Purpose For Your Life

God created you for Himself.  Your greatest purpose is to bring Him glory.

Colossians 1:16 – For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.

1 Corinthians 10:31 – Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

We bring God glory as we respond to who He is and what He does.  Living your life in surrender to Him so that He is reflected in everything you do and say brings Him glory.  It is a life marked by reverence, praise, thanksgiving, obedience, and service.

To live a life that glorifies God, you must first know Him personally.

John 3:16-17 – 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten [Or unique] Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

John 17:3 – This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

The Holy Spirit is the Key to living a life that brings God glory.

When you receive Christ as your Savior and Lord, God gives you His Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18; Acts 2:38).  The Holy Spirit helps you know God and understand His purposes (1 Corinthians 2:10-12).  He gives you spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12) and empowers you to accomplish God’s will (Acts 1:8, 10:38).

God’s general purpose for all believers in Christ is to glorify Him through reverence, praise, thanksgiving, obedience, and service.  Each believer also has a specific purpose that defines his or her type of service.   Who, what, when, where, how, and why will all be answered as you seek God.  The Holy Spirit empowers you to fulfill both your general purpose and your specific purpose.

Your Unique Purpose

God knows you intimately.  Only He knows the specific purpose for which He created you.

Psalm 139:13-16 – 13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.  14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.  15 My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. [Note: We are not saved by doing good works.  Salvation is through Christ alone, by grace alone.  Good works are a natural result of receiving new life in Christ.]

Philippians 2:13 – for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Two Bible examples
Jeremiah

Jeremiah 1:4-8 – 4 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”  6 Then I said, “Alas, Lord God!  Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth.”  7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak.  8 “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the Lord.

Paul

Acts 26:16-18 – 16 But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’

Galatians 1:15-16 – 15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,

Fast facts about your gifts and purpose (from passages below)
  • It’s all about God, not you (1 Corinthians 3:7).
  • You are one member among many in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13, 27).
  • Every member is important (1 Corinthians 12:14-26; Ephesians 4:16).
  • Every member is placed in the body as God wills (1 Corinthians 12:18).
  • Every member receives gifts from God (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11).
  • The Holy Spirit distributes gifts as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11).
  • Your gifts are given to you by God’s grace. They can’t be earned (Romans 12:6).
  • Your gifts are given to you for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7).
  • You are to exercise your gifts (Romans 12:6).
  • The purpose of every member is to use his or her abilities to build up the body of Christ and fulfill God’s purposes (Ephesians 4:12-13, 16; 1 Corinthians 3:9).
  • We are God’s fellow workers (1 Corinthians 3:9).
  • Each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor (1 Corinthians 3:8).

God gives every believer natural and spiritual abilities to further His kingdom.

Romans 12:6-8 – 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Ephesians 4:11-16 – 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

1 Corinthians 3:5-10 – 5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. 7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.  10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.

1 Corinthians 12:4-19, 24-29 – 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.  14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 19 If they were all one member, where would the body be?

24 … But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.  27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they?

Prepare to Discover Your Life’s Purpose

1.  Understand God’s General Purpose for All Believers

Become conformed to the image of His Son

Romans 8:29 – For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

Created to do pre-ordained good works

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Matthew 5:14-16 –14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Appointed to bear spiritual fruit and bring glory to God

John 15:5,8,16 – 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.  8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.  16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

Fruit includes all that a believer does to the glory of God (Philippians 1:11).  A disciple bears fruit by developing the character of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23); by living a godly life (Hebrews 12:11); by doing good deeds and helping those in need (Titus 3:14); by leading people to Christ (1 Corinthians 16:15); by contributing to the preaching of the gospel in the whole world, financially and in other ways (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15,16; Philippians 4:15-17); by giving to the poor (Romans 15:26-28); by giving thanks to God (Hebrews 13:15).

Keep God’s commandments, love one another, abstain from evil.

John 15:9-10 – 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

John 13:34-35 – 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

2 Timothy 2:19 – Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”

Prepare to Discover Your Life’s Purpose

2.  Serve God and Develop the Same Attitude as Christ.

Right priorities

Matthew 22:37-39 – 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Matthew 4:4 – But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

Colossians 3:2-3 – 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 – 16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.

God’s will…not yours

John 6:38 – For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

Focus on advancing God’s kingdom – trust God to meet your needs.

Matthew 6:33 – But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Develop a servant’s heart.

Matthew 20:25-28 – 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Humility – Die to self and follow where God leads you.

Philippians 2:2-8 – 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Matthew 16:24-25 – 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Romans 12:1 – Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Become useful to God: Love the word of truth, guard and cleanse yourself from all that would choke God’s Word out of your heart and life.

2 Timothy 2:15-21 – 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth… 20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

Hebrews 12:1-2 – 1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Mark 4:18-19 – 18 And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Live to bring God glory.

1 Corinthians 10:31 – Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God

Colossians 3:17 – Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Keys to Identifying Your Specific Purpose

Study the gifts listed below.

Administrations (1 Corinthians 12:28); Apostles (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11);  Distinguishing of spirits (1 Corinthians 12:10); Evangelist (Ephesians 4:11); Exhortation (Romans 12:8); Faith (1 Corinthians 12:9); Helps (1 Corinthians 12:28); Giving (Romans 12:8); Gifts of healings (1 Corinthians 12:9,28); Interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:10); Leading (Romans 12:8); Mercy (Romans 12:8); Miracles (1 Corinthians 12:10,28); Pastor (Ephesians 4:11); Prophecy (Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:10); Prophet (Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 12:28); Service (Romans 12:7); Teacher (Romans 12:7; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 12:28); Tongues (1 Corinthians 12:1,10,28); Word of knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:8); Word of wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8)

Pay attention to your godly desires and recurring thoughts of how you want to serve God and others.  They can be clues to your purpose.

Philippians 2:13 – for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Stay focused on God’s Word and prayer so you can hear from Him.
Pray, wait, pray, and ask God to reveal the ministry He has for you.

Acts 13:2 – While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Use your gifts to serve others.  Step out in faith and try different areas of service.  God will reveal what you have a heart for, and what energizes you and gives you a sense of fulfillment.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 – Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…

Ask people who know you well what they see as your strengths.

Acts 6:2-3 – 2 So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.

Be patient. God is preparing you.  Be faithful with what God has entrusted to you, and He will give you more.

Matthew 25:19-23 – 19 “Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’  22 “Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’”

Philip is an example of faithfulness.  In Acts 6:1-7, he is chosen to distribute food to widows because he has a good reputation, and is full of the Spirit and of wisdom.  In Acts 8:4-25, he goes to Samaria to proclaim Christ.  God does great miracles through him, and many accept Christ and are baptized.  In Acts 8:26-40, Philip is called to preach the gospel to a high official from Ethiopia.  As he is baptizing the new convert, the Holy Spirit instantly transports him to another town, and he continues to preach the gospel to more cities.  In Acts 21:8-9, he is referred to as “Philip the evangelist” and has four unmarried daughter who are prophetesses.

Don’t compare your purpose to that of others. Obey what God is telling you.

John 21:21-22 – 21 So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”

John 2:5 – His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

Stay open to God’s direction.  There is a season for everything, and seasons change.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 – 1 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—2 A time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.

Don’t give up.  Keep seeking God.

Matthew 7:7-11 – 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”

Jeremiah 29:13 – You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Hebrews 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Remember that your life’s purpose may be “beyond your comfort zone”.  It is God who will empower you to fulfill His purpose.

Philippians 2:13 – for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

1 Corinthians 15:10 – But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

Acts 1:8 – but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.

Acts 10:38 – You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

You Will Be Rewarded For Pursuing God’s Purpose For Your Life

1 John 2:17 – The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Matthew 25:21 – His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

1 Corinthians 3:8 – Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

1 Corinthians 3:11-14 – 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.

Conclusion

God has a unique purpose and plan for you.

Jeremiah 29:11, 13 – 11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

“Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE ®,
Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation
Used by permission.” www.Lockman.org
 
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