Last week we looked at the fact that being purposeful is good for your health! If you missed that message, you can go back and read it before proceeding with this week's edition. If you're up to date, then let's move on and continue to talk about how purpose and health relate to one another.
THE WELL WOMAN
I'm sure you are familiar with the story in John 4 of Jesus and his encounter with the woman at the well. It is interesting that Jesus was hungry and resting while His disciples went off to get lunch. When they returned, they saw an energized Jesus talking to that woman. Two things surprised the disciples. One was that Jesus was talking to the woman. The second was that he had no desire for the food they brought. When they urged Him to eat, Jesus gave His well-known response, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about" (John 4:34).
At that moment in time, Jesus was fulfilling HIs purpose, which was (and is) to "seek and save the lost" (Luke 19:10). His hunger subsided when He was talking to that woman and it was better to Him at that moment than food. I often ask people who are seeking clues to their purpose, "What can you do that causes you to lose track of time and to put off your normal mealtime?" Their answers often give people an idea of how to look for and define their purpose.
A BIT DEEPER
John 4 is not the only example from Scripture that tells us how important purpose is because it is God's will for your life. When Jesus was fasting in Matthew to start His public ministry, the devil tempted Him to break His fast by turning stones into bread, to use His supernatural power to serve His own needs. Jesus refused and quoted from the writings of Moses to resist the devil's wiles: “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'" (Matthew 4:4). Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3, which states, "He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."
God will humble you to see if His will, HIs purpose for your life, is more important than the prestige, the benefits, the trappings of success. In hard times, purpose will keep you going.
Finally, I think of Psalm 34:8, which encourages you to "taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." There is some physical satisfaction derived from serving the Lord when you give all you have to Him and His purpose." It is not bitter, leaves no aftertaste, goes down smoothly and digests well. There are some hesitant to drink or eat too deeply of the Lord and His ways, for they are not sure it will be a pleasant experience. Scripture assures us all that it is safe to eat and drink of the Lord; in fact, it's good for your health! (Does that make you think of any other passages, like John 6, where Jesus said that He was the bread from heaven?)
This week, I urge you not to nibble on the Lord and HIs purpose for you, but to swallow it and let it work in your deepest parts. It won't only taste good, it is good for you in every way and is meant to nourish you on the things of God he purposed in your best interests. Don't be afraid any longer to feast at the purposeful banquet table for it there that you will know the truth found in Psalm 36:8: "They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights." Have a blessed purposeful week.
PITTSBURGH SEMINAR: I will be hosting a purpose seminar here in Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 4 from noon to 4:30. Space is limited to 40 people but admission is free! Once again, I ask that you send me an email to let me know you will be there - firstname.lastname@example.org. The sessions are held in the Children's Ministry at Allegheny Center Alliance Church.
KENYA UPDATES: As usual, I have posted several updates about the work in Kenya for your review and consideration. Once you have read, please give generously to my work there, either through my website or by sending a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882.
MY NEW TV SHOW: You can watch my latest venture into purpose television at my new Vimeo link. And don't forget to check out my weekly radio shows (there are four) at your convenience. All the links for the shows can be found on my website and are available to you 24/7.
CHRISTMAS SHOPPING: I am offering a chance for you to purchase my latest devotionals for all your friends and family as you do your holiday shopping. The flier describing the discounts, the books and the cost is found below.