A frequent question Christians ask is, “what is God’s purpose for me?” We want to know why God put us here in this time and this place. It is the search for meaning and significance. But maybe there is a better question to ask.
Last Thursday, at my morning Bible Study, I suggested a better question to ask is, “What is God’s purpose?” This question takes the focus away from self, because it is not about me. Ultimately, it is about God. It is not about my mission in the world, but God’s mission in the world. Reggie McNeal says in the Missional Renaissance, “God’s church does not have a mission, it is God’s mission that has a church.” I like that!
So naturally, the next question I to ask is, “what is God’s purpose?” It is a question that is so basic and yet so profound. When we begin to understand God’s purpose, we begin to grasp our mission. God gives us the privilege to be his agents to accomplish his work.
As we look at the Scriptures we see God at work in three different ways . . .
Genesis 1:1 (NLT) 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
In the first in the first line of the Apostle’s Creed we confess, “I believe in the God the Father, the maker of heaven and earth.” Everything we see and have comes from God.
He is a creative God. We see God at work through art, music, writing, and building. When we are making something to serve the good of others, we are doing the work of God. It might be a song that you compose. It might be a book you write. It might be a house you build or a tree you plant. We see God through the creative activity of his people.
God is a God of provision.
Psalm 107:9 (NLT) 9 For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
From feeding the Israelites in the desert to feeding the 5000, God works to provide.
There is a special place in God’s heart for the poor and the hungry. The Scripture is filled with so many references to defending the cause of the poor, the widowed, and the orphan they are just too many to name. Our God is a God of mercy and compassion.
This is about more than volunteering for a servant event to feel good about ourselves. It is about being a champion and an advocate for those who are in need. Investing our time and resources to show compassion. This is not easy. We must be willing to be inconvenienced and go out of our way to offer hope where there is no hope.
The third thing God does is to work restoration.
John 3:16 (NLT) 16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
When sin entered this world, it created a separation between us and God. God the Father sent his Son, Jesus into this world to restore that broken relationship.
When we look around, the is so much brokenness in this world. We see people living in broken relationships, broken health, broken spirits, and more. In God we have a healer, rescuer, and restorer. We look forward to the day of the new heavens and new earth when God will make his creation new.
In the end there is one common bond across all three of these purposes of God. It is people. God loves people. Everything God does is for the good of his creatures. Reaching out to others with love and compassion in selfless ways, we remove the “I” out of the equation. We empty ourselves completely to love others with no expectation of anything in return. Then we begin to discover the purpose of God.