Tag Archives: joy

How to Live a Life of Purpose

Today the Lord is leading me to write about purpose. Perhaps you’ve just missed a “once in a lifetime” opportunity and are now anxious about whether another will ever come around. Or maybe you struggle to see how cleaning baby diapers or sitting in front of your laptop can be part of a meaningful life. We tend to think that living a life of purpose means that we are constantly embarking on radical adventures (like feeding the poor in Uganda, saving lives from being trafficked in the tucked-away brothels in Mumbai, or even becoming “famous” for Christ as an evangelist or musician touring the world).

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Psalms 138:8

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

We all have visions and ideas of what a life of purpose means, we must view them in the context of what God sees as our purpose for today.

Have you seen the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”? For me, it makes my adventurous spirit want to jump straight through the movie screen and into the luscious, volcanic hills of Iceland. But does that really illustrate what it takes to have purpose? Does a stay-at-home mom have the same measure of purpose as a photographer capturing images of a rare breed of mountain lions in some far-off land? How does an author that sits within the four walls of her home writing daily compare with an ER doctor working in the remote villages of Rwanda to save the lives of innocent children?

Some vocations may seem a bit more exciting, but that excitement is not necessarily indicative of life purpose. And regardless of excitement, if living out that radical adventure isn’t in God’s timing, would it really even be fulfilling? Think about it, beloved.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:3-4

After living in the shadows of Perth’s red light district in Western Australia, I dreamed of ministering to the people of Chongqing in mainland China (the very word God gave me). Never did I imagine that God would first ask me to come back to Atlanta, return to school, and sit in a sterile classroom while cramming for countless exams. But I absolutely loved it because that was what God wanted for me in that time. Then a year later, God asked me to leave school for a season to write a daily blog for people that I’ve never even met. God has always had adventures for me, but they have entered my life in unexpected forms that I had to discover for myself. In this I’ve been learning that we must be truly intentional to see things from God’s perspective.

Thinking that the grass is greener on the other side can be easy, but if He doesn’t want us to be on the other side, then the grass is actually dirt brown for us. If that’s not where He wants us, we don’t need to keep fantasizing about being there.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

When we build those fantasy lands in our minds, imagining what our lives would be like under different circumstances, discontentment grows and our mindset becomes unsafe. If you are seriously seeking the Lord and including Him in your decisions, then there is no room to question where you are in your life today. If God truly is who He says He is (faithful, just, wise, good, trustworthy, our Protector, Defender, our Portion and the Giver of all good things), then it makes sense to accept what He has for you. With that understanding, you can, be content with where He has you and seek out the adventure of where you are today. Enjoy your life and you will fulfill its purpose, which in return fulfills you.

“So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 8:15

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew6:33

Allow me to share another simple story of purpose. Recently, a dear friend of mine confided that she was struggling with purpose in her life. She recently became a mother and wanted to steward her role with the greatest zeal and excellence she could muster (all for the glory of the Lord). But this season means that she has to say no to many other opportunities (adventurous and world-changing) to which she once would have said yes. Has this woman lost any of her value or purpose in contributing to the kingdom of God? I would venture to say she has not. Her purpose has shifted in the context of the new season in which God has placed her.

If God gave her a child, can you even argue that anything outside of that (besides Jesus and her husband) has any greater value? This woman is making the greatest investment known to mankind: she is investing her entire life into another human being. At times, that may not seem significant, but I want to stress two points here: God honors those who honor Him, and the entire world can be changed through only one person. By investing in this one life with integrity, wisdom, heart-felt devotion, meekness, gentleness, and God’s sovereign direction, this mother is really investing in hundreds, thousands, or maybe even millions for the betterment of this world. Motherhood is a very serious and God-honoring task that can change the entire course of history. Now that is pretty fulfilling, if you ask me.

Regardless of what we do (in whatever season He has placed us), God gives us our purpose. We won’t find it in our duties or obligations alone. Remember that God does not actually need us to do anything for Him; He is God. When we attempt to find our purpose in a business venture, dream, or passion, we are placing our trust in unstable sources (because they are always changing). Those things can come from God, but our purpose is found in the Giver. For Him we live, and breathe, and have our being, regardless of what we are doing and where we are in life.

I challenge you, beloved, to see your life from God’s perspective today. Ask Him and He will tell you.

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

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Have you ever given God your word? Making a vow to follow Him to the end regardless of the circumstances?

Welcome to the club.

And welcome to Peter’s life. Peter, who had served as a fisher of men alongside Jesus Christ, completely renounces Jesus after His arrest. Not surprisingly, Peter falls into a deep hole of despair and returns to mediocrity in his former profession of catching the fish of the sea.

Because Peter rejected Jesus, I’m sure he felt God was now rejecting him, a feeling to which I can personally relate. Peter’s thinking (as well as mine) is quite rational in our human minds. But, when we’re dealing with God and Jesus Christ the Son, this line of thinking no longer holds relevance.

Jesus is a Pursuer by nature. In fact, He took His last breath on the cross (and dying for the world’s sins) while he was still being rejected.

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” Ephesians 1:4

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’.” Luke 23:24

Peter became misdirected, just as we do whenever we push Jesus out of our lives.

We can walk and talk with Him, follow Him daily, and enjoy sweet intimacy with the coolest person ever known to man. But when we turn from him, we feel like our world is crashing in on us.

Regardless of whether we make one bad decision or we live a life of habitual sin, when we disobey Him we plunge ourselves into a pool of unworthiness.

I’m thankful that God doesn’t expect us to be God. Instead, He realistically expects us to be human and hopes that we will seek His son as the example in living our lives. Jesus knows we will make mistakes, and He allows us the freedom to make them.

Yet, He always returns.

There is one small statement in the following passage that really caught my attention today. It’s found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-6:

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.”

Jesus fulfilled His Father’s will – He died for the sins of the world at Calvary, rose from the dead after the third day, and then intentionally invested in those He deeply loved.

Including Peter. The same man who betrayed him out of his broken flesh.

In fact, Jesus went out searching for him.

Just like He is searching for me today. And perhaps He is searching for you.

Knowing that Jesus welcomes us in His arms even if we turn away from Him brings me incredible peace and comfort.

Check out this next verse found in John 21:7-8 “Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, toward the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.”

Peter knows Jesus has just arrived, and jumps into the water to greet Him (even when they were so close to the shore).

What’s happening here?

Peter is ecstatic. He’s overjoyed and humbled. He feels accepted and pursued, and he wastes no time to make things right with Jesus.

I believe this is a great reminder for many of us today (including myself).

Jesus is really, really patient with us. And He truly wants nothing more than to be in a real relationship with our hearts. Will you and I allow Him to do so?

“God’s kindness leads us to repentance” Romans 2:4 NIV

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

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Returning to His Arms

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A Letter of Gratitude

Gratitude - 10-2013

Dear Jesus,

Thank You that my heart is beating today; it doesn’t have to, but it is. Thank You. Thank You Lord for keeping me from radiation treatments after miraculously healing me from melanoma carcinoma. Thank You. Thank You Jesus for giving me a second chance in marriage. Thank You for forgiving my mistake in being more about my own agenda than listening to You. Thank You for, in Your grace, extravagantly blessing me with my prince charming, Keith Becker. Thank You for giving us the money to have a beautiful wedding and experience the best from Your hand. Thank You for preparing a table for me in the presence of my enemies and allowing me to experience the deepest of betrayal so that I may learn how to live out true forgiveness. What a life-long lesson I hope to never forget, Lord.

Thank You, from the depths of my heart, for healing me from my pool of insecurities. Thank You for allowing me to see myself as You see me – a royal daughter of the King that is ravishing to the point that I melt Your holy heart. Thank You that I can look at my reflection in the mirror and be well-satisfied. I accept my imperfections, but I delight in all the good I possess through You. What a sigh of relief You have given me, Lord. I’m thankful that You don’t take me as seriously as I often take myself. You teach me to be child-like – to laugh often, to share with others, to love in abundance, and to forgive quickly when someone offends me. Thank You that You truly are The Way (the instruction) to a life well-lived and in abundance.

Thank You for my comfy bed. Thank You that I have heat in my home. Thank You Lord for the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables I have at my disposal. The homeless man that I saw yesterday on the corner doesn’t have that option. Even You Lord said in Your Word that “foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Thank You Jesus for Your provision. Thank You for a hot shower. I remember my days in Mexico when hot water wasn’t always available. Thank You for the peace in our home. I know there are countless lives in Syria that can only dream of experiencing safety and peace again. Thank You Jesus.

Thank You for being so faithful to me, even when I’m faithless and I’m not trusting in You but putting my security in my circumstances. Thank You for being patient with me since I make a lot of mistakes. I’m very grateful for Your abundance of grace. Thank You for being in control, because if I were in control I’d probably be doing the wrong thing in the wrong place and filled with frustration and discouragement. Thank You for always being right on time as You order my steps as Your righteous child.

Thanks for being You. You’re so dependable and loyal to me. I hope that I can offer You the same in this lifetime. Thanks for letting me be me, and not forcing me to be something or someone that I am not. That’s what makes You so cool and approachable. Thanks Jesus for being a perfect gentleman. Not once have You personally forced Yourself on me; I cannot say the same about people or religion. I love You, Jesus. With all my heart, I love You, my King. May Your holy heart smile as You know how truly special You are to me.

Your Beloved Daughter,

Christy Becker

What are you thankful for today?

“I will exalt you, my God the King;I will praise your name for ever and ever.Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;his greatness no one can fathom.One generation commends your works to another;they tell of your mighty acts.They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works.They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds.They celebrate your abundant goodnessand joyfully sing of your righteousness.” Psalm 145:1-7

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