Summary: How to know your purpose in life and live it out.

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Living on Purpose

December 1, 2002

Today’s sermon is entitled “living on purpose”

Do you know what your purpose is? Do you know what drives you?

As you think about that question, you may be picturing a certain aspect of your life. For example:

· Home life

· Spiritual life

· Work life

· Recreational life

· School life

· Etc.

We have compartmentalized our lives. But with God, there is no distinction between the different areas of our lives. God has a purpose for our life.

Sadly, many of us don’t have any idea what that purpose is.

· Joke: Did you hear about the little girl who went to her mother and asked “Mommy, why do you cut the ends off the meat before you cook it?” The girl’s Mother thought for a moment and said “I think it’s because it adds to the flavor by allowing the meat to better absorb the spices, but maybe you should go ask your grandmother, because she always did it that way.” So the little girl went to her grandmother and asked “Grandma, why do you and Mom cut the ends off the meat before you cook it?” Her grandmother thought for a moment and said “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 I learned it from her and she always did it that way.” The little girl, getting a little frustrated, goes to her great grandmother, climbs up on her lap and asks “Nana, why do you and Mom and Grandma cut the ends off the meat before you cook it?” Her great grandmother smiled and said “I’m not sure why they do it, but I did it because my pot wasn’t big enough.”

We are all driven either by design or default.

We either live for the purpose that God designed us to, or we live according to the demands of our schedule and the expectations of others.

Some people think the purpose of life is making money, for some it is having as much fun as possible, and for others it’s being popular and well liked by others.

There’s nothing wrong with these things, but if they are your whole purpose in life, there’s an emptiness to it. It’s kind of like cotton candy – all taste, but no substance.

The benefits living on purpose:

1. It will reduce frustration

By knowing your purpose, you can reduce meaningless work. Otherwise, you may feel like your always busy, but not accomplishing much.

Many of us have so many irons in the fire that we’re putting out the fire.

We’re burning the candle at both ends and we’re not as bright as we think we are.

2. It will increase motivation

Why get out of bed for no reason?

When you know what God wants you to do, you get excited (enthusiastic)

3. It will allow concentration

Purpose allows you to focus – It keeps you on track.

It allows you to ignore the things that can easily distract you and take your attention away from the things that really matter.

You don’t have time to do everything. Everything is not even worth doing.

Purpose not only helps you know what to do, but also what not to do.

· Illustration – One of golf’s immortal moments came when a Scotsman demonstrated the new game to President Ulysses 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, while the ball placidly waited 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 this game, but I fail to see the purpose of the ball.” (from Campus Life)

Many of us are swinging wildly away at life, but we have missed the whole purpose for which God intended.

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

How do we live on purpose?

Philippians 3:7-14

1. We must know Christ (v. 8)

We can’t possibly know God’s purpose for our lives, if we don’t know Him.

John 10:10 – The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all it’s fullness.

Eternal life.

The best of life here on this earth.

2. We must forget the past (v. 13)

Whether your past is good or bad, you can’t focus on it.

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

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