This week in Weigh Less to Feed More we are going deeper into our purpose. Everyone needs one or is in the process of looking for one. You would have to be blind not to of taken notice of our current economy and financial state of affairs as a nation. A lot of people, by no choice of their own, are being left to find a new vocation. Scary for most, but only for those who allow a job to define their true purpose in this life.
Never forget, we are a part of a bigger story, a God story. God begins to tell us his story in Genesis, the very beginning. The first 5 words of the bible are a HUGE challenge, but yet oh so simple. "In the beginning God created…." (Genesis 1:1). Right there, are you in or are you out? Because if you are in on a Creator, then there is great hope for you and this life. This Creator MUST know something about you, his creation, not just physically (your physical attributes that are uniquely you), but mentally/emotionally (your thoughts and feelings based on your life's story) , and socially , because no man is an island unto himself. We are all looking to love and be loved. When life doesn't make sense, who do you ask? Human speculation can be good, but it is not God. Looking for a new career path? Try God. He is always looking to align the people he created with their purpose for being created.
In Genesis 1:28, God gives Adam his purpose. His job. His vocation. "Be fruitful and increase in number" or as some translations say "Be fruitful and multiply". At first look everyone is thinking," Well, best I get married, settle down and have some kids so that I can fulfill what I guess is God's purpose." Doesn't sound that exciting to everyone now does it. But once again, we are missing it. The is not just about procreation, but about what we create. To be fruitful is to produce something good. Something that is lasting and no matter how hard someone or something tries to kill it, good will just keep coming forth. Anyone seen the movie Defiance lately? Oh my, that is fruitful. A people group that chose to live like human beings even in the face of death. Not to be taken captive by the way things seem to be going, but to chose a better way. You just can't kill that type of good. It is true and right and more of what God is looking for in this world. To be fruitful and multiply means that our purpose, our job, our vocation at the core of all of us is to connect with being good and doing good and then multiplying that good so that more and more and more springs forth into this world. God's good creation. But here is the catch. We can do our best to do good and be good apart from God, but unless we know the One who is good and the author of good, then it will miss the mark. It might bring forth temporary improvements, but it won't be lasting. Just like getting healthy is a good thing, but unless we are including and keeping God in on the plan, it won't be deep and lasting. Surface yes, but deep no.
Okay Jesus people, brace yourself, because what I am about to say may cause some tension. Take a look around. What do you see? I see a group of people (not all, but a large majority) who proclaim to know and love Jesus and are ambassadors that represent Christ's goodness, but physically speaking (which we have all agreed by this point IS part of God's creation) we are doing everything else the world is doing. Eating, drinking and being merry to our own destruction. Sure we may be spiritually strong and healthy on the inside, but not bearing good fruit on the outside. Just like the seed of a fruit tree is good, but how that tree is fed and nourished even what a happens to it when it is pressed upon by the elements will dictate how good the fruit will taste come harvest time. Wouldn't you all agree that we do as we feel? If I am not feeling good, it is hard for me to do real good. I can say "For you Jesus" and muscle my way through it, but that is not how God wishes to show his power and goodness to a world who is dying for real people. That becomes more about us saying "look what I can do for you God." Instead of " because you are healing me and making me whole I can't help but want to be good and do good and add more and more good for you!" For God is holy and whole and he is looking for bodies to be as he is and do as he does, but they too must be holy and whole always remembering that it is not because we are better than, but because Jesus is the better way. Is your life like a flashing sign that says " Life and freedom this way" with an arrow pointing to Jesus. "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:36). Let me make this very clear by saying ABSOLUTELY that God does care more about what is on the inside of a man than the outside, absolutely. But as Christians we have become VERY comfortable with stopping short of the full life that God has for us in ALL areas of our life. God is looking to give us a lifestyle. A way of doing all things. It is the best job you could ever have, for his glory and your joy.
We live in a culture of consumption. Everyone is buying something, but most will be left looking for more. Only Jesus can satisfy. Get this, the definition of a lifestyle is this; products (or a people group) designed to appeal to a consumer ( those are people who are looking to be filled) by association (as disciples) with a desirable lifestyle (who chose to be and do like Jesus). Are we offering people a peek into a desirable way of life? A purpose driven life is one thing, but a purpose driven LIFESTYLE where in ALL things you are a walking , living and breathing personal advertisements and an invitation to freedom! "Everything is permissible for me"–but not everything is beneficial.(1 corinthians 6:12). As Christians we must be saying yes to some things and no to others so that we don't fall apart, the opposite of being whole.