Purpose (Friday)

by Olivia Ledbetter

Ephesians 3:14-19

“14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a]in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

So often, college feels like a mad scramble to discover what your purpose is. Yikes — what a daunting prospect. I have little panics about once every other week, doubting if I’m doing the right things and if I’m doing them fast enough and well enough. Living between the panics feels so normal for a college student, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s the good news: you are uniquely qualified and valuable exactly where you are right now, even if you don’t know where you’re going. Ephesians talks of a love that surpasses knowledge. Understanding and sharing the love of Christ is more powerful and more important than having it all figured out. Your purpose? To love.

One more reminder: that love extends to yourself too. Have some grace for yourself on this journey. I can forget this self-love so often, and oddly, when I am lacking grace for myself I am also less able to extend it to others. Knowledge of God’s love and laws is important. Knowledge of your own path is helpful. But love? That is something to value even more. Rest in the truth that He knows your heart and your path, even when you feel like you don’t.

Purpose (Thursday)

Sometimes my days start to feel a little monotonous.  Go to class, jump over to work, meetings, homework maybe watch some Netflix with my roommates.  All boring day to day things that are in pursuit of success in the future – a good and important thing.  But, that mindset of future preparedness often makes me forget to ask about the now.  As I was reading Esther for last week’s devo, another part that really struck me was chapter 4 verse 14, where Mordecai says to Esther, “Who knows but that you have come to your position for such a time as this?”  If you read last week or know the story, you know that Esther’s position happened to be as a queen and that she used it to save the Jews, but if you boil that down to the basics, Esther simply realized that her day-to-day was important in the “now.”  Esther’s purpose was to serve the Lord and though that didn’t play out through her becoming a prophet, God shows us how each and every one of us can play an important role in His story.  So, this week I end with a challenge: look around and ask yourself where has God placed me for “a time such as this?” How can I be more in tune with the plans of the Lord?  He has embedded purpose in every single one of our day to day lives, it’s just after us to go after it.

Purpose (Wednesday)

by Emily Thurston

Ephesians 2:10

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

A question on the forefront of many of our minds as we make the trek through college is what our God-given purpose is. We rush into situations in order to fulfill our own agendas. Instead, we should be letting the professional do the work. Ephesians 2:10 describes us as God’s masterpieces. He is the artist who has honed the craft of creation. He is intentional in placing us in this world in the capacity that we each occupy. He sees where each of us is best suited to further his kingdom on earth. God planned out each of our futures before our great-grandparents were even a figment of some distant relative’s imagination. He knew our exact purpose and the good we would do on this earth in his name. He even placed a role model in Christ on this planet to help us follow the example into our preordained positions in life. As an artist, God’s vision is all that matters and it is up to each of us to realize what he meant for us. It is not our job to create a new interpretation or reinvent the wheel. He did all the heavy lifting. He stretched the canvas and placed every stroke with care. He picked the precise color palette and blended new and unique shades. He even sat and watched every drop of paint dry due to his never-ending grace and love. All of that effort speaks to a creator who wants the absolute best for us and nothing less. So he has carved out a crevice for each of us to fill in order to most efficiently be displayed as his work of art. What will be the title of your portrait in God’s gallery?

Purpose (Tuesday)

by Hannah Alford

Everyone is in college for a reason right? Whether or not you know what your purpose is yet there’s one person who already knows, and that’s God! Each and every one of us can impact campus in our own unique way. One of my favorite verses from 1 Timothy is 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” Often times I asked myself, what can I do to serve God? I’m too young, or too inexperienced, basically a lot of excuses, but, what this verse tells me is that even as college students we can fulfill God’s purpose and set an example for our friends, family, and fellow classmates. Be the children of God that provide a light for everyone on campus to gravitate towards, and with that light show God’s love in everything you do. Remember that God loves everyone, even the people who can’t see his love, can feel it through you. As a freshman on campus I’m still testing the waters, my purpose seems so far ahead in the future it’s hard to think about sometimes, but I know that as Paul wrote in his letters, it’s not just up to the adults to share God’s word, but it’s our job too!

I’ll Be There For You (Friday)

 

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via GIPHY

by Chasen Pridgen

Do you ever feel like life has just beat you down to where you can’t get up and don’t want to try?  I know I have.  It takes a lot of strength and a lot of hope to get back up again.  But we, as Christians, can stand tall as God gives us hope.  In Isiah 43:2, the Lord says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”  This verse is saying that as you go through your struggles, God will be with you and not let anything over take you.  What a powerful verse.  To know this information is truly incredible and should give you hope.  A hope that you will make it out of whatever you are going through.  When you come out of it, you might be a changed person but God wanted you to change for a reason.  I encourage you to keep having hope, no matter what you are going through because the One who is eternal, is always with you.

I’ll Be There For You (Thursday)

by Alexi Bolton

Conceptually, I know that God is always there for me, but sometimes I find it hard to believe that because I struggle with putting my faith in things I can’t see.  When thinking about this devo, I thought of all the many examples of times God backed up His promise to be there for people in a very literal and visible way  – the cloud and pillar of fire leading the Israelites, the burning bush, David in the wilderness in like the entire book of Psalms, Jesus performing miracles – all physical or obvious manifestations of God being there for people.  But what about when God isn’t so obvious or loud?  What about when we can’t seem to see Him at all?  This made me think of the story of Esther, whose name translates roughly to “I will hide my face.” God is not explicitly mentioned once in her story, yet she is still considered a hero of our faith because of how the Lord worked through her.  It is the ultimate story of silent support from the Lord and one I often look to for advice on how to handle situations.  Esther has a strong background in her faith, so she knows that The Lord will be there for her if she stands up for Him, but she is still scared because she is going to be risking her life and is unsure what the right choice is.  So, she gathers a community and prays (Esther 4:16).  When she wavers in her trust in the Lord’s promises, she relies upon the wisdom of her friends and mentors (Mordecai) and the power of prayer.  Through this, an entire nation is saved and many people learn about God, proving that He was there for Esther and His people the whole time.  When you feel as though the Lord is not obvious, take a peek at Esther – find your Mordecai, who will point you back to the Lord who is always there for you and go directly to God in prayer, asking Him to reveal himself to you a little more each day.