Summary: Every life has purpose

“Purpose of life”

November 17, 2019

John 10:7-10

“Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

I’ve been thinking about life this week. The passing of our sweet sister, Lois, has touched us all. When someone close to us passes, it reminds us of how fleeting life is. The Psalmist said,

“Lord, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them? They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow.”

Psalm 144:3-4

“Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble. They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.”

Job 14:1-2

I can’t make sense of it. Why do good people die young and evil people live long and prosper? Some people die young because they make bad choices; drunk driving; taking drugs; not living healthy. But others may make good choices and suffer anyway. I am not the one to go to, to find the answers to some of life’s mysteries. I probably have an opinion – but no real answers. But I know who to go to. I go to God and His Word when I am bewildered. And one thing I am convinced of is that life has a purpose – whether you realize it or not. There is a reason for your life. The Bible says,

“A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” Job 14:5

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue

you, Lord, know it completely.”

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:1-4; 13-16

Nothing catches God by surprise. He transcends time. He sees you from the moment you were conceived in the womb to your last breath – and beyond. That doesn’t mean He causes everything that happens to us. Much of life is a result of our choices or the choices of others. God knows it but seldom causes it. When you think of God’s will it is important to think of it in three parts; His causive will (that which He causes); His desirous will (what He desires to happen but often doesn’t) and His permissive will (he permits or allows everything that happens to happen). That doesn’t mean He desires it and certainly didn’t cause it. But nothing happens without Him permitting it – He is God, after all!

I started my adult life with no purpose. I had no goals; I had no aim in life. I just reacted to what I encountered. That is an unstable way to live. I was up and down emotionally and felt hopeless and empty. It was probably a good thing I joined the service. The army did my thinking and planning for me. But when I got out – even before I got out – I was depressed, despondent and directionless. Fortunately, I came to Christ and He gave me purpose and direction that has lasted my entire life and has given it meaning. I realize that a life without purpose is a life without God, although many people do find a purpose in life without God. Their goal is to be the best in sports or to get rich or to experience as much pleasure in life as they can. Solomon tried to find purpose without God and he said,

“I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

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