Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly.
This week, I want to share with you three practical principles from Nehemiah 11. Principle number one: each of us has a unique purpose in life. One day I was eating lunch with Dr. Jack Graham, and he was telling me about some research he was doing for an upcoming sermon. He said, “Do you know the number one question non-Christians have? It’s not about whether there’s life after death or the end times. The number one question my research has shown is, ‘Is there any purpose to my life?’” Interestingly, that is also one of the biggest questions that Christians have today. I think that explains why one of the bestselling nonfiction books of all time is Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life.” Here is how Warren began that great book: “It’s not about you. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.” We all are here for one reason: to glorify God, to turn people’s hearts toward God so that they want to fall down and worship Him.
You might say, “How do I go about doing that?” That leads to a second principle: we are not to do the same thing, but we are all to do something to further God’s kingdom. Let’s look at the first part of that statement–we are not to do the same thing. Not everyone in Nehemiah 11 was called to be a singer. Not everyone was called to be part of the prayer team. There were a variety of different ministries, and it is the same way within the kingdom of God today. I think one of the biggest mistakes we make in the church is insisting that everybody do the thing that we think is important. Many times we resort to guilt: “If you really love Jesus, you will get down here Monday nights and go knock on doors and share the gospel.” Most people are terrified at such an idea, but they give it a try–and it is the most miserable experience of their lives. Yes, all of us are to share our faith, but not everybody is called to do confrontational evangelism.
There is a popular phrase you might hear in the church: “You need to get out of your comfort zone.” I do not believe that. I believe when you truly find your unique spiritual gift and start using that gift, you are going to be very comfortable in doing so because that is the way God created you. He gave you a unique passion to share the message of Christ with others, and when you are involved in that ministry, it is the most exciting thing you will ever do in your life. In Romans 12:6, Paul said, “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly.” We do not have the same abilities and the same interests. We have gifts that differ, and we were designed to use the unique gift God has given us.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Declaration Of Dependence” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Rick Warren, “The Purpose Driven Life,” expanded ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012), 21.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org