Lessons Of A Lifetime

The Divine Purpose Of Christ
Or
Fulfilling His Purpose In Us
Sunday Sept. 20, 2020

Scripture To Consider:
“Jesus departed from there, skirted the sea of Galilee, and went upon the mountain and sat down there. Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them.”

“So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.”           Matthew 15.29-31

Something To Consider:
After traveling a substantial distance to the region of Tyre and Sidon and healing the daughter of a Syrophoenician woman, Jesus went to the region of Decapolis. There were at least two logical reasons why Jesus traveled so far in going to Tyre and Sidon. One reason may have been that He wanted to seek some solace from the crowds in order to regain His strength.

Another reason may have been similar to His reason for going to a Samaritan well, for according to Jesus, He must go through Samaria. It could very well have been that Jesus knew there was one suffering demon-possessed daughter who had no hope unless He delivered her. And as then, Jesus is still willing to go to great lengths and great distances to both observe and to reward great faith. How great is our faith today?

Jesus has already declared to a centurion soldier in Matthew 8.13; “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” A part of the divine purpose of Christ and the fulfilling of that purpose in us, is to believe. And that believing must not be a past tense belief, but a present tense belief!

In an earlier lesson Jesus was asked the question; “What shall we do that we may work the works of God?” And Jesus responded in John 6.29, by stating; “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” The word believe in this context means to believe to the point of commitment and not a mere intellectual understanding.

One of the greatest by-product of our believing in Jesus is that it produces hope which helps us to overcome our unbelief! Proverbs 13.12 proclaims, “Hope deferred [postponed] makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Hope must be maintained in order that the heart does not become sick and causes a person to depart from the faith.

Something Else To Consider:
After having retreated to a Gentile region, Jesus returned to the Roman district of Decapolis, which was an area that was heavily populated by Jewish inhabitants. There Jesus made Himself extremely visible and accessible by sitting down on a mountainside, where great multitudes came to Him to hear more of the divine purpose of Christ’s coming to planet earth.

Previously, Jesus had dealt with one person of great faith. This day He was making Himself available to great multitudes of people with various physical difficulties. Therefore, many came to Him! And that is the first step in our life-long journey to and with Jesus. Without coming to Jesus how will we ever be able to determine the divine purpose of Jesus and His fulfilling His purpose in and through our lives?

And yet, there is where the great fleshly struggle really begins! For our flesh, our carnal human nature struggles or wars against the Spirit of God and the divine purpose of God in our lives. As Jesus acknowledged, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Our fulfilling His purpose with our lives comes at a cost! That is why present tense believing is so important.

The divine purpose of Christ led Him to be crucified upon an old rugged cross. According to Jesus, as we will see in upcoming lessons, “If anyone [man, woman, and or young person] desires to come after Me, let him [or her] deny himself [or herself] and take up his [or her] cross, and follow Me.” In other words, there is a human cost to coming to and following Christ Jesus!

Something More To Consider:
Jesus, like the woman of Canaan, had a great purpose that was fueled by His passion to be about His Father’s business. His purpose was not self seeking. His mandate or divine purpose as we earlier studied from Luke chapter 4, was declared by Jesus Himself that day in Nazareth while teaching in the synagogue.

For Jesus stated, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” Today, in our Scripture to consider, Jesus was fulfilling His declared divine purpose!

And as He did so, the multitude marveled at the healings and they glorified God. Therefore, there are two things for us to ask ourselves. Are we fulfilling our God given divine purpose in life? Or, are we as the multitude, still in need of spiritual healing? Either way, we are to glorify God in all things. And as we glorify God we too will find that we are fulfilling His purpose for our lives.

And yet, without hope, how can a person fulfill the divine purpose of Jesus Christ in his or her life? David, in Psalm 16, though writing of the Messiah’s victory over death, despair, and the grave; attempted to give hope to all who have no hope. Beginning in verse 9 David wrote; “Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest [dwell securely] in hope.”

David continued by proclaiming, “For You [God] will not leave my soul in Sheol [the place of the dead], nor will You allow Your Holy One [Jesus] to see corruption.” David completed his thoughts by affirming; “You [God] will show me the path of life [the divine purpose for my life in Christ]. In Your presence is fullness of joy [the capacity to rejoice in hope]; at Your right hand are pleasures forever more.”

Does the thought of our fulfilling the divine purpose of God make our heart glad? Is our flesh resting or dwelling securely in the hope of Jesus Christ? We will know when our purpose produces passion and perseverance! Until then, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you [and in me] richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

A Few Final Words:
The apostle Paul prayed a prayer in Romans 15.13 after teaching a lesson of a lifetime concerning our glorifying God together as true believers. Paul prayed, “Now may the God of hope fill you [and me] with all joy and peace in believing, that you [and me] may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Are we abounding in hope by the power of God’s Holy Spirit? And if not, why not?

Leaders in training should foster an attitude of willingness to glorify God at all times, through what we say, what we do, and in how we live our lives! Are we as the multitudes in our lesson of a lifetime, marveling at the words and actions of Jesus? And if not, why not?

According to our lesson today, “So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.”

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, grant unto us the revelation of our God given divine purpose in this life, and may we glorify You and Your Son in the midst of end time tribulation. In Him Always, Amen!

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