21 Sep Purpose for Each Day
According to some Christian counsellors, the earthly family represents the heavenly trinity. God the Father, His nature and role in our lives, is represented by our earthly fathers (think boundaries, rules, authority, justice etc). God the Holy Spirit is represented by our earthly mothers (think nurturing and guidance). And God the Son is represented in our lives by our peers, friends and siblings (think helping hands, fellowship). The theory goes that if you have a problem in one of these earthly relationships, you may have difficulty relating to the relevant Person in the Trinity.
For the longest time, I knew and understood God the Father, and I knew and understood the Holy Spirit. However, I only knew Jesus as the man on the cross—the only one that could ever, and did, pay the wages for my sin, to become my Saviour so that I could be reconciled to God and alive in Him.
That’s good theology—but there was something missing.
I didn’t feel I knew Jesus as a person. He was a stranger who did me a favour, someone I knew about—but I never felt I knew Him the way I would know a friend or a sibling. One day, led by the Holy Spirit and, with much humility, I prayed and asked God to help me better understand and know Jesus.
It was one of the most worthwhile prayers I’ve ever prayed.
The Holy Spirit led me to do an in-depth study of the Gospels and the Person of Jesus came alive to me in ways I had only vaguely known before.
This man was kind but firm. He was gentle but powerful. He never wavered from the truth but proclaimed it for anyone and everyone to hear. People admired Him and were attracted to Him but His enemies—people who did not like the truth—feared Him, so much so that they conspired to murder Him. He never withheld anything from anyone but was deeply generous and gave to all who asked of Him. He was astoundingly wise: no flaws could be found in His teachings. He loved God deeply and valued Him more than anything else in His life.
Life with Jesus
It is a deep joy as a Christian to fellowship with this man, Jesus. To know for Whom it is we are named for and live. Do you know Him? Paul loved Jesus so much that he said the following:
To live is Christ and to die is gain.– Phillipians 1: 21
He goes on, in the same passage of scripture, to say
I am hard-pressed…having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. – Philippians 1: 23
Finally, I can wholeheartedly agree with Paul’s words. The deepest desire of my heart is to meet my Jesus, who I love, face-to-face.
Interestingly, however, Paul does not leave the argument there.
Nevertheless, to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain, and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith.’ and ‘If I live on in my flesh, this will mean fruit from my labour. – Phillipians 1:24-25
Paul loves Jesus so much that He is his first choice. But he also chooses to live on the earth as a servant to Christ as this is more needful for others. He reasons that every single day he is alive and apart from the love of his life, Jesus, he will labour to see fruit for the kingdom of God. He will be faithful as a brother in Christ to the community God has placed him in, serving others in their need.
His sentiment is echoed in Psalm 63:
O God, You are my God…My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water….Thus I will bless You while I live. I will lift up my hands in Your name. – Psalm 63: 1a, 1c, 4a
Whilst we are alive, let’s love Jesus with abandon. If you feel like you have something else on the throne of your heart, and that to be with Jesus in heaven would rob you of something on earth, I encourage you to pray to ask Him to be your one desire. You may be surprised at the way He answers such a prayer when it is prayed in faith. If you are feeling like this life is without meaning and purpose and you would rather be in heaven with Jesus, I encourage you to take heart at Paul’s words: being on this earth will yield fruit that glorifies God. Let every day that you are away from your Bridegroom be a day that is worth it in eternity. Ask Him to show you what fruit He wants to form in your life, and to prune any dead branches that are not bearing fruit.
Our ultimate purpose is to know Jesus, to love Him, and until we’re in heaven, to see others know and love Him too.
Kate is a blogger who believes that books enrich our journey with Jesus. She loves Jesus, loves to read, and currently lives in Johannesburg with her husband.