So we’ve already dealt with the concept of our Primary Purpose in the last post. This idea is really key to Building Your House Upon the Word. Our society is me-centered and all of the messages we get from modern culture are geared toward elevating the individual. The idea that our purpose and identity are found in the LORD is pretty counter-culture; but it is the beginning of developing a biblical world view…where you can see your life and your experiences through a biblical perspective. Once you have done that, you are starting to build a firm foundation.
Today I am going to share about our Individual Purpose. The next few posts will expand on this to include our purpose in marriage and parenting. As I have said before, even if you are not married or are not mothering, please check the posts out anyway! These earthly institutions point to different features of our relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and these aspects of our spiritual life apply to us whether we are married/mothering or not.
Now, let’s delve a little deeper into our Individual Purpose. From the beginning, God made our purpose very clear: Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness…So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Genesis 1:26-27). We bear the image of God therefore, we are to be a picture of Him. We know that God does not have a body, since Jesus says, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). So if we are to “look like Him”, it means that we must reflect His character. And we should do this accurately, as a mirror accurately reflects the original.
How can we know what God is like? How can we imitate Him, if we do not know Who He Is? We can begin to know God’s character by reading His Word. When you think of it, that is pretty awesome! The Bible is History…His – story. In it, we can see Who He Is by what He does. We can see Who He Is by what He says. We can know Him better by reading how others describe Him in the Word. We can know Him better by learning about His Name(s). We can see What He looks Like by looking at Christ. Jesus said, “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
Our church is reading the Bible together this year and our pastor is preaching about the texts from the previous week. This has been so wonderful! The kids and I read together at breakfast and hubby reads alone at the crack of dawn. I have a journal for us where we jot down what we are learning about God’s character in the reading. There are many things you can look for when you read the Word…or you can ask God to open it up to show you something new each day. Our family is seeing things in a different way as we read all of the Word with the purpose of knowing God’s character! At dinner, we discuss the reading from that morning, as a family.
We are in Leviticus now and, while reading about the Law can be tedious, we have learned some wonderful new things since we started. If you want to see God, read the Law. He is precise and detailed; He appreciates harmony and beauty; He is exacting yet compassionate; He equips His people when He calls them; and above all, He longs for relationship with us…this list could go on and on. The Law is beautiful. A friend says she was taught that the Law is a fence (that God erects to protect those He loves), a mirror (so that we can see ourselves more accurately) and a path (so that we might know how to walk closely with Him).
Someone, though maybe not you, will say, “I thought we were ‘free from the law’ and were under the Covenant of Grace instead.” My heart hurts for the bad rap “the law” gets these days. Do you know the original Hebrew word that is translated to the English word “law” in your Bible? Torah. It literally means direction, teaching or instruction*. It has become, to some, “a list of do’s and don’ts”, as it was for the Pharisees of Jesus’ time. But let’s not confuse the sin of legalism, which is making the “law” your idol, with the loving act whereby God instructed His people, made Himself known to them and gave us all a glimpse of what was to come in Christ.
- When Paul wrote All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17), he used the word Greek word graphe which meant written Word*. At the time Paul wrote the letter to Timothy, the “written word” was what we now call The Old Testament (including “the law”); this was before completion of the God-breathed work we call The New Testament**. Paul also said this: For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures [graphe again] we might have hope (Romans 15:4-5).
- Here is some of the hope that Jesus gives: If you abide in My Word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free (John 8:31-32) and Everyone then who hears these Words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock (Matthew 7:24-25). For the sake of completion, you can note that in these verses, it is the Greek word logos, which is translated to “Word” in our English Bibles. Logos was the Word that was active in Creation(John 1:1-4), including the creation of man, when he was made in the Image of God*. And Jesus, who is Logos, continues His work of creation in this way: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Cor 5:17). You can read more about logos in another post.
What a blessing: (1) God creates us with a purpose in mind and then (2) gives us His Word to instruct us (Psalm 119; Deuteronomy 6:4-12; Exodus 20) and to work in us (Joshua 1:8; Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17; Isaiah 55:11; 1 Thessalonians 2:13), which enables us to accurately reflect His image.
I am compiling a list of the wonderful things we are learning about God and will share about it soon – this is a great Family Project and I can’t wait to tell you more!
* The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible: Torah (#8451), Graphe (#1124), Logos (#3056)
** IVP Bible Background Commentary, 2 Timothy 3:14-17, pgs 629-630.