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163. Called with a purpose.

'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him ( or works to bring about what is good, together with those who love him ) who have been called according to his purpose.' (Romans 8:28) Since we were called in keeping with his purpose, we ought to live a 'purpose driven life'. That purpose is that we might testify to the truth. "When the Counselor, the Spirit of truth comes, he will testify about me. And you also must testify (Greek : Martyreo), for you have been with me from the beginning." (John 15:27) What Jesus meant was that, even if they were to face martyrdom, they should still testify to the truth because they have known him who is the 'truth'. This they did, eleven of them who testified Christ even to their death and the twelfth one, John, testified Christ, even to the point of death (a limit, as of the degree of heat beyond which life cannot survive) in a cauldron of heated oil. So also the early believers testified, though some faced martyrdom and others were 'publically exposed to insult and persecution ... and joyfully accepted the confiscation of their property, because they knew that they had better and lasting possessions.'(Hebrews 10:33-34) In 'testifying to the truth', and being 'witnesses of his resurrection' (Acts 1:8), we are working together with God to put into effect God's purpose in Christ revealed to us. 'And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when times will have reached their fulfilment - to bring all things in heaven and earth together under one head, even Christ.' (Ephesians 1:9-10) Since the Apostles stood by him to establish God's purpose on earth, he said to them: "You are those who stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a Kingdom ... that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Luke 22:28-30) Thinking of the prospect of being with Jesus in his kingdom (Philippians 1:21-23), they didn't count their lives worth anything to them (Acts 20:24) but were willing to lay down their lives for this higher purpose. (John 15:13) - If we honour the soldiers who have laid down their lives for the nation, wouldn't God honour those who have laid down their lives for his kingdom? - Have we found God's purpose for our lives? Once we find it, we begin to realise, as Joseph did (Genesis 45:5-8), that God was working through the good and the bad in our lives, in conformity with his purpose. 'In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will...' ( Ephesians 1:11) Amen.

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