the secret to deep, sustainable, joy…

“So then, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it isn’t an obligation to ourselves to live our lives on the basis of selfishness. If you live on the basis of selfishness, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the actions of the body, you will live. All who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons and daughters. You didn’t receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as his children. With this Spirit, we cry, Abba, Father.” Romans 8:12-15

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this morning

Today is a perfect example of exactly why I love living here in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

  • At almost 10:00 in the morning, it’s just 55-degrees – one of those overcast days with just a small chance of rain.
  • I have a full schedule of interesting writing ahead of me, and the promise of church supper and meeting with my men’s Bible-study group this evening.
  • Then – while I’m posting this blog – Rebekah is over at City Hall, speaking to a group of student leaders from our local high school.

We are both doing exactly what we were called here to do. Essentially, understanding what it is that God is calling us to do, and then being able to follow through, makes life rewarding and meaningful more than absolutely anything else.

Many aspects of life bring pleasure, fun, and happiness; but there is a deep joy to engaging God’s purpose for our lives that is – I believe – unique to a life of discipleship.

We Have a Covenant with God:

Each time we meet, the men’s group reads the following as part of our covenant: “Knowing that Jesus Christ died to save me from sin and death, and knowing that he saved me for his great purpose, I pledge myself to be his disciple, holding nothing back….”

A covenant is something we agree on, an intention that we promise to one another. But I often wonder how clear we are about this great purpose? We have a common Great Purpose, as followers of Jesus, and that is – in the words of the Westminster Shorter Catechism – to glorify God and to enjoy God forever. I think we can all own that as a background initiative that is constantly in play. But what about my great purpose? What about your great purpose? I think it’s critically important that we consider this, that we give it some deliberate thought, that we reevaluate our conclusions on a day-to-day basis, and that we invite Jesus to help us to understand, to claim, and to live out his purpose for our lives.

But what about my great purpose? What about your great purpose? I think it’s critically important that we consider this, that we give it some deliberate thought, that we reevaluate our conclusions on a day-to-day basis, and that we invite Jesus to help us to understand, to claim, and to live out his purpose for our lives.

  • To understand my purpose as a  follower of Jesus;
  • To claim that understanding for myself;
  • To live out God’s purpose in my day-to-day life.

We can be “successful” in many ways, accumulate lots of the stuff advertising tells us will make us happy, hang around the cool people, look really good on social media… and so much more… But, dedicating ourselves to serve God by engaging our calling as disciples of Jesus, and living out God’s purposes in our day to day lives, now that is satisfaction, that is meaningful, that is rewarding.

“So then, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it isn’t an obligation to ourselves to live our lives on the basis of selfishness. If you live on the basis of selfishness, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the actions of the body, you will live.”

Peace, blessings, and promise – DEREK

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another beautiful cool morning in Wake Forest!

2 thoughts on “the secret to deep, sustainable, joy…

  1. Maybe it’s just me, but your repetition of yourself in italics interrupts my train of thought. Other than that, these messages are very inspiring to me!

    Like

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