Last time we looked at the Why Purpose to try to resolve why it is that we are here or basically why did God create us. Through unfolding some Biblical truths, such as God’s sovereignty, His holiness and equality in all of His attributes, along with the existence of hell, we were better able to understand God’s purpose for creating us, “to make known the riches of His glory”, from Romans 9:23 ESV. So now that we have why, we need to look at what, meaning what is our purpose here. If God’s purpose for us is to make known His glory, then each of us must have a pretty significant purpose as well. For this post, we’ll look to identify three important areas where the Bible defines what our purpose is.
The first purpose for our lives is to glorify God. We’ll call this the primary purpose but the other 2 that we’ll discuss hold quite a bit of weight on their own; still this is definitely of key significance in the purpose for our lives. I Corinthians 10:31 ESV says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Too many times, as Christians we don’t give this passage its proper respect. The first part covers our input, things we ingest into our bodies, food or drink. Without diverging into a health tangent here, it’s probably more appropriate to look at this in terms of honoring our bodies as God’s temples. (I Corinthians 6:19) Ask yourself does God get glory from gluttony? Perhaps a more difficult question would be, does God get glory from the beverages you consume? The second part of this verse is really all encompassing. It’s meant to include everything else that we do and it’s literally including everything. As sinful beings, it’s difficult, if not altogether impossible to do anything that is not deeply rooted in sin. For example, a week ago we celebrated my parent’s birthdays, I decided to buy them both new Bibles and my sister picked up some home warming gifts for their new house, but the gifts were all to be jointly given. On the surface this might seem harmless, but who do you suppose went first in presenting the gifts. You guessed it, yours truly gave the Bibles and it likely overshadowed the rest of the gifts. Something so innocent that God should’ve received glory in His Word being gifted instead became a prideful and self-glorifying sin. The God glorifying action would have been to let my sister present the Bibles so that it could be her moment. Glorify God in all things, even the simplest, innocent daily routines.
Our second “What Purpose” is to make known the glory of God. In the previous example we were to do all to glory of God, a direct action to Him. This one is to make known His glory, an indirect action through other people. In basketball, one of the first lessons of defense is: ball-you-man, meaning you should always be between where the ball is and the man (or woman) you’re guarding. Obviously as a defender you don’t want your guy to even touch the ball, no glory for him at all. This second principle purpose for our lives is exactly the opposite of our basketball analogy. Instead of hiding and defending someone from God’s glory, we need to grab hold of them and point them towards it. Matthew 5:16 ESV says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Our job is to be living daily for the glory of God, as in our first example, that others may see this and they too give God glory. God designed His kingdom to operate in this way, as yeast, spreading throughout all people that might receive Him. I often use the example for our light’s shining as being in a dark forest in the middle of the night and you’re lost, with no sense of direction. Only you see a glimmering light in the distance from a cabin on a hill, if not for that faint light shining in all of the darkness, how would you find your way? How are others to find their way to God if not through our light shining before them?
The third and final purpose for our lives is to be glorified. With this one you either responded, “Yes! Finally a purpose that involves me in the spotlight!” or you responded, “That doesn’t sound right, we gave God glory, made known His glory, and now we glorify ourselves?” Well both responses are wrong, but also right and I’ll explain. Pastor John Piper has a saying at his website, www.desiringgod.org “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.” It’s not actually us who are glorified, but instead God who is glorified in us, yet this can’t happen if we have not accepted Jesus as Savior. In order for us to be satisfied in Him, we have to know Him, Jesus must fill our lives. Jesus speaks of this satisfaction in John 4:14 ESV, “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” In John 17:10 ESV , Jesus is praying to God the Father for all those to whom He has been given and that will receive Him as Savior, “All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.” In this passage we get a firsthand account of how Jesus is glorified in us, when and only when we accept Him as Savior. This answers the second response from above on being glorified, but what about those of you who thought this was a self-spotlight moment? You too were semi-correct. When we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, He is glorified in us, just as we mentioned. Our daily walk with Him, our actions, and our lives should all be to the glory of God (purpose #1), and should point others to God’s glory (purpose #2), yet on the day when we are joined together in heaven with God, we will be glorified! In Jesus’ prayer that we mentioned earlier, He goes on to say, “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.” John 17:22 ESV The Apostle Paul supports this in Romans 8:30 ESV, “And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.” This glorification can only come when we are united with God in heaven, because our sinful, fleshly bodies must be renewed and made holy in order to be joined with God. This is our reward for fulfilling the purposes of our lives that we have been given by God. It’s not purpose driven, it’s purpose given.
Are you fulfilling you purpose?