January 1st is not observed as New Year’s Day in Afghanistan but as the birthday of many Afghans who don’t know when they were born. Until recently, Afghans had little reason to keep track of their birthdays, but once westerners arrived, birthdays became important. Since January 1st is easy to recall, most choose that day as their birthday. In truth, none of us chooses when or where we are born, nor who our parents will be. Yet all these help shape our identity. Plus we all arrive on earth with inner abilities that help determine our purpose. Some discover their purpose by trial and error. But those who rely on God can ask and receive His help to know their purpose and find joy through life. The best example for living out one’s purpose is God’s Son. He devoted Himself to always do His Father’s will. In Luke Chapter 4 we find Jesus being asked to stay in town to help more people. He refused, saying “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent.” Doing God’s will gave Him His highest joy. It can be our highest joy also.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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