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Capturing Purpose

Title: Capturing Purpose
Description: We asked a bunch of creative Christian photographers to capture a photo that defines their purpose. We were intrigued to find out what their views and perspectives were. Each of us has a different purpose in life, and use our skills, gifts, and interests to express it in different ways. However, at the heart of it all, there is one thing that ties our purpose together—our desire to glorify God’s name.

What is your purpose? How would you capture it?

 

Purpose Through Stillness

Photographed by: Cheryl (@cherrrrrz)

 

I often wonder what is God’s purpose in my life. Are my goals and decisions in line with His purpose?

When I witnessed the calm flow of the ocean, I was once again reminded of stillness. Being still before God’s presence has taught me that He is faithful and He has complete sovereignty over my life. I don’t have to worry about what lies ahead!  

I believe that God will guide the waves of our life by providing people and opportunities at every juncture. We only need to be still, have faith in Him and follow His leading to where we need to be.

 

 

The God-given Task

Photographed by: James (@ohsnapjames)

 

All of us strive to find purpose in our lives. We deem our lives meaningful when we find purpose in what we do, from our vocations to our families. In contrast, life can feel meaningless when we fail to fulfill a satisfying purpose.

When God created man in His image, He commanded them to work and care for His creation. He told them to procreate that His glory, as reflected in man, will fill the whole earth.

But it doesn’t stop there. For us who have received God’s grace through Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross, we have a greater purpose in our lives. Jesus commands us as His followers to go and make disciples of all nations. While God is glorified through the physical multiplication of man, He is also glorified through the spiritual multiplication of men who come to know, believe, and worship Him.

What is the purpose of my life then? It is to be a good steward of His creation, and play a part in the Great Commission to lead others to glorify Him and delight in Him too.

“Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)

 

 

Courage

Photographed by: Clara (@theperfectstatement)

 

At the beginning of the year, I contemplated whether I should pursue my dream of being a full-time photographer. But I was hesitant to share this with my family and friends for many reasons. I was afraid that I wasn’t good enough. I was fearful of criticism and failure.

One morning, I was running at MacRitchie Reservoir when I was greeted by a beautiful ray of sunlight. It seemed like a reflection of God’s love to me, reminding me that I can be courageous because He is with me. So I took this jump of faith to pursue my dream.

In this season of my life, I firmly believe that my purpose lies in wedding photography. I hope to connect hearts and capture the genuine emotions of my clients in my photographs. When times are tough, I hope that they will serve as a reminder to the couples of their commitment to each other.

It has been tough taking this step of faith as I do not enjoy a stable income like my friends who draw a monthly corporate salary. But God has been bringing in clients faithfully every month and providing for my needs–reminding me that I have nothing to worry about when I walk in step with Him.

 

 

 

 

Conversations

Photographed by: Joseph (@2eternity)

 

I captured this photo as I was witnessing an intense discussion between the three men. What I saw led me to question myself: Why don’t I engage people in such a manner more often? Am I afraid of offending people when I evangelise or speak the truth? Do I shun such conversations out of fear of rejection or strained relationships?

As a child of God, I am called to share Christ with others and to be a peacemaker. This knowledge gives me courage. By God’s strength and wisdom, I desire to speak of His love with grace in every season.

 

 

In Humble Awe

Photographed by: Joshua Ong (@joshieeeeee)

 

Does the grandeur of the mountains make you feel small but valued at the same time?

God created the universe meticulously. Likewise, He created us with the same meticulous care.

Shouldn’t this knowledge make us rejoice with every fibre of our being? Let us use each moment to bring glory and praise to the Creator who loves and cares for us.

 

 

Standing on this mountain top

Photographed by: Vania

 

Climbing a mountain is not my usual type of holiday activity. But I went ahead with it, wanting to feel a sense of achievement. I was determined to reach the top and prayed that God would help me in the climb.

I struggled on the way up but the view didn’t disappoint. As I stood on the mountain top, I felt like I was catching a glimpse of God and basking in His presence.

I’ve always known that God’s creation is beautiful, but it was my first time experiencing God so intimately in His creation.
“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3, ESV).

Like everyone else, my purpose for the climb was to reach the top and enjoy a great view. But I believe that God intended it for His purpose, that He may declare His existence and affirm me again as I strive to live a life of worship onto Him.

 

Fresh perspective

Photographed by Joash (@joashxleephoto)

 

Since I work as a photographer, my photography is limited to what I shoot for my clients as I rarely have time to take photos outside of work. It can be mundane at times and I constantly struggle to stay ahead in terms of creativity.

Going on a recent family trip to Japan gave me the time and space to explore new photography techniques and see things from different perspectives. More importantly, I was reminded that God is the original Creator and I can always look to Him for inspiration. These fresh viewpoints renewed my purpose in photography.

I used to put just enough effort into my shoots to deliver decently nice shots but now, I am motivated to deliver my best for my clients. When we enter a state of monotony, I believe that it is important to step back, take a break from the routine, and rediscover our purpose.

God will always be my source of creativity and I hope to continue glorifying Him through my photography.

 

Take a leaf out of the Bible

Title: Take A Leaf Out Of The Bible
Artwork by: Bonny (@lovetheark)
Description: Have you ever noticed how often plants are mentioned in the Bible? This project takes a deeper look into the significance of some of the plants recorded in the Bible. The next time you come across one of these plants, may it serve as a reminder of the truths we can learn from different scenes in the Bible.

 

Fig Leaf

Adam and Eve gave in to temptation and disobeyed God’s instructions in the Garden of Eden. Their eyes were opened to sin and in their shame, they used fig leaves to cover their nakedness. The perfect love relationship between God and man was broken.

‘But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”’ (Genesis 3:9). Despite their disobedience and the alienation they experienced with God after that, He sought them out and clothed them with garments of skin (Genesis 3:21).

In the same fashion, God has provided us with a covering through Jesus Christ. When we put our faith in Him, we stand justified and will never be put to shame (Romans 10:11).

 

Palm Branch

During the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, a massive crowd had spread palm branches on the road as they praised God and welcomed “King Jesus”. They thought that He would be the one to overthrow the Roman rule and deliver them from their oppression.

But today, we know that Jesus came to fulfill the Scripture—to deliver us from our sin through His death and give us eternal life by His resurrection. And He will come again to restore everything and declare His Kingship over all the earth.

As believers today with full knowledge of the true identity of Christ, do we anticipate His second coming with the same longing and joy?

 

Mustard Seed

Many of us worry that our faith seems too small, doubting that God acknowledges it. So we try means and ways to grow our faith, hoping that God would recognize it somehow.

However, our faith does not thrive when we focus on how much faith we have; it thrives when we focus on the object of our faith—Our Almighty God.

Even with faith as small as a mustard seed, He can accomplish His great purposes through us. Our faith is crucial not because it is great, but because He is. No matter how insufficient we think our faith is, let’s keep on praying, knowing that He hears our prayers.

 

Wheat

“Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:23-24).

Using an allegory that foreshadowed His death, resurrection and salvation plan, Jesus likened His body to a kernel of wheat that dies and produces a great harvest. In His grace and mercy displayed through His death, His sacrifice gives eternal life to all who believes in Him.

We can embrace the new and abundant life we now have in Christ. But this includes denying ourselves as we choose to follow Him. Self-denial is no easy task. No matter how hard it may be, may we always choose to live a life that bears fruit and honors Him.

 

 

Olive Branch

On the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, He went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. The word “Gethsemane” means “place of the olive press”—and that perfectly encapsulates the suffering that Christ had to endure for our sake.

May we always remember that our salvation came at the cost of Christ’s suffering, and respond with worship that is rooted in gratitude.

 

 

Wildflower

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!” (Luke 12:27-28)

God provides for the wildflowers and grass of the field much more than Solomon, Israel’s wealthiest king, could provide for himself. Likewise, He provides for His people—and much more!

Because of His complete knowledge of us and His faithful provision, we do not have to worry about our needs or what lies ahead of us. In seeking God’s Kingdom first, let us give of our time, possessions and talents generously and joyfully because in Him, we lack nothing (Psalm 23:1).

 

Faith, Trust & Hope

Title: Faith, Trust & Hope
Artwork by: Kristen Stansell (@crafted.by)

 

Faith is knowing that God exists and we can follow Him.

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Growing up in a Christian environment, I had a lot of knowledge about God. But there came a time when I wanted to seek God out for myself.

Who is He? Does He really love me as He says in His Word?

For a time, I chose to live my life according to my whims and fancies rather than God’s truth. And my life eventually hit rock bottom. In my despair and hopelessness, I cried out to God for help. He met me where I was and has turned my life around since then.

Don’t be afraid to cry out to God and ask Him to reveal Himself to you.

 

Trust is knowing that God is sovereign and His ways are higher than ours.

When we know who Jesus is, we can trust in His Word and His plans for our lives.

Sometimes, we may ask God for the same thing over and over again. We may demand for it immediately, refusing to wait any longer. But God might say:

“Not today. Trust Me. I know things that you don’t. It’s not time for you to have this.”

It is hard for us to comprehend why He withholds certain things from us, especially when others are enjoying those very things we have asked for. At times, we may think that He is punishing us when He says “no” or “not now”.

But as it says in Isaiah 55:8-9:

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”

Let’s strive to be faithful and trust Him to order each step of our lives. He knows what’s best for us. 

 

 

Hope is knowing that God is faithful and His promises are true.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)

God doesn’t want us to be overwhelmed by our anxieties. When circumstances begin to weigh us down, He wants us to remember that we can always place our hope in Him and His promises.

Let us bring our requests to Him with thanksgiving and praise. As we praise God for who He is and what He has done on the cross, we can trust that His faithfulness will see us through our circumstances and our every need.

 

Editor’s Picks: Top 3 Articles | Apologetics

All of us have grappled with doubts and questions about God.

Why should I believe in God? How can I trust the Bible? If Christianity is true, how do we make sense of the brokenness that we see?

These questions reveal our deepest fears and struggles, as well as the deepest desires of our hearts—for purpose, identity and belonging. For some, these questions make it difficult for them to trust God. For others, these questions help strengthen their faith as they examine the evidence for what they believe in.

We may never get the answers to all our questions—but there are some fundamental truths that we can be certain of. Here are our top three articles on Apologetics, exploring some of the biggest and most common questions we all have about Christianity.

 

1. What If Christianity Was A Lie?

Although I’ve been a Christian for a long time—and brought up as one—I must admit that I have occasionally toyed with the questions: What if Christianity was a lie? What if everything I believed in turned out to be untrue? What if there was really no God or Jesus, and I had been believing in nothing all this time? What would it mean for me? What would I do?

 

2. Why Did God Create A World That He Knew Was Going To Go Wrong Eventually?

Why didn’t God “delete” the earth and start all over again? After all, another six days’ work wouldn’t have been too difficult, would it? Of course, you could argue that knowing man, Creation 2.0 would probably have gone down the same route, anyway. So the question is, why did God bother at all? Why create a world that He knew was going to go wrong eventually?

 

3. If God Is Good, Why Is There So Much Evil And Suffering?  

The question about evil and suffering has no easy answer because it is not about logical possibilities or impossibilities. Rather, it is an issue of the heart—we want to understand why people go through various difficulties. In fact, to hear the cries of help and feel burdened is a good thing, because it reveals a side of our humanity.

 

 

BONUS: Why Do Some People Believe All Religions Lead To the Same God?  

The idea that truth is exclusive is deeply upsetting to many. We cherish the liberty to decide for ourselves what is true and what is not; at the same time, we demand that others be truthful to us. We tend to place more value on how we feel, or whether something works for us, than on whether it is actually true. What then are some of the reasons that have led many to conclude that all religions lead to the same God?