September 2008

On the same page

Story of the day:  On the same page

     Dr. Tony Evans, a pastor in Dallas, Texas writes:  “There was one assignment in seminary that I’ll never forget.

     A professor known for his high standard asked us to write a paper.  I took this challenge seriously and set a goal to impress him with my knowledge of the subject, my research and writing.  I was going to give every effort to this so there would be NO way he couldn’t give me an “A”.

     But when I got the paper back, I was stunned to see an “F,” marked at the top.  I was confused, even angry.  I couldn’t comprehend why he just wrote off my efforts like that!  Then I saw his comment, “Great effort, but you answered the wrong question!”

     It wasn’t that I didn’t work hard or that I wasn’t sincere about the assignment.  I simply missed what the professor wanted from me.  As the old saying goes, “We weren’t on the same page.”

     That experience–although I failed the assignment–gave me one of the greatest lessons I have learned, one I continue to share with Christians about living for God.

     Many believers are working hard at the Christian life–coming to church, reading their Bible, saying prayers and trying to live better each day–but are ultimately failing because they are answering the wrong question.

     It’s not that they lack sincerity or honesty or the drive to please God.  But the real question to ask is, “Do you understand what God is asking of you?”

     Ultimately, God’s purpose in you is not about trying harder; it’s about the image of Jesus shining through your life.

     If I could only give you two verses from the Bible to help guide you along your spiritual walk, I would start with the encouraging words of Romans 8:28 (KJV), And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.  We get excited about God’s promise to work through the good and the bad in our lives…but we often miss the fact that He is working for His purpose.  That purpose is found in Romans 8:29 (KJV), For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  (That’s you and me!)

     We can dream up a lot of purposes in our lives and ask God to bless them, but they might not have anything to do with His purpose in our lives.  It’s God’s priority to make a whole community of people who look just like His Son.

     That is His purpose, His driving force and the only assignment He grades.  It’s the only place He’s going; if you’re not going there, you’re not on the same page as God.  You can spend a whole lot of time trying to get God to bless your “page” when that was not God’s purpose for you at all.  And since He’s the “Professor” and we’re in His class, He gets to make the assignment!”

     The good news is that we ARE equipped to make the grade, complete the assignment and hear a “well done” at the end of the journey.  That’s because when we gave our lives to Christ, God put His DNA is us.  We have been given the ability to carry out the assignment…to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, and to reflec that growth as we live out our lives for Him.  His main assignment is to see us conformed to the image of Jesus, and live life as He intended.”  Are you on the same page?

Quote of the day:  Pastor Jeff Burke

“It’s not a lifestyle, it’s my life.”

Bible verse of the day:  Luke 22:42

“saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for teachers and preachers that bring  us messages so humbling, yet powerful.  I thank You for Dr. Tony Evans and the things that He has shared with us today.  He says it best, “I pray to be more like You every day, not by the things I am doing, the promises that I make to be better, or the will power that I think I have, but by Your Holy Spirit that lives within me.  Father, I pray that Your purpose becomes my purpose and that is to be conformed to the image of Christ.”  I thank You for this day and Your Will to be done.

In Jesus Name I pray,