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Living for Purpose

 

A Hero of Righteousness

He came from humble beginnings. His parents were no big names, yet he changed the course of history in his uncompromising stand against unrighteousness. At his death, kings, queens and rulers of the nations were united as one, albeit momentarily. In Isaiah 1: 17, the Bible declares, ‘learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow’. He understood those words, believed in, and acted on them. This was Pope John Paul II.  It was amazing to see people travel from every part of the globe to attend his funeral. It would appear that like Jesus caused two enemies, Pilate and Herod to become friends (Luke 23: 12), the Pope at his funeral achieved the same, even if it was momentary.

 

As THE SUN newspaper reported ‘world leaders united to pay respects – sparking tricky moments as adversaries came face-to-face. Prince Charles found the hand of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe thrust into his… US President George Bush and Jacques Chirac of France – divided over the war in Irag – also put aside their differences to shake hands...

 

The great bell of St Peter’s toiled its mournful salute as, for a single moment in history, the world stood united for one man. … They came in their millions from every part of the globe to say their goodbyes. A TV audience of TWO BILLION – the largest ever – tuned in to the greatest church service the Christian world has ever witnessed.’

 

In Revelation 14: 13, the Bible says, ‘blessed are the dead who die in the Lord … that they may rest from their labours, and their works follow them’.

 

 

A Challenge

I have been greatly challenged by the testimony of the life of the late Pope John Paul II. Imagine a man who forced the authorities in Communist Poland to allow Christians to worship freely, even if they had to worship in the open. He was uncompromising in his stand against social vices and all forms of injustices. He loved everyone, even if he hated their deeds and did not believe in their creed. It was no surprise then that the world witnessed such a memorable farewell in honour of a great man. Even the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, had to move his wedding, as a mark of respect.

 

It is interesting to learn that the first thing he wrote in his will was to remind humanity to prepare for their encounter with God, when they would meet with Him face-to-face. Like Mother Teresa, the late Pope left no worldly possessions, reminding us of what the Bible says that a man’s life does not consist of the abundance of his worldly possessions (Luke 12: 15). “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Tim. 6: 7). Does his life of simplicity and contentment not make a mockery of all the acts of greed, avarice and wickedness we see in the world today? Ironically, at his funeral were some rulers who not only robbed their nations, but also murdered their citizens, in order to remain in power.

 

 

A Day is Coming

The Bible reminds us in Hebrews 9: 27 that ‘it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement’. ‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…’’… be ye reconciled to God’. (2 Cor.5: 10-11);

 

 

What Am I Living For?

I recall a song I composed many years ago:

 

What am I living for, if not for You?

What am I living for, if not for You?

What am I living for, if not for You?

Jesus,

nobody else, nobody else but You.

 

Where am I longing for, if not for heaven?

Where am I longing for, if not for heaven?

Where am I longing for, if not for heaven?

Jesus

You are the Way, You are the Truth and Life

 

I love You, Jesus

I need You, Jesus

You are the One

Who died to set me free

I love You Jesus

I need You Jesus

You are the One

Who died to set me free

 

What am I hoping for?

But for Your return.

What am I hoping for?

But for Your return.

What am I hoping for?

But for Your return

Jesus

You are the Way, You are the Truth and Life..

 

 

Indeed, there’s nothing else to live for, but for Him who gave His life to purchase our salvation; died that we may escape God’s wrath, which will be meted out to all who live for themselves on this earth and reject His love. I am reminded of a disciple by the name of Dorcas, whose account is recorded in Acts 9: 36-42. ‘At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas.

 

 

THIS WOMAN WAS FULL OF GOOD WORKS AND CHARITABLE DEEDS WHICH SHE DID. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come they brought him to the upper room. AND ALL THE WIDOWS STOOD BY HIM WEEPING, SHOWING THE TUNICS AND GARMENTS WHICH DORCAS HAD MADE WHILE SHE WAS WITH THEM.

 

 

 

But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise”. And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her hand his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord’.

 

This woman’s good deeds followed her, and led to her miracle of resuscitation, which in turn led to many miracles of salvation. In 3 John 12, we also read about Demetrius, who had ‘a good report of all men, and of the truth itself’. There’s a favourite old time saying:

 

Only one life, t’will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

 

Living for purpose

In Micah 6: 8, we are reminded that God has shown us what is good. ‘And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?’ 

 

Fellow, Christian pilgrim, let us labour for Our Father’s kingdom, whilst it is yet day; for the night comes when no man can work. His charge to us is ‘occupy till I come’ (Luke 19: 13). We know the story too well. The servant who used the five talents he was given, had additional five; the one with two, an additional two. But the one who received only one talent and buried it selfishly, was eternally damned.

 

 

Are you living for purpose?

Are you living with eternity in perspective? Are you using the gifts and resources He’s deposited within you for the good of mankind? What would be said of you if the Lord should suddenly call you home? Remember, ‘blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, … their works do follow them’.

 

 

It is my earnest prayer that the Lord, when He comes, will find us worthy of our call. 

Amen!!!

 

 

MARANATHA !

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© 2014 Ngozi Okike