lie in volumes of teaching and miracles. One of God’s purposes for Jesus was to show others how to live according to God’s will instead of His own. 

   Jesus also knew that potential hardships did not determine God’s will, but that God Himself was always in control. Jesus taught in Mark 4:24b that your response can easily become the issue, "With the measure you use, it will be measured to you — and even more.” (NIV)  Jesus did not look forward to the suffering He was about to endure, but He knew that God’s work could only be shown by accepting and submitting to God’s will. Ultimately when you respond righteously to a perpetrator’s unrighteousness, you give God the opportunity to touch his/her life. Proverbs 26:4 says that responding inappropriately identifies you with sin . . . not righteousness, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.” (NIV) Jesus passed on responding in the world’s way, so that those who witnessed His end were touched by God’s presence in Him. 

   Unfortunately, human nature often reacts in the flesh causing your sinful nature to boomerang back to deal with your sin instead of allowing God to use your response for righteousness. Paul, through the work of the Holy Spirit, taught and lived the reverse “boomerang” described in 1 Corinthians 4:12-13a “When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly.” (NIV) God is able to touch lives through the power of a transformed life that exudes the fruit of the Spirit. When the sinful nature of another squeezes you, do some of the sins in Galatians 5:20b-21 come out, “Hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy” or does the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22b-23a come out, “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?” (NIV) You can learn from Jesus’ example by not responding in the world’s ways, but by keeping your eyes on God, while fully embracing God’s will . . . not your own. 

1 Peter 2:23 “When they hurled their insults at Him (Jesus), He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.” (NIV) 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “God’s Purpose For You” and “Knowing God’s Will.” 

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