Summary: How can we discover the purpose for life?
Today we are begin a new series called “Don’t Duck Your Destiny.” We’re going to talk about living the purposeful life God calls us to live. I want to be right up front and say that if we are going to discover the reasons why we are here and the purposes we should be living for, that we cannot do that apart from God - specifically, Jesus Christ.
When it comes to discovering your reason for living, you do not have any good alternatives if you take God out of the equation. You are left only with alternatives that will leave you empty. You see, there are basically two approaches we can take to discovering our purpose in life.
There are those who leave God out of the equation and try to find meaning in life by simply looking around.
A. The Survivalist says, “The purpose of life is to stay alive.”
“Only the strong survive.”
B) The Hedonist says, “The purpose of life is pleasure.”
“Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.”
C) The Materialist says, “The purpose of life is all acquisition and accomplishment.”
“Get all you can and can all you get.”
D) The Naturalist says, “The purpose of life is simply to perpetuate the species.”
Jeff Cook, a former atheist says he once held this view concerning life. But when he had kids, he didn’t find the idea that we are the product of a mindless process of chemicals and atoms to have much hope to it. So he chose at that point to adopt a worldview that included God, because without God, there is no hope. Without God, you become fatalistic.
Oprah Winfrey once did a program on discovering your purpose in life. At every single break during that hour long show, she would say “Now, come back because we’re going to tell you your purpose.” Did she tell who stayed tuned in their purpose in life? She didn’t even come close. She didn’t even attempt it.
All she did was this: as the credits were rolling at the end of the program, she looked through the camera at her TV audience and said, “And remember, you’ve got to figure it out by yourself.” Those who were watching Oprah hoping to discover their purpose in life had wasted their time. That’s what you do when you look for your purpose by simply looking around - you’re wasting your time.
Which brings us to the second way we can discover our purpose in life.
There are those who leave God out of the equation and try to find meaning in life by simply looking around. They find nothing by frustration. Then there are those who factor God into the equation and find meaning in life by looking above.
In his book, “The Purpose Driven Life” Rick Warren begins by making this point: “It’s not about you. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by His purpose and for His purpose.
“We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels - everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.” - Colossians 1:16 (The Message)
There are three questions we need to ask of God in discovering our purpose for living.
Question #1: Why am I alive? The question of existence.
In this series, we will consider five reasons God put you on this planet. But today, I just want us to see God’s motive.
“Long before He laid down the earth’s foundation, He had us in His mind and settled on us as the focus of His love to be made whole and holy by His love.” - Ephesians 1:4 (The Message)
God says He made you to love you. You were created to be loved by God. God is love and God wanted to create something to love and so He created you. He didn’t need you. He wasn’t lonely. But He made you in order to love you. He didn’t need you, He wanted you.
Question #2: Does my life matter? The question of significance.
God made me to love me. But what’s more, He invites me to live for Him. This is important to understand because we were created with a desire to live lives that count for eternity.
“He has planted eternity in the human heart . . .” - Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)