Tuesday, May 6, 2014

40 Day Challenge - Draw Closer to God & Your Hubby (Day 9: What is Your Purpose?)

Day 5's was challenging us to be joyful no matter what because we understand what we gain as a result of tribulations: a new understanding that this is not our home, stronger faith, unyielding trust, making us more conformed to the image of Christ. By submitting to God's sovereign plan - our character, our prayer life, or worship - improves ten fold. This process of sanctifying us will never end in this lifetime. There is no limit to what we can learn! Embrace it.

Day 6's challenge was to memorize Proverbs 3:5, reminding us to put our trust in Him knowing He will guide us.

Day 7 was the ultimate challenge in recognizing that true JOY comes from the order of your priorities: Jesus, Others, Yourself. Make Christ your centerfold, increase His Name, decrease your own.

Day 8 was simply praying that God help you get over yourself in order to joyfully serve others needs as more important than your own. Recognize self-absorption for what it is: an idol. By loving yourself supremely you are not trusting in the gospel message - that Jesus Christ loved you so much that while you were still a sinner, He died for you. It's not only selfish, but there is no lasting joy in loving yourself above all else. There is no love like His love. Placing Jesus first, loving others second, and yourself very last allows us to wholeheartedly trust God's sovereignty and serve others (even our husbands, who may or may not deserve it) joyfully. Our example is Christ and we are called to be like Him! Deny yourself and be a strong woman who's faith never wavers because it is in Christ alone.

Day 9 

One of the wives and mothers I most admire is Ruth Bell Graham. Her mission, her message, her purpose in life was very clear to her husband and to her children. And it was obviously so very clear that women who have never met her (ahem, me) understand it and strive to mimic it. I hope this video inspires you like it did me. See if you can catch what her daughter says about that purpose in this tribute to an amazing woman...

"Early in her life she chose Christ as her center, her home, her purpose, her example, and her vision..."

Is there a more beautiful tribute your children can give you on the day of your funeral? That you lived your life for Christ and He exuded every pore, every fiber of your being, that your mission was to make Him your home, your centerfold, your purpose, your example, your vision. 

She decided very early in her life, "GIVE ME JESUS." 

Like Ruth, you start by making a choice. Recognize you need His Word. Recognize that in order to wholeheartedly worship Him you need to know Him. Recognize that you need Him to fill you.  And making Him #1 in your life will spill over into all other aspects. You learn what it means to be a servant. You learn what it means to be your husbands helpmeet.

Your purpose should be to serve Christ and others. Your purpose should be to stand alongside your husband and help him wherever he needs it because you are a servant of Christ and He brought that man into your life, He witnessed you make a vow to love and cherish him, He gave you children with this man, He is sovereign in all aspects of your life because He loves you. Your ultimate purpose should be to give Jesus your life, no matter the fire. 

Did you notice how her husband spoke of her? "We were married for nearly 64 years and I wish you could look in that casket because she's so beautiful. I sat there a long time last night just looking at her and praying because I know she had a great reception in heaven." What would your husband say about you if you were to die before him? Would he call you beautiful? Would he say of you, "I know she had a great reception in heaven..."? What we do here matters because we are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). James writes that we need to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. What are you doing that shows you're a follower of Christ? Not just to the world, your church family and your friends, but most importantly to your children and your husband.

Starting today you have a choice to make. What's your purpose? What is your innermost desire? Who do you serve? Yourself? or Christ?  If you choose yourself, you are not seeing this matter from an eternal perspective. This life is a measly 80 some odd years long. What you choose here determines your eternity. With an eternal perspective in mind, choose Christ. With that choice comes another: He's calling you to submit your whole self to HIM and then to your husband. (Read Ephesians 5:22-24, Titus 2:3-5, 1 Peter 3:1-6) Emotions aside (you may or may not feel it) choose to love Christ above all and submit to HIS plan in your life, including drawing closer to Him and your hubby. That also means letting go of your desires and focusing on GOD'S sovereign plan; all the while knowing that He loves you (demonstrated through His death on the cross) and that He is a great and mighty God worthy of a life consumed with glorifying Him.

Today, write out your purpose and display it in a prominent place in your home so you see it often reminding you to live it every.single.day.

If you just joined us, and I'm so glad you did, start with (there is an order to the madness)...
  • Day 1 - The Gospel
  • Day 2 - Stop & Consider the Wondrous Works of God
  • Day 3 - Trust in God's Sovereignty
  • Day 4 - Using Music to Focus Our Hearts & Minds on God
  • Day 5 - Sanctify Me
  • Day 6 - Memorize Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Day 7 - Deny Self
  • Day 8 - Pray

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