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One of the greatest tragedies that is sweeping the modern world is confusion and therefore corruption of purpose. In how many areas of life have we confused our purpose and so lost all hope of fulfillment?

IS COMFORT YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE?

In John 12:27,28 Jesus said,

"Now is my heart troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name!"

Purpose was crucial to Jesus. But do you realize what our Lord said here? His purpose was for His heart to be troubled. It was necessary for Him to come into the hour of trouble to redeem us. What is your purpose? Is it to avoid trouble or heartache?

Your God given, soul satisfying, purpose is not comfort. Jesus said He would send us another Comforter. But the Holy Spirit is to be with us in trials. If your purpose is comfort, finding it will bring boredom rather than satisfaction.

WHAT ABOUT PLEASURE?

The purpose of your life on this earth is not pleasure either. God created pleasure. It can be very good as a side dish. But it makes a terrible main course.

The drug epidemic and the sexual revolution that are deadly parasites on our homes, our economy, and all the foundations of society are products of the unquestioned belief that pleasure is the highest human value.

I am aware that many of my readers would already agree with what I am saying. Although I am very pleased if some of you who disagree are reading this. But even those of us who basically oppose such behavior find ourselves tempted, even addicted to internet pornography or some other pleasure oriented problem, because we have been able to indulge in it secretly. I pray for God's deliverance which will certainly require uncovering the rattle snake's nest. Many churches have men's groups where it is safe to confess such things. Pastors may have to find or organize a ministers' group to deal with whatever you need to confess.

But many of us who are free from the most debilitating of these sins are living our lives as if pleasure were more important than anything else. We need to challenge that thinking with scripture, prayer and seeking a higher purpose from God.

IS YOUR PURPOSE SECURITY?

Have you ever been thrilled by stories of risk or sacrifice? They are the bread and butter of TV drama. Would you watch an adventure show in which the leading character never had any higher good for which he was willing to risk or sacrifice? Would you watch the show twice if the hero ran away from every danger in cowardice or cynicism? You would not because somewhere deep in your consciousness you know safety and security are not the purpose of life. I love the statement from Jim Elliott's college journal. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

Jesus concluded with the highest purpose of our lives. “Father, glorify Your name!

I intend to write again next week on this subject. I suspect you will be surprised if not shocked at two things that I say should not be your purpose in life.

 

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Comment by Andrew R. Wheeler on December 6, 2016 at 7:47am

David, I love the Jim Elliott quote - probably my all-time favorite!

I think that the purpose you're outlining helps to define our prayer lives.  Our prayers reveal our true purpose.  If every crisis we encounter finds us praying only to get out of the crisis, then our purpose is clearly comfort.  On the other hand, if our prayers are dominated by a desire to see God glorified in our lives, then our purpose is closely aligning with Jesus' purpose.

This also impacts how we pray for others.  Do we pray only for comfort, relief, financial security, etc.?  Or are our prayers focused on God's work in their lives?

The number one prayer request of the persecuted church around the world is for prayer.  But it's not prayer for their release or prayer for the persecution to stop.  It's prayer that God be glorified in the midst of that persecution, that they remain faithful and obedient, and that God change the hearts of the persecutors and draw them to him.  Prayer like that shows a purpose closely aligned with Jesus' heart.

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