From Handbook to Renewal
My Relationship to God––God’s Grace and Love
I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and faithfulness You have shown Your servant. (Genesis 32:10)
You have blessed me and kept me; You have made Your face shine upon me and have been gracious to me; You have turned Your face toward me and given me peace. (Numbers 6:24–26)
You, O Lord, are a shield around me; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head. (Psalm 3:3)
My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart. (Psalm 7:10)
I will be glad and rejoice in Your love, for You saw my affliction and have known the anguish of my soul. (Psalm 31:7)
How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who take refuge in You before the sons of men! (Psalm 31:19)
From Handbook to Prayer
The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom,
And his tongue speaks what is just.
The law of his God is in his heart;
His steps do not slide. (Psalm 37:30–31)
Everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19–20)
Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
And the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
Night after night they reveal knowledge. (Psalm 19:1–2)
I will exalt You, O Lord, for You lifted me up
And did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O Lord my God,
I cried to You for help and You healed me. (Psalm 30:1–2)
Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.
As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven.
He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.
For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God? (2 Samuel 22:31–32)
From Handbook to God’s Promises
Believers Are Called to Good Purposes
One Sure Purpose
Read 1 Peter 2:9
We run our lives by making plans that fulfill purposes. Some people are content with two or three major objectives for the day written on a 3-by-5 index card, working out the details as the day unfolds. Others map out the day in 15-minute segments. But when we prayerfully try to determine God’s purpose for our life, the planning process becomes more complex. Our planning has to accomplish much more than simply planning for just one day.
Which approach does God take for our lives? Does He plan all the details (who we marry, where we work, where we live), or does He plan to transform our character while leaving us wide latitude of choice in the who-what-when-where-how categories? Bible scholars differ about the way in which God’s will controls the outworking of his plan for individuals—except in one case: The apostle Peter revealed an aspect of God’s will and purpose that is true for every single Christian believer.
Peter wrote that God’s purpose for all Christians is to “declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). He used terms that were originally applied to Israel—“chosen people, royal priesthood, holy nation, a people belonging to God”— to describe Christian believers.
In the Old Testament God intended that, by its holiness, Israel would be a light for the rest of the world’s nations (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6). That was His purpose, His will, for Israel. And now, Peter said, God has made that His purpose and will for the church as well. In a sense, this overarching purpose helps in determining other more detailed parts of God’s purpose for an individual’s life. If my decisions about where I work, who I marry, where I live, and what I do with my time, talent, and treasure do not allow me to declare, verbally or nonverbally, the praises of God, then these may not be part of God’s purpose for my life.
While we continue studying the Scriptures and praying to learn about God’s detailed purpose for our lives, we must be careful not to miss Peter’s description of our first priority. Bringing praise to God is our ultimate life purpose.
God’s Promise: When others see Him through you, you are fulfilling your life purpose.