Summary: Do we live our lives on purpose, by accident? Do Christians have a destiny?
ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT - ON PURPOSE
TEXT: Phil. 3:7-14
QUESTION: Do you know what your purpose is? What is it that drives you, what motivates you? (give the audience time to write down what they think their purpose is).
OPEN: One of the most challenging courses at the University of Denver was a business law class in which the professor gave difficult true & false tests. During one of the more exasperating exams, the professor noticed another student flipping a coin. The professor approached him. "Son are you guessing on this test?" he asked.
"No sir," replied the student. "I’m just checking my answers."
APPLY: 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 coin, drifting along aimlessly in life.
ILLUS: When I worked at a factory near my hometown, we had a term for that type of person: they were fat, dumb & happy.
Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re likely to end up someplace else.”
ILLUS: In preparation for a similar sermon, a large church went out onto the street and asked that question: “What is your purpose is life?” Here were some of the responses:
> One person answered: "I can’t say I know the purpose… I think after I die I’ll find out what the purpose of life is."
> Another: "My purpose? I think my purpose is… I don’t know."
> Some did have a 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.
But I suggest to you that 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 up 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. Nearly 1000 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:
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."