Fair are the meadows, fair are the woodlands, robed in the flowers of blooming spring; Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer; He makes our sorrowing spirit sing. "Beautiful Savior" author unknown
Life with purpose.What does it look like? How can I have one? Perhaps those questions can be summed up by another. Why am I here?That’s a question that has been answered in many ways by many different people. The idea du jourseems to be to look within yourself to find your own meaning and purpose.
What if I told you the oppositeis true? If you want to find life’s purpose… if you want your life to have meaning… you need to look outside yourself. You need to look to God himself. But it doesn’t start with what God would have you do. It starts with what he has done for you.
Join us on the Sundays after Epiphany as we explore this powerful teaching from God’s Word. Come and find a life with purpose.
Life With Purpose
Set apart for a special purpose
Jesus’ public ministry began when he was baptized. He was baptized, not to have his sins forgiven, but to take our place under the Law, and to receive the strength and encouragement of his heavenly Father. At his baptism, Jesus was anointed—he was set apart—for God’s special purpose. Maybe you have not been baptized. Listen closely to what baptism means for you… what it can do for you. If you have been baptized, use this Sunday to review the truth that in your baptism, you were called to a new and noble life, one of great purpose.
The Heavenly Bridegroom gives life purpose
Today in our Gospel reading we see Jesus attending a wedding. That shows us the lofty respect Jesus has for marriage, that he would take time out of his busy schedule to attend a wedding. This doesn’t surprise us. Contrary to modern sentiment, marriage is not a man-made custom. It is God’s institution, laying down the cornerstone of society—the family.
However, this day is about more than the marriage of a husband and a wife. For the Bible often compares Jesus to a groom and believers to a bride. Jesus loves us and is committed to us and wants to fill our lives with happiness, just as a good groom does for his bride. More than that, he gives us wedding gifts! He gives our lives purpose and meaning. He did that for the disciples at that wedding in Cana, allowing them to play a role in his first miracle—changing water into wine. And still today, he gives us spiritual gifts, that our lives might have meaning and purpose.
Purpose is found in the Body of Christ
Every part of the body has a purpose—to benefit the other parts of the body. The heart exists to fuel the other parts of the body. The lungs grant oxygen to other parts of the body. The feet move the rest of the body around. The parts do different tasks, but they all have the same purpose—to serve the other parts.
So it is in the body of Christ—believers. We might do different tasks in the way we serve one another. But we share a common purpose. Working together, we share the Gospel: good news for the poor and freedom for the captives.
The body does not function well unless all the parts of the body work together. Likewise, the Church does not function well unless we realize we have a role to play, and then carry out that role!
Truth and purpose
Our natural human inclination, fueled by our sinful nature, is to listen to Jesus and his Word without faith. We know what his Word says. Our brain registers it. We just refuse to take it to heart. Indeed, there are some things Christ says to us in the Word that tempt us to throw Jesus off a cliff. (See the Gospel lesson for this Sunday, when people literally tried to do that!)
How foolish we can be. For only in the truth that Jesus gives us do we find any real comfort and hope. More than that, it is only in believing and sharing the truth of God’s Word that life has any real purpose. As we share the truth of the Gospel, we will often face opposition. And yet, we speak the truth in love, because only God’s truth can save souls.
Christ’s call provides our purpose
The Lord called Isaiah to the prophetic office with a grand vision of heaven. Christ called his first disciples to be fishers of men. What did all these men have in common? Like us they were sinners. Yet the God of free and faithful grace gave them the good news that he had made atonement for their guilt and sin. This gospel empowered them to answer the Lord’s call and fish for souls. The gospel was also the tool by which they would carry out this all important work. Today, our Savior still calls us – first to the forgiveness that comes by faith in him and then to lay our hands on the net of the gospel, and be fishers of men. This beautiful work is our privilege and purpose.
Learning to trust is life’s purpose
Those who trust in themselves and all the world offers will find ruin and destruction. No matter how things go in this life, they are actually under a curse. Those who put their confidence in the Lord and live according to his ways will bear fruit into eternity. No matter how things go in this life, they are actually the objects of God’s blessing. Their faithfulness to him will be eternally rewarded as evidence of faith. Here’s the challenge. The faithful often experience “thorns in the flesh” that seem like a curse instead of blessing to the world. Yet, what a humbling bounty of blessing comes to the believer who clings to the promise “my grace is sufficient for you.” Learning to trust like that is a purpose of life.
Unexpecting love is life’s purpose
We love our spouses. We love our children. We love our parents. We love our friends. That is to be expected. That’s the nature of those close relationships. And human love says we have every expectation that those people will love us in return. But to love one’s enemies and pray for those who hate you is totally unexpected, for we cannot expect those who hostility oppose us to love us in return. However, it is just that kind of love that Christ calls us to. He calls us not to human love, but to his own selfless love – a forgiving love, a love that shows goodness to those who have done us wrong and overcomes that evil with good. To love with a love that expects nothing in return is a purpose of life. That’s a love only learned from our Savior’s unexpecting love for us.
The Lord’s glory is our purpose
Jesus’ transfiguration is illustrative of how God so often works. His glory is hidden under ordinary looking things. His power is hidden within apparent weakness. Remember that the next time you ask, “Where is this powerful God who supposedly loves me?” He is right there, hidden in places and means you might not expect, giving you peace and purpose. You see this so clearly in the season we are about to enter — Lent. In Lent, God’s power and love are as active as ever! But they are hiding under blood and shame. To prepare us he gives his disciples a glimpse of his true glory that they might remember that glory, and the purpose it provides, in the dark days ahead.
At 720 Old Trolley Road in Summerville Sunday worship is at 10:30 am with Christ Light for Kids and Bible Class at 9:15 am.
At 134 Foxbank Plantation Boulevard in Moncks Corner Sunday worship is at 10:30 am with Christ Light for Kids and Bible Class at 9:15 am.