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.

每日灵粮
星期一,2021年5月3日
标题:寻找您的人生目标
讲员:宋国基牧师
翻译:郑振隆弟兄

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。

普世目标:当我们的主被问及什么是最大的诫命时,祂的回答就是普世的目标。耶稣说:“你要尽心、尽性、尽意,爱主你的神。这是诫命中的第一,且是最大的。其次也相仿,就是要爱人如己。这两条诫命是律法和先知一切道理的总纲。” (太22:36-40)。

爱上帝和爱他人的诫命是上帝对人类的初衷的核心。我们的主进一步提醒祂的门徒要彼此相爱,在祂被卖的那个夜晚,祂说:“我赐给你们一条新命令,乃是叫你们彼此相爱;我怎样爱你们,你们也要怎样相爱。你们若有彼此相爱的心,众人因此就认出你们是我的门徒了。”(约翰福音13:34-35)。

后来祂又说:“所以,你们要去,使万民作我的门徒,奉父、子、圣灵的名给他们施洗。凡我所吩咐你们的,都教训他们遵守”(太28:19-20)。

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)。

个人目标:我们都需要有意识地过有目标的生活。使用上帝赋予的恩赐,不仅是找出我们应该在教会服侍的岗位,这固然很重要,但我们必须着眼于更大的图景。

在马太福音25:14-30,我们的主说了一个比喻,讲述三个仆人在主人往外国去时,每人分别得到了不同的投资金额。其中两人明智地投资,并获得了投资回报。第三个人把钱藏起来,什么也没做。主人回来后,他称赞了前两个仆人,并奖励他们以更大的责任。但是他不喜悦第三仆人,就把给他的银子拿走,交给了第一个仆人。

挑战自己,想一想上帝赋予我们什么才干和能力,以及我们如何使用它们。里克·沃伦在他的《直奔标杆-成为目标导向的教会》一书中使用了首字母缩略词SHAPE(属灵恩赐,心,能力,个性和经验),这些都是上帝赋予我们的,关乎我们应该如何生活和决定我们的个人目标。

威德纳建议,帮助我们做到这一点的方法之一是为自己写一份目标宣言。这在商业领域中经常被采用,使组织围绕某个目标或使命进行调整。大概是这样的:

我们该怎么做?

我们的客户是谁?

我们希望他们得到什么样的结果?

同样的公式也可以应用于我们自己的目标或使命宣言。对于威德纳(Widner)而言, 他的目标宣言是:“我教那些寻找目标的人如何发现并实现他们的目标,使他们能过上充实的生活。”

为了回答上述问题,威德纳写道:

我该怎么做?我使用我相信是上帝赐予我的才能进行教学。

我为谁而做?那些寻找目标的人。

预期的结果是什么?其他人会过上充实的生活。

无论我们的角色是配偶、父亲、供应者等等,或是从事医生、律师、会计师、商人、家庭主妇、推销员、卡车司机、文员等任何职业,这一目标宣言都会伴随着我们。它是关乎我们24/7全天候随身携带的个人目标,就是活出我们对上帝和其他人的爱。这将敞开门,制造机会让我们使人作基督的门徒。这就是我们的个人目标。活出这生命。

祷告 :亲爱的父上帝,感谢祢提醒我们,祢给了我们生命,拯救了我们是有目的的。求帮助我们实现我们生命中普世的和个人的目标,这样我们就不会像第三个仆人一样,对祢所赐予我们的一切无所作为。帮助我们过上充实的生活,以致有一天我们可以侍立在祢跟前,像保罗说:那美好的仗我已经打过了,当跑的路我已经跑尽了,所信的道我已经守住了。我们奉耶稣的宝贵名字祷告,阿们。