“Are you stumbling toward an uncertain future,” asks author John Mason in his little book Conquering An Enemy Called Average. Mason then offers this challenge.
“First, concentrate on finding your purpose, then concentrate on fulfilling it. Having a powerful why will provide you with the necessary how.”
American author Robert Byrne was right when he wrote, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” However, too often the problem is that most people begin at the wrong place–ourselves. Our goals. Our dreams. Our success.
Since we’re made in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27), He has created within us a spark of the Divine nature. A void that can only be truly satisfied through our spiritual quest, developing a relationship with Him, and pleasing Him by fulfilling His purpose for our lives.
The Bible says it’s in Jesus Christ that we discover and achieve our ultimate purpose in life. “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Eph. 1:11).
The Message, which is a contemporary paraphrase, puts it this way. “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living.”
So, what’s God’s purpose for us in Jesus Christ?
(1) He wants us to belong to His spiritual Family.
We’re not made to go it alone. We need community. Comradeship. And connection. Jesus said, “You must be born again (Jn. 3:3-5). This spiritual birth puts us into a spiritual family, called the church. (I Pet. 1:22-23; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:19-22).
In that relationship, we enjoy fellowship with like-minded Believers. A place to belong. To grow. Receive encouragement. And experience a special togetherness that will help you to become more than you ever could be by yourself.
(2) He desires our devotion through worship.
Within each of us is an inborn desire to worship. Recently my wife and I visited the Machu Picchu exhibit at the Boca Raton Museum. As you explore the traditions of this 15th-century Peruvian culture of the Inca Empire, you soon realize the scope of their worship was based on the environment. Their deities involved thunder, the moon, the sun, and even certain animals. Sadly, they never came to know the one true God of the Bible. But the point is they sought to worship something or someone.
The Psalmist said, “Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together.” (Ps. 34:3). Paul said he desired to magnify God in his body either in life or death.
While we may not worship idols, animals, or the cosmos, it’s possible to become wrapped up in our selfish interests and allow money, material possessions, sports, or our careers to become the object of our worship.
God seeks our worship, not just on Sunday, but every day.
(3) He calls us to become like Christ.
“Follow Me,” Jesus challenged His first disciples. But He made it clear that following Him was not just literally in His footsteps crisscrossing Palestine but emulating His example. Building a Christ-like character. And being transformed by His Truth.
Peter penned “To this, you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps”(1 Pet 2:21).
Our spiritual maturity in Christ is not so much measured by how much we learn, but by how we live.
(4) He expects us to serve the needs of others.
The Bible says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (I Pet 4:10).
Ministry is not reserved for someone in the church we call “the minister.” Rather, God expects every Christian to use his or her gifts, talents, skills, and abilities to meet the needs of both fellow Christians and our fellow man. Elton Trueblood expressed it this way, “If you are a Christian, then you are a minister. A non-ministering Christian is a contradiction in terms.”
(5) He commissions us to be His messenger.
The ultimate mission God purposed for His people is to take the Good News of Jesus to a lost and sin-sick world. To make known His love. To shine His light. To proclaim the hope of eternal life in Him. It’s called the great commission ￼(Mk. 16:15-16; Ax. 1:8).
Do you need to redefine your purpose? Revive your purpose? Renew your purpose?
Remember this: “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Prov. 19:21).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman