Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: If you were to write down what you thought your purpose in life was, what would you say?

What’s your purpose in life? What I mean is that if you were to write down what you thought your purpose in life was, what would you say?

Richard Leider said “The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose”.

Washington Irving said “Great minds have purposes, little minds have wishes”.

George Bernard Shaw said “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” That’s pretty cynical & scary.

The search for purpose in life has puzzled people since the beginning of time. But as Christians what does the Lord have to say about our purpose? As disciples of Jesus Christ, what is our purpose?

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Phil. 2:12-13 continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

The reason that purpose in life has puzzled so many for so long us is that too many have started at the wrong starting point.

Think about it, when people are asked about the purpose of their life they typically ask self-centered questions like; what do I want to be? What should I do with my life? What are my dreams, my goals, and my ambitions?

As a result the market is flooded with every kind of self-help book, Christian or otherwise trying to answer the question.

They say things like:

Consider your dreams, clarify your values, set your goals, figure out what you’re good at, go for it and believe you can achieve. I did a search on the Internet and one sight guaranteed, “How to discover your life’s purpose in about 20 minutes.” Sign me up!

Now these recommendations can help and they can lead to success. But being successful and fulfilling your purpose in life are not the same thing. You can reach your goals, you can achieve your objectives; you can accomplish your aim and still miss your purpose.

In fact, you may own it all and have nothing to show for it. You may be extremely successful and yet exceptionally miserable. You may have reached the top of your ladder of success only to find that your ladder is against the wrong wall.

As we start this new fall season of discipleship I want us all to ask the Lord, what is your purpose for me. In short, what lies at the very heart of who and what I am we as a child of God, a man, a woman made in the very image of God and a person who has come into a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe and the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ?

Folks, I believe that fundamental problem has crept into American Christianity and it goes something like this. “Lord, I want to do what I want, be what I want, have what I want, and I want You to bless it.” We use cute and clever clichés like “What would Jesus do” when what we really mean is “Lord , I want what I want, now bless it”

This approach starts at the back-end rather than upfront. So instead of asking, “What would Jesus do”, how about adopting a purpose statement that asks, “What did Jesus do?” and more succinctly “What does Jesus want me to do?”

I want us to start this new season on this note because it is fundamentally important to understand that as a disciple of Jesus Christ, we cannot understand God’s purpose for our life by starting with a focus on ourselves. You see, we exist only because God wills that we exist. We were made by God and for God and until we know that deep inside, life will never make sense. ’For it is in him that we live and move and have our being.’ Acts 17:28

It is only in a relationship with Jesus that we can discover who we are, what we are, why we are and what is the meaning, the significance, and purpose of our life.

Sure, you may have success and you may have accomplishments in life, but without a relationship with Jesus your life will lack meaning and purpose. Why is that? Because your life it is based on what you want to do, instead of what God wants to do in you.

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