Theology of Joy
1/26/11 at 06:49 PM 0 Comments

Find and Fulfill Your God-given Calling (Part 2)

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We started this series by looking at some of today's most popular views regarding life-purpose. While other views leave the purpose-seeker frustrated (because their purpose never goes beyond themself, their limited community, or the "oneness"), the biblical perspective on purpose in life provides remarkable and sustainable motivation for daily living.

The biblical view on life-purpose is so motivating because God's purpose for the world is weaving its way into all things, and we are a vital part of that purpose.  According to Ephesians 1:9-10, the God who created the world is causing it to continually move toward its "final purpose" of making Christ the benevolent Ruler of all things.  God remains "sovereign" over the world, guiding it toward this end. With this model we are not simply dropped into the world to wander aimlessly or to wonder why we are really here. Rather, when reading the Bible we soon discover three very significant points within God's history that actually define our purpose in life.

First, biblical history originates with "creation", which provides our personal origin. Second, God's history continually moves toward "Shalom", and this shapes our personal destiny. Finally, the most significant event within God's history--the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ--defines our personal identity.

These three definitive points are very significant!  When we know our origin, destiny, and identity, we can live each day with an incredible sense of purpose.  Do you want God's history to start shaping your own life and purpose?  If yes, allow me to walk through these three points one at a time, demonstrating how they can provide foundation and definition for your daily life.

First, how does Creation define your origin? This is spelled out for us in Genesis chapter one. In Genesis 1:3-25, God speaks and creates the world with order. Everything that is created (continents, plants, birds, fish, animals, etc) show evidence of order and purpose; each fulfills the purpose for which God created it.

Then, in Genesis 1:27 we learn that "God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." The creation of men and women are the crown of God's creation, holding a special place above the rest of creation. Being created in God's "image" means, first, that we are created with God-like attributes (such as love, creativity, intelligence, emotions, will, etc).  These attributes allow us to relate with God intimately since we are "like" Him in so many ways. Indeed, the more we improve these attributes the greater our potential for having an intimate relationship with God!

Second, being created in God's image implies that we are created to reflect God's character in the world, and therefore bring Him glory. Paul says, "whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31). This means that, no matter what we do, our purpose--showing forth for the glory of God--lies behind our actions, providing a consistant motivation in each activity.

So, as you see, creation defines your origin (not just Adam's). Many of us, though, have never taken the time to really think through how this foundational truth shapes our daily life. So, in order to apply the above discussion to your life, I have a practical exercise for you.  Take a couple minutes to pull out a piece of paper and write out one sentence describing what it means to you that you are created in God's image.

Keep track of this paper ... we'll be building on your statement in subsequent articles.  Next time, in fact, we will ponder your "destiny" and "identity" as two other foundational points in defining your life-purpose. Stay tuned!

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