Things are hotting up. A month (or two – time flies) ago I was invited to visit north Africa and teach there. Today I received an unexpected invite to speak at a singles conference in Canberra “Doing life well“. If you live in Canberra and are single, why not come along?!
Right away I knew what I am to speak on and most of the content. Isn’t God good? It’s a very positive message. Since this is a conference for singles, I will make the context useful for singles. My talk will be called “Choices”. It goes something like this.
We all make choices every day. Our life looks like it does today because of choices we made years ago. To NOT make a choice is still a choice, it’s just not a productive one. Our choices result in action or inaction. Our choices may cause change, or leave things the same as before. Our choices cause us to go this way or that way or neither.
Choices and marriage
We have a choice to make about marriage. This is a pretty big choice because it affects our lives forever! In the book of numbers, the bible says this…
This is what the Lord commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad: Let them marry whom they think best; only they shall marry within the family of the tribe of their father. – Num 36:6
Wow. How about that. Unless He says otherwise… marry who you think is best.
For most of us, unless God specifically says otherwise, the pressure is on us to look around and decide who is best. The only criteria is that the person should be a Christian… and equally yoked.
How do you make a good choice? Yes you have to talk to the person, think about their lifestyle, consider their attitudes and how they will shape our life. Do they want the same thing in life as you do. Do they love God the same way you do. Will they go where you are called to go? How will they raise kids… and how do you want to raise kids?
Choices and gifts
We have choices to make about where we work and what work we do. The bible says that God made us for a good work.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Eph 2:10
At a young age I wanted desperately to work for God. Then I discovered I felt compassion for homeless and very ill people. I decided to be a psychologist and began studying for it. Unfortunately later on I made a choice to go into computers. I decided it for the money and the security.
I didn’t listen to the desire of my heart. I didn’t choose based on what God had designed me to do. My choice to go into computers took me away from the good work God had designed me for.
Year after year in computers I was unhappy. No matter how much I earned, I was unhappy.
Recently God reconnected me to the people I am designed to serve. Now I am living from my passion. The days that I work with them are my favorite days of the week.
I have made a choice to do what He designed me to do… and I am gradually growing more and more passionate. He designed me with a good work in mind and I have now used my choice to do that good work.
Choices and the Kingdom
In that parable of the talents, the bible says that if we use the gifts He has given us to love people, He will give us more. When I decided to begin using my gifts to love people, I had to take an inventory of my gifts. I decided the only gift I really had that was available, was my time. I had time and a car. If that could help someone, then wonderful!
As it turns out, there are heaps of people who need someone to listen to them and some advice. God sent one to me. I treated him the best I could. Loving him. God sent another. I loved him as best I could. God sent a third and then a fourth. I tried my best to love them.
Then God upped the stakes. I became involved in a public outreach on sundays where we worship and feed and love many homeless people. On a typical sunday afternoon we feed between 70-85 people. We sit and listen and try to show compassion and acceptance. And to my amazement, we are seeing people respond and we are seeing people heal and change.
I used the one gift I had to love someone… and He added more, just like the parable of the talents said He would. And it happened very quickly!
You have choices every day
Choices. We have choices and we need make them – either actively or passively through inaction. Our choices will dramatically influence our future. Today’s choices shapes tomorrow. NOT making a choice is in fact a choice in itself. To do nothing is a choice and it shapes tomorrow and next week.
LOOK into your passion. FIND out what you are designed to do… and then to use that 1 talent… and you will see that He will give you more.
It’s up to you to discover your unique shape. Your shape is like a jigsaw piece. It’s uniquely you. Getting to know your own shape helps incredibly.
When you know your OWN shape, you will know WHO you click with and you will know WHAT job you are designed for.
It’s a great feeling to live from your passion. It means you are living the life He designed you for. It is a great feeling when you wake up day after day, eager to get to “work”.
Congratulations and good luck! Choices / decision making is such an important topic. One of my favorite lessons to teach is “Decision making and the will of God,” which emphasizes how God gave us moral laws and personal preferences, and all the wisdom we’ll ask for and seek. We do have a lot of freedom in decision making.
Great Stuff Mark! May the people attending the conference receive this and impact their life!
BTW, I emailed you personally. I hope your email address is the same.
May God work through you mightily to bless many!!
Congrats and Praise God for the opportunity to continue to share what God has done in your life, into the lives of others. I like what you said, about knowing your own shape. I also liked how you described God giving the talents; first just one, and you did the best you could with that one – then another, and another.
You were faithful with little, and he gave you more.
When you go to africa, make sure you take lots of pics for your shutterbug community of blogger friends.