It was really warm in Washington, D.C. this weekend and I was glad to find a cool spot to sit down when we reached the Jefferson Memorial.  Jim and I had been invited to the capitol city by a friend, so that we could attend an important dinner at an ambassador’s home.  It was an interesting evening in a room full of interesting people.  Before we attended the dinner, we spent the afternoon at the National Mall, revisiting the historic sites.  I heard some interesting discussions by the speakers at the dinner, but the words that I came home thinking about were from the Jefferson Memorial.  As I sat on that cool bench, reading one of Thomas Jefferson‘s quotations, I understood my Kingdom purpose.  Do you know yours?

Your Kingdom purpose is the service God has gifted you to perform, that has eternal value.  More specifically, your Kingdom purpose is that thing you do, that you don’t do – but that God does through you.  When last did you see God at work in your life, and the end result was people encountered God in their own lives?  Chances are, the answer to that question is your Kingdom purpose.

Jefferson Memorial, the panel of the northwest interior wall is an excerpt from A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, 1777, except for the last sentence, which is taken from a letter of August 28, 1789 to James Madison (Credit: Cliff1066 via Flickr)Here are the words I read on the wall of the Jefferson Memorial, that voiced why I get up and go to work each week:


“Almighty God hath created the mind free. All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens…are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion…No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively.”

Almighty God created us with free will – with a mind that is free to believe anything it chooses.  Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  Jim and I have come to expect this question:  “Now what is it you two are doing now?”  It was easy for people to understand our ministry when it was about pastoring a local church.  I often say that God has called Jim out of the church in order to minister to the Church, the body of believers.  Jefferson’s quote gave me some clarification this weekend.  Our mission field is no longer defined by a building and those that do, or should, attend it.  Our mission field is the American mind.  Our Kingdom purpose is to speak, teach, write and help people to think and act with biblical values.

God hath created the mind free . . . I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively.” 

The religion of Thomas Jefferson is the subject of debate.  I’ll leave that to God’s divine judgment.  It is difficult to know if Thomas Jefferson trusted Jesus as his Savior, it is simple to know that he trusted Jesus’ wisdom.  Thomas Jefferson once said, “I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.”  Jefferson felt that the morality found in Scripture should be the moral code of any society, especially a society that had been given the freedom to think and act according to their personal values.  You will see biblical values upheld throughout the Constitution of the United States.

The dinner we attended on Friday evening was an interfaith group that is working to bring people of all faiths to a table of common good – a shared sense of morality, even if they don’t share the same faith. Thomas Jefferson would have agreed with the value of having such a room.  He said:

“If the morality of one man produces a just line of conduct in him acting individually, why should not the morality of one hundred men produce a just line of conduct in them acting together?” –Thomas Jefferson to J. Madison, 1789.

I want the citizens of our country to live and think with biblical morality, even if they don’t live with biblical faith.  I believe that way of thinking would promote our best life on earth.  But I won’t ignore my Kingdom purpose because our life on earth is just a small part of our existence.  I want people to know Jesus – so they can have eternal life.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

What is your Kingdom purpose?  Don’t rest until you know the answer.  That answer is the way you will influence others to know Christ and think biblically.  That should be your motivation to go to work this week as well.

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