Summary: Pupose is one of the most precious gifts that God gives us. Purpose can be an "normal" experience in the Christian life as we live in the reality of living for Jesus
2 Corinthians 5:15-21 “Discover Purpose”
It is the month of November the month of Thanksgiving. For four consecutive Sundays we will be focusing on some important things in life for which we can be thankful. Last week, we lifted up God’s great gift of love—steadfast love that endures forever. In future Sundays we will look at peace and eternity. Today we are going to talk about God’s gift of purpose.
The main character is “LA Story,” musses about the life and it’s meaning. Trying to put his thoughts about life into words, he paraphrases Shakespeare and says, “Hey, life is pretty stupid, with lots of hubbub to keep you busy, but not amounting to much.” Most of us didn’t learn those words in that form in our high school English classes. In stead we learned the words, “Life is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Shakespeare was a pretty astute observer of life and love. Is he correct in this case, that life is “Much Ado About Nothing”?
Jean-Paul Sarte maintained that people exist as utterly isolated individuals in a purposeless universe. Jacques Monod the French molecular biologist believed that humankind’s existence is due to the chance collision of miniscule particles of nucleic acid and proteins in a vast prebiotic soup.” These great minds are not the only ones who believe that life is merely chance.
Purpose seems to be in question in modern society. Living life with intention and direction escapes the masses. Popular beliefs perceive life as having no direction, and is only occasionally influenced by the ancient Greet gods of Luck and Fate, e.g. “She was lucky to have won the lottery,” or “He made a fateful decision.”
The apostle Paul certainly takes issue with the likes of Shakespeare, Sarte and Monod, as do all of the Biblical authors. The Bible and the Christian gospel is diametrically opposed to the popular, common view of society that life is chance and has no purpose other than self. God’s will is a thread that runs through all of life, and each of us is intimately and dynamically connected to God’s will. It is in God’s will that we find our purpose.
Paul boldly writes in his letter to the Corinthian Christians that in God’s scheme of things, our purpose is not seen in what we do in life, but rather in what God has done and in who we are. He highlights the very center of the Christian gospel that God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world to himself and saving us.
Oftentimes we hear the question, “Are you saved?” When the question is directed at us, we say, “Yes,” and rejoice that Jesus has saved us from hell and damnation. Paul has a different slant on salvation. He writes to the Corinthians that Jesus died so that we no longer need to live for ourselves.
We are saved from ourselves. We are saved from the bondage of self-centeredness and selfishness. We are saved to live for Jesus. The validity of our salvation is not in the fact that we were baptized, or that we know the time and date when we received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It demonstrated in how we live with our attention focused not on ourselves but on serving God and serving others.