What I believe to be my purpose in life will drive how I act and react in my present. Knowing my purpose will shape decisions that I make, will effect how I react to current pressures, and will help fuel what drives me. Paul even speaks of this when he exhorts us to look ahead and to strive toward the prize of the high calling of God. That prize, that lays ahead, effects how we live today.
My purpose is not all that counts in my life. My wife and children have purposes for me. Certainly there are other areas of my life that demand from me also. My job, my extended family, my church, and even my country have a say in how I live my life. We work hard to make our own personal purpose to gel with all of the other purposes that are place into our lives. For instance, I desire to provide for my family and thus my job’s purpose for me becomes important so that I can achieve my personal purpose of provision.
When God reaches from heaven and saves us through the work of Jesus and the application of that work by the Holy Spirit in our lives, he gives us new life. That new life carries with it a new purpose. An ultimate purpose. A purpose that not only becomes our future but does away with our old and shapes our present. In Romans 8:28-30 Paul writes, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” God had a purpose in saving you. That purpose now becomes your purpose. Did you catch what it is? Our first response would be that he saved us in order to conform us to the image of his Son. That would be a partially correct answer. God is certainly working everything for good in our lives be using all things to conform us to the image of Jesus. One day we will be glorified but that is not the ultimate goal.
If you carefully read the verses you will see that we will be conformed to the image of Jesus “in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers”. God’s ultimate goal is to make a bride that is worthy of making much of his Son. That is worthy of bowing before Jesus and lifting up his holy name. In our present sinful state we are not worthy to praise the name of Jesus. So God saves us and then he will glorify us so that we can make much about Jesus. So that his great grace and mercy will be on display. So that Jesus is the firstborn or preeminent one.
Changes my present. Life has never been, nor will ever be, about me. Everything is about Jesus. God, in his infinite grace, brings me great joy when I make all things about his Son but it is not ultimately about my joy but about the praise of Jesus. God brings peace when we make things about His Son but my peace is a by-product of lifting up the name of Jesus, not the ultimate goal. In heaven, when we are glorified, we will be ultimately worthy of praising the name of Jesus and we will finally see how glorious this praise really is. Here on earth, we see glimpses of it. While we can accomplish this goal personally, it is meant to be accomplished together with fellow believers. We gather to make much of Jesus. We gather to lift his name up. Every once in a while, here on earth, we get that right and we make our corporate time about him and not about us. It is then that we experience that glorious glimpse of our future. That glorious joy of making all things about him that results in our ultimate joy and peace. Let’s gather together, this Sunday, and give it another try. No greater joy than when we get that right.