Is anyone with me? If you haven’t been sticking with the plan so far, it is okay to jump right in. Today I am reading Genesis 32, Mark 3, Esther 8, and Romans 3. So far, I’ve read all of Matthew, Ezra, Nehemiah and Acts…and most of Esther. It is amazing what you can accomplish in a month by just taking it one step at a time.
After reading chapters 27-32 of Genesis, I just have to say how thankful I am that the accounts of Jacob’s life are included in the Bible. Jacob was selfish, he had a tremendous fear of man, he was manipulative and made bad choices. He lied and prospered from others misfortune. He ran away from his problems and was arrogant enough to think he could take on God in a wrestling match. And yet, he was chosen to be a special part of God’s perfect plan. He was named “Israel” by God himself…and would bring forth the great nation of his namesake, called and chosen by God to be His people. I find myself often getting bogged down in the guilt and regret I feel over sin. I feel that I have failed God because of the choices I have made. I become discouraged and overwhelmed by how little progress I have made. But the encouraging truth is that God does not use us because we are perfect…he loves us and calls us for His purposes because we trust Him and we follow His Son. Jacob’s life was anything but perfect and yet he was used by God to do mighty things. Can I not expect that God will also use me, imperfections and all, as I seek to follow Him?
Reading through the entire book of Matthew in combination with all the things that God has been teaching me lately, has been such an amazing experience. To read of the life of Jesus and the abundance of his short ministry is life altering to say the least. An exhaustive list of everything I learned from reading the book of Matthew this time around would fill a book…so until I get published, I will only share one concept that really made me think. I have struggled in the last few years with trying to figure out my purpose in life. I have tried new things, I have focused hard on writing and then switched abruptly to singing and piano, I have taken on a part-time job, I have attempted to blog everyday, I led a bible study, wrote songs, sang on stage, and met new people…all in the attempt to figure out what will make me feel like I have accomplished something. But through the entire recorded life of Jesus, one concept stands out to me to exemplify what my purpose should be. Jesus knew what God had sent Him to do. He constantly talked to his Father and he kept his mind placed firmly on the calling…to bring glory to God and complete the tasks that God set before him. And you never read of Jesus searching for his purpose…you never read of Jesus worrying about what he will become or what he will do. It was because it wasn’t about him, it was about His Father. It was because he knew what he was called to do and did it, without wondering what other people thought. Jesus was free and at peace because his focus was on God. In all my attempts to figure out my purpose, I was focused on how I felt and what others thought about me…there is no room for that in God’s Kingdom. Like Jesus, we are simply called to do what our Father asks of us and bring Him glory in doing those things.