Sunday, March 27, 2016

Your Purpose for This Generation

A friend passed away in her hospital bed last week. She was only 45. Too young to die in midlife, I lamented. She left three children who are all still going to school. She has dreams for her family and for herself, but now she wouldn't be able to fulfill them in this temporal setting. We who love her are somehow comforted when we try to see things through teary eyes of faith, believing in the wisdom of God's sovereign purpose.

Then I remembered a shepherd boy-turned-king named David who lived a full life: "For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay" (Acts 13:36). King David conquered the city of Jerusalem and made it a flourishing capital; united the north and south kingdom into one Israel; drove away their many enemies; and paved the way for a succession of leadership over Israel and the building of the grand temple by his son Solomon. Most of us would be timid to compare our resume with the beloved king's curriculum vitae. I wouldn't; there's no comparison at all.

Yet reading a line from Samuel Bakutana's devotional article from Light for the Writer's Soul* sparked hope in me today. "Every Christian writer is a gift to his or her generation." Furthermore, he said, "We often underrate the greatness of God's writing gift in us...we often utilize that gift with slow speed, little passion and almost no urgency."

Though I have dedicated God's writing gift to me for His use, I feel guilty at times of not making the most of every opportunity to write more books, help an author reach more readers by translating his material, or work with a writer in polishing his or her manuscript. I allow myself to be distracted by scrolling down further and clicking more links on my Facebook. Or I take a break from the computer screen to focus on the TV screen and linger much longer. I blame lethargy for postponing a translation project that's long overdue. And I admit, sometimes multi-tasking didn't help accomplish more what I thought I could.

If I want to fufill my God-given purpose for this generation, I must use through God's grace what was entrusted to me--time, talent, treasure, things--while I'm still here on earth. In the end, we don't compare our accomplishments against our siblings or colleagues. We will be judged according to how faithful we have been in using our gifts to fulfill our purpose for this generation.

*Light for the Writer's Soul: 100 Devotions by Global Christian Writers is jointly published by Media Associates International and Armour Publishing. To order, please click on the links.

 How will you serve God and this generation effectively in today's turbulent times? Our Anchor in a World Adrift by Jon Hirst and Marlene Legaspi-Munar tackles seven things that are changing our world (refugee crisis, economic instability, disconnection in a digital world, shifting sexual morality, secularism, suicide, and the quest for spiritual home) and how you can make a difference. To order, click here.

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