WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 24TH, 2021
TOPIC: WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE?
BY T. O. BANSO
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 New King James Version).
What is your purpose in life? Do you know it? Do others know it? Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:10-11, “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra — what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me” (New King James Version). My focus in this scripture is on the word “purpose.”
The Greek word translated purpose is prothesis meaning (1) the setting forth of a thing, placing of it in view (2) a purpose (as it is used in Acts 27:13 King James Version) (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). “And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete” (Acts 27:13 King James Version).
According to another Greek Dictionary, the Greek word “prothesis” means “a setting forth, i.e. (figuratively) proposal (intention); specifically, the show-bread (in the Temple) as exposed before God” (Strongs’ Concordance)
What is your life set forth to achieve? What is your intention in life? What is your life exposing to God and others to see? When people look at your life, what dominant thing do they clearly see? The dominant or primary thing God sees and what people see, which is a summary of your life, is your purpose in life. As defined by a dictionary, purpose is the “reason for existence.” Divine purpose answers the questions: Why am I here? What am I supposed to live for?
After the Lord encountered Saul (Paul) on the way to Damascus, Paul asked the question: “Lord, what do You want me to do?” The Lord told him: “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:6b New King James Version). Thereafter, the Lord told Ananias Paul’s divine purpose: “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:15-16 New King James Version).
In other words, what the Lord told Ananias would be Paul’s reason for existence. But before this time, Paul had lived for a different purpose. He was living contrary to his divine purpose as a persecutor of the church he was supposed to be part of. He was opposing what he was supposed to be advancing. Satan perverted his purpose. He wasted his energy, intellect, and other resources pursuing the wrong purpose.
Hear Paul: “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:12-13 New King James Version).
Maybe you are currently like Paul, persecuting the church, attacking what you are supposed to be supporting. Perhaps what you’re living for now is not God’s purpose for your life. Possibly you are confused about your life, or your life is neither here nor there. Probably, you are dissatisfied about your entire life though you have money, fame, and material things of life.
You could be successful by human standards yet displeased with your life because you are not living to fulfil God’s purpose for your life. You could have been mismanaging the resources God has blessed you with because of your ignorance of His purpose for your life. You are abusing your life because you are not living for a divine purpose. Some have ended their lives prematurely because of this. But help is available to you in God. Mercy is available.
We see an excellent pursuit of divine purpose in the Lord Jesus Christ. He understood His purpose for coming to the earth and pursued it to a logical conclusion. When His disciples told Him that everyone was looking for Him, He replied, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth” (Mark 1:38 New King James Version).
Luke 4:43 says a similar thing. His major priority was the preaching of the gospel, reaching the unreached not being tied down by those who wanted to satisfy their curiosity or those looking for signs and wonders. He said in 1John 3:8, “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (New King James Version).
He was born to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He died on the cross to fulfil this purpose because, without the shedding of blood, He would never be able to save His people from their sins — no remission or forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22).
His death was not an accident. For this purpose, He was born. “A few minutes later some Pharisees said to him, ‘Get out of here if you want to live, because Herod Antipas wants to kill you!’ Jesus replied, ‘Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting out demons and doing miracles of healing today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose. Yes, today, tomorrow, and the next day I must proceed on my way. For it wouldn’t do for a prophet of God to be killed except in Jerusalem!’” (Luke 13:31-33 New Living Translation).
He said in John 10:10, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” (New Living Translation). Some people make money-making their purpose in life, and, therefore, would do anything to get it. The more some people pursue money, the more it runs away from them! But even those who get it through the wrong means, what do they do with it?
They discover that money-making does not give them fulfilment. More money does not mean more joy. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10 New King James Version). Not loving money does not mean a child of God will live in penury. It is the blessing of the LORD that makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22). Those who pursue the purpose of God for their lives see Him supply the resources, including money, required to fulfil their purpose.
Don’t make money, becoming rich by all means, your purpose in life. Psalm 119:36 says, “Help me to prefer obedience to making money!” (The Living Bible). Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, “Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness!” (New Living Translation).
What is your purpose in life? Man is capable of many purposes but that doesn’t mean they are all divine. God has a purpose for your life; there’s something He wants to use your life for. There is a reason for your existence. God created you for a purpose. He made you for Himself, for His purpose (Proverbs 16:4; Revelation 4:11).
God made you for a purpose, and He’s always working everything together towards the realization of that purpose. Your upbringing, the training, and discipline you’ve acquired through formal and informal education, the experiences you’ve gone through in life, your abilities and talents, your failures and successes, etc. are all being weaved to achieve His purpose in your life though you may not like some of these things. Some of them may not be positive.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’” (New Living Translation). You must seek God’s help to know your purpose and live for it. Life is more than money, fame, sex, pleasure, power, etc. Many live for this and die unfulfilled. The first thing to do is to give your life to Jesus and submit yourself to discipleship. As you study the Word of God, pray, and serve in His Kingdom, God will begin to speak to you and guide you on His purpose and direction for your life.
Romans 12:1-2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is” (New Living Translation).
After you are born again and the process of renewing of mind begins, your values will continue to change. You will begin to cultivate Bible-based values and get rid of worldly values. Your perspectives about life will change. You will begin to review your life. You may become uncomfortable with the direction of your life and embrace the new direction God is impressing on your heart. Your only priority is to please God, not all the worldly goals.
Man can pursue all manners of purposes but the pursuit of divine purpose is the only wise way to live. What is your purpose in life? You don’t have all the time. “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 New King James Version). Don’t waste time. Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom” (New Living Translation).
What is your purpose in life? Discover and pursue it. Don’t waste time. “Take care then how you are living, not as unwise, but as wise; making good use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16 Bible in Basic English).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to discover my divine purpose in life, pursue, and fulfil it. Satan, you will not pervert my purpose in life. I will not waste my energy, intellect, and other resources to pursue the wrong purpose. I shall fulfil my divine purpose. Father, deliver all those who are pursuing the wrong purpose in life. Help them to discover, pursue, and fulfil their divine purpose.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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