Forty Days of Apostleship: Believe Your Life Has Purpose

by | Mar 23, 2020 | 0 comments

The world has altered dramatically since Ash Wednesday and the launch of this Forty Days of Apostleship. The rapid spread of this current scourge has changed everything—restricting or shutting down many public spaces, including churches.

Now that Christians have effectively been kicked out of the nest, church doors clanging shut behind them, it’s time for you and your people to take on the mantle of the apostle you are! No more hiding behind the safety of numbers in worship or the protection of the pews. Your people were thrust out into the world. It’s a scary place to be!

That means people are looking to you to continue to teach them. This is your moment. They need you, and they know they need you. There will be no assurance from the news or the government. They will be looking to their faith.

You can give them the deep connection they are longing for by empowering them to believe like Jesus. That’s the mark of an apostle.

Jesus Believed in His Purpose

What did Jesus believe? In his divine partnership with God, he believed that his prayers had power and that he had superpowers. Most importantly, Jesus believed his life had a purpose.

And Jesus handed that purpose to you. Your job is to embrace the belief that he had. And to share it with others. So how do you believe like Jesus, and how does that lead to action? Use the following process to deepen your faith and that of the people you lead.

Jesus believed his life had purpose and he handed that purpose to you. Your job is to embrace the belief he had and share it with others. Click To Tweet

Soulful Steps: Jesus’ Four-Part Process

Jesus’ life reveals a four-part process of identifying purpose in the Gospels. Take, for example, this story of healing in Luke 4:40-44.

At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness and laying his hands on each one, and he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak because they knew he was the Messiah. At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him, and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns because that is why I was sent.” And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.”

You can see the four-part process and how it connects you with Jesus and the purpose of this story.

Part One—Doing What You Love

What deeply engages you, comes easily, is natural for you, and serves the greater good? That’s (at least one of) your purpose (s). In this story, Jesus was laying hands on people who were sick and ailing—physically and spiritually. He healed them and cast out demons that were tormenting them.

Part Two—Challenges Arise

Something contrary to your purpose happens. Identify what pulls you off course or causes you to settle for a lesser good. In Jesus’ life, the people he had healed came back to beg him to stay with them. Understandably, they didn’t want him to go.

Part Three—Clarity Emerges

Contrary or challenging conditions make you get clear on your purpose. In this Gospel story, Jesus answers the people, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also because that is why I was sent.” In other words,—No can do. I have other places to go and people to heal.

Part Four—Clarity Leads to Action

This chain of events makes the way clear for you to take action. We see it in Jesus’ life: “He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.”

Embrace the Belief that Your Life Has Purpose

To embrace the belief that your life has a purpose, personalize the process by writing out these steps:

First, write out the things that come naturally and easily to you and serve a greater good.

Second, write out situations that have arisen contrary to the things you noted in step one.

Third, note what you have found yourself saying or thinking that points you back to your purpose.

Fourth, write what actions you have taken or can take that align with your life’s purpose.

Apostolic Action

Get into action! Say YES! to requests, needs, and circumstances that are consistent with your life’s purpose, or create the conditions in which the world needs your gifts.

But don’t worry if you are not crystal clear on your purpose. I remember when I was agonizing over my call. Everyone else seemed to know what they were doing, but I didn’t. One day it occurred to me that my gifts were my path. God would not have called me to a path that I wasn’t prepared for. Just as Jesus’ purpose is in his gifts, your purpose will be too.

If all else fails, act as though you do have a purpose. And that what you are currently involved in reveals some aspect of your purposeful life. “All things work for the good of those who love the Lord and are called to God’s purpose.”

Don’t Let The Scourge Discourage You.

Above all, don’t let the scourge discourage you! You are not alone!

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