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    What does the phrase ‘fullness of life’ bring to your mind? Before you read on any further, I’d invite you to stop, close your eyes and ask yourself this question: ‘In what situations in my life have I felt fully alive?’ I invite you to stop and do that right now – pause, close your eyes and take a couple of minutes to reflect back over your life.

    I wonder what stories and situations came to mind? As you reflect on those stories, I wonder whether you can see a theme that is common across all your stories? This theme is what we would call your ‘personal purpose’. When we live out of purpose, we experience an inner joy and energy and a ‘fullness of life’ which is why we feel truly alive in those situations. Your personal purpose has always been there in your life but you may never have clarified exactly what it is. Understanding your purpose helps you answer the question, ‘Why am I on this planet?’


    Every one of us is designed in God’s image with an inner ache to find meaning and purpose in our lives – to be able to experience those moments when we feel fully alive. Through our reading of scripture and our experiences in life we realise that we can’t find meaning and purpose in our lives through self-centred pursuits but rather as we give away who we are in service to God and others:

    ‘For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’ – Eph 2:10 (NLT)

    ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ – Jesus

    ‘God has planted eternity in the human heart’ – Eccles 3:11 (NLT)

    Of course, we are all invited to be a part of God’s ‘Great Purpose’ of making disciples of all people groups and in doing so to bring Glory to God. But how each of us best lives that out will depend on who God has designed us to be – we each uniquely bear His image – so it is really helpful for each one of us to be able to answer the question, ‘Who am I?’ because it is only in the measure that we understand, accept and love ourselves that we can offer love to our neighbours and experience fullness of life.

    For me, I know that my ‘personal purpose’ on this planet is ‘enabling insight’. This is the thread that joins together all my stories of when I have felt fully alive – whether that has been in leading a Bible study or training customers on a piece of software where at the end of the day they would say, ‘Wow! We never realised what this software could do for us, you’ve really opened our eyes!’ Or as I do now, mentoring owners of Business As Mission companies and in running personal development workshops that help people answer that question ‘Who am I?’ for themselves.

    There are, of course, many other aspects to who we are as unique human beings made in the image of God. For example, our name, what we like, what we value, skills we have, our personality etc. These are all things that help us understand ourselves and enable us to answer the question ‘Who am I?’ However, in my experience uncovering your ‘personal purpose’ is truly transformative and life giving. I have had people say to me ‘Wow! If I can do this for the rest of my life that would be amazing!!’.

    Once you understand your purpose, the essence of what brings you truly alive, you can ask yourself the question: ‘How can I create more opportunities to live out of my purpose?’.


    When you read the title of this article, I’m sure many of you will immediately have thought of John 10:10 where Jesus says:

    ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ John 10:10 (NIV)

    Indeed, no human being becomes truly fully alive until being re-born through faith in Jesus and receiving the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is the context of what Jesus is saying in this chapter of John.

    But let us add alongside that another set of wellknown verses that express how Jesus expects his fully alive followers to be experienced by other people around them:

    ‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’ – Matt 5:14-16

    When I consider these verses I ask myself the question: ‘Is every light the same?’ No, of course not, because we are all an individual masterpiece of God’s creation. So, in the context of these verses I like to think of each of us as adding a different type/colour/shape/spectrum of light in our world. For each of us that type/colour/shape/spectrum of light is an expression of ‘who we are’ so that those around us experience our unique life-giving light. We each have a unique God-given way of blessing other people as we reflect God’s light and in doing so, we ourselves feel blessed.

    Unfortunately, our light often doesn’t shine as brightly as we would like because we are not yet perfected as God intends us to be. We all have ‘blind spots’ in our behaviour – things about us that other people often notice but we can’t see ourselves. We need to be transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives so that we better reflect the image of Jesus in us:

    ‘Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.’ – Rom 12:2a (NLT)

    ‘And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image’. – 2 Cor 3:18 (NLT)

    The more we become like Jesus, the stronger our light will shine and the greater ‘fullness of life’ we will experience. But this takes work and being intentional about our own personal development and growth – we need to welcome the Holy Spirit bringing revelation to our ‘blind spots’ but sadly we often prefer to remain blind.


    Each of us desires fullness of life and Jesus has provided us with the keys of how this happens. So, in the personal development workshops we run, participants are taken on their own journey of discovery. The goal of the workshop is personal transformation to enable people to walk into deeper fullness of life. And in doing so be drawn closer to their creator.

    Recent participants have said:

    “I’ve realised that when you have something that you really believe in and you work on that with love and you surround yourself with the right people that have the same beliefs that you have then great things can really happen in your life. I have a gift and I need to find a way to give it away to others so people will have the same joy I have right now.”

    It was a self-discovery journey for me. I have rediscovered myself.

    The workshop set me on a track that would have been unthinkable 10 years ago. There is so much to say and an email couldn’t ever explain how life changing it has been for me and many others affected by my life choices since the course.”

    My greatest personal insight, and I have been inspired by all of you, is that I want to find something to do in my life that really counts to help people. I now understand the shapes of who I really am and I’ve discovered that I am a really valuable person – which I never thought was possible.

    I wonder, do you still see ‘fullness of life’ in the same way? Would you like to discover your ‘personal purpose’? What would it look like for you to engage more intentionally in your own personal development so as to become more like Christ? Are you shining as brightly as you might?

    By an Interserve partner in the Great Britain and Ireland team

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