Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Week Two - Living With Purpose

Sunday's sermon was based on Jude 22 - "And of some have compassion, making a difference." And our Sunday school lesson was on slothfulness. You might ask, "How do those two go together?" Well, I was amazed at how God weaved the two thoughts to create for me a vision for the new year. Basically, I'm going from this phrase - Live with purpose to make a difference. So, purpose is my word for 2022. 

You see, purpose gives direction, meaning, and motivation to creativity and service. The slothful person is easily bored because they have lost or have no real sense of purpose. 

And, making a difference? Well, how we treat others matters. It makes a difference. Jude is telling us compassion is the key. If we want to see things change, if we're going to make a difference and live with purpose, we must exercise compassion.

Showing compassion takes many forms. It can be as simple as sharing a cup of cold water, a listening ear, or a loving word spoken in due time. Compassion might look like a good deed, a batch of cookies, or a helping hand. Compassion can be prayer or encouragement. But no matter what form it takes, it is always active. 

To make a difference, there must be action, which may require change. Compassion doesn't say bless your heart and remain inactive. No! Compassion gets off the porch and reaches out to meet the need. It gives without grudging; it cares deeply enough to take the initiative.

And when it is seen, it makes a difference in three ways. 1) There is God's blessing and the knowledge of obedient, loving service for the one showing compassion. 2) for the receiver - they see God's hand at work and rejoice with thankfulness for their need being met. Finally, 3) to the wider community - they see God in action, are drawn to love, and motivated by example.

It's time for all of us to get up and live with purpose - not the purpose of self. 2020-2021 has given enough of that. But it's time to move forward with compassion, reaching out to others, getting off our porch, and making a difference - on purpose. And watch God give the increase.

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