Monday, 3rd May 2021
Finding Your Purpose in Life
Pastor Soong Kok Kee
How would you answer if someone were to ask you for your purpose in life? One writer on Life Way Voices, Ken Widner said there are generally two purposes in life: a universal purpose and an individual purpose.
Universal Purpose: The universal purpose is in the answer our Lord gave when asked what was the greatest commandment. Jesus said “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt 22: 36-40).
This command to love God and love others is at the center of God’s original purpose for mankind. Our Lord further reminded His disciples to love each other when, on the night He was betrayed said “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).
And He later goes on to say; “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt 28: 19-20).
These passages clearly tell us our universal purpose as children of God is to love God wholeheartedly, with everything we have, love others and make disciples. The problem is we often get distracted with our day-to-day responsibilities and worries of life. We so often tend to use our God-given talents and gifts to pursue things that will not satisfy us, no matter how much we have them. As we feel less fulfilled, we chase even harder after things we have been deceived into believing will make us happy – things like power, status, money and the world at large. No wonder John remind us “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves he world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
Individual Purpose: We all need to be intentional in living our lives with purpose. Using our God-given gifts is not just about finding out where we should serve in church, which of course is important, but we must set our eyes, however, on the bigger picture.
In Matthew 25: 14-30, our Lord tells a parable about three servants who were each given different amounts of money to invest while their master went on a long journey. Two of them invested wisely and received a return on their investment. The third hid his money and did nothing with it. When the master returned, he praised the first two and rewarded them with greater responsibility. But he was not pleased with the third servant and took away the money he was given and gave it to the first servant.
Do challenge yourself to think of what God has entrusted to us in the form of talents and abilities and how we are using them. Rick Warren in his book The Purpose Driven Church uses the acronym SHAPE (spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences), all given by God as to how we should live our lives and determine our individual purpose.
Widner suggested one of the ways to help us to do this is to write out a purpose statement for ourselves. This is often used in the business world to align an organization around a purpose or mission. It goes something like this:
What do we do?
Who are our customers?
What’s the result we want for them?
This same formula can be applied to our own purpose or mission statement. For Widner, his purpose statement is: “I teach those in search of purpose how to find and live out their purpose so they can live a fulfilled life”.
To answer the above questions, Widner wrote:
What do I do? I teach, using what I believe to be my God-given talent.
Who do I do it for? Those in search of purpose.
What is the expected result? That others will live a fulfilled life.
This purpose statement travels with us regardless of our various roles as spouse, father, provider, etc. or whatever occupation as doctor, lawyer, accountant, businessman, homemaker, salesperson, truck driver, clerk, whatever. It’s about bringing our individual purpose with us throughout the day 24/7 and living it out in a way that shows our love for God and others. This will open doors and create opportunities to make disciples of Christ. That’s our individual purpose. To live the life.
PRAYER: Dear Father God, thank you for reminding all of us that you have given us life and saved us for a purpose. Help us to live out our universal and individual purposes in our lives so we will not be like the third servant – doing nothing with whatever you have blessed us with. Help us all to live a fulfilled life so we can one day stand before you and say like Paul: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. In Jesus precious name we pray AMEN.
如果有人问您人生的目标 ，您会如何回答？生命道之声（Life Way Voices)的一位作家，肯•威德纳（Ken Widner）说，生命中通常有两个目标：普世的目标和个人的目标。
这些经文清楚地告诉我们，作为上帝的儿女，我们的普世目标是尽我们所能，全心全意地爱上帝，爱他人，并领人作门徒。问题是我们经常被日常生活中的责任和担忧分心。我们常常倾向于运用上帝赋予的才能和恩赐去追求一些无法满足我们的东西，无论我们已拥有了多少。当我们感到不那么满足时，我们会更加努力地追逐那些我们被骗相信会让我们快乐的事物 – 例如权力、地位、金钱和整个世界。难怪约翰提醒我们：“不要爱世界和世界上的事。人若爱世界，爱父的心就不在他里面了。” (约翰一书2:15)。