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Seeing the Forest
Theme of the Week: Finding Your Purpose
Monday, March 17, 2014

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Key Bible Verses: "Don't you grasp what has happened? Don't you understand? Are your hearts so resistant to what God is doing? Don't you have eyes? Why can't you see? Don't you have ears? Why can't you hear? Don't you remember?" (Mark 8:17-18, CEB)

Dig Deeper: Mark 8

We all know the familiar expression, "He can't see the forest for the trees." It is used to describe a person who is so absorbed in the things right in front of him that he has lost a sense of the bigger picture. I believe this is exactly what has happened to many Christians in the 21st century—we have become so absorbed by the "trees" of our everyday lives that we have lost a sense of the bigger story within which our lives take place. We grow up, go to school, begin careers, get married, have kids, and struggle daily with life's challenges. If we are ever truly going to find purpose and meaning in our lives, we first have to rise above the trees to rediscover the forest—we have to understand what God is doing in the world and how we fit in.

Fortunately, as Christians we have a way out of this dilemma. If God is the Author of the bigger story within which our own stories take place, if he is the Creator of the forest in which we all walk, then we can find the deepest meaning and purpose of our lives only when we discover the role he uniquely created for us to play in his bigger purpose. [continued 3/18]

—Richard Stearns in Unfinished

My Response: What are some daily distractions that keep me from seeing the bigger picture?

Adapted from Unfinished by Richard Stearns (Thomas Nelson, 2014) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Sovereign King of the universe, captivate me with such a powerful vision of the hope of the gospel that I cannot help but share it.

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March 17, 2014  11:26am

I agree it is all to easy to not see the big picture (eternity with Jesus) why wearing this flesh that wars with my spirit. I most definitely need to renew my mind all the time everyday. I am really glad God didn't leave me to myself, but has put me in Christ, thus taking my flesh out of the way. Thank you God in Lord Jesus

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Patrick Hogan

March 17, 2014  6:55am

Today's devotion touches on the exact reason that I try to start every morning in the Word -- even if for just a few minutes. For me, at least, it is a challenge every day to avoid getting caught up in the rat race, to avoid being drawn into the little problems and stresses of every day life, that I start to lose focus on God's big picture and my role within it. Once you lose focus on the big picture and start to pay attention solely to jobs and bills and media and emails, life fills up with anxiety and despair, and it becomes easier to turn away from Christ. That's not how I want to live my life.

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Randy Kimmel

March 17, 2014  6:16am

I am distracted with my everyday life. Focusing in the here and not looking ahead and always being rushed and always being connected with mobile technology, I have a difficult time hearing what God is saying. I am blinded by the fact that there are so many things grabbing my attention, that if course it's easy to lose direction and purpose. I keep hearing, "be still and know that I am God."

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