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Purpose

A central purpose is an essential ingredient for a meaningful and productive life. Without it, the lesser goals lack coherence and it is all too easy to lose interest or become discouraged when the going gets difficult. The question: why am I doing this? needs an answer and finds it only in an overriding central purpose.

God has, in His love and mercy, supplied such a purpose to all His regenerate creatures. Every Christian is given a task, one that is to be the central purpose in his life. It is specified in the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) and prioritized in Jesus’ words:

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat?  or, What shall we drink?  or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;  and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matt. 6:31-33)

Jesus’ states here in no uncertain terms what the Christian’s central purpose in life should be. It is to seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness as his first priority, even before food, drink, or clothing, it’s basic necessities. This would apply to personal life, life with family and associates and in every other activity. It is to be so vital a part of him, that deprived of it, life would become meaningless. With it every aspect of life is alive; every event experienced, every word spoken is connected to an eternal thread, ordained by God and filled by His creatures. Life has eternal significance for all but that significance is visible only to those that take His word as a personal letter from Him.

The Lord’s prayer reflects the priority that the establishment of God’s kingdom should hold in the believer’s life:

After this manner therefore pray ye:  Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen. (Matt. 6:9-13)

We see here that the first three petitions refer to this central purpose in the lives of God’s people; only after these do we see reference to personal needs.

This sense of meaningful purpose is God’s gift to His faithful servants, something they can devote their efforts toward, something that can give them lasting satisfaction. They can tell their grandchildren that their life has had, and still has a purpose, one that filled their lives with meaning. They didn’t live the hollow, empty lives so many Christians do today, seeking wealth, pleasures, and other worldly pursuits that fade away so quickly. This is truly a magnificent gift, a gift that no one else could give. Another will be coming when He says to us, “Well done good and faithful servant …” (Matt. 25: 21, 23).