Summary: God has a purpose for each of our lives, and we can learn to make the most out of every day by learning to live life to the fullest, His way, and not just simply exist!
A little girl asks her mother, “Mommy, why do you cut off the ends of the meat before you cook it?” The girl’s mother goes on to tell her that she thought that it adds flavor by allowing the meat to better absorb the spices, but perhaps she had better ask her grandma since she had learned it from her. So the little girl finds the grandmother and asks, “Grandma, why do you and mommy chop off the ends of the meat before you cook it?” Her grandmother thinks a moment and says, “I think it allows the meat to stay tender because it soaks up the juices better, but why don’t you ask your Nana because after all, I learned from her and she’s always done it that way.” The little girl is getting a little frustrated, but climbs up in her great-grandmother’s lap and asks, “Nana, why do you cut the ends off of the meat before you cook it?” Nana answers, “I don’t know why these women do it, but I did it because my pot wasn’t big enough.”
How many times do we walk through life blindly, without knowing the purpose for the way that we live our lives? One more illustration…
One of golf’s immortal moments came when a Scotsman demonstrated the new game to U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant. Carefully placing the ball on the tee, he took a mighty swing. The club hit the turf and scattered dirt all over the President’s beard and the surrounding vicinity, while the ball waited placidly on the tee. Again the Scotsman swung and again he missed. Our president waited patiently through six tries and then quietly stated, “There seems to be a fair amount of exercise in the game, but I fail to see the purpose of the ball.”
President Grant made a statement that could be true about many lives. It could be true about many lives in this room this morning: There seems to be a fair amount of exercise…but I fail to see the purpose. How many of you have much activity with little or no progress? For all the busyness in our lives I have to ask “are you getting anywhere from it?” “Are we getting anywhere from it?” "Is there a purpose for it all?" Purpose gives meaning to our lives. It gives one the ability to say, “I know why I’m doing what I’m doing!”
I want to ask you this main question. Are you living or are you just existing? There is a difference; there is a big difference. Webster’s defines living as “vigorous, alive and full of life.” Existing is defined as “to have being.” How many of us are existing? So many of us wake up, go to work or school, keep house, whatever the case. They go about their business, but they have no real sense of purpose in their lives. Their happiness and fulfillment of their life depends largely on circumstances and achievements. If they were completely honest, they would admit that inside, they are empty. I am not saying that we all have to live lives of liberality, and a new, wild change every day of our lives, however we can learn to live lives of stability and have that vigor and livelihood rather than being content with just “being.” The inspired word of God gives us three ways to accomplish this.
I. Carpe Diem…Every diem of your life!
If you surveyed one hundred people, probably most of them would say this is what they want for their lives: No one wants life to be mediocre. We want our lives to be full. We want everything we can get out of every day, but what are we willing to do about it? We are wrapped up in deadlines, and commitments, problems and priorities and it just doesn’t always happen. There are ways to seize the day, every day of your life and fortunately, the apostle Paul had this to an art and wrote his plan down in Philippians 3.
The first thing that you notice about Paul in Philippians 3 is that he knows his sure-fire purpose for his life. Have you figured out the purpose for your life on this earth? A good example of this, like it or not, is the IRS. They know their purpose for existing. In the IRS handbook it says, “During a state of national emergency resulting from enemy attack, the essential functions of the service will be as follows: assessing, collecting, and recording taxes.” So while we all panic, they will be doing what they always do…taking our money. But, they know their purpose. Here’s an easy question. What is the primary purpose of an ink pen? To write, of course. A 95 dollar, 24-karat, gold-cross pen that is out of ink is pretty to look at, but is a failure as a pen. It doesn’t fulfill its purpose. When it comes time to endorse your paycheck, you’ll bypass the solid gold pen and go for the 29-cent Bic that works.