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The Ultimate Purpose of the Christian Life

The Ultimate Purpose of the Christian Life



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Published by WllmPn1

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Published by: WllmPn1 on Apr 13, 2009
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 The Ultimate Purpose of the Christian LifeMark 12:3030 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with allyour mind and with all your strength. NIVMost of our lives, we have been searching for a purpose for our lives, one that has adeeper meaning than just the basic action of existing on this planet. We felt thatour lives were meant for something; and something meaningful and worthwhile thatwould give us a true reason to live. We searched for this purpose in things likerelationships, a career, a job, a hobby, in school, and in many more things, only tofind disappointment at every turn; because though these things could preoccupy usfor a moment, they would ultimately fail at fulfilling our spiritual desire for ameaningful life. Then we find God, and we feel that we see our purpose clearly. We are full of excitement and hopeful to see what God will do with our lives. The overwhelming joy and excitement that drives us motivates us to share the good news witheveryone around us, telling them of the great purpose that God has in store for ourlives. We devote ourselves to learning more, growing more, and doing more forGod. We surround ourselves with more and more people who call themselvesChristians to glean as much as we can from them, astounded at the miraculousexperiences they recount of God’s work in their lives. We are at the pinnacle of our joy, and we feel that we have what we have always been looking for. Never againwill we feel lost; never again will we feel empty; never again will we feel confusedbecause we have found the ultimate treasure in Christ.Fast forward, five, ten, or even twenty years. We have been doing, and learning,and experiencing, and changing and growing. Yet, we begin to feel a slight hint of an old feeling that we thought would never return. We begin to feel unfulfilled, andmaybe a little empty. We quickly disregard it, knowing full well that such a feeling isimpossible now that we have found God. Then the feelings begin to grow. We startthinking of the repetitive things that we are doing as Christians: going to churchevery week, giving contribution to the church and to the poor, sharing our faith,reading our Bibles, praying, going to Bible study, attending revivals andconferences, etc.; and then we begin to think, “ Is this it?” Or, “Is this what I havesacrificed my life for?”Now our lives are at a crossroads. We have been living the Christian life, yet we areas empty and unfulfilled as we were before we became Christians. “Whathappened?” we ask. “Is it me?” we consider. “Or could it be that Christianity is notwhat I expected it to be?” We are busier now than we have ever been, yet nothingthat we do, can bring us the fulfillment that we so desire. All of a sudden the worldbegins to entice us. A career, fortune, fame, success, a relationship, etc., begin tolook very appealing, and actually begin to convince us that they will help us befulfilled. Or other things such as drinking, drugs, sex, pornography, an illicit affair,etc. seem to offer us an exciting alternative to feeling the gnawing feeling that iseating us up inside. We know this path is wrong, but what are we to do? We are atthe worst place imaginable: now that we are Christians, we are still stuck living a lifeof complete emptiness, but now we are not even able to even temporarily gratify
our inner cravings by the indulging in the sins of the world. We feel confused, wefeel lost, we feel miserable, and utterly hopeless. John 6:3535 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never gohungry , and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. NIVWhen we read this scripture, we see a promise from Jesus of complete spiritualfulfillment; one that promises to satisfy the cravings of our soul. And not only this,there are many others:Ps 37:44 Delight yourself in the LORDand he will give you the desires of your heart. NIVPs 63:55 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; NIVPs 73:2525 Whom have I in heaven but you?And earth has nothing I desire besides you. NIVPhil 4:1919 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. NIV John 10:10I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full . NIV The Bible promises, and God delivers a fulfilled life; one that fills the empty voidthat fills our hearts. Then why do we, as Christians, still feel as empty and as wedid when we were lost? Why do we feel like if there is no possible way to have Godin our lives, and maintain the joy the He promises with this relationship? The answer is simple and lies in the center of this scripture:Rev 2:4-54 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5 Remember theheight from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If youdo not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place. NIVSimilar to our experience, the church in Ephesus was doing what they were requiredto do, yet they lost their true purpose and motivation for doing it. They began withan excitement similar to ours, and they ended up confused and lost, similar to us.What happened? Plain and simple: Just like us, they had forsaken their first love. Yet, how can this be, since we still love God, still worship Him, do things in Hisname, and have made God the center of our lives? It is an interesting paradox. Yet Jesus clears the confusion when he says:
Rev 2:55…Repent and do the things you did at first…NIVDo you remember what God required from us in exchange for our salvation, whenwe were first introduced to Him? Do you remember what we proclaimed as wecommitted our lives to Him at our conversion? Do the words, “Jesus is Lord” help usrecall the depth of the commitment that we made when we first came to know God?Maybe the following scriptures will help jar our memory:2 Cor 5:13-1514 For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all,and therefore all died . 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longerlive for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. NIVLuke 14:3333 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot bemy disciple. NIVLuke 14:26-2726 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife andchildren, his brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be mydisciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be mydisciple. NIV1 John 2:15-1715 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, thelove of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comesnot from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, butthe man who does the will of God lives forever. NIVOr did we forget what Jesus required of every person whom he ever called to be hisdisciple:Luke 5:1111 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. NIVLuke 5:27-28"Follow me," Jesus said to him, 28 and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.NIVLuke 18:2222 When Jesus heard this, he said to him [
Rich young ruler 
], "You still lack one thing.Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." NIV
Parenthesis and italics mine
.Phil 3:7-87 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What ismore, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowingChrist Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. NIV

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