Developing a Purpose

(Sermon 080110 Church of the Foothills)

(Psalm 57; 138:7-8; Prov. 19:21; John 15; Romans 8; 12:1-3; Phil. 2:1-18)

Psalm 57:1-2

 1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. 2 I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills {his purpose} for me.

Proverbs 19:21

 21 Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Matthew 6:33

33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

There was a sign on a business door in 1963 that said: “Gone out of business. Didn’t know what our business was.” 

The question for us is, do we know what our business is? Our business of being in Christ and being His instruments of praise and reflection? Refection, as the moon reflects the sun, so we reflect the S.O.N…Our business of receiving His mercy and grace so now we have a reason to prevail in life, have a purpose?

Purpose, or otherwise said with adjectives is our reason for being, the point of our existence, the general idea of what do I do now with my life, our principle function, our rationale of why we exist (existential), our chief function (confessional), our intention and what use are we for anyway. Basically, this all means knowing who we are in Christ and what He has done for us, then acting out our relationship and redemption by being obedient to God’s will. It is the pursuit of God, the following of Jesus as Lord, so He becomes the driving force, inspiration, motivation, and reason for all we do in life. That is, we devote our life, character, virtue, Spiritual Gifts, abilities, and call so the best can be realized in all people and used in all situations. What use are we? A fantastic, dynamic and wondrous and formable use for God’s Glory, we are and we can be even more!

Do we have this Purpose working? To many Christians today are so preoccupied by the trivialities and stress’s of life, we miss the main thing. We act as though our needs and comfort were the chief requirements of life, or we are so imprisoned by our hurts and fears we do nothing. But if we are a Christian we have Christ, the Sovereign LORD of the universe giving us His mercy, seeking to direct our path, a God we can take refuge and comfort, so all that we need to make us really happy and content is realizing we are compete in Christ and we have Him to be enthusiastic about, we can pursue His Rightiouness.

This is the meaning of life stuff…by the way, the meaning of life is not about career, money, or power; it is about relationships, with God, with others, and developing faith and character. These are the only real things you can take with us that echo into eternity. 

ILL: I am from Monterey and lived, literally on a golf course, the 6th hole of Del Monte Golf course… when golf was brand new, One of golf’s immortal moments came when a Scotchman (they invented golf, you know that get a way or what Mark Twain said a walk well wasted)… he demonstrated the new game to President Ulysses Grant. Carefully placing the ball on the tee, he took a mighty swing. The club hit the turf and scattered dirt all over the President’s beard and surrounding vicinity, while the ball placidly waited on the tee. Again the Scotchman swung, and again he missed. Our President waited patiently through six tries and then quietly stated, “There seems to be a fair amount of exercise in the game, but I fail to see the purpose of the ball.  (Campus Life. )

What happens when we do not have a grasp on purpose? Apathy, Meaningless Pursuits, Idleness, and a Lack of Direction in Life, we become the ball that sites placidly on the tee…these are the opposites of our Lord and what He has for us. Apathy and misplaced priorities will have us Running from the call of our Lord will only leave us bankrupt and destitute spiritually as well as leaving us with no meaning in life, while those around us are dirty and confused what we are doing.

When we seek to fill our life with meaningless pursuits instead of seeking God, or dwelling on what someone did or did not do, especially as Christians, it will cause major stress and trouble in every aspect of our relationships, career, and life in general.

Remember,  there were Two people who betrayed Jesus after the Last Supper, one was restored because he repented, but Judas was not willing to abide; thus when his time came, he failed. His purpose became self-focused rather than Christ-focused, causing him to betray his Lord and a refusal to reset himself onto the Lord as Peter did. So, he fell away spiritually and literally.

Purpose in Scripture is usually stated as seeking after God or after God’s heart. This is not about salvation, because in salvation, it is God who seeks us. Rather, Purpose is our determination to place Christ first and foremost in our lives and allow Him to lead. If you ever took a gander at the Pauline Epistlers, Paul was a man of purpose, a man on a mission from God. He knew who he was in Christ and he knew in what direction God was leading him. Without argument or fear, Paul ventured forward in the purpose God had for him (2 Tim. 1:8-12).

He is a prime example for us today! Examples of the opposite of this were the wicked kings in Israel who sought their own plans and ways. They sought idols, neglecting and even fighting against the God who saved and redeemed them. We can see a clear pattern in the books of First and Second Kings where the kings who sought God were blessed and the people prospered. When the kings sought themselves and idols, they became wicked and evil, and the people suffered. (Remember, the people also had the choice to serve God; their punishments came to them by their own will and hand. There is never an excuse to negate our Lord! (1 Tim. 2:1-7))

A lot has been said about what the purpose or meaning of life is. Some say the purpose is up to each person to figure out, like the character Curly on City Slickers, that crusty old cowboy that Mitch, Billy Crystal’s character who was about a man dealing (poorly) with a midlife crisis sought so hard to gain his approval. And once he did, he asked Curly what he felt life was about, and Curly raised his index finger and said, “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean (shit) poo. Then Mitch asked, “But, what is the “one thing?” and Curly smiles and points his finger at Mitch, That’s what you have to find out. Which would leave a normal person more confused… and dirty…

Then there are others who say it is what people do after they find out what their interests are. It is not enough just to live; we have to have something to live for, a hope and a direction that is imbedded in us as a prime purpose. This is how people succeed in life and business…this is what you will pay thousands of dollars for a private conversation with Tony Robbins, this is exactly what he will tell you…This is somewhat true…But, Jesus gives us a better and clear picture of His purpose for us, which is to acknowledge Him as LORD and worship Him. He is our meaning; He is our purpose (Matt. 16:13-20; John 14-15  As, 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ,[a] the Son of the living God.”).

Having a purpose in life—a good one that is—gives us the key to make something of our lives beyond our own situation and dreams. It moves us beyond hurts and doubts moves our rears and covers our fears. Real Christian purpose is rooted in our faith by Christ’s work on the cross. He is our purpose and the meaning of our life, both here on earth and for the life to come. When we have received His confession and have made it our own, then we can confess His wonder to others and God will use His Spirit to empower that confession as a small part of His revelation. Our daily life at home, work, school, and as we are out and about will be more real and impacting, because we will have a life that is worthwhile and have something to do and say (Phil. 2:5-8). 

News commentator Dan Rather has a good way of keeping his professional objective always in mind. He says he looks often at a question he’s written on three slips of paper. He keeps one in his billfold, one in his pocket, and one on his desk. It is a probing reminder that asks, “Is what you are doing now helping the broadcast?” 

Is what we are doing helping our broadcast, the Kingdom of our Lord, giving Him glory?

How can I do this?

1.  Focus on Christ as LORD. Set aside time each day to focus on the purpose for your growth and maturity (Psalm 119:130; Isa. 42:16; John 4: 23-24; 15), and then make it a priority. In doing so, you will be able to “go for it” with passion and vigor. Make sure it lines up with His precepts and not your wishes! Let Christ transform you through His Word and prayer. Attitude is essential!

2.  We must learn to yield to the Lordship of our God and not to the desires of our will. It means following His plans, not our own, obeying His will, not our own. When we do this, the discipleship process can begin. Our maturity and character development will commence and further develop. However, when we refuse, we will be the strife and conflict that gives Christianity a “black eye.” We will be the problem rather than the solution (John 3:30; Gal. 2:20-21).

3.  Discipleship is not just a curriculum it is a lifestyle. As we step into the lives of others, the purpose for loving them is simply because Jesus first loved us; then, we become instruments of His grace. This can start by our realizing that Jesus “authors” our faith, and teaches us how to run the race according to God’s will, His glory, His worship, and His purpose. Thus, we gain a deeper intimacy with our Lord as our Commander and Friend, as our God and our King and the provider of Grace, as our Love, and our reason for being. In His purposes, we find real contentment, joy, and fulfillment! This is summed up in this adage: we cannot be doing the work of God unless we are the people of God. We have to be growing before we can have a direction and before we can be effective! 

4.  We must realize our circumstances are temporary. Our life here and now is not the ultimate purpose for our lives or God’s plan. We are in the process of learning and growing. Our situations and relationships will grow and change, while new opportunities will be brought to us; but, most importantly of all, our ultimate meaning of life will have eternal treasure and results. We will be able to take our eyes off our problems, place them on Christ, and follow His lead for more impact and meaning in life that will bring more hope and contentment (James 1).

5.  Purpose will bring you a life that has a reason to it. God created you as special and unique; He gave you talents and abilities, and brings you opportunities to use them. Purpose will help you see these aspects, His call, and your prospects. Then you will be willing and able to put your faith into action for His glory. The side effects? A life that is more joyful and content! Yes, there will be ups and downs, but with the Creator on your side, any plans you may have had become insignificant; they would not bring you even close to a life that is meaningful!

Purpose has hope; it allows us to live with the perspective of eternity, so we are not bogged down in our dire circumstances. This moves us from the complacent Christian life to the purposeful Christian life, from just playing church to really being a church. It comes from understanding that God’s purpose and plan is to make us His children (1 John). He is the good Parent who guides His children and protects them. At the same time, He does not over-protect them so they lose out on life’s opportunities to please Him, to the ultimate good. Here, we are temporarily looking to the hope we have now and to come. Christ will see us through if we trust and obey to be in His way. Imagine the possibilities your life will bring to others and bring Him glory!

When we are growing, we will become contagious for the faith. We will then be able to witness because we will have something to say and something to model that people will want. When we are growing, we will become the Church that Christ designed, mobilized in Him to be welcoming and connecting to others for Him.

This is the Church Triumphant! Let us, as the Church Triumphant, adhere to His call and eagerly follow. Let us apply our faith and watch the growth and successes that result, and of being contagious to others! It all comes down to the decision to either make our faith real and impacting, being enthusiastic about Jesus and about our church, relinquishing our pride so we can learn, grow, tell, and teach others, or else planting our rears in the pew, thus making our butt print in that pew our only impact, an impact of a life of apathy and meaninglessness! Let us make sure our impact comes from a life transformed and carried on to the people around us! Let us follow Him and be His fishers of men (Matt. 4:18-19)!

John Wesley. Said, I want the whole Christ for my Savior, the whole Bible for my book, the whole Church for my fellowship, and the whole world for my mission field.  

In church leadership, purpose is essential; that means your church needs to have a good vision and purpose. Enthusiasm is also essential; this is how people get invited to come ad want to stick around. If you do not know where you are going in life and/or in ministry, you will not be able to lead others in a good way (Proverbs 29:18).
 
© 2004, 2010 R. J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org
Philippians 2:1-18
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Philippians 2
Imitating Christ’s Humility
 1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
 5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
 6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
 7but made himself nothing,
      taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
      being made in human likeness.
 8And being found in appearance as a man,
      he humbled himself
      and became obedient to death—
         even death on a cross!
 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
      and gave him the name that is above every name,
 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.
Psalm 37:23
 23 If the LORD delights in a man’s way,
       he makes his steps firm;

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About Biblical Guy

Dr. Richard Joseph Krejcir lives in Southern California and is married to the beautiful MaryRuth and a precious son Ryan, a miracle from God. He is a child of God who is committed to biblical understanding, prayer, spiritual growth, and integrity. He is the Founder and Director of Into Thy Word Ministries, a missions and discipling ministry, with a call upon his heart to bring discipleship materials to pastors and everyone who needs them here and overseas. He is also a researcher at the Schaeffer Institute and spent over fifteen years on an in-depth, careful and through study on End Times. He is the author of numerous articles, curriculum's and books such as "Into Thy Word," and is also an ordained pastor, teacher, and speaker. He is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena California (Master of Divinity) and holds a Ph.D. (Practical Theology) from London. He has amounted over 25 years of pastoral ministry experience including serving as a church growth consultant.
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