If you’re reading this article, chances are it is because you’ve been giving thought to one of life’s greatest questions: What is my purpose? At some point in our journey we all get to that place where we begin asking ourselves questions like: “Is this all there is?”, or “Surely there’s more to life than this?” The difference is, you’re not only asking the questions, but you’re taking the time to reflect in pursuit of an answer.
Random or Reason
There are a lot of potential sources one can look to for answers, but I believe the best place to start is with God. What does God have to say about your purpose? Regardless of your beliefs about God, it would be hard to think of God acting randomly. If God isn’t random, but rather intentional in all that he does, than you can logically conclude that he created you for a reason, and that your life does have meaning and purpose. Consider the following verse from the Bible: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)
Think about what these words are saying. Not only are you created by God to do good works, but that the purposes for your life existed before you did. In other words, God had specific purposes in mind, and in order for those purposes to be fulfilled he created YOU! It’s amazing to think that God has purposes in mind for which each one of has been uniquely created.
First Things First
One of the problems that we face when trying to understand God’s purposes is that we try to know God’s purposes before knowing God. If one doesn’t have a personal relationship with God, is it reasonable to expect that we can know his purposes? Probably not.
The verses immediately preceding the one quoted above say this: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)
Grace, by definition means receiving approval or favor when it’s not deserved. The grace God gives changes everything. Here’s why.
Do & Done
If we’re honest, most of us would say that the reason God should accept me, or that I will go to heaven when I die, is because I’m a good person. We have this mental image of God keeping score of our good deeds and our bad deeds, and as long as we have more marks in the good column than the bad at the end of our life, we are “okay with God”, and we will go to heaven when we die.
Fortunately for us, God isn’t about keeping score, and his acceptance of you and me isn’t based on our ability to be “good enough”. If God were keeping score, none of us would measure up to His perfection or standards. When we make knowing God about performance, or being good enough, all we’re really doing is pursuing religion. The reality is, God doesn’t want religion from us, he wants relationship with us. Listen to what God says: “I don’t want your sacrifices- I want your love; I don’t want your offerings—I want you to know me.” (–Hosea 6:6 TLB) So how can we know God?
When Jesus Christ came to earth as God, he lived and loved perfectly. Every word he spoke, every thought he had, every action he took, was right, pure and loving. He was perfect. And through his death on a cross, he would become the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. The Bible says: “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
(-2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT)
Having a relationship with God isn’t about what I must do, it is about what Christ has already done. Christ has made a way, and the pressure for us to perform or be good enough is off. To know God we simply receive Christ’s forgiveness by faith.
The Bible says: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
(Romans 10:9-10 ESV)
If you have never made a commitment to follow Christ, let me encourage you to take that step today. If it is your desire to know God and his purposes for your life, you can pray a prayer similar to this (Remember, it’s not so much about saying the right words, as having a right heart):
“God, thank you for creating me, and making a way for me to know you. I have made so many mistakes and committed so many sins, but I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins, and I’m asking you to forgive me now. Lord Jesus, please come into my life that I might live for you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.”
From & For
If you’ve prayed this prayer, I want you to know how excited I am for you. This is a great step in your journey, and you’ll want to share it with others. It is amazing to think of all that Christ saves us from: a life without hope, our sin, death, and hell. It is equally amazing to think of all that Christ has saved you for: a life of loving, serving, and giving…a life of purpose!
If you’ve made a commitment to follow Christ and would like to know more about how to grow in your with relationship Him, please let me know. We want to share in your journey and help you discover all that God has for you.
Enjoy the Journey,