DIGITAL BIBLE STUDY – Rick Warren has managed to sell more than 30-million books all about one topic, Purpose.
I’ve found that the question or meaning of purpose is not relegated to any particular gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious group. It is a question common to all of humanity.
It’s a question that has survived the span of time; a question that has perplexed both astrophysicists and kindergarteners alike. Everyone wants to know the answer to these four words, “Why am I here?”
The answer to this question has lead men to both the highest of heights, as well as to the depths of despair.
The answer to this question has given birth to every major world religion, and has been the cause of some of the most devastating wars in history.
Without purpose life has no meaning. Without meaning life serves no purpose.
According to the Bible, in Matthew 4:18-20, “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men’. They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”
Imagine life as a fisherman in ancient times – wake up, sail out to sea, cast your net, then go home = wake up, sail out to sea, cast your net, and then go home. (Repeat 365 times a year for a lifetime).
Maybe you can. Maybe the lives of these fisherman aren’t so different than your own. Wake up, commute, work, and then go home. Wake up, commute, work, and then go home. (Repeat 365 times a year for a lifetime).
One day, a man makes an offer to the fisherman that makes them drop their nets.
He doesn’t offer money, fame, or success. He simply offers them an opportunity to make their lives meaningful, an opportunity to fulfill their purpose.
So what can we learn about purpose from this offer presented by our Savior.
- Our God-given purpose will always involve service to others.
Purpose is never selfish.
“The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (see Matthew 23:11-12).
You will never discover your true purpose if your only motivation is to get rich or live a carefree life.
God is most concerned with displaying His love to humanity, and your God-given purpose will always be a means to accomplishing this goal.
- Your purpose will usually look like something that you’ve always been doing.
Notice that Jesus didn’t give the disciples new jobs; he simply redirected their focus to something more meaningful.
One of my purposes is to pastor or shepherd God’s people; ironically, I’ve been shepherding people in some form or fashion for most of my life. I’ve been a camp counselor, youth counselor, drug and alcohol counselor, and director of a mental health facility. All of these jobs in some way or another have involved the shepherding or care of people.
Often times your purpose is simply a broader platform for something that you’ve always done.
- Your purpose may not produce fulfillment, but it can and should produce contentment.
If we were fulfilled in this life, there would be no need to go to heaven. The Bible makes it clear that we will never be completely fulfilled on this side of glory.
I don’t know about you, but I’m banking on Heaven being a much better place than Earth. In a letter to the church at Philippi, the Apostle Paul states, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Although you can’t be fulfilled you can be content.
Philippians 4:11-13 states, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Christ who strengthens me.”
Fulfillment is having everything that you want; contentment is being okay with everything that you have.
I pray you discover your personal God-given purpose – reading about it is only the beginning of your journey.