The Anabaptist Voice
Proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God: Love, Joy and Peace in Jesus.
Dear Family and friends,
Grace and peace
to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. It is already the middle of October and we
suppose where you are, there are many beautifully colored leaves you can
enjoy. Here in Tucson, we still feel
like summer time. There are no leaves
changing colors. And it was 95 degrees
We had a wonderful surprise last week. The doorbell rang, so Michi thought Naomi was coming home, and she told Don, “Naomi is here.” It was not Naomi, but it was Jim, our son! He did not tell us he was coming. He is living in Vancouver, B.C., CANADA. He has been traveling quite a bit these days to Europe, and Spain. It sure was a wonderful surprise. Thank you Jim, for coming.
We had wonderful fellowship with Jim. He is growing closer and closer to God, and it makes us enjoy each other more. Since Michi does not drive, Jim took her shopping. He also took Naomi to see her friend Mary, and then took her out shopping.
Don and Michi have been going for a walk before the sunrise these days. Jim went with us last Saturday. We were surprised there are 8 or 9 garage sales nearby and surprisingly were open 6:30 am. We found a huge stuffed bear and we thought it would be a wonderful gift for Naomi, since she has been crocheting stuffed animals for the past several months. She is making and giving. Making and giving… She can keep this one. Above is a photo of the one Naomi made and gave to the disabled man in the picture, and below is her gift from us.
Jim left on Saturday morning. He went to Florida. We were blessed to have him. Thank you, Jim.
Last Sunday we went again to Verde Heights Baptist Church that Naomi has been going to with her Adult Family Home caregivers. This week we visited the Sunday school that she’s been attending. We were blessed! That was the best Sunday school we have ever attended. The teacher’s questions are so alive and spiritual. We would like to be there again to learn more.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you. (2 Cor 13:14)
your brother and sister in Christ,
Don & Michi Murphy
Tucson, AZ, phone 520-297-1639
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 1 John 4:16
What Is Our Purpose In Life?
by Don Murphy
We all have an undeniable, universal need to experience worth and significance, a real purpose in life. All of us are driven by a desperate need to feel like we matter. We all feel empty unless we sense that our life serves an ultimate purpose. We have an inner craving to seek honor and glory.
Many strive to feel worth and significance by acquiring money, possessions, and power. Some try to get approval by being sexy, talented, or successful. Others convince themselves that they’re special to God because they believe all the right things and engage in all the right behaviors, unlike others who believe the wrong things and engage in wrong behaviors.
When we do not experience the worth and significance that we crave, this inner emptiness is manifested in anxiety or anger in some, in others it is a sense of alienation, or depression, or frustration or a relentless boredom or apathy towards life.
Our heavenly Father knows about our need to experience worth and significance, He created us with that need. And He offers us a solution to satisfy this hunger in our soul.
When we ask the question “What is my purpose in life?” we are asking the Lord God what does He expect of us. His answer is strongly written in both the Old and New Testament.
The Greatest Commandment
Our purpose in life is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength, and all our mind. And, to love our neighbor as our self. (Luke 10:27)
As we gradually achieve this purpose in our life, we gradually experience more and more of the love of the Lord, the joy of the Lord in our life, and we gradually experience the wonderful glory and honor that God has for us. (Romans 2:7) As we grow closer to the Lord, we begin to unite with Him and become one with Him.
Jesus explained how to achieve this purpose in our life in His parable of the Vine and the Branches in John 15:1-17 where His disciples are pictured as branches on a vine.
The Parable of the Vine and the Branches
Jesus is the vine and our heavenly Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of the vine that does not produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. We are being pruned and purified by the message Jesus has given us.
We are to abide in Jesus and He will abide in us. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and we cannot be fruitful unless we abide in Jesus.
Yes, Jesus is the vine; we are the branches. Those who abide in Jesus, and Jesus in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Jesus we can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in Jesus is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.
If we abide in Jesus and His words abide in us, we may ask for anything we want, and it will be granted!
When we produce much fruit, we are true disciples of Jesus. This brings great glory to our heavenly Father.
Jesus loves us just as the Father loves Jesus. So let us abide in His love. When we obey His commandments, we abide in His love, just as He obeys the Father’s commandments and abides in His love.
Jesus has told us these things so that we will be filled with His joy. Yes, our joy will overflow!
This is His commandment: Love each other in the same way Jesus loves us. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
We are friends of Jesus if we do what He commands. He no longer calls us servants, because a master doesn’t confide in his servants. Now we are His friends, since He has told us everything the Father told Him.
We didn’t choose Jesus. He chose us and He appointed us to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give us whatever we ask for, using the Name of Jesus.
This is His command: Love each other. (John 15:1-17)
All we, the Branch, have belongs to the Vine.
This parable of the Vine and the Branches teaches that every power of our being, every moment of our life, every thought and feeling that we have belong to Jesus so that from Him and for Him we may bring forth precious fruit.
We have but one thing to think of and to live for, and that is the will, the glory, the work, the kingdom of our blessed Lord, bringing forth of fruit to the glory of His name.
The Purpose of the Branch
The purpose of the vine and the branches is a single perfect union to produce fruit. Once we understand the marvelous nature of the vine and branch relationship, then we will focus on the primary purpose of the vine and the branch… to produce fruit!
Jesus is the vine, and through Him we are to bear the fruit for which the world waits. We are the branches, the recognition of the true purpose for which we are members of Christ, sharing His very nature, and His very life… that of fruit-bearing… bringing people into union with Christ.