Purpose and Meaning

“We are halfhearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

C. S. Lewis

That is such an apt description of the lives of many of us.

We settle for a life that is so far less than the life God wants to give us. American Christians have settled for a life of moral living (when it suits us), attending Sunday worship (when we have nothing better to do), and giving $10 (if we can spare it). We have made Christianity something we do rather than who we are. In the process we have settled for life in the slums, when God wants to take us to the beach.

The problem is that we don’t understand that God promises us a life bigger than our dreams. He intends for our lives to have a purpose and to make an impact on our part of the world. God created us to be part of something greater than ourselves.

As I come to realize this truth my heart gets excited. Part of the reason is because I want to leave a legacy, something that goes on after I die. Another part of the reason is because I want to use my potential and do what I was created to do.

I was not created to sit in a pew once a week, I was not created just to live a moral life, and I was not created to hoard the blessings of my life. Neither were you. Don’t settle for life in the sandbox. Accept God’s invitation to the beach.

“When they [the Ephesian Elders] arrived he [Paul] declared, “You know that from the day I set foot in the province of Asia until now I have done the Lord’s work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews. I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes. I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God (Acts 20:18-24; NLT).

The apostle Paul knew he was created for a purpose and he lived his life to fulfill that purpose. I want to point out two truths about living God’s purpose in our lives.

  1. Living out our purpose will bring hardship. Obeying God is not always easy and it is not a walk in the park where we can stop and smell the flowers. Obedience will bring sadness, tears, and heartache along with joy, peace, and hope. Though we will never know true joy apart from obeying our calling, with great joy also comes great sadness.
  2. We will only find meaning for our lives by living out our purpose. The apostle Paul saw his live as worth nothing if he did not do what God had called him to do. The same is true for our lives. We will always search for meaning, a reason to live, when we aren’t living out the call of God on our lives.

You were created to accomplish something bigger than yourself. The call to be a follower of Jesus is more than a call to attend Sunday Morning worship. To be a follower of Jesus means that we join Him in His work around the world. Following Jesus leads to a life of significance. It is time to stop making mud pies in the slum because God is taking us to the beach.

Questions to Consider:

  • What have you settled for in your life?
  • What has God called you to do?
  • Why is the meaning for our lives tied to the purpose we were created to live?


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