1 Peter 3-5 The Message “What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.”
Once we receive the gift of grace, our salvation, we become citizens of the kingdom of heaven. Even though we live in this earthly world realm, we just “sojourners and pilgrims” passing through to our eternal home in heaven.
It can be so easy to get wrapped up in living this life on earth and forget that we are just here for a time and a purpose. Our lives have meaning and purpose! And that meaning and purpose are found in our life and devotion to the Lord God Almighty.
Acts 11:23 (NKJV) “When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.”
In this passage in Acts, Barnabas is encouraging the believers “that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.”
What does the phrase “purpose of heart” mean? The Strong’s Concordance defines it as “a setting forth, proposal (intention) of the heart, thoughts or feelings (mind).
I would define it as intentionally setting forth in my heart and mind, thoughts and feelings, a resolve to continue with the Lord. This purpose of heart means that we continue on despite the trials, tribulations and persecutions that may come against us. However, it means so much more than just keeping on.
It also means that we should be encouraged and disciplined enough to find out what our purpose is and then fulfill that purpose. The gifts and calling of God are to bring Him Glory, to minister to others, and to be used to accomplish His purposes here on earth.
In Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV), we are told to “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
This means that we are to guard our hearts, keep sin, doubt and fear from entering into our hearts. So many times the enemy will try to entice us from our purpose with sin. Or he will cause thoughts to come into our minds that would distract or detour us from accomplishing our Godly purpose.
It may not even be sinful. Even good things can distract and detour us.
My husband and I own a small family operated business. The busyness of working has tended to consume even our family times together. The cares and worries of this world can so easily choke out the Word of God that has been planted in our hearts. WE need to remind ourselves daily that this is just temporary and the eternal is far more important.
In the past several months, my husband and I have encountered several health obstacles. We have been so focused on surviving the attacks that we forgot our purpose and ultimate goal. During praise and worship God's Holy Spirit very gently but firmly reminded me that He carried my burdens and that I needed to take His yoke and give Him mine. It sounds too easy, but if we will purpose to do that, we can lay them down and choose to walk in faith. The resulting peace will accomplish so much more in our hearts than stubbornness can.
The Amplified Bible says that Barnabas “encouraged them all with an unwavering heart to stay true and devoted to the Lord.” We must be encouraged to stay the course and stay set in our hearts. Resolve to continue with the Lord and accomplish ALL He has planned for you!
Lynn Jones, Co-Founder of HHMI enjoys reading, studying and sharing God's Word. She believes that every Word in the Bible is Holy Spirit inspired and profitable for daily living. Her prayer is that as you read the newsletters and blogs, that you will be enriched and equipped for every good work of the Lord's.