February 6, Monday

Cami KingThe AMI QT devotionals from Feb. 6-12 are provided by Cami King.  Cami, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, recently completed her M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary.  She is currently serving as a staff at Journey Community Church in Raleigh. 

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Living With Purpose

1 Corinthians 1:1-3

Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

6I never skip an opportunity to draw attention to the salutations in Paul’s letters. They are some of my favorite parts in all his writings, because they are usually so loaded with theological significance and remind us of the importance of identity. Our identity is the source and foundation for all we say and do. And as believers, remembering who we are in Christ is imperative to not only living as Kingdom People but also to doing Kingdom work. In today’s passage, Paul reminds us that we are sanctified by the blood of Jesus, knitted together as one family, and given a calling (as saints, and more specifically for Paul, as an apostle)! Being called God’s own people gives us a glorious identity and purpose.

My small group is going through Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life together, where we are exploring the question, “What on earth am I here for?” During the first week’s readings (there is a short chapter to read each day) I was reminded just how easy it is for me to go through any given day without giving much thought to who I really am and what I’m here to do. Identity and purpose go hand and hand and both require intentionality. Living into my true identity as a child of God and living out my God-given purpose won’t happen incidentally or accidentally (or as Pastor Rick would say – The only way to live with purpose is on purpose).

How often do you think about who you are and what you’re here to do? I was challenged recently to start each day with intentionality by reminding myself every morning of who I am and what I’m on earth to do. You should try it! As we do this over and over, we learn to lean into all that it means to be a child of God and are empowered to make the most of every opportunity to do Kingdom work in the community around us.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for calling me Your own through the finished work of Jesus. Thank you for giving me a purpose and allowing me to participate in bringing forth Your Kingdom. Help me today to walk more fully in my identity as Your child and to live out more intentionally Your purposes for my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Judges 16


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read 1 Peter 1:13-21: Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Questions to Consider

  1. In what ways does Peter remind us of the importance of being intentional with how we live each day?
  2. On what foundation is Peter encouraging us to carry out his instructions in this passage(vv. 17-18)? Why is this important to keep in mind?
  3. What might it look like for you personally to put this passage into practice in your life? What is one practical step you can take today toward that end?

Notes

  1. Peter encourages us to prepare (our minds for actions), to be sober-minded, and to set our hope fully on the grace of Christ. All these things are actions that require intentionality. They won’t just happen on their own.
  2. Peter reminds us that we are God’s own children and that we were ransomed by the precious and imperishable blood of Jesus Christ. This identity has to be at the foundation of all we do. If we forget it, we will quickly lose sight of our purpose and lack the power to complete our mission.
  3. Spend some time in personal reflection.

EVENING REFLECTION

“I’ve always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific.”

(Lily Tomlin in The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, by Jane Wagner)

If we’re not careful to remember our God-given identity and purpose, we’ll end up becoming someone entirely different and doing things that in the end leave us feeling unfulfilled.

Have you ever lost sight of your identity in Christ? Have you ever lost sight of the mission of God in your life? What was the result?

Spend some time articulating in your own words your identity and purpose as you understand them from Scripture. (e.g. I am [fill in the blank] and I am here to [fill in the blank].) Write it down somewhere and return to it often so you can be sure to live each day with purpose.

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