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Beginning With The End In Mind

Scripture

Ephesian 2:8-10

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Reflection

Every now and then I have the privilege of engaging with non-profit organizations around the topic of strategically planning their future. We always begin with the questions, “Why do you exist? Or, “What is your purpose, the difference you want to make in this world?” This is called “beginning with the end in mind.”

Ephesians 2 tells us that the gift of our salvation is given to us for a purpose, that we are “created in Christ Jesus to do good works.” Wow! So that’s our purpose? That is why we exist? Even in a pandemic?

Remarkably, there are good works that “God prepared in advance for us to do.” Through the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, God has prepared in advance the good works His people are to do. “Fine,” you say, “But how do we know what they are?”

Two thoughts:

1. Prayer: One possible prayer is asking God to help us see others and circumstances as He sees them. This prayer strips away our own prejudice and shortsightedness and opens ourselves to His wisdom and courage. Always, we need the Spirit’s help in discerning clearly what God wants us to do.

“It is through prayer that the scales fall from our eyes….” Barry Krammes

2. Discern: What is your purpose, the difference you want to make in this world? God has already prepared this purpose for us, but it is up to us, with the Spirit’s help, to fulfill it.

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Beginning with the end in mind is to begin today with the image, picture, or paradigm of the end of your life as your frame of reference or the criterion by which everything else is examined.” -Stephen R. Covey, from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

 

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