Knowing Yourself (Part III of IV): Purpose…
Your Identity, Value, Purpose, & Potential
Lesson III: Purpose
Rhetorical Question: What is your purpose? Why are you alive? Why did God make you? How do you know?
Think about this for a moment—we’ll come back to these important questions later…
Introduction: Beginning two lessons ago and finishing up with the next lesson, you have been looking at the Bible to try and understand yourselves better—specifically trying to figure out the:
of each human being.
Why, you might ask? Again, because we must understand who we really are before we can:
Treat ourselves with the respect we deserve,
Love others with the love they deserve,
Do what God made us to do, and
Be who He made us to be.
Two weeks ago we started by looking at our Identity—who we are…
Last week we continued by looking at our Value—what we are worth…
And today we will continue by looking at our Purpose—why God made us…
The Importance of Questions: Humans have been asking this question for thousands of years—why are we here, what is our purpose?
First, I want you to know that questions are really important—one of the best things you can do in your life is ask really good questions! But having questions means that we don’t have answers (at least not at the moment). Questions tell us that there is darkness, a darkness that prevents us from seeing things clearly. Answers, then, are the lights that allow us to see things the way they really are. So questions are good, but correct answers are even better! And the Bible contains the correct answers that we seek, for the Bible describes itself as light from God:
Scripture: Psalm 18:27-29 (NLT):
“You light a lamp for me. The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness.”
Scripture: Psalm 119:104-106 (Message):
“With your instruction, I understand life;
By your words I can see where I’m going;
they throw a beam of light on my dark path.”
Main Points—Purpose: So this morning we’re going to begin to answer the question
“What is our purpose?”, and we’re going to use the light of the Bible to understand the answers.
Question: What does “purpose” mean?
“The reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.” (www.dictionary.com).
Cool. So what is the reason we exist? Why did God create us—what purpose did He have in mind for us? Because every person who creates something—whether a car, hammer, IPod, or toaster oven—creates that item for a reason, for a purpose, with a goal in mind.
If you want or need to get something done, it is important to understand the purpose of things to help you do what you need to do.
Illustration: What are some things I can do to warm my hands if they are cold?
(put them in your pockets, rub them together, put on gloves, etc.)
Okay, cool. God has blessed my wife and I to have a fantastic toaster—silver, shiny, and effective—the kind with two slots for bread or waffles that pops up the items when they are done. The toaster does a great job at warming the bread.
Why can’t I use the toaster to warm up my hands? I mean, it works so well with bread and frozen waffles, and my hands feel frozen sometimes. The toaster even has two slots, one for each hand. It’s perfect!
Exactly—the toaster would burn my hands and hurt them very badly.
Here’s the point: The toaster was made for warming bread—that’s its purpose. It was not made to warm hands—that is not its purpose. Not knowing this can cause a lot of pain and damage.
The same is true with humans. Since we are created beings, we are no different in this regard. God made us for a reason, for a purpose, with a goal in mind. If we don’t know our purpose, we too can hurt ourselves and others very badly.
So Why Did God Make Humans?
1. To Know Him (John 17:1-3 and Philippians 3:7-9 (NLT))
-Scripture (John 17:1-3 NIV):
“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
‘Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.
For you granted him authority over all people
that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.
Now this is eternal life:
that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.'”
-Scripture (Philippians 3:7-9 NLT):
“I once thought these things were valuable,
but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.
Yes, everything else is worthless
when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
For his sake I have discarded everything else,
counting it all as garbage,
so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.”
God made us
to know Him, to understand Him,
to be aware of Him, to recognize Him,
to feel Him, to acknowledge Him,
to find out about, to discover Him, and
to have union with Him.
And we get to know God by
A. Reading the Bible
B. Talking with Him
C. Listening to Him
D. Coming to Club 56 and Wild Kingdom
E. Asking questions in small group
F. Asking Jesus to help you see Him in your daily life
G. Inviting Jesus into your normal activities.
Just as a painter creates a painting for others to see it,
Just as a chef cooks a meal for others to taste it,
Just as an author writes a book for others to read it,
Just as Nintendo and Microsoft create video games for others to enjoy them,
So too has God created us in order to know, see, taste, and enjoy Him.
Why Else Did God Make Humans?
2. To Be Like Him (Leviticus 19:2 NIV)
“Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.’”
Remember, friends—we are made in the image of God. We are more like Him than we realize!!! And God commands something very big of us—to be like Him…
Holy, kind, loving, generous, patient, peaceful, good, gentle, self-controlled, strong, beautiful, powerful, fair, honest, brave, sacrificing, and focusing on the needs of others (among many other traits!).
But before you get scared and nervous, don’t think that God has given us this command and then left us alone to figure it out. No way—whenever God tells us to do something, He always helps us and gives us what we need to do it.
Scripture: Leviticus 22:32 (NIV):
“I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the LORD, who makes you holy…”
This is like asking Michael Jordan to dunk…
This is like asking an eagle chick to fly…
This is like asking a cheetah cub to run fast…
God made them to do those amazing things—so too has He made us to be like Him…
And He does this—He makes us holy—as we choose to
A. Read the Bible
B. Talk with Him
C. Listen to Him
D. Attend church on a regular basis
E. Ask questions in small group
F. Ask Jesus to help you see Him in your daily life
G. Invite Jesus into your normal activities.
H. Let Jesus be the CEO and Leader of our lives.
I. Let Jesus be the Forgiver of our sins
J. Do the right thing even though it causes us trouble.
God makes us more holy as we live with Him—as we choose to be with Him (but we have to choose—it doesn’t happen on accident)…
…Just as your skin gets more tan as you sit, run, play, and work in the sun.
Why Else Did God Make Humans?
3. To Represent Him
-Scripture (1 Corinthians 12:27 NIV)
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
-Scripture (2 Corinthians 5:17-21 The Message)
“Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing.
We’re Christ’s representatives.”
“In the final three days in Iowa, [his] operatives made 150,000 phone calls to potential supporters. The campaign gave canvassers strict printed instructions telling them how to engage with voters as they went door to door drumming up support. ‘While canvassing for the campaign, you are acting as a representative of [the] Senator,’ the sheet read. ‘It’s absolutely imperative that at all times we remain respectful, polite and overly nice to the people we encounter.’ [His] Iowa staff painted a motto on the wall of the state’s campaign headquarters. It sounded like something more suited to the side of a small-town police car: RESPECT, EMPOWER, INCLUDE” (Newsweek Online, “Inside [the] Dream Machine,” 1-6-08, p. 4).
WE REPRESENT JESUS—The world meets God through you and me!!!
Remember—you might be the only Bible people ever read…
We are to make Jesus even more famous by the way we:
share with others…
This is what it means to “glorify God.”
We represent Him—we are His Body—His hands and His feet, and we are preparing the world and others for His Return!!!
We were made for this!!!
Closing Song: If We Are the Body (by Casting Crowns)(Please click HERE)
Please listen to the above song, and listen to the words.
Jesus said “Let your light shine, that people would see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.”
May we do just this—loving people so that they can see how much Jesus loves them and perhaps choose to put their lives, their eternal destinies, into His loving and strong hands…
Questions for Discussion
1. What is something interesting or confusing from the lesson?
2. What would you say if a friend asked you “What is my purpose”?
3. How will you get to know Jesus more today?
4. How will you be holy like Jesus today?