Your Package: How God Prepared You
GAME CHANGING TRUTH |
His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.
2 Peter 1:3-4 (HCSB)
THOUGHT IN A SENTENCE |
He has packaged every believer for a lifetime of kingdom service.
So, if we quibble over words the power of the game changing truth will be minimized. Don't run from it or try to fit it into any of our shrink-wrapped ideas of faith. Get a life! The words "...everything required for life..." depict a big concept, a God-sized angle on the way he intended to influence the world. But, when we line up our tenets of faith, there they are, the repeated declarations that he created everything with intricate precision, including us humans. When we confess that he's "...given us everything required for life and godliness...", there's a further note about his provision for life. He has it covered!
Mark Twain said, "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Many people stumble through life thankful for the first part but really clueless about the second. And, a big part of understanding purpose and mission is discovering how he prepared us for life, that is, the very unique way he wired every person.
For thirty five years of coaching pastors, ministers, church staff, college students, and many committed disciples of Jesus I have referred to this preparation as "your package". It's not a marketing strategy or branding concept, "your package". It's more of a way for us to understand how God prepared every human being for the life he intended us to live. Like the box pictured in the graphic above, "your package" is the interaction of the four components of the generous and gracious hand that shaped us. They are:
Package Component One: Christ in us, the transformation of his abiding in us.
Package Component Two: talent that is bestowed to every human. Package Component Three: life experience, education, and influence. Package Component Four: spiritual gifts endowed to believers.
Pause Here: This package, as defined, applies only to Christians. Scripture certainly affirms God's sovereign leadership in the lives of individuals who live outside the parameters of biblical faith and are not Christ followers. Pharaoh in the Exodus narratives is a prime example (see Exodus 9:16 and Romans 9:17). However, "your package" for those who do not profess faith in Christ would appear somewhat different---
Component One: the potential of reflecting the image of God.
Component Two: talent that is bestowed to every human.
Component Three: life experience, education, and influence.
Component Four: the capacity to manifest the Holy Spirit upon spiritual birth.
The point of reference for the posts this week will be from a Christian worldview and therefore a Christian perspective.
Jesus defined the life God intended for his people. He said, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly" (John 10:10, ESV). The idea of productivity and fruitfulness is amplified throughout Scripture. When Peter was explaining what I've identified as the Game Changing Truth noted above, he mentioned adding character traits that "...if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
(2 Peter 1:8, ESV). Jesus further said, "By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples" (John 15:8, ESV). Evidently bearing spiritual fruit is his expectation of us.
So, "your package" is how he prepared you to produce much fruit for his kingdom. And, this week, I'll explore the dynamics of "your package" and how every one of us---pastors, ministers, church staff, spiritual leaders, husbands and wives, parents, and every believer---can activate "your package" to become a fruit bearing Christian wherever he has placed you. Remember---
He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a
2 Corinthians 5:5
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God
prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
More about your package tomorrow.