A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Daily Encouragement on
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
We passed this creative example of repurposing yesterday in Northumberland County. It's a good thing the grill isn't working lest the flowers go up in smoke!
Message summary: God has a purpose for each of us. There are aspects of this purpose common to all who follow Christ. Although we may not choose to word it the same way, it would be very similar to my "personal mission statement" that I wrote many years ago. This, of course, could also be called my "personal purpose statement." I purposefully place it in the footers of each daily encouragement message. It reads, "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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"Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples" (Acts 9:1). "This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel" (Acts 9:15). "You, however, know all about my purpose" (2 Timothy 3:10). "When David had served God's purpose in his own generation" (Acts 12:36).
We enjoy the challenge and sometimes savings of repurposing, that is, finding a purpose for an item different than its original intent. In the last several months I have used discarded material from various companies for projects around my home including balusters for my deck railing (that were originally purposed for water lines in chicken houses), stainless steel lattice material (scrap from a cut piece), Azek stair risers (scrap pieces from a fencing company), etc. See photos below.
Today let us consider a much greater intent of repurposing that will far surpass that of temporal repurposing; that is, repurposed lives. Prior to his conversion on the Damascus road Saul had a purpose described in Acts 9:1, "Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples." He was a great persecutor. I suppose his mission statement would read "persecutor of Christians."
But his life was transformed. At his conversion his new purpose was made known, "This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel" (Acts 9:15). You might say at conversion Paul's life was repurposed.
Paul, as he came to be known, is often considered the greatest missionary of all time and faithfully fulfilled that purpose. Toward the end of his life in his final letter he wrote in confidence to Timothy, "You, however, know all about my purpose" (2 Timothy 3:10).
A vital question we should ask is, "Why do I exist?". God created each one of us with purpose. One of the greatest innate needs common to all people is a purpose for our existence. Many aimlessly drift throughout their lives with little sense of direction or purpose. As a young Christian I learned to share my faith using a booklet called "The Four Spiritual Laws" which begins with the phrase, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life." Of course the noun "plan" can be equally understood as "purpose" and truly God has a purpose for each one of us.
2 Timothy is considered the last letter that Paul wrote. The first nine verses in chapter three list over twenty-three godless characteristics evident in a period that Paul describes as "terrible times in these last days". In fact it is also a description of the world in which we live today. Paul seems to sum the list up with the phrase, "these men oppose the truth".
But beginning in verse 10 Paul lists a number of positive personal characteristics he was confident that Timothy had observed in his life and thus was well acquainted with: "You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me, the persecutions I endure". Paul demonstrated these characteristics day by day; during periods of peace and during times of testing, when he had plenty and when he was in need. It wasn't just the words Paul used to teach, but his way of life that reinforced that which he professed.
Among the characteristics he listed was "my purpose". The word "purpose" means a plan or a resolve, denoting that a decision has been made. Another reference states this purpose to be the guiding motive of my life and work.
God has a purpose for each of us. There are aspects of this purpose common to all who follow Christ. Although we may not choose to word it the same way, it would be very similar to my "personal mission statement" that I wrote many years ago. This, of course, could also be called my "personal purpose statement." I purposefully place it in the footers of each daily encouragement message. It reads, "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
But we believe God has also specifically equipped each of us for the unique purpose He has for our life. This purpose varies depending on the gifts, challenges, and callings God has granted us. In Acts 12:36 we read, "When David had served God's purpose in his own generation". My goal is to serve God's purpose for my life in my generation. What about you?
Here are three questions to consider today as you live a repurposed life:
• Do I know my main purpose in life, both general and specific?
• Do the people who know me clearly observe me living according to my purpose?
• Do my priorities in life reflect this purpose?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Whenever you repurpose it's a good idea to have some sense as to what the original item was used for. Brooksyne and I are both "repurposers" and find fulfillment in discovering unusual bargains along life's way and a use for many disposed items.
Yesterday afternoon, following our chaplaincy visits, we drove up to Northumberland County to transport our friends back home from a Pentecost Monday gathering with family where over 60 joined together in this home! The older girl cousins were sitting on the porch enjoying the last few minutes of their visit together before the families shared hugs and said their good-byes.
With a little elbow grease perhaps some hard workers could get this Northumberland County home back in shape in no time! Jesse pointed out an interesting feature. The house had a cement parged on the left side with scoring to make it look like cement blocks. See here for close-up. Apparently there was a time when cement blocks were new and considered a prestigious look!
We drove past the Millersburg Ferry which still operates as the last operating ferry on the Susquehanna River. It crosses the river between Millersburg in Dauphin County and Buffalo Township in Perry County, Pennsylvania. The ferry was established in the early 19th century. Many years ago we crossed the river on this ferry. It still transports nearly 20,000 people per year including bicycles and Amish buggies. Here's a great video.
The balusters are the vertical pieces between the top and bottom rails. The material I used is a slight bit smaller than the rails that Lowes sells for $4.23 each but no one notices! Each section between posts takes 15 so I saved a lot of money by repurposing.
Stainless steel lattice on my front porch keeps the critters from getting under it and we think it looks rather nice. I really doubt if you can find stainless steel lattice anywhere without it being custom made.
These white Azek stair risers were cut from fencing material that a fencing company no longer needed.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Amazing Grace" Video Wintley Phipps with a powerful, very moving introduction. The song was written by John Newton, the former slave trader, who is a great example of a repurposed life!
I always enjoy visiting our employees at their field work when possible. Yesterday I visited Charlie (left) and Keith, two JK Mechanical HVAC installers who are renovating a bank in Lebanon, PA. Charlie is studying for ministry at Lancaster Bible College. When I took the photo Charlie was inside the vault and Keith was fiddling with a switch to try to turn on a light in the vault. I told him better be careful or the door might close and Charlie would be locked inside!
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Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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