God’s Purpose for Your Life

Within today’s church, it’s a peculiarity of our self-focused culture and age to wonder “What is God’s purpose for my life?”  Now, that’s not a wrong sentiment in itself.  But it is seeking something from God with which many Christians did not earlier concern themselves.  For long before it became a trend to wonder about “God’s purpose for my life,” Christians already knew that God had answered that question for them.

And God’s answer for “What is God’s purpose for my life” is not some vague, cryptic passage from Scripture.  He did not hide it in some long-forgotten part of the Bible, such as the Old Testament Apocrypha.  God answers each Christian’s purpose in the Gospels of the New Testament, in truth, from the mouth of Jesus Himself!

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus says, “First, seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”  Jesus is saying, more than anything else, that this needs to be first in your life: seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness!  That’s your purpose–to seek His kingdom and righteousness.

Ah, but now comes the questions, “How?” and “Where?”  Does Jesus leave us hanging, groping in the dark, about how seeking God takes place?  If seeking God’s kingdom is to be the priority in your life, your purpose in life, then how does is this “seeking” take place?  Jesus also answers this.

Luke 17:20-21 reads:

Now at one point the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come.  He replied, “The kingdom of God is not coming with something observable [that is, something that is naturally obvious to us].  People won’t be saying, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

 Jesus was referring to Himself when He told the Pharisees, “The kingdom of God is in your midst.”  For Jesus was the physical reality of God’s kingdom on earth.  So then, where do you get Jesus?  That’s the real question.  For if you get Jesus, then you get His kingdom; if you get Jesus, then you get His righteousness.

Well, back then, 2,000 years ago, Jesus physically walked the earth.  Now He’s in heaven at the right hand of the Father.  So we can’t find Jesus walking the earth.  But neither can we fly to heaven to be next to Jesus.  Yet, we still need Him because we are still sinful.  Even more, we are still living in time, not in eternity; so, right now, heaven is not where we seek Jesus.  That awaits us in eternity.

But our Lord is merciful and gracious.  He does not tell us to seek Him but then give us no way to do so.  Today, we still can still seek Jesus and find Him.  For, today, He comes to us in Word and Sacrament.  That’s where we seek Him!  Most specifically, Jesus comes to us in His Supper, where He gives us more than words–He gives us His body and blood.  And where we get Jesus’ body and blood, we get Jesus!  So, that’s were we seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness; Jesus gives it to us in His Supper!

That’s to be the priority in your life.  That’s your purpose.  You are to be where Jesus comes to you in His Word and Sacrament.  When that’s first in your life, when it orders and organizes your life, like any “life purpose” does, then what Jesus also says will ring true.  “First, seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you, as well.”

When your life is properly ordered, everything else falls into place.  You then live your life in the places where God has put you, serving your neighbor in love with talents and gifts that He has given to you.  You then live your life, being the light of Christ in the world, confessing Him in both Word and deed.  These are the natural results that flow from seeking “the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

The kingdom of God is so valuable that it’s to be priority number one in your life.  Jesus says your priority is to be where He comes to you to give you His kingdom, His righteousness, His life and salvation.  This takes place every week in the Divine Service.

So, yes, coming to Church is that essential, for that’s where you get Jesus, for real.  It’s not essential because you are trying to earn points with God.  It’s essential because that’s where you receive Jesus every week, His kingdom and His righteousness.

So, look at your life.  Is coming to receive Jesus in Word and Sacrament “first” in your life?  Have you let other priorities, even work, topple Jesus from His rightful throne?  Do you come to the Divine Service when it fits your schedule instead of fitting your schedule around the Divine Service?  Perhaps, it’s time for a spiritual “spring cleaning” to get your life’s priorities in line with Jesus’ priorities for you.

This is serious, because Jesus says it is.  But it is also true: “First, seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you, as well.”  Indeed, Jesus finishes with Gospel words, of what He gives to you, just like what He gives to you in the Divine Service.  Amen.