Discovering Purpose

What if our life was about greater purpose than we often realize? How would knowing that purpose change our direction?


Jon Gordon, in an article titled “Working for a Bigger Purpose” wrote the following:


“I believe there’s a flawed perception in our society that in order to live a life of purpose we have to leave our jobs and go solve world hunger, feed the homeless, move to Africa, or start a charity. While these are all noble, needed causes with many who are called to do these very things, for others of us our bigger purpose can be found in the here and now, in the jobs we have, right under our noses. And when we find and live this purpose, it will provide the ultimate fuel for a meaningful life.” [1]


I would agree with Mr. Gordon. I also believe many of us struggle with finding purpose in our lives.


LIGHT


As Christians, you and I have been given one of the greatest purposes we can have. In fact, I don’t know if there is a higher purpose we can be called to. Christians are called to share the hope of Christ with others. Christians are called to share the good news of Jesus with those around us. Christians are called to live out the gospel of Christ in our lives.


Matthew 5: 14-16 (NKJV)

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”


Jesus describes Himself as the “Light of the world” (ref. Jn. 8: 12). It is not a small thing that He speaks of His disciples, those who follow after Him as light. Christians shine forth the light of Christ, the hope and truth of the gospel. What greater purpose can be given than to shine forth the glorious news of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus!

The apostle Paul wrote, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10). As Christians, our purpose is to live out our lives walking in His good works. As we do, the light of Christ’s goodness, His truth, is seen in our lives. As we shine forth His truth, we point others to our Father in heaven so they, together with us, can glorify Him. Is there a higher calling for our lives?


VOCATION


Here is where I think Mr. Gordon is absolutely correct. Most of us tend to think, "I’m just a homemaker or an accountant." or "I’m a carpenter or a project manager." What we often fail to do is connect our vocation with our mission.

 

What we often fail to do is connect our vocation with our mission.

 

Everything we do is, at some level, an investment in the lives of others. As we wake up and head off to work or as I set out to make our house a home, this is what we need to remember, I am investing in the lives of others. What do I want them to know? What do I want them to see? I want them to see Jesus, I want them to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. I want them to know the One who gave all to redeem a fallen, broken, and hurting world.


In (Acts 9) we are told about a woman named Tabitha. She was known for her “good works and charitable deeds” (ref. Acts 9: 36). When she died, the apostle Peter was not far away from where she was. The community sent two men and implored Peter to come to them. Peter did, and the Scriptures record this woman was raised from the dead. Because of this, many believed in Christ.


As we read this account, we need to be careful not to overlook the life of Tabitha. She made tunics and garments for the widows of her community (ref. Acts 9: 39). These are the ones that called for Peter. Tabitha was investing in the lives of people.


Because she had invested so much and made such an impact, Peter was called. As Peter prayed, her life was restored. Hearing and seeing this, many believed in the Lord. Without the investment, would Peter have been called? What about those who believed in the Lord? I don’t know what we can say. But what we do know is because of her investment in the lives of others, Peter was called on this day.


We need to connect our vocation to our mission. As Christians, we are doing more than just heading out to a job. We are working to carry forward Christ’s mission. We are working to restore a fallen and broken world. We are working to invest in the lives of others.

THE BODY


In considering "church," I think we have a tendency to focus on the Sunday morning assembly and less on our day-to-day lives. Christians are the church, at all times and not just at certain times. However, as Christians we are connected to a larger body (ref. Eph. 1: 22-23), we are connected to His church.

 

Christians are the church, at all times and not just at certain times.

 

1 Corinthians 12: 12-14

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.


How does His body, the church, carry forward the mission of Christ as one? There are many things we could consider. Let me just provide a few ways in which we carry forward His mission as the body of Christ.


Worship


When we come together as the Lord’s church, His body, part of the reason we come together is so that we can worship the Lord. In our worship, we have the opportunity to both sing and proclaim the Lord’s greatness as well as to build one another up through our words.


The apostle Paul in (Eph. 5), speaking about being filled with the Spirit, says we are “children of light” (ref. Eph. 5:8). The fruit of the Spirit, as Paul records, is “all goodness, righteousness, and truth.” As Christians, as children of light, we are to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. In contrast, our lives are to be filled with the Spirit. Paul recorded:


Ephesians 5: 17-21