Here are the notes from last Sunday's Bible study.
Does your birthplace, or your heritage, or your name, or your past circumstances determine or affect your purpose? Maybe your father was a doctor. Does that mean you will grow up to be in the medical profession? Because you are born into poverty, does that mean you are destined to be poor your whole life? If your name is Butler, will you wear a bowtie and answer the door for wealthy people? If you carry a lot of baggage from past hurts, does that mean you have nothing to offer?
John 1:1-5 The New Testament story of creation.
Psalm 139:13-16 We are part of God's creation.
John 1:4 The original gifts from God: life and light. Life is our existence, light is our understanding.
John 1:5 reads "The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." If light is understanding, then darkness is misunderstanding. We have misunderstood God's design and purpose for us. God intended from the beginning for us to have abundant life and an understanding of who we are and why we exist. He has made a way for us to know His purpose for us.
Proverbs 20:5 "The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out."
John 1:12 The transformation from darkness (misunderstanding) to light (understanding) comes simply by receiving Jesus and believing on His name.
1 Peter 2:9 When we come to Him, He calls us out of darkness.
John 1:13 Your purpose is not determined by your family, your name or your status in life. It is determined by who God says you are.
PURPOSE: The original reason for the existence of an object.
Sometimes, we use items in ways that their creator never intended. For instance, have you ever used a butter knife for a screwdriver? In our group, all the men said they had not; many of the women said they had. How about a spoon: when you were a kid, did you use a spoon for a shovel when your mom wasn't watching? You can probably think of other items that you've abused. That's right, abused. Abuse by definition is damage caused by misusing an object or a person.
However, is a ten dollar bill worth any less if it has been wadded up, or folded, or if a drink spilled on it, or if it went through the laundry a couple of times? No, because it's value is not determined by it's shape or its appearance or its journey. The value was determined when it was created by the U.S. Treasury.
So it is with you. You may have been misused and abused. You may carry scars from your past or feel that you are worthless, but your value was determined by your Creator before you were born. Your purpose was set in motion. You can have an understanding of who God created you to be. Simply believe it and receive it.
That same message is found in Jeremiah 29:11-13 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Myles Munroe writes "Your existence is evidence that this generation needs something that your life contains." (In Pursuit of Purpose, p. 8)
It's easy for us to let past hurts or our soiled reputation hold us back, but remember that Jesus' enemies tried to use that tactic against him too. They said, "Can anything good come from Nazereth?" and "Isn't this the carpenter's son?" (John 1:46; Matthew 13:55) Jesus did not let that keep Him from His purpose.
Don't believe the lies of your enemy. Bring your hurts and your past to Jesus. Believe and receive.