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Inspiration for Your God Given Purpose
by Mark Shields
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In anything we do, there should be a purpose. In a grammar lesson in eighth grade Mrs. O'Neill said, "Paul, give me a sentence with a direct object." Paul replied, "Everyone thinks you are the best teacher in the school." "Thank you, Paul," responded Mrs. O'Neill, "but what is the object?" "To get the best mark possible," said Paul. When we have a purpose, it reduces frustration and keeps us on a steady course. It increases our enthusiasm by making our life meaningful with a future and a hope. We are able to concentrate on a target and we are able to work better as a team because there is cooperation to proceed in the same direction.

All teams are made up of individuals. Think about it: if every individual on a team is getting a hit in baseball or softball, the team will score a lot of runs. In a similar way, an organization or business will be successful if every individual chooses to be enthusiastic about their company and has a drive to be the best they can at their job. The key then is to help individuals find their role on the team and develop a game plan using their God given talent.

Getting enthused about what you do has to come from within. For me, each day begins with a daily Bible reading and prayer. I've never gone to seminary but I've been a student of the Bible for nearly thirty years and a volunteer for my church media team for over seven years. Recently, I've set out to create a Bible study guide at http://thisdaywithgod.wordpress.com/; using my background in computers and business with ideas to help individuals get prepared for their day.

Repeated day in and day out, I believe reading the Bible can result in long-term, far-reaching benefits right now and of course for eternity. The power to change for the Christian is found in three tools that God gives us. The first is His word. The Bible is useful to teach us what is right. As the athlete gains stamina and strength with exercise, the Christian gains faith by reading the Bible. Faith grows the more it is read. The second tool is the Holy Spirit. Through prayer we can receive directions and develop plans to be more self-disciplined. The third is the church where we have the opportunity to develop teamwork by learning together, caring for others together, and enjoying the company of friends together.

There are three types of motivation most leaders use; fear, incentives, and empowerment. Fear would be like the threat of being demoted or fired. Incentives are like a salary increase or a bonus. Empowerment is more internal which results in motivation being sustained over long periods of time. While on earth, Jesus followed the empowerment type of leadership by selecting twelve disciples and giving them the authority to give sight to the blind, heal the sick, and feed the poor.

Empowerment is about letting people take ownership; building up the right thoughts over a period of time. Jimmy Johnson, the coach of the Dallas Cowboys football team who won three Super bowls in the 1990's once said, "Give people enough guidance to make the decisions you want them to make. Don't tell them what to do, but encourage them to do what is best".

Doing anything over and over again builds self-discipline. An athlete may run or lift weights to build stamina and strength. A sports team will practice so that they are disciplined to play at their best. A student studies so they understand the material and can do well on test. One tool to Self-discipline is looking at your daily routine. Members of a health club were having their first meeting. The director of the group said. "Now, I'd like each of you to give the facts of your daily routine." Several people spoke, admitting their excesses, and then one obviously overweight member said, "I eat moderately, I drink moderately, and I exercise frequently. "Hmm?" said the manager. "And are you sure you have nothing else to add?" "Well, yes, "said the member, "I lie extensively."

What brings purpose to your life? Is it to live for God and do what He wants; to understand how things work and to share with others so that their path to understanding is made easier? Is it a desire to have spiritual communion and be strengthened each day? Are the things of God your treasure? Do you ask God for help and dream of the possibilities? In Acts 17:1-15, Paul found it to be much easier to share about Christ when the listener desired to believe. The lesson is to stimulate interest so one is eager to examine for themselves the priceless principles found in the scriptures.

To become purpose driven, here are a few tools that might help. In the previous series of writings, some ideas have been presented to lay the ground work for developing a purpose. Now we are starting to get into some specific plans of action or what I'm referring to as a game plan which can be used like a compass to keep you going in the right direction.

The game plan is a document like an excel spreadsheet, word document, or personalized form to keep track of daily, weekly, monthly, and annual task. It can also be used to log ideas, thoughts, and dreams for continual improvement. Ask for God's help in prayer and seek a purpose for which He gives you. When He does, take action by writing it down and trying to answer the following questions?

1) Is my God given purpose specific and can I write specific actions to take?
2) Is my purpose something I've talked to God about in prayer and not something someone else has pressured me into?
3) Can I write out my God given purpose in a positive way?
4) Am I willing to make some personality changes to fulfill the purpose God has given?

Once an idea or dream meets the requirements listed above, start taking action by writing out the God given purpose. Write down possible obstacles to meeting this purpose and the importance of your God given purpose. Start keeping track of and write down quotes, ideas, Bible verses, or sermon thoughts that will inspire you toward your God given purpose. Then, write down your plans of action to achieving your God given purpose.

Be optimistic because God has plans for us all. His plans for us are magnificent in wisdom and it is His purpose that prevails. As recorded in Proverbs 16:3, commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. God has explained to us the reason for sending Christ, a plan he decided on long ago. The Bible teaches to plan our work and then carry those plans into action. Those that move by guesswork without a practical plan are like cars without steering wheels. Sooner or later there is going to be a crash.

We all wish to be thought of in a positive way. But the most important desire should be hearing Jesus say to you at the finish line, "Well done my good and faithful servant". Wish for faith to overcome what competes with God; long for hope and the patience to follow His will. Desire God's love given in Christ and receive divine power. Then share with others this message with not only your words but your actions. Wish that your thoughts are dominated by the uplifting spirit of God and not controlled by stress and worry. Be driven by the things of God; ask for help and think of the possibilities. There may need to be some adjustments as you go down the road but be faithful and look forward to the reward.

To see an example of how the
ideas above have inspired my God given purpose, visit my devotional site by pasting http://thisdaywithgod.wordpress.com/
into your browser.

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