Summary: Do you know what your purpose is? What is it that drives you, what motivates you?


Ecclesiastes 2:1 – 26 & Philippians 3:7-14

Do you know what your purpose is? What is it that drives you, what motivates you?

Last week while Sara was at the quartet convention Jonathan was feeling sympathetic toward me and decided we’d get take out from either Wendy’s or Top Spot. I couldn’t decide so he flipped a coin.

There are people who seem to live their whole lives that way. They have no direction, no purpose, no goals. They live their lives by flipping a coin, drifting along aimlessly in life.

Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re likely to end up someplace else.”

A survey was done asking: “What is your purpose is life?” Here were some of the responses:

One person answered: "I can’t say I know my purpose… I think after I die I’ll find out what the purpose of my life was."

Another: "My purpose? I think my purpose is… I don’t know."

Some did have an idea of their purpose in life and their answers indicated their purpose in life centered around themselves:

• to have fun

• be happy

• to have a good time and enjoy my life

• to have as much fun as possible in as short a time as possible

Now, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying life. But if that’s your WHOLE purpose in life, there’s an emptiness to it. It’s like Cotton Candy - all taste, but no substance.

Others had pretty good answers, ones even Christians might give:

* to live a moral life

* to raise a good family

* to raise up kids to have a good future.

All of those “purpose statements” were short sighted. In essence not big enough for the Christian.

Ecclesiastes tells us that God put “eternity in our hearts.” A BIG God calls on us to have a BIG purpose in our lives.

I. In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon examined the things that commonly motivate us in life… pleasure… accomplishments… pursuit of wisdom… learning… power… position… riches… security.

But he finishes each of his evaluations by declaring that these things are not what it’s cracked up to be. It’s all empty, worthless, dissatisfying.

II. Over a thousand years later, Paul writes the words of our text today: Phil. 3:7-14

Paul had had everything. He was a leader, looked up to, an up & comer. He was going places. Yet now he held that it was all rubbish, excess debris, worthless junk.

Paul summed his purpose statement in vs. 13-14:

III. Paul realized the things of this world would not last.

Pleasure wasn’t going to last:

Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

Possessions weren’t going to last:

1 Timothy 6:7 says “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”

I saw a T-shirt once that said: “He who dies with the most toys…still dies.”

Prestige won’t last:

Jesus said: "Many who are first will be last and the last will be first"

“Many people who seem important now will be the least important in eternity.”

By contrast Jesus said: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:36)

I John 2:17 tells us: And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

IV. You see – we that are Christians. We who understand the emptiness of life HAVE AN ADVANTAGE.

We have the ultimate reason to live. Ephesians 2:10 tells us: " For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." In other words, we have a purpose. We have a divine destiny.

And it doesn’t center around us & OUR needs, OUR family, OUR personal fulfillment. It centers around Jesus Christ.

NOW, let me clarify this: I’m not saying that we should abandon all that people regard as important in this world:

• taking care of our families,

• taking care of our needs

• having dreams for the future…

What I am saying is: as good and worthy as these aspects of our lives may be – they are not what should ultimately motivate us. Those goals are NOT BIG ENOUGH for us.

OUR Goal should be the same as Paul – (vs. 13-14).

That means: the reason I do everything is because – I’ve centered myself around Jesus.

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