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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Purpose God's Will - Part 1"

Date published: 04/04/2016
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) 

   This is one of those Scriptures I can speed read: Peter reacted badly – Jesus was all about peace. Then the Lord posed a question to me – “If I were Peter, what would I have done?” That was easy – whack off the other ear! I did not say that, did I? My flesh said yes, but the Holy Spirit within me said no. God continued to God continued to work this verse in my heart until He gave me four teachings: 1) God has a higher purpose. 2) What goes around, comes around. 3) Fighting self. 4) Allowing God. 

   My flesh screams for justice when I encounter injustice. Jesus’ instructions to Peter revealed a higher calling for followers of Christ when we experience difficult times.  Paul puts my most severe hardship in perspective when he wrote in 2 Corinthians 6:4-5, 8-10a, “In great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor.” (NIV) I would like to say the persecutions I undergo for proclaiming Christ and righteousness comes close to Paul’s, but not in the slightest. Paul was consumed with the higher purpose Jesus described in John 4:34, “‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.’” (NIV) When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, He did not see the traitor, those to whom He ministered, how much more He had to do, and how great He had been on earth. Jesus had purposed in His heart to do the will of God. In the same way God used Paul’s travails to achieve a greater purpose in 2 Corinthians 6:3, 6-7, 10b in being used for God’s will, “We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way . . . in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left . . . yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” (NIV) Paul saw his travails doing six things: 1) Removing any obstacle that might prevent the lost from coming to Christ in salvation. 2) Giving those who malign Christ no ammunition for discrediting Him. 3) Allowing travails to further develop the fruit of the Spirit in his life. 4) Purposing his weapon to not be the sword, but righteousness. Jesus always shines out of righteousness. 5) Wanting to make others rich by allowing them to experience Jesus through his life. 6) Demonstrating that true purpose, contentment, happiness, and peace come not from being rich in the things of this world, but being rich in Christ. 

   Let us embrace God’s calling and purpose in our hearts to do His will and not our own. 

Matthew 5:39-41 “But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” (NIV) 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “Discipleship” and “Transformation.” 

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