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Religious Reflections

Discovering God's purpose for us

by Pastor Michael Hughes

What a busy time the last couple of weeks have been! Our kids were home again and for a short time they were all here together.

Pam and her family (husband Chris Rensch and children, Ariel and Jonah) were here just for the day, partly to visit us and partly to attend the Schilperoort picnic. Pam and Chris were married 11 years ago and it is a joy for us to see their family growing up. Ariel just turned 5 and Jonah is turning 2 this week. Pam has really found satisfaction and purpose in her family.

Tim and Stacy (Schilperoort) Hughes came by on their way to Fairchild Air Force Base, where he will spend 35 days on active duty under the direction of the base chaplain. Tim is a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force Reserves. He still needs to finish seminary and be ordained before he can be an official chaplain, but the time on base will help him and Stacy get a preview of what an Air Force chaplain's life is like. Tim is excited about finding out what he will be doing.

Our youngest son, Jonathan, just finished all his classes at Central Washington and is now interning with a local physical therapy group. He is enthusiastic about getting to sample the work of physical therapy and sees that it might indeed be a fulfilling career.

Linda and I are thrilled to see that each of our kids is discovering their purpose in life. Finding your purpose makes life so much more exciting that just plugging along. I think that we must feel about our children the way God does when He sees us finally catch on to why He put us on the earth.

Rick Warren wrote the book Purpose Driven Life, addressing this very issue. He said it this way: What on earth am I here for? Of course, it is more than just finding a job or even a career. Our purpose has to do with our eternal destiny. God put us here so that we could live forever with Him. Jesus told us that God has pleasure in this: For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom (Luke 12:32).

But the Bible says we don't discover that destiny until we discover His Son who died and rose again so that we might have this life in Him.

Jobs and careers can be lost and many people have been known to give up when that happens. But when you give your life over to the control of Jesus Christ, you cannot lose, no matter what life throws at you.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 1:21, For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. When we place our life in God's hands we will discover God's purpose for it. More than a job or a career, life is about relationships. Family, friends and God.

Linda and I rejoice at seeing our children realize their life work. We are even more delighted that they and their spouses have all come to faith in Jesus Christ, and desire to serve Him. I believe that God also takes pleasure in seeing their lives. God rejoices when He sees us growing in our lives, and, especially so, in our relationship with Him.

- Pastor Michael Hughes of Sunnyside First Baptist Church.

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