This week’s devotions are based on Week 3 of the Series “Fresh Start” – I Have a New Purpose! (WATCH HERE)
Why are you here?
Everyone at some point in their life asks this question: Why am I here? Perhaps the question begins in the teenage years as one is seeking to understand their person and purpose. Mid-life crisis years can be another time where the question is asked. People even in the waning years of life when their health has deteriorated also ask, “Why am I here?”
Deep inside each of us is a desire for purpose.
A quote that is attributed to Mark Twain (but probably is not from Mark Twain) suggests this: “The two most important days in a person’s life are the day they were born and they day they discover why.”
We could have some discussion around this quote, but would have to agree that having a sense of purpose is significant in one’s life.
But what is purpose? What really answers that question for a person?
For some purpose is defined by a task that they do. “My purpose is to be a mom/dad. My purpose is to program computers. My purpose is to graduate from school.” I would suggest that what we do is not necessarily our purpose. Our purpose is actually bigger than our activities and instead of our activities defining our purpose, our purpose defines our activities.
Did you follow that?
If our activities define our purpose, then its no wonder we feel without purpose when we are no longer able to do those activities. However, if our purpose is bigger than our activities and defines our activities, our purpose continues even though the activities we engage with are different. Our activities become seasons for our purpose to be carried out.
If I haven’t lost you yet, let’s look at Jesus and his purpose.
It is captured well in this week’s main reading from Mark 1:14-15
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”
At the heart of Jesus’ purpose was to change the lives of people with the power of the Gospel (good news). No matter what he did he wanted people to believe the good news that their sins were forgiven.
In Mark 1, the season of Jesus’ purpose was the beginning of his preaching, teaching, healing public ministry. Was he not carrying out his purpose before that? Nope. He was carrying out his purpose (which was given to him by his Father in heaven) as he was born into this world and named Jesus. He was carrying out his purpose by living as a child, teenager, and young adult without sin. He was carrying out his purpose as he sat in the temple talking to the leaders. All were important and key to form the heart of the good news which he would proclaim and change the lives of people.
His purpose didn’t change when he went to the cross. His purpose didn’t change when he went back into heaven. His purpose still is alive today…changing people’s lives through the power of the Gospel. The point is the activities Jesus engaged in changed, but each was significant in carrying out his purpose to change lives with the power of the Gospel.
Each aspect of Jesus’ life and ministry was orchestrated for the bigger purpose, a purpose that His Father had given to him:
38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:38-40)
There was never a day that Jesus was without purpose because his purpose was given to him by his Father. The activities changed, his purpose remained the same.
We are definitely not Jesus, but as we search for purpose, we will see the blessing of living in the purpose that God gives to us…just as he gave purpose to his Son.
Apply: When in life have you struggled to know what your purpose is? How would you define that purpose today?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for sending Jesus who daily carried out his purpose to bring salvation to people through his life, death and resurrection. May the purpose he carried out for me always guide my purpose in life. AMEN.