“I have no peace. All life is at the end of the tether,“ wrote the English writer and philosopher, H.G. Wells at age 61.
The poet Lord Byron admitted, “My days are in yellow leaf, the flowers and fruits of life are gone, the worm and the canker, and the grief are mine alone.”
The literary genius Thoreau opined “Most men live lives of quiet desperation.”
American artist and cartoonist, Barton, left this note pinned to his pillow before taking his own life: “I have had few difficulties, many friends, great successes; I have gone from wife to wife, from house to house, visited great countries of the world, but I am fed up with inventing devices to fill up twenty-four hours of the day.
These and other successful and famous people from various walks of life can attest that there is a relationship that makes life full, complete, and satisfying. Without that relationship, there is a void, a vacuum in life.
While I don’t agree with all of his theology, Rick Warren was right when he wrote in the Purpose Driven Life, “Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope.”
Warren’s book is subtitled, “What on Earth Am I Here for?” That’s a good question. One that philosophers have grappled with throughout the ages. Yet, The Bible reveals the Divine direction and purpose for our lives.
Our theme this year, “Let’s Renew in ’22,” challenges us to renew our purpose for living.
Purpose drives, directs and dictates our decisions. In every area and aspect of life. Socially. Vocationally. Financially. Relationally. And spiritually.
Having a noble purpose is what provides significance in life. C. H. Parkhurst was right when he wrote, “Purpose is what gives life meaning.” And the ultimate meaning and purpose in life is found in loving, obeying, and serving God.
The author of Acts, Luke, the physician penned this wonderful epitaph of King David’s life. “For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption.” (Ax 13:36).
This verse offers some simple, yet profound insights into life’s purpose. First, the only time you have is now. Today. Your generation. I’ve heard folks say, “I was born too late.” Or “I should have lived in an earlier time.” No. That’s ridiculous. God put you here today to serve your generation. Your friends. Family. Neighbors. And brethren.
Secondly, Luke reminds us that our lives must be built around and based on God’s purpose. In Ephesians chapter 1, Paul affirms that God’s purpose for us was predestinated in Jesus Christ. Salvation is in Jesus. Spiritual blessings are in Jesus. Our eternal inheritance is predicated on knowing Jesus and growing in our relationship with Him.
Thirdly, one day we are all going to die. So, we must serve God’s purpose in this life. There is no second chance. No reincarnation. No “do-overs.”
Knowing our true purpose in life reduces frustration. Increases motivation. And allows for greater consecration. It simplifies one’s life. And helps keep our eyes on the goal ahead. The ancient Roman philosopher Seneca expressed it this way, “When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.”
The Bible says that God has “saved us and called us with a holy calling” according to “his own purpose.” (Titus 1:9). In a general way, our purpose on earth is to glorify God, as He directs us, and to serve our fellow man. Specifically, we will each discover our purpose in God’s plan based on our own skills, talents, abilities, personality, opportunities, experiences, and passion.
If you’ve allowed your passion for God’s purpose to wane, now is the time to renew and revive it.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman