What is the definite life purpose of this church? Who is the lighthouse that directs the course you plot?
I am not asking about your mission statement or your statement of belief. What I am asking is, what is the very purpose of you consistently gathering here each week? What is the governing standard that is driving you to speak and act throughout each day?
If you are willing to take the time, individually and as a congregation, to intently define and identify the major definite life purpose of this church you will reveal the very reasons for your struggles within the church and your community. Your major definite life purpose is a central focal point. It needs to become the anchor point in all that you do. Without this anchor, you may succeed in your endeavor but you will not accomplish what God has called you to do. You will most likely move forward – but it will not be in the direction of God’s leading. You will probably grow, and yet, your harvest will yield little. You will be as Laodocia, luke-warm and spewed out like vomit. I am not speaking this way to be harsh, but out of a gentle and pure love for you today.
Once your definite life purpose is defined it begins to play an important role in planning your strategy and your efforts as a body – individually and as a whole. If you are not moving towards this definite purpose you are moving away from it. There is no in between. Complacency is not in the enemies vocabulary. Satan is always pressing forward to take back the ground that he once had. We have not been brought together to spar with Satan, we have been called to evict him.
Did you know that even without knowing what it is, you are already working toward a definite life purpose?
A man saw three men working as he came across a construction site.
He asked the first man, “Sir, what are you doing?”
“I am laying bricks,” the man replied.
So he moved on to the second man, “Sir, may I ask what you are doing?”
Confidently the second man responded, “I am building a wall for the church.”
This response caused him to question the third man as well,“Sir, what is it that you are doing here?”
With a great smile, the third man boldly proclaimed, “I, my good man, have been given the opportunity of being part of the construction of a beautiful building to be used in the giving of glory to God. It will be a place of reverence and of service to my King, Jesus Christ! Would you like to know him, sir? I have time.”
There is more to this little story than just talking about perspective, although it does warrant more time than we have right now to cover. The real take away here is that all three men were doing the same work. The result would be the same for each one at the completion of the work. One man’s work was not any less important than the next man’s. What is important to note here is simply this, it does not matter if you realize what the effects of your words or works are. It will not change the fact that they will affect many others around you. Make sure you have great clarity for the outcome before you begin any endeavor. Then work with all your focus and intention in that direction.
Identify where individually and within the church, you are expending your efforts and your resources and you will see where it is that you have placed your focus…
What does your budget say about your priorities and your goals? What does your checkbook say about how you prioritize your budget? Are they being affected and directed or are they corrected and mandated by the adherence to your definite life purpose?
I remember back in Basic Training in the Army. We had to spend some time learning LANDNAV. We had to learn how to read maps and plot courses. I remember charting degrees and distance and counting grid squares on the maps to judge distance. We learned about following the terrain features and identifying safe ways to get to our destination.
I grew up a country boy so this all seemed pretty basic to me. That understanding got me into a lot of trouble when we actually hit the woods though. You see, even a picture taken from an aerial view looks absolutely nothing like the reality of being on the ground. The two-dimensional conceptual thinking seemed to be thrown out with the trash as everything became 3 dimensional and we were looking at it from a whole different angle.
I learned a very important life lesson that first week as point man on a land navigation exercise. It does not matter where you were going or how well you plotted your course. The only thing that was important. The only thing that could keep you and your unit alive… was your knowledge or your current location. Inevitably, the landscape you were in had changed from when the map was made. You had to be able to identify your current position and then adapt to a new route or strategy to get to your desired destination.
It is the same in life. If you never take the time to stop and identify where you are in life or in relation to your goals you will never reach your intended destination. Like a ship pointed straight across the sea to port… without consistent adjustments, the currents of the sea and the winds of the air will alter its course and it will never arrive where it was intended.
We must identify where we are, our definite life purpose, and then continually adjust our bearing to fulfill our purpose and arrive safely at our destination.
What Is A Major Definite Life Purpose?
How do we find and identify what that is?
When I ask this I assume that many of you will sit there, as you are not with that blank stare, wondering what I am talking about and questioning whether or not this has anything to do with you… let me assure you, it does. Others, who will number far less, will confidently and haughtily say that your definite purpose is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the corners of the world! I commend you for that – at least you have direction!
My experience has shown me one thing. Most people when directly asked what the gospel message is, tend to sum it up that Christ died for our sins so that we don’t have to go to hell. If that what really all there was to it, don’t you think everyone would be saved by now?
Don’t think that by quoting some commission you are on the right track. You are a part of the body of Christ and that body has a life of its own, it is Jesus Christ who lives within us. Yet, we must remember that each member of that body has its own purpose. You individually have a specific purpose to fulfill within this congregation. You have PURPOSE! Spend time with God and seek out His desired role and responsibility for you here.
There is a much larger picture that this at work here today. You as a church, as a congregation of believers on Jesus Christ, are just one small member of the body of Christ. You are not a thumb, yet you have been approaching life as though you are. Just as an opposing thumb needs something to work with to be effectively used, so to must this congregation understand that it is not a member alone and separate. When we begin to see ourselves as members of a body within our congregation we begin to see that we cannot fulfill our purpose alone. When the body of this congregation begins to see themselves as a member of the Body of Christ we begin to see that you cannot fulfill your definite life purpose without the communion and cooperation of other congregations.
I know I keep referring back to the term major definite life purpose. Let’s take a moment to simplify what I am saying here.
Take a moment right now and ask yourself,”Why is it this morning that God, in His infinite wisdom allowed me to take a breath? What was his purpose for this?” Go ahead and ask, I will wait.
IF we take the time to ask this simple question of our Lord God, we will begin seeking clarity of purpose. God tells us through His Word that those who seek shall find. He also tells us that wisdom comes from the Lord and He gives liberally to those who ask it of Him.
Many times, as a small congregation of believer’s we see larger churches with all these resources – people, bank accounts, real estate. We see where they are and start to make excuses as to why we cannot be as effective as they are. I have a newsflash for you. You are not supposed to be doing what they are doing so stop complaining that you don’t look like them! God brought you together to accomplish a specific purpose in the world today. He has grown you, empowered you and commissioned you to accomplish something in a very special and unique way.
It is not about being like a the Mega-Churches or the affluent and well-known churches in your community. It is about only one thing. When the name of your church comes up in conversation is it synonymous with the completion of the work of Jesus Christ’s work.
Major Definite Life Purpose!
You are a member of this body of believers, this body of believers is a member of the body of Christ. Jesus Christ is the life that flows through it. The purpose of Christ Jesus on this earth was to make a way for us to be in right relationship with God that Father. If there is anything that you are doing as an individual that does not move others in this direction, stop doing it. If there areas in which this church is directing time, finance, people or efforts that do not specifically bring the world closer to this goal – stop doing it! Pray and seek where God has called you to work most effectively where you have been placed and then trust that He will provide all the resources needed to accomplish the work he has called you to.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE! YOU ARE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF THE KING JESUS CHRIST. I recommend as a body we start acting and living accordingly to Jesus definite life purpose.