This was one of Paul’s loveliest and most personal letters directed to the leader of the Colossian Church. Here Paul was encouraging Philemon to continue sharing his faith. For when faith is shared, the Word of God is unleashed to successfully accomplish its plan and purpose in people’s lives. Never be afraid to share the reason for the hope you have. (I Peter 3:15) For you may never know the impact it may have on someone. And the wonderful benefit of sharing your faith with others is that every time you hear it yourself…your trust and confidence in God is built up a little bit more.
As it tells us in Proverbs, the Lord’s purpose always prevails…for no pivotal event in the course of history happens unless the Lord first ordains it. And for the human mind this is far too difficult to take in and understand. But to add to this confusion, the next verse goes on to say, “Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?” (Lam. 3:38) That’s when we need to be reminded that God’s ways are not our ways, but that God is always in control. For it tells us in Psalm 33:9-11, “For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the people. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.”
For all of you that enjoy Bible trivia, the middle Scripture of the Bible is this verse, Psalm 118:8 . It’s the very center point of God’s Word. So was it placed there by chance or divinely inspired? Many times I’ve prayed to find God’s perfect plan and purpose in my life…to be in the very center of His Will. For I know that’s the safest and very best place to be. And if I look at the fundamental truths in this verse, it makes that search easier. Where am I placing my faith and trust…whose promises am I putting stock in…and where really does my confidence lie? If it’s in man, I’m going to be disappointed…but if my trust is in the Lord, I will find His ultimate plan and purpose for my life.
God’s free expression of His loving kindness is shown us when the Holy Spirit imparts unique gifts to each one of us…not for our benefit, but to edify others. These spiritual gifts follow closely along the lines of our character and personality…the distinctive things that make us who we are. The Holy Spirit gives varies gifts to different people according to His divine plan and purpose in their lives. We all have different gift combinations, but they all are given us that we may serve others.
Our Christian journey isn’t perfect, for everyday we mess up. We say things we shouldn’t…or out of anger and frustration we act unkindly. Holiness isn’t something that we’re suddenly bestowed with when we say “Yes” to Jesus…it’s a process…a daily effort towards perfection. Philippians 1:6 tells us, “That being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” This journey towards holiness – towards perfection, is God’s purpose for you. And as you walk in the Spirit, you’ll discover that His ultimate plan and purpose for you is that process towards holiness.
God called us for His own reasons by the wooing of the Holy Spirit, through the Gospel. The plan and purpose for your life was ingeniously created before the beginning of time. You might think God’s plan and purpose for you is only some lofty ideal…more concept than practicality. But God uses everything for our good. He uses the consequences that happen when we sin to disciple and shape us into a better person. He uses the drudgery of dull mundane tasks, the interactions with strangers, and the simple acts of kindness we do to conform us closer to His image. There is not one thing you’ll do today that hasn’t already passed through God’s hands first and will be used for your good.