Twenty Nineteen: Intentional Living

I’ve known for a while that I am very good at worrying. Throughout my life, I’ve always found something to worry about.

This past year, my worry has been about purpose. What is my passion? What am I good at? How do I figure out what am I supposed to doing with my life? I’ve listened to audiobooks about how to find my purpose. I’ve read books about believing in myself. I’ve listened to speeches on how to “find myself.”

You get the picture.

It sure would be nice to know the purpose of life without asking questions, seeking, or learning, so we just listen to what we’re told:

We’re told happiness is a product of getting an education, a good job, a nice house, and starting a family. We’re told we must make a significant impact on the world if we really want our lives to matter. We’re told we have to set out on a mission to “find ourselves” to have peace and fulfillment.

These “truths” couldn’t be further from the truth.

Before we’re even born, God says we are valued. God says we are called. God says we are chosen.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness and into the light. – Peter 2:9

So, this year, let’s live as God intended us to live. Let’s live like we are fully known and fully loved. Let’s live like we are called upon. Let’s live like we are chosen.

Let’s love God first.

“And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’” – Matthew 22:37 

When we love Him first, we live in loyalty to our real home in heaven, where God lives. When we love God first – truly and fully love Him – everything else follows.

Let’s love others.

“Beloved, if God so love us, we also ought to love one another.” – 1 John 4:11

We are simply commanded to love our neighbors. Our identity is in love – a deep and sincere love for our brothers and sisters. This year, let’s genuinely love. Let’s be kind. Let’s reach out more. Let’s step in and stop the categorizing and the name-calling in this world. Let’s be the evidence of God’s love.

Let’s live in obedience.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” – John 14:15

We are chosen, so we are called. Jesus calls us to obedience. We’re each called to live out our lives for Him. We’re each called to something unique. When God tugs on our hearts, let’s listen to Him. Let’s obey Him. Let’s pursue Him. Let’s press into Him.

Let’s stay in the word.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105

Renewing our minds begins with taking our focus off everything else and everyone else, and placing it on our creator. Aligning our hearts and our thoughts with His truth. God provides us with His word because it contains all we need to know about how to live for Him and how to love. As we stay in the word and apply it to our lives, we learn to become more like Him.

Let’s pray.

“The you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” – Jeremiah 29:12

Every day, let’s pray. Just as God speaks to us in His word, we can speak to Him in our prayers. We have the opportunity to adore God, to thank Him, to confess, to share our hearts, to make requests. Prayer changes us. Prayer renews us.

Let’s suffer well.

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” – 1 Peter 5:10

Suffering is heavy, but it’s truly a gift. It’s real, it’s valid, and it is meant to be felt. But it grows us in our faith and our wisdom. It draws us closer to God. It is used for good because God is still good. As Christians, we have to be prepared to suffer. Our suffering never goes wasted – in the end, it is always used by God for His glory.

Let’s remember.

“I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.” – Psalm 77:12

Let’s remember that nothing that lasts can be done apart from Him. He gave us the greatest and ultimate gift in Christ. Let’s remember that every good thing comes from Him. Let’s remember our eternal home in heaven.

Let’s live intentionally.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11

In every aspect of our lives, let’s seek God. Let’s search for our Him who so generously chose us. Every day, let’s live out His word and extend the grace and kindness that He so freely gives to us. In every step, let’s walk in obedience and find the beauty in it all. And every moment, let’s seek God first because everything else follows when we obey this command.

God wants to deliver us from our search for “who we are” to a life of true meaning.

Sometimes, we fall short. But there’s hope – we can walk in purpose each day by living intentionally. Intentionally getting back up again. Intentionally choosing Jesus over ourselves. So, this year, let’s live planted in God’s presence.

Let’s live the life He called us to live.

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