Sunday, January 8, 2017

Living On Purpose

Living On Purpose

The first Sunday of the year, I preached a message at my church with this title. The point of the message was that not only was ‘life’ not an accident, but ‘my life’ is not an accident.

If my life is not an accident, if I was created by God, then shouldn’t I at least consider the question ‘why’?

Why am I here?
What am I doing?
Where am I going?
How will I get there?

Is your life accidental or intentional?

I kept asking questions over and over. For example:

How much PLANNING did you put into your career? Is this what you planned to be doing and how you planned to be doing it?

How much PLANNING did you put into your marriage (not wedding, marriage)? Is your relationship what you envisioned it to be? If not, what happened?

How much PLANNING did you put into your parenting? Do you intentionally raise your children with a desired set of goals that you are trying to reach, or just keeping them out of trouble?

How much PLANNING did you put into your finances? Have you been intentionally controlling your spending and your earning in order to reach a certain financial goal? Or do you just make ends meet?

How much PLANNING did you put into your friendships? Does your relationship with them have a purpose that brings lasting benefits and values to each other, or do you just chit chat?

How much PLANNING did you put into your church ministry? Do you even have one? If not, why? If you do, then how much effort is put into it that will make it grow to a goal that you have established?

How much of your life is intentional, and how much of your life is accidental?

How much of your life is proactive and how much of it is reactive?

The thing that I did not expect was the reaction to the message. I always get the typical “good message” comments. Those are just nice manners. On this message, I was told by three different people how convicted that they were. One person said that they had never thought about it. Another one said that they had no plans about anything and needed to change that.

I have discovered that it is normal for us to be life pinballs. We just bounce around off of things and end up where we are and don’t know how we got there.

Jesus illustrated a life of purpose for us. I think you can sum it up in John 12:27.

“What shall I say, ‘Father save me from this hour?’ For this purpose I have come to this hour.”

He knew that His life had a goal and He was going to accomplish it.

I believe that the same thing can apply to us. There is an old saying that says, “If you aim at nothing, then you will hit it every time.” What is the aim of your life?

2 Corinthians 5:9 says that we make it our goal to please Him. In all that we do, our desire, the purpose of what we are doing, is to bring pleasure to the Lord. Can you imagine the difference your life would bring if you truly made it your goal in this thought, action, or word to please Him?

I have two guiding verses to my life and ministry. These are two verses that God has brought alive in my heart and that I am passionate about.

The first one is in Haggai chapter 1. It is actually quoted twice, once in verse 5 the other in verse 7. It says, “Now this is what the Lord God Almighty says, ‘Give careful thought to your ways.’” God tells us to think about what we are doing. I love the passage in Isaiah 44, where the prophet is describing the error and sin of idolatry and he sums it up by saying, “No one stops to think….” (v19).

Have you stopped to think?
Are you giving careful thought to your ways?
How much thought goes into your marriage?
How much thought goes into your relationships?
Free time?
Spiritual Life?
“Now this is what the Lord God Almighty Says, ‘Give careful thought to your ways.’”

The next life verse is 1 Timothy 1:5. “The goal of our instruction is love, which comes from a pure heart, a clean conscience and a sincere faith.”

The purpose of Biblical teaching is not more knowledge or deeper understanding. It is love. Am I helping people to grow in their ability and capacity to love God and others?

I have put together a life mission statement that guides all that I do. I highly recommend that you do so as well.

Here is mine:

“My purpose is to help people know God better and love Him more.”

Everything that I do is with that in mind. From an atheist to the greatest theologian of all time…everyone can know God better than they do right now. Love is eternal and infinite. We can alway love God more. I want to influence people towards a theology that results in love.

I expand on this mission statement a little with this:

“I will accomplish this by pursuing and ever increasing love relationship and knowledge of God, then teach others by word and example what I have learned and applied.”

I want to lead others to Christ, not point them. I want to be the man that I desire my children to become. I want to grow each day in my knowledge and my love of God, and then through words and examples help my wife, children, church and friends grow a little as well.

What do you want to do with your life?
How will you do that?

It is time to start living intentionally not accidentally.

If you want to hear the message that I preached, it is on Bolivianjoe on Itunes. A direct link is: