Is your purpose to live, get as much money or other things as possible and then die, leaving them all behind? That’s fairly depressing, isn’t it? But that is what many in the world believe.
What is your purpose in life?
As Christians, we believe that our purpose in life is so much more. We believe that we are here to bring glory to God and to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. We think of the great commission in Matthew 28:19-20 where Jesus tells his disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
I have a question for you though. Do the “all nations” include our neighbor across the road? Does it include the attendant at the petrol station?
We can be so focused on the “all nations” that we forget about the people we see and interact with every day. If our purpose in life is to glorify God and spread the good news of the Gospel, then should we not be doing it with these very people?
Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you” John 20:21. Think about this statement and the way Jesus approached the people in his life. In every situation, he was looking for a way to talk to them about God and to share the Gospel. It didn’t matter if he had just finished a long walk and was thirsty and tired (the woman at the well in John 4).
It didn’t matter if he was among the crowds being jostled (Bartimaeus in Mark 10). No matter what, Jesus always had awareness of the people around him and how he could speak into their lives.
Well, in the same way, that God the Father sent Jesus into these situations, Jesus is sending you into the lives of people around you. Your neighbor? God placed her next to you for a reason. It didn’t happen by chance. That person who backed into your car? That didn’t happen by chance.
God is orchestrating everything around you. You never know, God may have been working on someone’s heart just so that you could share something with them next time you are at the shops.
Isn’t this exciting? We have a purpose to live for! Jesus has sent us into every single encounter and every single relationship that we have. Imagine if you lived your life with this purpose always at the forefront of your mind. Imagine the changes you could bring in everyone’s lives around you.
And you know what’s even more amazing? It’s sometimes glossed over because of the emphasis on the first part of the Great Commission. But read again the last sentence: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” As God is sending you into these situations and relationships and chance meetings, he has promised that he will be there. You don’t have to worry about saying the right things, you just have to say, “God how will you use me to fulfill your purpose in this situation?” And then be ready and hear his voice.