This week’s devotions are based on Week 3 of the Series “Fresh Start” – I Have a New Purpose! (WATCH HERE)
What is purpose?
This question is a bit different than, “What is MY purpose?” but perhaps is important to understand how to define purpose so we can then better understand what is our purpose.
To be honest, when asked the question, “Why is my purpose?” it is a challenging question to answer because it often takes me to some activity that I feel I should or shouldn’t be doing. Is my purpose to be a dad? Is my purpose to be a pastor? Is my purpose to be a student? Or is there something else I should be doing to find my purpose?
These questions, honestly, have always challenged me and I’m not sure I could ever accurately answer the question. In studying for this past week’s message I came across a blog on purpose that gave definition and qualities to what purpose is. I would summarize it this way:
Purpose is your main focus in life. This focus is three things: a) personally meaningful, b) Makes a positive mark on the world, and c) changes the lives of people in a positive way. This summary moved my mind away from activity or actions to a mindset or focus that drives or affects or motivates all my actions. Purpose is not just activity, but activities are affected by one’s purpose.
So what does that mean in light of Mark 1?
Yesterday, we said that Jesus’ purpose was to “Change the lives of people with the power of the Gospel.” Even Jesus’ purpose was not limited to his activities, but rather his activities supported his purpose.
His birth. Was his purpose to be born? Nope. If his purpose was just to be born, his purpose would have been done the day of his birth. Rather, the Bible says of his birth in Galatians 4:4-5:
4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
Notice that his birth was tied into his purpose, but not his purpose. He was born…to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship (i.e. change the lives of people with the power of the Gospel). He couldn’t have finished his purpose if he wasn’t born, but being born was an activity that supported his purpose.
Here’s another one referencing the death of Jesus (an event) (Colossians 1:21-23):21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[g] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.
Jesus’ crucifixion was a significant event, but it was an event that supported his purpose. Through his death he was able to change the lives of people (reconciled, holy, without blemish, etc.) communicated through the Gospel (the good news of what Jesus has done).
Each of Jesus’ events in life supported his purpose (teaching, healing, living under the law, dying, etc.).
So going back to the definition of purpose…
Was “changing lives with the power of the Gospel” Jesus’ life focus? Yes.
Was this purpose personally meaningful to Jesus? Yes.
Did it leave a positive impact on the world? Yes
Did it/does it change the lives of people? Yes.
You and I are evidence that Jesus perfectly carried out his purpose…tomorrow we’ll see what it means that he calls us to embrace this purpose in our lives as well.
Apply: Put this purpose template over what you know of Jesus’ life and ministry. Do all of his activities in life support his mission to change the hearts of people with the power of the Gospel? How so?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for perfectly carrying out your purpose. Thank you for doing all that was necessary to change my life with the power of the Gospel. AMEN.