Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Purpose in Life

Have you ever wondered what your calling in life is? We know that the purpose of our lives is to bring glory and attention to God, to worship God. But what avenue does God want you to take to fulfill that purpose? God calls some people to be missionaries to foreign countries. He calls some people into the medical field. He calls others to be preachers and teachers of His word. He calls others still to be businessmen and entrepreneurs. He gives some a heart for children and for teenagers. He gives some a heart for worship and expressing that through music. He calls some to be homeschool moms and others to be working moms. He calls some to serve their country though politics, and others to serve in the military.

The possibilities are nearly endless. But I'm not just talking about careers here. I'm talking about a purpose. For example, let's say you teach math at an elementary school. Being a grade school math teacher? That's your career. But investing in the lives of young children and teaching them basic mathematical equations so they will be better equipped for high school, college, and the rest of their lives? That's your purpose. And that kind of purpose is what I'm talking about. A soldier's purpose would be to defend his or her country in times of war and to protect our freedom of our country, and also to promote and ensure peace in times of peace. A doctor's purpose would be to help heal sick people and to prevent disease and injury from happening, and also to educate people on the importance of health and how to stay healthy. A missionary's purpose would be to take the Gospel to places that haven't heard of Jesus and to spread God's word and God's love to those in need.

So what do you think your purpose is? What do you have a heart for? What do you want to spend your life doing? What do you think God might be calling you do to?

To help figure that out, I encourage you to do a lot of self-evaluating. It will take time for you to understand and realize what God's purpose is for your life. It seems that most people figure it out in their teens or early twenties. But that isn't always the case. Some people realize their dream much earlier or much later than that.

The apostle Paul figured his purpose out somewhere around his twenties. In Acts 7:58, it says that Paul was a young man when he was at the stoning of Stephen, and we know that it probably wasn't but a few months after this that he gave his life to Christ and Jesus changed his name from Saul to Paul. It's pretty reasonable to assume he was out of his teenage years, given his power and influence, but wasn't in his thirties yet because he was a "young man." Paul became an evangelist. He traveled around the known world, visiting churches and cities and spreading the Gospel wherever he went. But what exactly was Paul's purpose? What did Paul feel like his God-given purpose was? Was it to preach the Gospel? To train up Christians in their faith? To make glorify God by making tents (which was his profession, Acts 18:2-3)? Actually, we don't have to guess or speculate. Paul tells us specifically what his purpose is. In Colossians 2:2-3, Paul writes, "My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Paul explains in the previous verse that the "they" he is referring to the church of Colosse, the church of Laodicea, and everyone else in the world.

Anyway, that was Paul's purpose. Paul understood his purpose and devoted his life to fulfilling it. So I ask once again, what do you think your purpose is? It's incredibly important to know your purpose. In the King James Version, Proverbs 29:18 says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish..." Nobody wants to be that guy who's thirty-five years old and spends all of his time playing Modern Warefare 3 in his mom's basement. Get out there and find out what God wants you to do! God designed you as a completely unique and one-of-a-kind individual. Your DNA is different from everyone else's, and there is no one else in the history of the world quite like you. He created you for a purpose and only you can fulfill that purpose. No one else can do it for you or do it in the way you would. You are specially unique.

Psalm 139:14 says, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." You're the only you that will ever exist and your purpose is specifically tailored to meet who you are. Don't waste your life by missing out on that purpose.

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