Why are you here? Why didn’t God take you to heaven the moment you trusted Jesus?

You may answer these questions with ease because your life-purpose is clear. Some struggle to answer; their purpose is foggy at best.

“Who am I? Why am I here?” are revealing purpose-questions. Many of us re-visit them between Christmas and New Year’s Day each year. We ask ourselves, “Have I lived according to my purpose this year? What should I continue doing and what should I change in the next 12 months? Do I need to make adjustments to realign my life with my God-given purpose?”


Throughout December my blog has focused on the Bonus Gifts we received at the moment of salvation. Prior to Christmas, we discussed three.

  • Bonus Gift #1: Direct access to the Father through prayer.
  • Bonus Gift #2: The two greatest prayer partners—Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
  • Bonus Gift #3: God’s constant presence in our lives.

I hope these bonus blessings encourage your faith as much as they do mine. Let’s conclude the 2017 edition of the “President’s Ponderings” with:


Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12). When you believed on Jesus, He gave the gift of purpose. He invited you to join Him in His work.

Some imagine only a few “special” believers can join God in His work. These rare servants are pastors, evangelists, church planters, worship leaders, college and seminary professors, international missionaries, and denominational leaders. While these believers have accepted God’s invitation to join Him in His work, they are only a small portion of those Jesus addressed.

Look again. Jesus says, “He who believes in Me,” can join Me in My work. That includes every believer.

Henry Blackaby was right: “God is always at work around you. When you see Him working, it is His invitation for you to join Him.” At the moment you turned to Jesus in faith, He not only saved you from sin, He gave you a new purpose in life—joining Him in His work on earth.

A pastor, a plumber, or a paralegal can join God’s work. Ditto if you are a minister, a mechanic, or a machinist. You can experience the joy of serving the Lord as a deacon, a doctor, or a dairy farmer. Whatever your occupation, God’s purpose for you is to join Him in His work.

Several years ago I met a man in Dallas, Texas. As we got acquainted, I asked, “So, what do you do?”

“I serve the Lord,” he said.

“Oh, that’s great. What church do you pastor?”

“I’m not a pastor.”

“Are you a traveling evangelist?”


“Okay … a music minister?”

“No. I don’t sing,” he said, “but I get it. You want to know how I eat?”

“What?” I was a bit confused.

“You’re asking me how I get paid.”

“Yes!” I said. Finally, we were getting somewhere.

“I do carpentry, but that’s not who I am. I am a servant of the Lord. Every day I ask the Lord to show me how I can serve Him. Whether I’m working with wood, or telling someone about Jesus, I am the Lord’s servant.”

I’ve never forgotten that conversation! The man understood that Jesus had given him a new life-purpose. The same is true for you. If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, He has given you a purpose—joining Him in His work. May I encourage you to take some time today? Ask yourself, “Am I fulfilling my God-given purpose?”

Regularly, I evaluate myself. I spend some time alone and consider whether or not I am fulfilling God’s primary purpose for my life. It’s a simple process. I evaluate how I’m using the time, talents, and treasures God has entrusted to me. I pray through these 3 T’s, and needed adjustments become clear. Then, in prayer, I seek the Lord’s help in making the adjustments. I depend on His guidance, strength, and provision for joining Him in His work.


As you contemplate ways to fulfill God’s purpose in your life, please ask the Father if involvement with NEBC is part of His plan for you. He may lead you to pray consistently for the college. A special year-end gift to NEBC may be a part of His plan. Maybe He will lead you to make a short-term mission trip to NEBC. He might lead you to tell your friends and family about the opportunities to make a gospel-impact on the Northeast through NEBC.

Whatever our Lord leads you to do, do it! Join Him in His work. You will be blessed; you will experience God’s supernatural favor on your life. What better way could you conclude 2017?

With Great Anticipation,

Dr. Mark H. Ballard